For adoptive families, adoption is an amazing gift. For birth mothers who place their child for adoption, it is a bit more complicated. Making an adoption plan for your baby is an incredibly loving and selfless choice. It is not, however, an easy decision to make. It often comes after much emotional processing, counseling, and soul searching. If you are an facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be asking yourself, ‘What am I going to do?’ or ‘Why should I consider adoption at all?’
For expectant/birth mothers, the choice of adoption can come from various circumstances or beliefs. You may know you are not ready to parent, but may be late in your pregnancy and unable to get an abortion. Perhaps termination goes against your religious beliefs or personal values. No matter your situation, you likely want to provide your child with the best possible life you can. Read on for some of the various reasons expectant/birth moms consider adoption.
- Not yet ready to parent
Whether you feel you may be too young to raise a child, or that you are not there psychologically, you may not be ready to become a parent at this time in your life. This is completely okay! In fact, it is a very mature reason to consider adoption. Choosing adoption does not mean you would not make a great parent; it simply means that you may not be ready right now. You are certainly not alone. Each year in the U.S., about 14,000 people choose to place their baby for adoption. It is also a happy outcome for most, with an estimated 90 percent of adopted children having positive feelings about their adoption.
- Not in a relationship
Many expectant/birth mothers want their child to be raised by two parents. If you are single, you may envision your baby being raised by two loving adults who can work together to raise your baby, instilling important values such as commitment, devotion to family, and teamwork. Adopted children are more likely to live with two parents, and the average adopted child is read to and sung to on a daily basis.
- Not in a relationship with the baby’s father
Perhaps you are in a relationship, but you are not with the baby’s father. Your partner may not be willing to parent this child, or you may feel that it is not right, given your circumstance. The option of adoption may be reached by both you and your partner, and you may both feel that it is the best decision for your relationship and future.
- Cannot afford to raise a (or another) child
Finances are a big factor in preparation to becoming a parent. The average cost of raising a child – from birth to age 18 – is $233,610, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This does not include college tuition. If you are struggling to support yourself, or yourself and other children, you may not feel that you are able to take on such a huge financial commitment. Many birth parents who consider adoption are already parenting other children. This is a very valid reason to consider adoption. Hopeful adoptive families have been preparing for years to raise a baby. They have the financial means to pay for childcare, healthcare, school, clothing, nutritious meals, and more. Not only this, but by choosing adoption, you (as the birth mother) can get financial assistance from an adoption agency, in the final months of your pregnancy and for weeks after the baby’s birth.
- Medical condition to hinder parenting
If you have a medical condition or illness that makes your own daily life challenging, then caring for a baby may not be possible. From overnight cries to round-the-clock feedings and diaper changes, your wellbeing and physical abilities are an important factor in the hard work of parenting. An open adoption plan gives the peace of mind in knowing that:
- Your child is loved and cared for every day.
- Your adoption story is being shared in a positive light.
- Your decision to place for adoption is not “goodbye,” since there are many planned conversations and (in some cases) reunions for the years following.
- The baby has a medical condition
Some expectant/birth mothers learn early on in pregnancy that their child may have an illness, birth defect, or disability at birth. This medical condition can be costly and overwhelming. If a birth mother does not feel she can handle this kind of scenario, she may look to adoption for a loving family who can. There are adoptive families ready and willing to adopt a child with special needs.
- The pregnancy was a result of sexual assault
The trauma of sexual assault is devastating in its own right, let alone the pregnancy that may follow. Victims of sexual assault often look for options to escape the daily reminders of this experience, while avoiding termination. In this difficult case, adoption is a positive outcome and, often times, a healing one that gives a birth mother hope for a better future, for both her child and herself.
- The desire for a better life for your baby
Whether you do not have the means to support your child, or you feel that you are (or your child will be) a victim of abuse, you may consider adoption to provide your child with a better life. You, yourself, may have had a difficult childhood, and you are looking to give this unborn baby the chance at a life that he or she will love – with opportunities to go on family vacations or attend a great college.
- Still striving to achieve personal and professional goals
If you are not yet married or have not yet completed your education, you may not feel that this is the right time to become a parent. If you are hoping to have a family in the future, under different circumstances, you may find that adoption is the best path for you and your baby right now. With an open adoption, birth mothers may continue to work toward their life goals, while maintaining contact with their child’s adoptive family over the years. Open adoption often reassures birth mothers that their child is being raised in a happy, loving home.
- The desire to help another family grow
Perhaps the most positive outcome from choosing adoption is the life it gives – literally. Some birth mothers are already familiar with the amazing opportunities adoption provides, whether they were adopted or they have known of families touched by adoption. When you choose adoption, you are helping another family grow. Many adoptive families today have experienced infertility and are not able to conceive a child biologically. By choosing adoption for your baby, you are able to fulfill a family’s greatest wish – to become parents at last.
These are just a few of the many reasons birth mothers consider adoption. If you are interested in learning more about adoption, please reach out to Adoptions With Love any time. We can guide you through this journey, guilt and pressure free.