As most parents who have adopted know, the process of adopting a child is a challenging one. But we do not always get to see what it is like from a different perspective, that of the birth parents.
Why do Birth Parents Choose Adoption?
Unplanned pregnancy accounts for nearly 30% of all pregnancies worldwide. Young or old, unplanned pregnancy is a terrifying experience. When a woman unexpectedly falls pregnant, her mind is usually flooded with worries and fears. Why would one choose adoption?
Lack of support
You’re not ready to be parents
You and the baby’s father are not together
Drugs or alcohol abuse
Previous CPS case
When birth parents face an unexpected pregnancy there are three options, one of the three being adoption. Having to choose if your baby will be better off with someone you have never met is the most difficult decision any human could make.
So Many Decisions
For adoptive parents, the adoption process typically consists of paperwork, background checks, home studies, and a lot of waiting. For birth parents, it is much different. The adoption process is daunting for adoptive parents, but even more so for birth parents.
Once the birth parents decide adoption is the right path for their child, they begin by locating an adoption agency that they feel comfortable with. The birth parents are tasked with setting up an adoption plan with an agency. They must decide how much or how little communication will occur between them and the adoptive parents. Most importantly, they must decide the type of adoption they wish to proceed with:
Closed - information of both parties are kept confidential
Semi-open - first names only are exchanged among the two parties
Open - the birth parents and adoptive parents can communicate more freely, either on their own or through a third-party agent
Once the birth parents have executed an adoption plan it is now time to choose a family. Birth parents go through hundreds of files. Could you imagine having to decide who the right people are to love their child forever from a piece of paper?
Oftentimes, birth parents can get so wrapped up in the adoption process that they forget about the actual pregnancy, or maybe the mother is too scared to enjoy the pregnancy because she knows the outcome will be her going home alone.
Birth mothers go to every appointment, often alone. They feel all of the kicks, the hiccups, and see every movement. But she knows once labor begins, her time with her child is coming to an end.
Preparing for a newborn’s arrival is such an exciting time for adoptive parents. They are packing a diaper bag, getting the car seat put into the car while the birth parents are packing bags for themselves only.
Adoption is a beautiful, yet complicated experience. At the same time that the child gains a family, the birth parents experience a loss. The adoption process is daunting for both parties involved, but a little compassion and understanding go a long way.