When you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you might feel many emotions such as shock, fear, and anxiety. We work with women from all walks of life who are considering their options. After exploring their choices, many of these expectant mothers choose to place their baby for adoption.
As you think about adoption, you will probably have lots of questions about adoption, adoptive parents, international adoptions vs. domestic adoptions, open and closed adoptions, and more. Family members of the birth family, the birth father, and others will have questions about placing a child for adoption and the people who adopt a baby.
One of the questions you might have is, “Why do women choose adoption?” There are a lot of different reasons why these women choose open adoption.
Here are some of the most common reasons why birth mothers working with Lifetime Adoption have told us “why being a birth mother was right for me.”
#1: They aren’t ready to be moms
Becoming a mom is a major life change, and raising a child is a lifelong commitment that women must make for the rest of their lives. An unplanned pregnancy can come at a time when a woman doesn’t have the resources — emotionally or otherwise — to care for a child.
Maybe she is in school or has goals that involve college and a career. Maybe she is still a teenager, so she can’t raise her baby the way she wants. Women that choose adoption often feel they are not ready to become parents and that adoption is the best choice.
#2: Money is tight
Raising a child is expensive. Food, clothing, daycare, and medical bills can add up quickly, and many expectant mothers are concerned that the financial burden will be too much. They are often parenting other children and see that adding one more would cause the whole family to struggle. An adoptive family can provide a future that is financially secure for the baby.
#3: Living situation is not ideal
Many expectant mothers choose adoption because they are homeless or live in a place where they don’t want to raise a child. She may not like who she lives with or where she lives. Ultimately, she wants a better, more stable living arrangement than the one she can provide.
#4: Lack of support
Raising a child can require a strong support network. If an expectant mother doesn’t feel like she has the support she needs, she may choose adoption. It could be that the baby’s father is not supportive, or her family is not willing or able to help or encourage her in her role as a mother.
Choosing a loving and supportive adoptive family can ensure that her child will get what they need throughout their life from an adoptive mother and father ready to become parents through adoption.
#5: Can’t provide the type of life she wants her child to have
Family, access to proper healthcare, financial stability, even the possibility of a college education are some of the things that mothers commonly want for their children. But they may simply not have the ability to provide this now. Choosing an adoptive family can give her child the opportunities and life that she wants for them.
#6: They want to choose an adoptive family.
Many expectant mothers share with us that the ability to choose an adoptive family for their child is a big blessing. The potential adoptive family and birth mother get the opportunity to get to know each other. This can give the birth mom confidence and peace of mind to move forward with open adoption.
Is Adoption Right for Me?
As a woman who is thinking about adoption, it’s normal to worry or feel self-doubt about this decision. After all, you want to be sure that your choice provides your baby and you with a life you both deserve.
Remember that you are not alone. Every day, women face difficult decisions about what they should do about their unplanned pregnancy.
The good news is that you can play an active role in your child’s life by choosing open adoption. Knowing this often helps put birth mothers at ease with their decision.
Lifetime is an adoption agency that provides services nationwide. Our caring coordinators at Lifetime Adoption are glad to answer your questions about open adoption to see if it is the right choice for you. We are here to support you and help you find a good family match for your baby. Just call or text 1-800-923-6784. We are experts — adoption professionals who care about you and your baby’s future!
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.
For years I wondered this very question: why did my birth mother choose adoption for my twin sister and me.
Due to my closed adoption, I waited decades to learn the answer. I detail my search for birth relatives in my memoir, Twice a Daughter, which comes out next month.
Fortunately for today’s moms and their adopted children, open adoption is an option and the answers to “Why?” is one that can be answered in a timely manner.
Thank you Lifetime for providing these answers. Adoptees from the closed adoption era can learn from this post.
You’re welcome! Yes, we’ve come to find that children in an open adoption don’t have to wonder why their birth parents chose adoption or wonder if they are loved. Since they are in contact from day one, these children are able to connect with their birth parents directly.