Facing an unplanned pregnancy is never easy. If you are in this position – or if you have already given birth – you may be thinking about your options. You might ask yourself, “Is giving my baby up for adoption* right for me?” *It is important to know that you are not “giving up” your baby, but are making a thoughtful, loving and brave choice. You may also be wondering, “How can I know that adoption is the right choice for my baby?” Read on, as we explore how to make the best possible choice for yourself and for your child.
Your Options and Your Choice
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, an expectant mother has three options:
The decision is yours and yours alone. No one can pressure you into a decision, and only you know what is best for your baby. There are many resources, however, to help educate you on your options. For example, many expectant/birth mothers do not know about adoption. A reputable adoption agency can help you learn about adoption, and determine what is best for you and your baby. You will never be obligated to choose adoption. An adoption agency can be a great resource for you to learn about this option and to answer your questions along the way.
Should you choose to work with an adoption professional and make an adoption plan for your baby, you can also rest assured that you will find plenty of support (such as financial assistance and counseling) along the way. Read on and consider the following factors that may help you determine whether giving your baby up for adoption is right for you.
How to Know if Adoption is Right for You
The below sentiments are signs that adoption could be a positive option for you:
- I am not ready to parent, but I care about this child’s future.
Parenting a child today is harder – and more expensive – than ever before. In fact, as of 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found the average cost of raising a child to age 18 was $233,610. With inflation – an adjustment of 2.2% each year – the lifetime cost of raising a child born in 2022 was estimated at $272,049. This does not include college tuition.
In addition to the high costs, there is also the time, energy, and patience needed to raise a baby. Parents need to work to earn enough to cover the high expenses, but they also need to be more diligent in watching their child. For example, you must consider childcare and who will help take care of your baby when you are working. You must also remember that you are not just raising a baby, you will be raising a child for the next 18 years of your life. This means a lot of your other priorities could get put on hold.
You are unable or do not wish to raise a child at this time, but you do not wish to terminate the pregnancy, adoption is a positive choice. Adoption is a brave choice of putting your child’s needs before your own. You are already showing what a strong and loving mother you are. You want to see your child go to a safe, loving and stable home that can offer him/her a lifetime of opportunity. If this describes how you are feeling, adoption may be the right path for you.
- I want to make sure this child is loved and protected.
With the thought of your child’s future in mind, you may also be thinking about how your child will be treated. You want to make sure your child is loved beyond measure. You may not have planned this pregnancy, but you can plan for your child’s life. You know your child deserves to have loving parents who will love them unconditionally. You want parents who will do whatever it takes to keep your child safe and show them that they are important.
One of the many benefits of using a private domestic adoption agency is that all services are provided by the adoption professional at no cost to you, the expectant/birth parent. One of these services includes the Home Study. This months-long process involves multiple at-home visits, interviews, and thorough screenings and background checks. The Home Study ensures that a prospective adoptive family is healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially – and is ready to parent a child. With an adoption agency like Adoptions With Love, you can rest assured that your child is going to a safe, stable, and loving home.
- Having stable (and incredible) parents is important to me.
Thinking about the stability – and overall ability – of your child’s adoptive family is another telltale sign that you care deeply about this child. You want the best for your child, and finding the right adoptive family is important to you.
Another benefit of working with an adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love, is that you can choose your child’s adoptive family. You can browse the profiles of those who are ready to raise a child. You can explore the family’s history, love story, professional and personal interests, and look through photographs. Is it important to you that your child has two parents? Are you hoping that your child will have siblings? Is race or religion an important factor to you? These are all choices you can make as you search for the perfect family for your child. You can also choose to speak with the family – either in-person, on the phone, or through texts or emails –if you wish.
- I have different hopes for my own life and future.
For many expectant/birth parents, the timing of their pregnancy does not align with their life goals. Perhaps you were about to start a college degree program. Or maybe you were just getting started in your career. Are you still in high school, and trying to earn your diploma? Finding out you are facing an unplanned pregnancy while trying to fulfill your own goals can be a hard pill to swallow. It does not, however, have to put an end to all your plans.
You might already have children that you are raising at home and feel that you simply cannot provide for another one. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but the point remains the same: You have other priorities at this time. “Giving baby up for adoption” might be the right path for you if you are looking to pursue your own goals. It does not mean you are giving up. It does not mean you would not make a great mom. It means you are putting your child’s needs above your own, to give them the best possible life, while still fulfilling your own.
- It is important that I feel in control of this situation.
The news of your unplanned pregnancy can be difficult. You may be feeling like life has gotten out of control. You need to feel that you are in charge of this one thing. Making an adoption plan for your child is something that you can plan out from the comfort of home – or from the hospital. Your adoption social worker can help you design a plan that meets your needs. You are in charge of this pregnancy. You can take control and determine the form and frequency with which you stay connected with your child’s adoptive family – if any.
- I want to see my child thrive because of this choice.
The idea of an open adoption gives many expectant/birth parents a feeling of hope. With this type of adoption, birth parents do not say “goodbye forever.” Instead, they make a plan for the future that might involve ongoing communication with adoptive parents. This brings expectant/birth parents peace of mind, knowing they will be able to see their child grow and enjoy life over the years – even if it is just through photos and letters.
- Helping another family would make me happy.
Adoption is a selfless act of love that – at its core – comes from a place of compassion and care. You may not be actively thinking about this, but adoption is a blessing for many families. In choosing adoption, you are giving your baby and the adoptive family an amazing chance to have a life full of love, memories, and opportunities.
Today, experts estimate that between one and two million couples are waiting to adopt a baby. However, of the million unplanned pregnancies each year, most women choose to parent their child or terminate their pregnancies. About 4% of women with unplanned pregnancies make an adoption plan.
While it may not be an important factor in your decision, choosing adoption means giving a couple the chance to parent and raise a baby. This is something that they may not be able to do without you, as many adoptive families face infertility, are single, or are in same-sex relationships.
Another benefit to placing your baby for adoption is the relationship you can have with the adoptive family. If you choose to meet the adoptive parents, you may find that you bond with them and share this incredible love together. Afterall, the love you have for your child is what has brought you to make this thoughtful adoption plan in the first place.
Do the above feelings or thoughts resonate with you? If so, adoption may be the right choice.
Reach Out for Support
The next time you find yourself asking, “Is giving my baby up for adoption right for me?”, consider the factors we just covered. If you are thinking about adoption, reach out to Adoptions With Love today. We are here for you. We can help guide you through this journey every step of the way. We are available 24/7 to help you with whatever you need during this challenging time. Call us at 1-800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072, or contact us online.