OUT OF RESPECT FOR ALL MOTHERS, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS FORUM TO SOLICIT ANY ASPECT OF ADOPTION. THIS IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY.
If you are pregnant and not sure that you want to keep the baby, you might be thinking about adoption.
Pregnancy causes many changes, both physical and emotional. It can be a very confusing time for a woman, even in the best of circumstances. Talking to a counselor about your options might help. But how do you start?
This factsheet gives you, the birth mother, information about counseling and adoption. It addresses many questions you might have:
Types of Adoption
There are two types of adoptions, confidential and open.
Confidential: The birth parents and the adoptive parents never know each other. Adoptive parents are given background information about you and the birth father that they would need to help them take care of the child, such as medical information.
Open: The birth parents and the adoptive parents know something about each other. There are different levels of openness:
Talk to your counselor about the type of adoption that is best for you. Do you want to help decide who adopts your child? Would you mind if a single person adopted your child, or a couple of a different race than you? Would you like to be able to share medical information with your child's family that may only become known in the future?
If you have strong feelings about these things, work with an agency or attorney who you feel will listen to what you want.
If you do not have strong feelings about these things, the adoption agency or attorney will decide who adopts your child based on who they think can best care for the child.
In all States, you can work with a licensed child placing (adoption) agency. In all but four States, you can also work directly with an adopting couple or their attorney without using an agency.
Private adoption agencies arrange most infant adoptions. To find private adoption agencies in your area, either contact The Clearinghouse or look in the yellow pages of your local phone book under `Adoption Agencies.`
There are several types of private adoption agencies. Some are for profit and some are nonprofit. Some work with prospective adoptive parents of a particular religious group, though they work with birth parents of all religions.
When you contact adoption agencies, ask the social workers as many questions as you need to ask so that you understand the agencies' rules. Some questions you will want to ask are in the box below.
The agency social worker will ask you questions to find out some information about you and the baby's father, such as your medical histories, age, race, physical characteristics, whether you have been to see a doctor since you became pregnant, whether you have been pregnant or given birth before, and whether you smoked cigarettes, took any drugs, or drank any alcohol since you became pregnant. The social worker asks these questions so that the baby can be placed with parents who will be fully able to care for and love the baby, not so that she can turn you down.
An adoption arranged without an adoption agency is called an independent or private adoption. It is legal in all States except Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. With a private adoption, you need to find an attorney to represent you. Look for an attorney who will not charge you a fee if you decide not to place your baby for adoption. You also need to find adoptive parents. Here's how you find both of these.
To Find an Attorney
Legal Aid - This is a service available in most communities for people who cannot afford a private attorney. Sometimes it is located at a university law school. NOTE: Some States allow the adopting parents to pay your legal fees, so going to Legal Aid may not be necessary.
State Attorney Association or the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys - These groups can refer you to an attorney who handles adoptions in your area. The National Will I get counseling all through my pregnancy, after I sign the papers allowing my child to be adopted, and after my baby is gone? Can my baby's father and other people who are important to me join me in counseling if they want to? What kind of financial help can I get? What kind of medical and legal help will I have? Can I get help with medical and legal expenses? What will I get to know about the people who adopt my baby? May I tell you what I think are important traits for parents to have? How do you know the adoptive parents are good people? May I meet them if I want, or know their names? Will I ever be able to have contact with them or my child? Will I ever know how my child turns out? What information will you provide to the adoptive parents about me and my family?
Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC) National Adoption Directory (http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/nad/index.cfm) lists attorney referral services for each State. You also can contact the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys at P.O. Box 33053, Washington, DC 20033-0053.
To Find Adoptive Parents
Personal Ads - Some newspapers carry personal ads from people seeking to adopt. You call the number in the ad and get to know each other over the telephone. If you think you want to work with the couple, have your attorney call their attorney. The attorneys will work out all the arrangements according to what you and the adoptive parents want and the laws of your State.
