There is no doubt that each young woman, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, may be experiencing many challenges. Some women do not have jobs, some may not be financially able to parent, some are still in school and still want to be a teenager, some are in a violent relationship, and some may be victims of incest or rape.
However, the reality that few explain is that abortion is final and forever. The “what ifs” keep creeping up, often when you least expect it.
So as you face this unplanned pregnancy, I want you to know that not only is there another choice, but it is a choice you can live with and not feel blame, shame, or regret. More importantly, you would not have to go through this choice alone and there could be a calm and sense of greater peace with your choice. The reality that few explain is that abortion is Final and Forever. The “what if’s” will likely continue. Many who chose abortion experience thoughts of … “what would it have been like to see this child grow up?” “Who might he or she be like?”, “What kind of future might they have had?”
Before you decide what to do about this unplanned pregnancy, I want to share with you what adoption is and how it works. There are words used to describe all those who are part of the adoption process. The adopted child, the biological, and the adoptive families. Or as many in the adoption field have come to see it as, “a circle of love”, the child is at the center and the biological and adoptive families surround that child with love.
Adoption has been a blessing to so many families for years, and yet, today as it becomes even more common there are still misunderstandings about what adoption really is. By definition, adoption is the social, emotional, and legal process in which children that will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family. However, as an adoptive parent of two daughters I can tell you that adoption is so much more! I call adoption a blessing because it is the most selfless gift of love any one person gives to another family. But, I also believe that for this little baby it is the gift of life to grow up fully and be part of a biological connection to the woman that gave birth to him or her without the commitment of parenting that child. A choice she made for that child to have a bright future. In its purest form, adoption is when two families come together in love to give the gift of life to another. It is not co-parenting; it is not sharing the responsibilities of parenthood in any way. There is no financial commitment ever to the biological family. It is a legally binding agreement, but one that is always made out of love.
Why do couples choose adoption to start or grow their families? What is not always understood is that many couples are not able to have their own children because of infertility or some families have medical history that puts them at a greater risk for carrying a child through pregnancy. Some couples go through years of infertility treatments to try to have a family and simply cannot make that a reality on their own. In these cases, a family would remain childless if it were not for the blessing of adoption.
There are two types of adoption; closed or open adoption. In a closed adoption there is no communication between the biological and adoptive families. In an open adoption, the birthmother and adoptive family share information that can include: pictures, letters, emails, texts, other social media, phone calls or even visits. Any communication in an open adoption must be agreed upon by both families. These types of open communication are discussed well before an adoption plan is made and can always be modified in the future as the child grows and matures. Of course, sometimes a closed adoption will share information once the child reaches the age of 18.
The uniqueness of choosing open adoption allows for both birthmother and the adopting family to create each of their own “profiles” to present to the social worker. This helps the adoption agency to work through a placement that is mutually agreed upon by both the birthmother and adoptive family. This profile can include: family health history. Pictures, family heritage, if a boy or girl is preferred, religious preference, and likes or interests/hobbies. In this way each side of the adoption process shares mutual information, they get to choose each other for for the best interests of the child being adopted. If a match is made then both sides have the chance to meet each other with the guidance of the social worker.
What is often misunderstood about adoption is some think adoptive children are not loved in the same way as biological children. This misunderstanding can lead to some not choosing adoption because they don’t think anyone could love their biological children as much as they do. Perhaps they think adoption is too difficult, the process doesn’t make sense, or it is too expensive.
In an adoption, the birth mother’s sole responsibility is to carry the baby to term, take care of the baby within her, keep up with doctor visits, and do her best to eat healthy and take care of herself. If needed, Medicaid/Medicare helps pay for the visits and delivery.
I can tell you firsthand as the mother of our adopted children and now a birth grandmother, that my husband and I love our daughters just as much as any other parent. There is no distinction, they are our two children. Given in birth by their birthmothers and born into our hearts through adoption. In those moments, we became our daughters’ parents. No greater love than this can I explain. Having just experienced the birth grandmother’s side with our daughter, being in the delivery room with the adopting mother right next to me, I now know the full circle of how selfless this gift of love is.