There are countless reasons why a woman would decide on adoption for her baby, and none of them are easy. In this post, we hear from three women about what it’s like to make an adoption plan for your child, and place them with an adoptive family:
“I knew she had to make a decision about my pregnancy, and soon. I was running out of time! My mom said that I should place the baby in a family with a mom and dad. My boyfriend said he would pay for me to get an abortion. My BFF said I should keep the baby. My head was spinning from all these opinions, and I didn’t know what to do.
I decided to call a counselor. After a few difficult talks, I was able to make a choice that was right for me and my situation. I ended up moving to another city until my baby was born, then placing him with the adoptive parents I’d chosen. My boyfriend was relieved, but my best friend was upset for a while. She did get over it though.
Talking with someone else let me escape from the pressure I was under. I was able to honestly consider my baby’s future, and mine too! When I met the family I had selected as “ideal,” I felt they truly respected me. By doing what I thought was best, I could be proud of my decision. Ultimately, I did the most loving thing possible; I created a beautiful life for the child I created.”
“I was 23, living at home with my parents and my 3-year-old son when I found out I was pregnant again. I called an adoption center and developed a plan on how to tell my parents. I was sure that adoption was right for my situation, so I decided to focus my time and energy on my son and continue working. My baby’s father didn’t want anything to do with me once he found out I was pregnant. He just told me to get an abortion. I’d already had one and didn’t want another.
I narrowed down my choice in adoptive families to the top two. After talking on the phone to them both, I decided on the one I felt the most comfortable with. I asked them for help with expenses for the last month of my pregnancy, and they agreed.
I kept working retail during my entire pregnancy, delivered my baby, and then went back to work and to night school. Now, I get yearly photos and updates about my daughter. I’ll admit, it was hard to put my adoption plan down on paper because it made it so real. But, it also helped me to realize that it was the best thing I could do for my baby and my son.
When my daughter was born, I just looked at her. I studied her fingers and toes and kissed the top of her head. I told her how much I loved her and how wonderful her life would be with two people that loved her as much as I did. Then I knew I’d done the right thing. The adoptive parents came in and carried her home as we had planned, and although I cried for the next three days, I never had a doubt that what I did wasn’t the best for her and us. I have learned a lot since my adoption and I know the choice I made was one I thought out and planned. I have no regrets.”
“I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant again. I had no job, my life was a mess and I didn’t want another child, especially under the circumstances. I’d had a one-night stand with some guy at a party. My first reaction was fear. I couldn’t imagine being a single parent of two. I couldn’t go through with an abortion. I decided on adoption and called an adoption center.
I went through the process of choosing a family. I talked to a couple of families and I had a chance to meet the family I liked talking to. They’re wonderful people. I really felt for them in their struggle to have a baby. I decided that they were the ones who deserved to raise my child. They were very supportive through the rest of my pregnancy.
We talked every week and became good friends through all this. Then, when it came time for the birth they came to my hometown. They stayed until I left the hospital three days later. It was a wonderful time! It made me happy to see the joy in their lives. I hated to see them go. We still keep in touch and I always know how my baby is doing, as well as knowing he’s in good hands. Now I can go on and make a better life for myself and my oldest. It was a tough choice, but I know I did the right thing for me and my children.”
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.