An unexpected pregnancy will cause stress under the best of conditions. If you are in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, it can be even more stressful. You may be wondering what you can do if you’re undocumented and pregnant.
Even if you feel that you are not in a situation to become a parent right now, you may be scared that if you go to place your baby for adoption, the government will be notified. The good news is that Lifetime will never release your information to the government or any immigration officials. We will keep your adoption and the adoption paperwork completely confidential.
Your citizenship status will not affect the amount of families willing to adopt your baby. Lifetime Adoption has many loving adoptive couples who are dreaming of growing their family with a baby. These families have had home studies to confirm that they are ready to be parents and have the ability to provide a safe and loving home for a child. They have had a background and financial check as well as in-home interviews and visits.
If your child is born in the United States, you have the same rights as every other expectant mother. Whether you have a visa to live in the United States or are undocumented, your baby born in the U.S. can be placed for adoption with an American family. And if you choose adoption for your baby, the adoption will be done legally and will not cost you anything.
In fact, your adoption coordinator can help you find resources in your community to assist you during your pregnancy. If needed, the adoptive parents you choose may be able to help you with some expenses. The laws on this vary from state to state, but your adoption coordinator will work with you to be sure you have everything you need during your pregnancy. You can even receive counseling from a professional therapist or support from a peer during your pregnancy and after the adoption.
If you have any substance abuse or physical abuse issues, having an adoption plan in place before you head to the hospital will prevent the government or Child Protective Services from becoming involved.
You will have legal representation that will take care of all the documentation and filing of papers that go along with an adoption. Having an attorney allows you to protect your baby from child protective services getting involved and placing your baby into foster care. You will get to choose the parents to raise your baby.
If you would like to have a family from the same culture as you, you can make that a priority. You also can pick a family that is open to the amount of contact you would like after the adoption is final. We believe in open adoption, so if you would like to receive updates, pictures, or even have visits with your child in the future, you can.
It is important to know that your adoption coordinator will ask for your citizenship status but will not affect your adoption plans. You and your baby will be safe, and your adoption will be private.
Please understand that if you are currently outside the United States, in Mexico or another country, we cannot help with crossing the border, border patrol, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), or the Department of Homeland Security.
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.