Unplanned pregnancy can be quite the rollercoaster, full of complicated emotions, challenges, uncertainties, and anticipation along the way. It is also a journey filled with love and hope, a journey that many women continue to take in the best interests of their baby. Some women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose to parent their child; others lovingly choose to make an adoption plan.
If you are pregnant and feel you are not ready to become a parent, you may be considering placing your baby for adoption. You have already read up on your options and evaluated the pros and cons of each. You have spoken with your doctor, as well as a trusted friend or counselor, and decided that adoption will bring the most positive outcomes to you and your child long-term. As much as you love your unborn baby already, you know in your heart that you are not emotionally, financially, or physically ready to raise a child. You are, however, prepared to make a plan that will give your baby the best start at life.
While you can start making an adoption plan at any stage of your pregnancy, most expectant parents will do the majority of their planning in their third trimesters. This is the final stretch in which the pregnancy truly becomes a reality. The baby does the most growing during this time – going from a mere two pounds to between six and nine pounds – and his or her movement gets much more frequent.
If you are entering the final stages of your pregnancy, you too are likely starting to feel the effects. Your baby and your belly is growing quickly, and your due date is approaching fast. You have been educated on what to physically expect for delivery, but are only starting to prepare for the emotional effects of adoption. You also need to decide where you will have your baby, who will be there at the birth, as well as the details of how your adoption plan will go— during the rest of your pregnancy and beyond.
Preparing for adoption is a very helpful step for expectant mothers, as it gives them peace of mind in knowing that they thoughtfully planned for their child’s life. To help you get started in preparing for adoption, Adoptions With Love has outlined the most essential steps in making an adoption plan.
1. Find an adoption agency you trust. Choosing an agency you trust is a crucial first step in preparing for adoption. An adoption agency is equipped with counselors and attorneys who can walk you through the adoption process and help you make the perfect adoption plan. They can also help you prepare for the emotional aspects of adoption, and offer ongoing services to ensure you are comfortable at each stage of your pregnancy and beyond.
Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, private, full-service adoption agency working with expectant and birth parents nationwide. Here, we extend a range of free services to women considering adoption for their babies. Our compassionate counselors can help you learn more about adoption, find a family for your baby, prepare for your delivery, arrange for post-adoption contact, and meet with you even after your baby is placed. We also offer housing, legal, and other financial assistance to expectant mothers considering adoption.
2. Choose a family for your baby. By now, you have spent some time bonding with your baby and likely have an idea of what you want for him or her. You might want your baby to have siblings as he or she grows. You may feel it is important for your child to have two parents, a stay-at-home-parent, or a parent of a certain ethnicity or background. We welcome you to share these hopes and needs with us.
At Adoptions With Love, you will have the opportunity to make your dreams for your child a reality by choosing an adoptive family. If you would like to do so, we will show you profiles and photo albums of the loving families waiting to adopt. These families have also written personal letters, to share with you their own hopes and dreams for raising a child. You can handpick the adoptive family that best fits your wishes and needs, and even meet with them over the phone, online, or in-person. All of the families at Adoptions With Love have been thoroughly screened and interviewed, and are ready to support a child for life.
3. Make a hospital plan. Preparing for delivery is another important step to take in your third trimester. Because you are choosing adoption for your baby, your hospital experience will be especially unique and can be tailored to your needs. For example, you can decide if you want your child’s adoptive family to be with you at the time of birth. You can also decide how much time you want to spend with your child, and what (if any) mementos you want to take home.
By making a hospital plan now, you can go into labor feeling comfortable and confident in knowing that you have already prepared. Adoptions With Love can help you make this plan so that, when it is time for your baby to come, you can rest assured that all your needs will be met during your hospital stay. We will not only help you find a good doctor and hospital to have the baby, we can also be with you on the day your baby is born. In addition, we can help you stay in touch with your child’s adoptive family, call them when you would like them to arrive, and ensure that you get enough time to spend with your child before making your decision.
4. Make your post-adoption plan. A post-adoption plan is an arrangement made by an expectant/birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents of her child. It details how much (if any) contact you would like with your child’s adoptive family after the adoption takes place. This plan is designed around your needs as well as the best interests of your child.
If you would like ongoing, direct contact with your child and his or her adoptive family over the years, you can choose to have an open adoption plan. If you are more comfortable with a confidential arrangement, we can keep your adoption closed and private. You can also make an adoption plan that falls somewhere in-between open and closed, for example, with contact mediated through an adoption agency. No form of adoption is any more right than another; only you can decide what is best for you and your child.
Your post-adoption plan can be made now, in the final months of your pregnancy, or even after the birth of your baby. Just because you are approaching the finish line does not mean you need to rush in making this decision. All states today require that birth mothers wait until their baby is born before signing any adoption papers.
5. Seek post-adoption support. As you already know, adoption is an emotional journey – one that continues even after your child is placed. For this reason, we encourage you to receive ongoing counseling and support after the adoption takes place. Adoptions With Love offers continuous, confidential counseling services that will be free-of-cost to you. Our compassionate staff can help you navigate any complicated emotions post-pregnancy, as well as any communication or relationships that will carry on following your baby’s adoption. We will always be here for you.
To learn more about preparing for adoption, or for additional unplanned pregnancy advice, please download our free “Preparing for Adoption: A Month-by-Month Guide” below. For immediate adoption or unplanned pregnancy help, please do not hesitate to call Adoptions With Love at 800-722-7731 or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072. We are here 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to answer your call.
If you are in your first trimester of an unplanned pregnancy, learn what to do here. If you are in your second trimester and considering adoption, you may also read, “Unplanned Pregnancy Advice for Trimester Two.”