Q: I just found out I’m pregnant and am already 24 weeks along. I think I knew but I didn’t want to admit it. I can’t afford an abortion, but I don’t think I can carry a baby for the full time and then give it up for adoption. How have other girls done this? BTW I’m 17.
A: First and foremost, please understand that adoption is not giving a baby up. It is making a thoughtful, intentional plan. You choose adoption. It isn’t forced or something you are made to do. It is a pregnancy choice.
Throughout the planning, you make the choices of a family and what type of ongoing contact you want. These are things you can think about and talk to the adoptive parents about. By choosing your child’s parents, you can give them the type of life you want for them.
Adoption can be a wonderful pregnancy option, one that you can play an active role in. We work with many women who have had abortions in the past who tell us that the decision to choose adoption is one they are proud of. Most women do not feel the same about choosing abortion.
One of the best ways to prepare emotionally for adoption is to start your adoption plan now. By choosing adoptive parents for your child, you can get to know them and begin to think of your baby as their baby too. This simple change in thought process is very valuable as you continue through your pregnancy. You begin to think about the end of the pregnancy, of placing your child into their arms, and continuing the relationship with your child and the adoptive parents.
Lifetime also offers free counseling for you. We have outside counselors who can help you weigh your pregnancy options and offer tools for preparing for the emotional aspect of adoption. You can even request to speak with our peer counselors; these are women who have previously placed a child for adoption. You can ask them how they felt and how it worked for them.
We are here to help anytime at 1-800-923-6784. We can help with these or other adoption questions.
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.