In the past month, I have been asked to talk about adoption with five different people who have unplanned pregnancies. These conversations are difficult for me because I cannot understand why God would give a baby to someone who isn’t ready, but not to me.
However, I know that someone else had this kind of conversation with my son’s birth mother, and I am grateful. So, I choose to pay it forward and hope that some other family, who has been through the difficulties of infertility, will also experience the joy of adoption.
When talking about adoption to anyone in an unplanned pregnancy, I do not ever try to convince them to place their baby for adoption. This is a challenge for me, especially because my husband and I are ready to adopt another baby. But, I think it’s important to explain the facts about parenting and adoption, and let them make their own decision.
If you know someone in an unplanned pregnancy, here are a few facts you could also share:
- Medical bills for prenatal care and the baby’s birth cost around $10,000 – $12,000, if there are no complications. If you do not have health insurance or medicaid, this is an out of pocket expense. An adoptive family will pay these bills on your behalf.
- The cost to raise a baby during the first year is estimated at $12,000. This costs includes diapers, formula, crib, car seats, stroller, high chair, toys, baby food, clothes, etc., but it does not include daycare or babysitter fees.
- There are three kinds of adoption plans and a biological family and adoptive family will agree on one before the baby is placed.
- Open – Biological family and adoptive family have lots of contact.
- Semi-Open – Adoptive family sends biological family pictures and updates, generally once a year.
- Closed – Biological family and adoptive family cut off ties after the baby is born.
- The birth parents will choose the adoptive family. An adoption agency or adoption attorney will have profiles of potential adoptive families for you to review.
- Adoptive families will have gone through a home study and background check prior to legally completing the adoption. Most agencies and attorneys require this step before showing an adoptive family’s profile. This is for the safety and security of the birth family and the baby.
- The birth mother and birth father must both sign the adoption papers. If the birth father is not known, or not available, the adoption agency or attorney will handle the legal matters to gain consent.
- Birth parents have the right to change their mind about the adoption. The length of time this is allowed varies per state, but it is generally just a few days. If you are wavering about adoption, I highly encourage you to share your feelings with your agency, attorney and/or adoptive family. Adoptive families are emotionally and financially tied to the situation and deserve to know things may not work out.
- Daycare costs average around $50 – $70 per day, per child. Babysitters charge, on average, $8 – $12 per hour.
- Many birth moms tell people they are being a surrogate for another family to avoid explaining the adoption to other people, especially employers and strangers.
- You can choose adoption at any point in your pregnancy – no matter how early or late – or even after the child is born.
- An adoptive family will love your child more than you will ever know. And, they will love you too. They want to know about you and your hopes and dreams for the baby. Don’t be afraid to discuss these things if they are on your mind.
- Your adoption agency or attorney will provide you with a counselor throughout your pregnancy and after birth. The counselor will discuss your options with you and help you with any concerns, such as your natural instinct to keep and protect the baby. These expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.
- Adoption is not just a way for you to not be a mom yet. It’s a gift to another family who cannot have children. Most importantly, it’s putting the child first and giving them a better life. Adoption is the most selfless gift in the world and women choose it because they love their baby.
- To find an adoption agency or attorney, ask your OBGYN or go to a crisis pregnancy center in your area. Either should be able to refer you to someone who is trustworthy. If not, please let me know and I will be happy to share some ideas.
Adoption is a difficult decision for everyone involved. But, it can be an amazing opportunity too.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have additional questions, please feel free to comment below or email me privately firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincere wishes for the best,