Your Doctor - He or she may know about couples who are seeking a child, and be able to help arrange the adoption.
Adoptive Parent Support Groups - Parents who have already adopted may know other people seeking to adopt. You can find these groups through the National Adoption Directory (http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/general/nad/index.cfm).
National Matching Services - These services help birth parents and adoptive parents find one another. Contact NAIC for more information.
Of course, personal referrals are always good. Ask friends and family if they know any attorneys or possible adoptive parents.
There are some special considerations if your baby is a child of color, such as African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander or biracial.
If it is important to you that the parents adopting your child be of the same ethnic or racial background as your child, you will need to locate an agency or attorney with such families approved and waiting for placement. You can choose which kind of agency you work with and which family your child goes to. Ask agencies or attorneys if they work with families of color and if they have families of color in their pool of approved families. Many agencies provide expectant parents with photos and summaries of prospective adoptive families to help them choose the adoptive family for their child.
You should be aware that two Federal laws (P.L. 103-382 and P.L. 104-188) prohibit adoption agencies receiving Federal funding from delaying or denying placement of a child with a prospective adoptive family in order to achieve racial or ethnic matching. These laws affect public adoption agencies as well as any private adoption agencies receiving any Federal funding.
Some agencies may not be as welcoming to you as they could be. If it is important to you that your child be placed with adoptive parents where at least one parent is of the same race as your child and agencies do not have them in their pool of applicants, they may be concerned that they will not be able to find a family for your child right away. Not all agencies recruit families of color and some agencies charge fees that can be prohibitive for many families.
Some agencies specialize in finding families for children of color. They work very hard to let people know that children of color are available for adoption. They also try to make the adoption process less complicated and intrusive for families.
Contact the Clearinghouse for the names, addresses and telephone numbers of adoption agencies that specialize in working with families of color, or for all the adoption agencies in your State. The information is free.
Contact in the future
If you decide on a confidential adoption, you may still wish to make sure that your child can contact you in the future. There are things you can do now to make that happen.
Many people who are adopted as children later want to meet their birth parents. With the exception of Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon, and Tennessee, State laws do not permit them to see their original birth certificate. Because of these problems, many States, and some private national organizations, have set up adoption registries to help people find one another.
A registry works like this: You leave the information about the birth of the child and your address and telephone number. You must keep your address and telephone number current. You can register at any time, even years after the child is born.
When your child is an adult, he or she can call or write this registry. If what the child knows about his or her birth matches what the registry has, the registry will release your current address and telephone number to the child, and you could be contacted.
There is another way to ensure that your child can contact you if he or she wishes. Some adoption agencies and attorneys who arrange private adoptions will hold a letter in their file in which you say why you chose adoption and how to get in touch with you if the child ever wants to. If the agency or attorney that you are working with will not agree to do this, you may wish to work with somebody else.
Comments 1 to 24 of about 38.
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rainbow15 - 412 days ago.
Ok so. I know that not a lot of people are on here under adoption but I wud like to share that I was adopted and now at 21 years old have 2 daughters of my own and I know it takes a verry strong person to put their child up for adoption. And I was blessed with an open adoption so if anyone does have any questions feel free to ask me
firstname.lastname@example.org - 767 days ago.
Hello;). We(meaning me and my husband) adopted a little girl from Russia about 5 years ago... She's amazing and we love her but now I'm pregnant with twins and I think she'll get jealous and (she knows she's adopted) blame it on the fact that we r not her real parents... Do u think that will happen? She's done it before when we didn't let her go to France with her best friend... I'm just really nervous.:/
madison37 - 894 days ago.
My husband and I have been looking to adopt a child..we first thought about using a surrogate, then I decided it would be too hard for me..we actually knew someone who was going to let us adopt her baby when it was born, but she backed out and let her mother adopt the baby...I am beginning to think that a new baby is not what I am destined to have..I am getting very anxious to bring a new baby home and agencies are very expensive..any suggestions
aubbalways - 955 days ago.
