Adoption: Get the Facts
Sometimes the best decisions in life are the hardest ones to make. Deciding on an adoption plan for your child is definitely a hard choice, but also very loving.
Bravelove.org identifies five common adoption myths:
Myth #1: Adoption is “giving up”
A parent never “gives up” a child. The term “put up for adoption” comes from the 1800s when children were coming off the Orphan Train. They’d step up onto platforms and wait for a family to choose them. Adoption is not giving up, giving away, or putting up. It’s “making an adoption plan” or “placing a child for adoption.” It is a loving and respectable choice.
Myth #2: Birth moms don’t care about their child
Most people think birth moms are very young. Most birth parents are in their 20s or 30s. Some are single mothers. Others are young professionals. Some are married. All birth parents share one common bond: they are parents who chose the best possible life for their child.
Myth #3: Birthparents can show up at any time to “take back” their child
Despite what the movies portray, these stories are extremely rare. Working with licensed adoption professionals and agencies helps to ease fears, build trust, and form lasting relationships. Usually families who have adopted domestically, for example, experience more openness. Any initial concerns of a child about the role of birth parents can often become replaced with gratitude.
Myth #4: Open adoption is “damaging” to the child
Open adoption is a choice that birth parents can make. It is an ongoing relationship, not a one-time event. Open adoption can look much like an extended family relationship. For the adopted child, the biggest benefit is access to birth relatives and their own family histories, which helps them form a healthier personal identity. When rooted in empathy, respect, honesty, and trust, openness creates a richer and more genuine adoption experience for everyone involved.
Myth #5: Adoption doesn’t affect me
Think about the family, friends, or coworkers you have who were adopted, some of which you may not even know about. If it weren’t for their birth parents’ decision to make an adoption plan, you might not know them today. No matter who, where, and what you are, adoption is always a topic that is close to home.
Understanding the Adoption Plan Process
Adoption today is totally in the hands of the birth parents. If you want to, you can choose the adoptive family, the type of environment you want for your child, and the adoption plan. You can choose the level of openness you want in your adoption. In Pennsylvania, you can even choose to have a legally binding post-adoption contact agreement with the adoptive parents that is enforceable until your child is 18.
There are three different types of adoption plans:
- Open adoption. Open adoption is common today. This plan allows you to have direct contact with the adoptive family and ultimately, your child. You and the adoptive family would decide how this type of relationship could work long-term.
- Closed adoption. For complete privacy, you would make a closed adoption plan. No identifying information such as names or locations is shared between you and the adoptive family, and there would be no contact with the child. Some women feel this is an easier way to move on with their lives.
- Semi-open adoption. A semi-open adoption plan is somewhere in between the first two. For example, you could have the ability to contact the adoptive family and your child, but all communication is through the adoption specialist you’ve chosen.
Making an adoption plan for your child should be completely free for you. If you are interested in placing your child for adoption, our counselors can provide you with more information and assist you with finding a licensed adoption agency or attorney to help you in your next steps.
Parents from all walks of life have chosen to make adoption plans. Choosing adoption doesn’t mean you’re not a loving parent. In some situations, it’s the most loving thing you believe you can do.
There are many reasons parents may want to choose adoption for their child:
- You’re not ready to be a parent
- You’re just starting school or a career
- Your current relationship or environment is not safe for a child
- You have other children and can’t maintain another child in the household
- Having a child now is not sustainable (financially, mentally, emotionally, etc.)
We Can Help
Let’s unpack the adoption option together. Since we are not an adoption agency and are not affiliated with one, we offer a neutral place for you to explore adoption. We can help you find licensed adoption agencies or an attorney, connect you with support groups, or even get you in touch with someone who has been in similar shoes. We want you to have as much information as possible to make the best choice for you and your future. Make an appointment today to speak with a peer counselor about the possibility of adoption. We are here to help you and your family succeed.
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Schedule an appointment online or call us at 724.339.9399.