“So, I think that adopting out my baby is going to be best. I’m already raising 2 kids, and my baby’s father has 3 kids from 3 different baby mamas. I had a pregnancy scare a few months ago, and he told me that he’d pay for me to get an abortion. So I know how he’ll react when I tell him I’m pregnant for real this time! Since I know my parents will be super disappointed in me, I’m not telling family about my pregnancy. Can I still choose adoption even if I’m keeping my pregnancy news private?”
Lifetime Adoption often receives questions like this about hiding a pregnancy. So if this is your question too, please know you aren’t alone. Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy feel alone and don’t want to share their news with friends, family, and even sometimes their baby’s father. They feel unsure if telling anybody about their pregnancy is a good idea, especially since they are choosing adoption. Fear of how those close to them will react drives them to keep their pregnancy secret.
When you’re hiding a pregnancy, it’s completely possible to make a private adoption plan. Keep reading for more information on the confidential, anonymous, and compassionate help available to you from Lifetime Adoption.
Not Telling Family About Pregnancy
Not telling your family about a pregnancy is a personal choice. However, one person you can confidentially tell about your pregnancy is a Lifetime adoption coordinator. She will walk you through the adoption process and what your options are.
Your adoption coordinator will talk with you about keeping your pregnancy a secret. It is almost always better to have someone in your life you can lean on. You may be afraid of your parents, friends or boyfriend’s reactions but they may surprise you.
It is also hard both emotionally and physically to keep your pregnancy to yourself. That baby will start to show itself, and you will be feeling the effects of all those hormones in your body. If you are determined to keep your pregnancy to yourself, your adoption coordinator will help you get the support and resources you need to maintain your privacy.
Your Adoption is Confidential
Adoption is a very personal choice, and you have the right to tell or not to tell whomever you feel comfortable with. Keeping your adoption plans confidential is absolutely an option for you, and you do not have to think of anyone but yourself and your child. If you know in your heart that adoption is in your baby’s best interests, no one should try to convince you otherwise.
Lifetime will keep your adoption plans private: anything we mail you will be sent in an unmarked envelope or package. And, when we call you, the call will show up as “Unknown.” Your privacy is very important to us.
It’s also possible to move temporarily to complete an adoption. Know that there’s a way to keep both your pregnancy and your adoption private.
You’re in control of the adoption process at Lifetime: you pick the adoptive family who will raise your child. You have the option to get updates on your child through pictures, emails, social media posts, and/or visits. All of our adoption services to you are completely free, and you might also be able to get help with pregnancy-related expenses.
Counseling is Available
If you change your mind and would like to share your news, your coordinator has many tips and great advice on how to share your pregnancy news with those in your life.
She can also connect you with both a licensed counselor and a woman from our peer support network. This woman chose adoption for her baby, so she has been where you are right now. She can share with you her experience and will be a shoulder to lean on.
Someone you can talk to that really understands what you are going through. It is important that if you feel there is a threat that harm could come to your or your baby by revealing your pregnancy, you need to contact your adoption professional, lawyer, or a counselor before sharing with the person you fear.
Which Type of Adoption is Right for You?
You’ll want to consider if you wish to keep your pregnancy secret from just your family or keep your personal information private from the family adopting your baby.
In a closed adoption, you will not have access to the adoptive parents’ information, and they will not have access to yours. Your adoption coordinator will choose your baby’s adoptive parents.
Some birth mothers choose this option because they feel it will give them a sense of closure, and they can move forward with their lives. But if you decide to keep your personal info hidden from the adoptive parents you choose for your baby, you won’t be able to contact your child in the future. Likewise, he or she won’t be able to contact you once they’re old. They won’t grow up knowing of you, and that you chose adoption out of love.
There are many benefits to open adoption for all involved in the adoption. First, you get to choose the adoptive parents that you feel are perfect for your baby. Lifetime Adoption has waiting adoptive families that are from all walks of life. That means we have families of all races, hobbies, and professions. You can read and see videos from waiting families and decide who you want to get to know. We will help guide you through that process so you can be sure you are comfortable with your decision.
You can receive updates on your child as they grow up through emails, photos, and phone calls. You can even arrange to visit the adoptive family and your child once or twice a year if you would like. You get peace of mind seeing your child thrive in their loving adoptive home. The adoptive couple has access to medical family history and has information on the birth parents to share with their child when they have questions.
Most importantly, the child benefits. Studies have shown that adopted children who know who their birth parents are and why they were placed for adoption tend to have higher self-esteem and a sense of identity. That being said, open adoption is not the right fit for everyone.
Some birth mothers feel that getting those updates and photos will bring up the pain of having placed their child for adoption. Other birth mothers want to maintain their privacy and do not want their personal information shared. There is no right or wrong. You need to do what feels right for you and your situation.
When choosing which type of adoption is right for you, take your time. Consider how you might feel in a year or two. You can have an open adoption but ask for time before receiving updates, but a closed adoption is difficult to change. When experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, there is a common desire to get through it and leave that chapter of your life behind you.
Lifetime Adoption has been helping women with confidential adoptions since 1986.
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.