Q: “I have friends who will adopt my baby, and they said we just need a local lawyer. My friends are great but have told me they can’t afford to pay for any counseling, clothes, or living expenses during my pregnancy because they need to pay the lawyer.
Do you know where I can get help?”
A: Sometimes, pregnant women considering adoption first look to friends or family members to adopt their baby. It makes sense – you already know these people, so you feel comfortable choosing them.
However, it can get complicated when they can’t or choose not to meet your needs in the same way an agency or different adoptive family might. Having a friend adopt your baby can seem like the perfect answer. Placing your baby for adoption with a friend is better than placing with a stranger, right? Not necessarily.
Sometimes when a friend or family member steps up, the motivation to adopt may be a little different than an adoptive couple’s. Rather than focusing on adopting to grow their family, they are adopting to help you out. They didn’t begin the adoption process and then agreed to adopt your baby. Instead, they agreed to adopt your baby then started the process.
There are many ways adoptions can get complicated when they start this way. It isn’t bad to choose friends or family to adopt your baby. You just need to understand that you may not have the same support and help as if the process goes through an adoption agency.
An adoption agency is primarily there to assist pregnant mothers as they consider their options and learn about what adoption can be for them. When adoptive parents choose to use an adoption agency, it is to ensure that you, the expectant mother get the services, help, and support you need through your pregnancy and beyond.
At Lifetime Adoption, an adoption agency that works with pregnant women in every state, we provide you with things like:
- Maternity clothes
- Licensed counseling
- Peer counseling
- Adoptive couples who have been thoroughly screened and passed background checks
- 24-hour help and support by phone or text
- A personal coordinator who will help you get what you need
- Access to hopeful adoptive parents of various races who are ready for open adoption and can help with your expenses
- Items you will need at the hospital
- Advocating for you
- And much more!
There are reasons you may want to have your friend adopt your baby or consider family members as adoptive parents. But if they can’t meet your needs, you may want to consider looking at other options.
You don’t want to begin your adoption without counseling or the basics you are entitled to as a birth mother. Without support and counseling, adoption can be a lonely choice.
Any adoptive family can engage an organization like Lifetime to help the mother they are adopting from.
As the birth mother, you have every right to counseling, help, support, and reasonable and allowable pregnancy-related expenses. If the family you’ve chosen cannot or will not provide these things, it may be time to call an adoption agency like Lifetime. We are here for you 24 hours a day at 1-800-923-6784.
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.