I'm 16 && pregnant && unsure about keeping my son. I'm glad i read this section on i-am-pregnant because it made me realize i should start looking into adoption agencies. I know if i did opt for adoption then i would want the most open adoption i could find && a family within the state. I'm getting really attached to my son but i know it'll be a terrible struggle to try && raise him with my boyfriend && help from others. It would be the best for us && our son if we gave him up so he can have a good life && we can have a chance at living too, but i don't know if i'm willing to let him go so easily... Hopefully looking into agencies will help make up my mind, whether it be keeping him for certain or giving him up indefinitely. If anybody has any advice for our situation, please feel free to contact me. :) Thanks.
ericawalker - 1026 days ago.
My husband and I would like to adopt a baby. I have 2 daughters from a previous relationship and my husband is sterile. We have started looking into the adoptions process but we are getting so confused! I know you aren't supposed to 'advertise yourself' here, and that is not what I am trying to do. Just looking for more information that we can get started. I wish it were a little easier.
baby-beiler - 1071 days ago.
alright ladies... this is not at all a solicitation but I want to adopt and I wanted some stories if you want to share about what you went through. Any info about the financial aspects too would be good... also for anyone in america is out of state easier or harder? thanks to anyone who shares a story with me on my page :)
Dorydory - 1231 days ago.
hi all i was wondering if any1 cud help i am tryig to find 2 ppl that where adopted in the uk but then moved to oz does any1 know any websites i cud use to trace them?
titangoddess - 1245 days ago.
Five years ago my dh and I did IVF in Europe. We concieved a son and had four embies left on ice. We did not want to have another child after him and we could not imagine leaving the embies in Europe to be destroyed so we decided to give them to another american couple. We could not donate them to anyone that was not American so we choose a couple who were also going through IVF with no luck at all. Out of the four that were donated one made it and is now 5 months younger than my son. I am very happy that we did what we did and our lttle embie has a mom and dad. We had some problems with the adoptive parents doing what they agreed to do as far as letting us know what when and where, we had this in the contract so we are not asking for anything we did not agree to before hand. But we got in touch with an attorney and got the information we requested so things turned out fine for us. The only thing I am worried about is what if those parents were not good parents at all and in a few years we get a knock at the door with a young man we created asking us why. But that is something I doubt will happen. Adoptive parents usually are the most loving of all and I believe in my heart that this child will have the best life possible. We are very proud of what we did for this baby and for these parents. I urge parents to consider adoption. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of love.
lourds - 1276 days ago.
Deep in my heart, I would love to adopt a child, I'm praying that my husband shares that same dream...(Thinking out loud, hehe)
pantone - 1277 days ago.
Adoption is one of the most amazingly selfless acts one can make. We have two adopted sons and It brings me to tears everytime I think of their birth mom- how thankful I am to her that she chose to give them life. They are amazing boys who I am so proud of and who I loved even before I knew who they were. If you are considering adoption, seek out families who are well educated in adoption and its issues and active in the adoptive community. This will provide lots of support for the children. These types of networks are essential and will provide a rich upbringing and sense of belonging to your child. Every day my prayers are with all of you moms who are debating what to do about the life within in you. We have a bio. baby and another bio baby on the way, but we are also in the process to adopt two more children. I can tell you truly from the bottom of my heart that I do not love my bio children any more than I do my adopted children and the entrance of all of our children into our lives are all equally miraculous and I can't imagine my life if I didn't have each and every one of my kids- even the ones we have yet to adopt. We chose to adopt first so that our children would know they were chosen, not a last resort, but prayed for since I was a little girl. There is so much love out there for children who need to be adopted and so many beautiful reasons that people choose to adopt. Be a part of that! It is an incredible journey!! XOXOXOXO
Honeybees - 1322 days ago.
i too think it is just a mirical of you all to have such beautiful open hearts, weather you can have, have already or arent able to have your own, to all the women out there who are taking children in every day, thank you from all the baby s and children who cant say it to you yet.
