Making the decision to place your baby for adoption is never an easy one. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, and you were not planning to become a parent right now, you may be considering this choice. You may be feeling stressed, scared, and all alone. Of course, you are not alone. Roughly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, and each year, nearly 14,000 women choose to place their babies for adoption.
These numbers may not make you feel much better, but you can rest assured that, while you did not intend on becoming pregnant, you do have the power to make a decision that is best for your baby’s life and your life. The first thing to realize is that this is your choice. No one can make it for you, nor should you feel pressured by anyone.
You may still feel like the weight of the world is resting upon your shoulders, and that is normal. It is normal to feel overwhelmed with this decision. You may be asking yourself: ‘Should I give my baby up for adoption?’ First thing is first: “Giving up baby for adoption” – a dated term that is no longer used in the adoption community – is not giving up; you are making a thoughtful and brave plan for your baby. You are taking charge! Those who decide to place their child for adoption are incredibly strong and loving. This is a selfless decision that takes time to consider. We have put together a few questions to help you weigh this important decision.
- Am I ready to become a mom?
Many young women facing unplanned pregnancy consider parenting their child before any other option. This is normal. As you consider parenthood, there are some big factors to take into consideration. First, think about your relationships. Will the father of your baby be involved? Will your family be affected? More than 80 percent of the 12 million single-parent families in the U.S. are headed by women alone, and 64 percent of single mothers had to move in with friends during the early years of their child’s life.
Another important factor to consider is your finances. It costs a lot of money to raise a child. In fact, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth is $233,610. Each year, the average month spends the following for each child:
- $600 – $1,000 a month on diapers, and as much as $2,500 in the first year of the baby’s life.
- Up to $12,000 a month on center-based daycare.
- Between $5,000 and $16,000 each month on full-time infant care.
These realities are important to consider when thinking about parenthood.
- What are my plans for the future?
Many women get lost in the early stages of parenthood. A baby is born and life changes in every single way. Before starting a family, it is important to consider your own personal and professional goals.
Do you wish to finish school or pursue a degree? Finding the time to go to school, study, and raise a child can be overwhelming. Today, pregnancy is a big contributor to high school and college dropouts among young women. Only about 50 percent of teen moms finish their high school diploma by age 22. Additionally, an estimated 61 percent of young women who have children in college do not complete their degree. So, it’s important that you have a support structure in place (a significant other, family, etc.) so that you can keep up with the classwork.
- What kind of life do I want for my child?
When you were a little girl, you may have dreamed about becoming a mom. What did the picture look like? Were you in a nice house with a partner, kids, and pets? The “white picket fence” life may not be a practical part of your story at this moment in time. That is okay.
The important thing to remember here is: What is best for my child? Perhaps you want your child to enjoy a carefree life that is full of opportunities like traveling, and a quality education. You may want your child to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, dance lessons, piano lessons, horseback riding, etc. These ideals may not be feasible right now.
Adoption Makes it Possible
Adoptive parents have been dreaming about and preparing to raise a child for years. They can offer your child a life full of opportunities, stability and love. It can be hard to imagine another family raising your child. This is something that all birth mothers struggle with, so you are not alone in feeling this way.
You can be the one to choose the family. You may also choose to meet the adoptive parents in advance and ask as many questions as you need to get to know them. You can stay in touch, over the years, thanks to open adoption. This is the most common type of adoption today, as it keeps the birth mother and adoptive family in contact for many years to come. Your child will know how loved she is, by both you and her adoptive family, you will still be able to have a relationship with your child.
If you would like even more information about choosing adoption, reach out to Adoptions With Love any time of day, any day of the week. We can discuss your options without pressure, judgment or bias – free of charge – no matter what decision you make. Call us at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.