Supporting Expectant Parent’s Choices
“If it is to be, it is up to me.” – William H. Johnsten
Considering an adoption plan for your child is an incredibly difficult and personal experience. There are many factors that go into an expectant parent’s decision to place. They may not have the financial resources to give their child the life they want. They may be parenting other children and not have the capacity to raise another. They might not have support from the child’s other parent or from their family and friends. They may not be at a place in their life where they are prepared to parent.
Each expectant parent’s circumstances are different. Because of this, only they can know if adoption is the right plan for their child and for themselves. Unfortunately, expectant parents can often feel pressure from others to choose adoption or choose parenting.
At ACFB, we strive to provide expectant parents with a safe space where they can make their decision about what is the right plan for them. From their first contact with us, we explain that we are not here to tell them they should place their child. We counsel them on all the options available to them and we only take the next step in the adoption planning process if they are ready. Even if the expectant parent says they want to place their child for adoption, we continue to remind them that their decision is not final until they sign the Adoption Consent or Surrender after their child is born.
It is important to us that our expectant parents know that they have the right to choose, and the right to change their minds at any point in the planning process. Our counselors are here to support their wishes and help them evaluate all their options.
Although it can be heartbreaking for a prospective adoptive family when an expectant parent has a change of heart, we know that it is the expectant parent’s choice to make.
During the home study process, we prepare our adoptive families for this possibility. We help them understand that it’s important for the expectant parent to make the decision without any pressure. We also provide support to the prospective adoptive family afterwards, should their match with an expectant mother not result in adoption.
Recently, an expectant parent contacted us to explore the possibility of placing her baby for adoption. After communicating with a counselor for several weeks, she decided to parent. She reached out to the counselor several months after giving birth, sharing, “I’m grateful to have talked to you. You helped me through my pregnancy and through a difficult time. I hope that all is well with you. May any women that come to you be helped in making the right decision for them. It was nice to know open adoption was a possibility. I just really wanted to express my gratitude because you helped me a lot during a very difficult pregnancy, and I will always remember you!”
Our primary goal is for our expectant parents to decide to place their child because they feel it is right for them. Adoption is a courageous, responsible, and loving choice. Choosing adoption for your baby is one of the most difficult decisions a person may make. It impacts the parent and the child’s lives forever. No matter what others may say, adoption is a personal decision that only the parent can make. The opinion of family and friends can be important, but at the end of the day, it is the expectant parent’s life and their future. ACFB understands that the expectant parent is trying to make the best decision for themselves and their child. We are here to help them as they make that decision.