TaraP - 1322 days ago.
Adoption is the most generous, selfless and charitable thing anyone can do in their lifetime. My cousin just adopted a baby girl and she has changed all our lives. Putting the needs of your baby and what is best for it ahead of your own shows that all adoptive mothers are the most wonderful mothers in the world as they make the ultimate sacrifice in the best interest of their child.
mollyjs - 1349 days ago.
To teenage mothers considering adoption- I just want to say that any mother that is considering adoption is the most selfless person there could ever be. A teenager that has the guts to stand up for the benefit of their child and do what they know is best is remarkable. Knowing your own limits is so incredibly mature. I know at 16 or 17 I never could have made such a decision. I couldn't even do it now at 29. You ladies are the women I aspire to be. Don't let anyone tell you you're selfish for giving your child up. That is those people's own fear coming out on you. You are doing a wonderful thing for another couple and especially for the child you created!
joeyandzacksmommy2007 - 1420 days ago.
i was adopted when i was 7 years old..i was put up for adoption when i was 3 and 1/2..there were three if us with 20 months between me and my oldest brother and one in between. we were put through hell from the age 1-3 when the state stepped in and took us away. i do not remember all but my two brothers do. all because my parents were selfish thinking we were gonna keep them together. my dad had a girl on the side and my mom was into herself..we suffered. i see how some people are like well why did they get pregnant it could have been prevented but the truth of the matter be that it happened and wheteher or not protection was used. there is a baby and i see nothing wrong with someone given thier baby up to a family who can care for them. i know it has got to be the hardest thing to do but also is the most unselfish thing too. if you know u can not do it then adoptin is always an option. there is also open adoption too where you can still be involved with your child but you are not raising them. instead of putting people down who got pregnat and trying to make a decision that is right we should praise these women for making a decision that is right or they could end up like me and my brothers
sokistar - 1465 days ago.
I was placed for adoption when I was 8 years old. Now, I am single, heartbroken, and pregnant. My burden is deciding whether to be a mom or give this baby up for adoption. I genuinely want what's best for the baby. My instinct and desire is to raise this precious baby on my own, but I believe I can't provide all he or she needs. And my family will not support me financially. So, I am searching my options and praying that I make the right decision. I don't know if anyone here is in my shoes, but it's one of the toughest things I've ever been through.
blancalozy - 1480 days ago.
she is a princess-I always asked me that question 2 ....
blancalozy - 1480 days ago.
bri-- ur right I just wished we had a better world but those are just dreams ,,,,,I have a girl she is 1 yr old and everytime i see her my heart gets full og love for her she is my everything... So I just feel sorry for those babies newborns children who don't have a home and a family.
lilmiracle2009 - 1482 days ago.
blancalozy ~ I can see your point of view about getting pregnant if you are not willing to raise a child. I believe that if two consenting people have sex, then they should always know that pregnancy can happen and be prepared if it does. On the other hand, sex is not always consensual. As I mentioned before, I was date-raped and became pregnant as a result. I was a virgin when it happened and I was definitely not wanting or expecting it to happen. Yes, I was naive and too trusting, but still I didn't not ask for it to happen. I could have had an abortion, but I don't believe in that. Instead, I made the hard decision to go through with the pregnancy. Because I did, a couple was able to adopt a child when they could not have children. I believe that God allows things to happen for a reason. Just as years later, He put a little girl in my life who I have adopted. I believe that even before she was conceived, God knew I would be her mother. I believe she was conceived for me. Just think, if every woman who had a child kept that child (whether she was a fit parent or not), what would the women who cannot have children do? They would go without children since adoption would not be an option.
sheisaprincess - 1482 days ago.
I have never adopted a child nor really ahd the thought to but I do feel that people thatt adopt are waay better than parents that have their biological children. To love someone elses child and go through all that it takes to raise a child financially and emotionally is great (to say the least). I have 4 kids of my own, I love them but I often wonder could I love another child that is not mine the same way.
