The love you have for your child is immense – so immense, in fact, that you have started thinking about making one of the most difficult decisions of your life. You have begun thinking about placing your toddler or older child for adoption.
There are many reasons why a mother might come to this decision, but oftentimes, it is strictly financial. This doesn’t mean you love your child any less. It means you love your child so much that you want to ensure that his or her life is full of the necessities and luxuries that you cannot currently provide.
For women in your position, there is hope. By creating an adoption plan, you can be sure that your child grows up with exactly the life you imagine for a kid while still playing an important role in his or her life. You are the mother of your child whether or not you choose adoption, and your adoption plan is always in your control.
Staying Positive, Taking Control
Clearly, no one in this position wants to place their child for adoption, and if you are facing this decision, you may feel like you have no control over your situation. But the truth is that if you choose adoption, you are taking control of your life and your child’s life.
In today’s private domestic adoptions, you are always in control of your adoption plan. While it is common for women in your place to worry that their child won’t remember them or will wonder why they chose adoption, you can alleviate these worries by tailoring your adoption plan to what best fits you and your child.
For example, if you want to choose a local adoptive family and to see your child at important milestones, like birthdays, that is entirely your decision, and your adoption professional will find an adoptive family who is agreeable to your wishes.
This is why a typical mother in this situation chooses either an open adoption or a semi-open adoption, because she wants to remain in her child’s life, or at least let the child know that she loves him or her and why she chose adoption.
Conversely, if you decide that seeing your child with another family would be too difficult, you can choose a more closed adoption.
No adoption relationship is right or wrong; it completely depends on what you believe is best for you and your child.
Choosing an Adoption Professional
All adoption professionals define open, closed and semi-open adoptions differently, so you should be sure to do your research prior to choosing an adoption professional. That way, you can be sure that the professional you choose can provide you the adoption relationship that you define in your adoption plan.
So which adoption professional is best – an adoption agency, an adoption attorney, or another adoption professional? It really depends on your adoption plan.
If you have already identified an adoptive family – perhaps a relative or a friend – an adoption attorney might make the most sense because you only need the legal paperwork completed to make the adoption official. What is often missing from adoption attorneys, however, is adoption counseling. They may refer you to an outsourced counselor specializing in grief and loss, but you would have to pay for these services herself.
An adoption agency, on the other hand, will often provide free adoption counseling. If you don’t have an identified adoptive family, an adoption agency may make the most sense because they often provide the most free adoption-related services, including the largest lists of waiting families. This benefits the mother because she has more options to choose the family that best fits her adoption plan.
As you are considering adoption for your older child, keep in mind that you can contact an adoption professional without any obligation to proceed with an adoption plan. It is completely acceptable to contact an adoption attorney or agency, discuss your options, and receive information – even if you ultimately choose to parent your child.
However, for those who do choose adoption, regardless of which adoption professional you choose, there will almost always be a pre-placement transition period including you, the child, the adoptive family, and possibly a social worker. As with the rest of your adoption plan, these meetings are entirely at your discretion, and your social worker will often work with you to determine the amount of time necessary for you to feel comfortable with the adoptive family you choose.
This transition period often begins with a brief introductory meeting, which can take place at someone’s home, in a park or at a restaurant, to name a few. The next meeting is typically a little longer, and by the third or fourth meeting, you may be ready to leave her child alone with the adoptive family to see how the child takes to the adoptive family, and vice versa.
The adoption process will take the next step toward becoming official only when you and your child are comfortable with the chosen adoptive family.
Accept Only the Best
This is undoubtedly a difficult time in your life, but always remember that you, and you alone, are in control of the situation. If you believe placing your toddler or older child for adoption is best for him or her, as well as yourself, keep in mind that there is always an adoptive family out there who will fit your adoption plan.
Never agree to anything less than exactly the adoption plan that you see for yourself and your child, and never forget that your child will always love you for the selfless sacrifice you made to better his or her life.