Are you thinking about placing your baby for adoption? Whether you are pregnant or have already given birth, adoption is an option for you. Adoption allows you to place your baby with a loving family that is ready to give your baby the stable life you want for him/her. You can even choose the family to raise your baby. However, that is not the only choice during the adoption process. You can also choose the type of adoption plan you will have, the level of contact you will have with your child, and more. There are many adoption options available to you.
It is estimated that nearly 18,000 women choose to place their baby for adoption each year. Making an adoption plan is a positive choice for many reasons. It is a brave, selfless, and loving act that gives your child a wonderful chance at life filled with many opportunities. It also enables you to fulfill your own goals. Adoption is anything but “giving up,” and is a choice made in the best interest of your child.
If you are thinking about making an adoption plan for your child, read on. In this guide, we will share the adoption options available to pregnant women and new birth mothers. We hope this guide can help you as you consider your various options.
Your Adoption Plan Options
1. Open Adoption
Most adoptions today are considered “open” adoptions. This means that the adoption involves some relationship or communication between the birth parents (like you) and the adoptive family. However, every open adoption looks different. Levels of communication vary. You can decide what is best for you.
For example, you may choose to meet the adoptive parents before finalizing your adoption, but discontinue contact afterwards. Or, you may choose to exchange photos and letters with your child’s adoptive family over the years. Some birth mothers decide to maintain a relationship through text message, email, phone conversations, or meetings. The form and frequency can vary greatly between adoptions, but the big takeaway here is that open adoption means having options and keeping the lines of communication open for years following birth.
The open adoption plan you choose can be decided by you. Your adoption social worker can help you custom design a plan that meets your needs. You can also decide to tweak this plan over the years to help accommodate your growing child and your changing needs.
As noted above, a part of the open adoption process includes selecting the adoptive family for your child. This is an important step, as it gives many expectant/birth parents peace of mind. You can meet with the family and get to know them more fully. You can also form a relationship that will last for years to come.
Children in open adoptions report having positive feelings and feel more satisfied with their arrangement than those in closed adoptions. They are happy with the level of contact they have with their birth parents and the loving relationship they have in their adoptive family.
When an expectant/birth parent chooses adoption, she is putting the needs of her child first. With open adoption, birth parents can see this joy and happy upbringing – all while knowing that they can keep in touch. It is a relief for many birth parents to see their child enjoying two families and feeling double the love.
2. Closed Adoption
A closed adoption plan means there is no contact between the birth and adoptive families after the adoption takes place. Oftentimes, no contact takes place prior to the adoption, either. In a closed adoption, no identifying information about either family is revealed to the other.
While open adoption has gained a lot of attention in the adoption world over the past few years, it is okay for an expectant/birth mother to choose closed adoption. This can be the right choice for you, depending on your needs. For some expectant/birth mothers, this adoption option helps provide them the “fresh start” they require to cope and live. Remember: Everyone is different, and you should choose an adoption plan that feels most comfortable for you.
At Adoptions With Love, we keep photos and letters on file should a birth mother change her mind about the closed adoption. The adoption may be opened later, and – when ready – a birth mother can choose to contact their child’s adoptive family through Adoptions With Love, as a liaison between both parties.
There is no right or wrong way to make an adoption plan. This is why adoption options are so helpful. You can find what works best for you, and your adoption specialist can help you determine which plan will be right for you.
3. Semi-Open Adoption
With the definitions of open adoption and closed adoption in mind, think of semi-open adoption as a split between the two. Much like the open adoption plan, the semi-open plan is defined by you, the expectant/birth mother. In general, it means that you have some indirect contact with your child’s adoptive family. In this type of arrangement, no identifying information is revealed and everyone’s privacy is respected.
With a semi-open adoption, you can still select the adoptive family for your child. If you wish, you can speak with them – either over the phone, via email, Zoom, etc. – or you could choose to meet with them before the birth or at the hospital when the baby is born. This is all based on your decisions and an arrangement that makes you most comfortable. You do not have to meet with the child’s adoptive family if you do not want to do so. Adoptions With Love is always there to support your needs and help you navigate these uncharted waters. But letters and picture updates would be available to you at Adoptions With Love if and when you want to see them.
Adoption vs. Foster Care
Adoption plan aside, another adoption option to consider is private adoption vs. foster care adoption. In most cases, foster care placement is not a voluntary decision made by a birth parent. Unless the state deems you unfit to have your child in your care, your child will not go to foster care. Children who are adopted through foster care are first put through the child welfare system.
With private adoption, you are in charge of your adoption plan. You voluntarily make this choice in the best interest of your baby. You can decide between the adoption options we explained in this guide: open adoption, closed adoption, and semi-open adoption. You can hand-select the adoptive family for your child, and you can choose to keep in touch with your child’s family over the years.
Research shows that adoption is beneficial to children, as they are often given more opportunities, a safer place to live and thrive, access to quality health care, and supportive families to help them thrive. Adopted children are more likely to have dinner with their families every night and less likely to get involved with drug abuse.
Contact Adoptions With Love for More Support
If you are considering adoption for your child, reach out to Adoptions With Love today. Our caring staff can help guide you through this process, and will be there to guide you every step of the way. Call us any time of day, any day of the week at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online. We can help you make an adoption plan that best suits your needs.