Bri - 1483 days ago.
blancalozy - I love your thought but it doesn't always happen that way. I was on the same birth control pill for 10 years when I got pregnant. My husband and I weren't even having sex as often as we had used to. But it happened. I took my pill every day and it still happened. It does so happen that we wanted to keep our child and make a better life for all of us. I love my child and am now pregnant with my second. But, that isn't always the case. BC doesn't always stop it. My doctor once said that sometimes if you have a strong sperm and a willing egg nothing will stop it. It's true. I know people pregnant with IUDs, condems, pills. Even people that have gotten themselves 'clipped' have created children.
blancalozy - 1483 days ago.
I really understand that sometimes women cant keep their babies bcz of a million reasons but what i dont understand why get pregnant if we are not going to be responsible for the baby they did not ask to be born ,,,don't we all think that the babies would much rather with whom gave them birth they lived insider of her 9 months but i kno sometimes u just can't keep them and it's sad but real . I just hope that all these babies that are up for adoption get a better family one that god shouldve gave to since the beginning. Lets hope they find the prefect family .... and no abortion please always consider adoption . But also please use BC if ur sexually active and can't take care of the newborn . God bless!!!
lilmiracle2009 - 1488 days ago.
Hi All. I am on both ends of the adoption spectrum. I am both a birth mother and an adoptive mother. When I was 16, I was date-raped and as a result, I became pregnant with a baby girl. I gave birth at 26 weeks. At first I wanted to keep my daughter, but then I came to my senses and realized that I had nothing to give her. I lived at home with my parents, had no job or money saved and was still in high school. My daughter was in the hospital for 3 months because of being premature, so I had time to really think. I decided about two months after she was born that the best thing I could do for her is give her up for adoption so that she can have a better life. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made in my life, but it was the best. If I had to do it all over again, I would make the same decision. As for being an adoptive mother, my husband and I adopted a little girl five years ago. She is now 6.5 years old. I am 22 weeks pregnant now and after the birth of this child, we are hoping to adopt a baby boy. We believe that adoption is something that God has placed in our hearts. Even with the pending birth of our daughter, we are very excited to adopt again. There is nothing better than to be able to give a child a loving home and a chance at a better life. I know some of the situations that these children have come from and it’s heartbreaking. Children should not have to suffer at the hands of their parents. They did not ask to be born. Their lives are blessings and they should be with parents who truly understand this.
hannahe - 1520 days ago.
cindypoo336 i would recommend going thru your state's adoption program. they have a lot of resources that have helped our family, as well as the option to foster before-hand incase youre interested in that because as Jenn D said the older kids are tricky to fit to the family, and it might be good to do a test drive:) good luck to everyone
Jenn D - 1565 days ago.
I am an adopted mother of 3 children. Ages 17, 10, 5. I adopted our 17 yr old at age 11 and our 10 yr old at age 4yr. Our 5 yr old adopted when she was 2 months old. I don't mean to scare anyone but, from my experience only, adopting the older children has not been a good experience. My advise would be to think very hard about adopting any older children. My reasons are because of the lack of bonding, attachment issues, my sons have a hard time moving forward in life, different ethnic backgrounds as well as life styles etc.... I hope I am not the only one this is happening too. My 17 yr old has threatening violance etc.. I am sure that there are very good adoptions with older children, I would just like to say that it isn't always the case and please don't be in the dark about things like my husband and I were. Because it will tear your family apart and if I can save anybody the heartache I'll try.
cindypooh336 - 1571 days ago.
Hi. My DH and I are in the process of adoption. We are going to adopt through Foster care and we would also like to do maybe an open adoption. We feel like the child has a right to know his/her birth mom. I dont know where to start with the private adoption thing. I have looked at agencies and I have heard such horror stories about them. I have also looked into international adoption, but there are so many here in the US that need homes. Any advice would be great. I mean do we find a pregnant mom wanting to adopt and offer to adopt? Would this be rude of us? I just dont know. Has anyone else been through this?
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