Trouble at Home: The Value of Family Counseling

4 Things To Ask Yourself Before Placing A Baby For Adoption

Carrying a child that you can't reasonably care for can turn your world into a maze of mixed emotions and considerable confusion -- especially if you don't know how to give up a baby for adoption. Here are four helpful questions to ask yourself when considering this important choice.

1. "Am I Certain I Should Place My Baby for Adoption?"

This first question is the toughest, of course, because ultimately no one can answer this question except you. If you already know you'll be carrying the baby to term, then you must consider whether your current financial, physical or emotional circumstances make motherhood a practical impossibility. You may find that you're simply too young or overburdened with problems to take on the serious, all-encompassing task of raising a child properly. 

"Giving up" a baby for adoption doesn't mean that you're abandoning your child or indifferent to his fate -- quite the opposite, in fact. In many cases, placing a baby for adoption is the only choice that gives the child a solid chance for a secure and happy life. You can make choices throughout the adoption process that help ensure that happy life, including the choice of the adoptive family. If you're still not sure how to get through the separation emotionally, talk to the adoption agency and/or a professional counselor so you can understand and work through your feelings. Placing a baby for adoption may be painful, but giving your child a brighter future is worth it.

2. "Do I Want to Choose the Adoptive Parents?"

As noted above, you have the option of selecting the people who will adopt your child. You don't have to get involved with the selection process if you don't want to -- but you might be surprised at how much you stand to benefit from doing so. For one thing, you'll be able to see for yourself how the agency sorts through potential parents by investigating their backgrounds, careers, financial stability and other key factors, which can provide you with a great deal of reassurance that you've done the right thing for your child. 

3. "How Much Interaction with the Adoptive Family Do I Prefer?"

There are three basic categories of adoption interaction: open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. Open adoption has becoming increasingly popular in recent years. This scenario allows all parties to share personal information, including contact information, and communicate with each other directly before and after the adoption. Some open adoptions may permit personal visits and phone calls between you and your child. You may even be able to cultivate a strong positive bond with the adoptive family if that's what everybody wants.

Closed adoption is a more anonymous process in which the adoption agency handles the entire selection process, with birth parent and adoptive parents never contacting each other. It used to be the accepted norm, but these days, most birth parents choose open adoption instead. Closed adoption remains a possibility, however, if you find it too painful to keep this chapter of your life open. Semi-open adoption is another option. In a semi-open adoption, you maintain limited contact with the adoptive family through communications mediated by the adoption agency. This option at least lets you know how your child is doing in his new life.

4. "How Do I Arrange the Hospital Stay and Other Logistics?"

If you've never had a child before, you may be completely unfamiliar with all the details that go into scheduling the necessary exams throughout your pregnancy or the hospital stay for delivery. Placing a baby up for adoption can add its own share of complexity to these logistics. Will the adoptive parents be there for the birth -- and if so, will you hold the baby first, or will they? Who leaves the hospital first, you or your baby (with his adoptive family)? These and other questions should all be worked out through the adoption agency before your due date. The agency should also help you plan out your entire medical care plan, from ultrasound examinations to arranging hospitalization when it's time to give birth. This can be a profound relief in what is already a complicated time.

Ask yourself, and an adoption agency like A Child's Dream, the right questions about how to give your baby up for adoption, and you can rest assured that you're doing the smartest possible thing for your child's well being. Your sacrifice now might be the most important birthday present this new life could receive!