Considering adoption? Here are some straight answers to 6 myths about giving baby up for adoption:
1. Adoption is selfish
Adoption is the least selfish decision that you can make for your child. Adoption doesn’t mean that you don’t love your baby; it means that you love them enough to want them to have the life you know they deserve. If you are not ready to be a parent, don’t have the resources to care for a child, or don’t have any support for your pregnancy, giving baby up for adoption is the most unselfish thing you can do.
2. I won’t know who is raising my child
With an open adoption, you have the right to talk to, meet with, and choose the adoptive family. You can choose a family who would raise him exactly the way that you wish, and you get to decide how much involvement you want to have with your child and the family adopting him. You have the right to have as much contact with your child and family as you would like, including letters, photos, and even visits.
3. My parents won’t let me put my baby up for adoption
Some birth grandparents are supportive, and are willing to participate in your adoption plan. Others may not understand adoption, and may be angry or try to change your mind. No matter what your age, no one can force you to parent a baby that you are not ready for, and no one can force you into giving your baby up for adoption. The law is on your side, and birth grandparents typically do not have any rights to your baby. If you think your parents may not not be supportive, try writing out your adoption or parenting plan to present to them when you are ready.
4. I don’t have to tell the father about my adoption plan
Laws are different in each state, but the father has rights similar to yours when it comes to the adoption of your child. If the father is known, he must be notified of the adoption. If you are no longer together, or if he isn’t interested in giving baby up for adoption, you can have your adoption professional and attorney notify him. You don’t have to speak to the father yourself if you don’t want to. It is best if the father can sign a waiver and provide medical history, but if he refuses you can still move forward with your adoption plan.
5. If I use drugs or alcohol, I can’t put my baby up for adoption
Whatever situation you are in, there are families willing to give a loving home to your baby and to support you through your adoption plan, even if the baby has been exposed to drugs or alcohol. It is important to be honest about drug, tobacco, or alcohol use during pregnancy so your doctor can take care of your health, and the health of your baby.
If you actively are using drugs near your delivery date, your baby may test positive for drugs when he is born. If this happens, the hospital has to notify Child Protective Services by law, and the baby may be removed from you and put into foster care. By making an adoption plan, you can choose where your baby will go, and the level of involvement you have with your baby as he grows. If you think that your baby may test positive for drugs, or are concerned about Child Protective Services, call us at 1-800-923-6002 for help.
6. It’s too late for giving my baby up for adoption
It is never too late to consider an adoption plan, you can start at any time. Even if your baby has already been born, your adoption professional can have a family ready to meet you and your baby at the hospital. If you considered an adoption plan and put it on pause or backed out, you can still move forward at any time. Even if you have taken your baby home to try and make things work and are struggling to take care of him, it is not too late to consider adoption. You are never making the wrong choice for your child by loving him enough to give him the life you know he deserves if you don’t think you can provide it.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.