If the father of your child is violent, abusive, or threatening, you are in a situation that has the potential for domestic abuse both now and in the future. Some women feel that choosing adoption when the birth father is violent or threatening can be tough because they fear his reaction. Others want to make an adoption plan to avoid him treating a child the same way they are treated.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and are concerned about bringing a child into a relationship and home that may be unsafe, you may feel scared and worried about what to do.
We understand that choosing adoption may seem difficult. However, choosing to place your child with a loving adoptive family will help ensure that they are loved and kept safe.
Keep in mind that every state has different laws related to adoption, domestic abuse, and parental rights. For example, North Carolina may approach things differently than South Carolina or any other state.
If you have called the police or other law enforcement officers to make a report for domestic abuse or violence, that may make it easier for you to make an adoption plan. If you have other children in the home, you may have been involved with foster care workers, social workers, or even lawyers. Please know that we can help you privately and confidentially explore adoption as an option for this pregnancy, no matter the situation.
We begin by helping you understand the adoption process, including your choices in adoption. However, it is important that if you are being hurt or abused in any way, you reach out immediately by calling 911 to get the help you need.
We have helped women secure housing during pregnancy, including housing for women affected by domestic violence. These homes provide support and help with court dates, family-court-ordered rulings, criminal records, and other local legal issues that may arise in domestic violence cases. We would be able to refer you to a safe house throughout your pregnancy if you need this type of assistance.
As an adoption agency working domestically (inside the US), we can help you find just the right adoptive parents to adopt your child. You can even speak to them and get to know them, so you know they are safe and will raise your child with the values and experiences you want them to have.
Choosing adoption when the father is violent or threatening means there are some additional things to consider.
#1: Know the risks
If you are still being hurt or threatened by your partner while pregnant, you need to report the abuse and get out now. Continued physical abuse means you have a higher chance of injuring your uterus, getting an infection, or even having a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Violence can also have an impact on your baby once they are born. Injury can induce early labor resulting in a baby born too early or underweight, or experience other stress that has a long-lasting impact on their physical or mental growth.
To have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, you must protect yourself by reaching out for help.
#2: Get the help you need
If you think you are in immediate danger, call 911 for help. If you believe you will be in danger as your pregnancy progresses, it is important to get an adoption plan in place right away.
Our team at Lifetime Adoption is here to help answer your questions about the adoption process and help provide resources that will help you make a decision that can make you feel more secure.
Are you researching the adoption process and fearful that the father will react negatively if he finds out? Clear your web search history, so the expectant father won’t know that you’re considering the adoption route. But please remember that birth fathers have rights, too, even when they are violent. This is why it is important to report any and all abuse to ensure the court has information about his safety as a parent.
#3: Create a plan
Develop a safety plan right away. Pick a place where you know you can go immediately if you feel your safety is in jeopardy. Perhaps it’s a local shelter for domestic violence victims or a trusted friend or family member nearby.
Also, keep an envelope hidden somewhere and readily available with cash and other essential documents like your driver’s license and health insurance information. Have a small bag packed with toiletries, clothes, and an extra set of keys so that you can grab it quickly in the event of an emergency.
#4: Consider the future of your child
When considering adoption, you will have to think about the future and what you want for your baby. Adoption is a loving and selfless decision. You will work directly with an Adoption Coordinator who will put you in touch with hopeful adoptive parents. You can speak with and get to know them and choose who you want as your baby’s adoptive parents.
At Lifetime Adoption, we will talk with you about what kind of life you want for your child. Then, we will do our best to help you find an adoptive couple that can give the baby that kind of life. We specialize in open adoptions, which means you can watch your child grow up. Then, you can determine how involved you want to be.
Not sure if adoption is the right choice? This is an answer that only you can make. Your situation is unique. If you choose adoption, remember that you are brave and courageous, no matter your situation.
Our team is here to support you and encourage you throughout your pregnancy. We will work with you to find the right family for your baby. You can take the first step by calling or texting Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.