PROSPECTIVE BIRTH MOTHERS
PROSPECTIVE BIRTH MOTHER
By reading this, you are considering the selfless choice of adoption. Through adoption, you are showing your child sacrificial love. All Blessings understands the confusion and stress of an unplanned pregnancy and offers free personal counseling, assistance, and education as you plan for the welfare of your child.
ABI can help women or couples facing an unplanned pregnancy in Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee. While making an adoption plan, you will work with an adoption social worker who will assist you throughout the process. ABI’s staff holds professional degrees in social work and counseling, but many are also adoptive parents who struggled with infertility and/or birth parents who found themselves faced with unplanned pregnancies as teenagers or young adults. We feel it is important to not only have professional experience, but also a personal understanding of adoption.
Adoption is very unique in that each case is different. We want you to know that you are in complete control of the decisions being made throughout the process. You are able to choose the adoptive family, what kind of contact (if any) you desire to have with the adoptive family and child, how you would like the birth and hospital care to take place, and many other aspects of the adoption process. we have many wonderful home study approved families with online profiles that you may choose to view. This time in your life might be stressful, scary, and anxiety-filled, but our team is here to help guide you throughout the process, and take you through each step, providing emotional support. We will assist in whatever way possible to ensure that you are confident and secure in your adoption plan.
I chose adoption for my baby because I knew it was the best decision for me and my baby. Yes, it was a hard decision and one I did not come to easily, but I am still so glad I made it. I love the family I chose for my son and I know he is happy. I could have parented and I think I would have been okay, but I wanted more than okay for my son and also for my future.
ADOPTION MYTHS & FACTS
Myth: A caring mother would never give up her child.
Fact: Birth mothers do not “give up” their children. Rather, they lovingly make an adoption plan for their child. For many of the women ABI works with, their adoption plan is made in selflessness and a desire to provide the best possible life for their child.
Myth: My child will hate me.
Fact: You gave your child the gift of life and put your child’s needs first. Our adoptive families have the utmost respect for birth mother’s and do their best to raise the child knowing that you made this decision out of extreme love for the child.
Myth: Adoption is a reckless and irresponsible answer to an unplanned pregnancy.
Fact: Making an adoption plan for your child shows strength, great love for your child, and selflessness. ABI greatly admires our birth mothers as we know the decision you have made was not an easy decision, but a very loving decision. ABI counselors work with our birth mothers to ensure you feel confident that you are making the best decision for your child, whether that is adoption or parenting.
Myth: Nobody can love a child as much as a biological parent.
Fact: Even though biological parents hold tremendous love for their children, it’s not a matter of biology. An adoptive couple’s love for your child is the result of much effort and desire to be a parent. Adoptive parents realize how blessed they are, and their love and devotion to the child is very real.
Myth: I’ll never hear from my child again or know how they’re doing.
Fact: While this occurred in the past when all adoptions were closed and confidential, adoptions are no longer processed in this manner. You will get to decide on the level of relationship, communication, and involvement that you have in your child’s life. Your adoption counselor is able to provide you with education on the different levels of relationship that you are able to have with your child and the adoptive family.
Myth: My child will show up on my doorstep in 20 years with a great deal of emotional baggage.
Fact: ABI provides a great deal of education and training to our adoptive families so that they can raise your child to have an understanding of their adoption story and a sense of the great love that you have for the child. Depending on the level of relationship you desire to have, you are able to explain to the child yourself the reasons for your decision to make an adoption plan, whether that be by letter, call, or in person.
THE THREE TYPES OF ADOPTION
There are three different levels of communication and relationship between the birth family and the adoptive family. There is no right or wrong choice; you can choose whatever level of relationship you feel most comfortable with. Your ABI counselor will discuss this with you during your meetings, and answer any questions or concerns that you might have regarding your ongoing contact with the adoptive family and your child.
An open adoption is best described as direct contact between the birth family and the adoptive family. The two families often exchange full names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. The two families will maintain contact with one another after the adoptive placement. Contact can include letters, emails, telephone calls, texting, skyping, and even visits. ABI is facilitating more and more open adoptions as families desire to maintain a relationship that can provide health and wholeness to everyone involved.
In a semi-open adoption, the biological family and the adoptive family have contact which is facilitated through the adoption agency. ABI will typically receive letters and pictures from one family, and then forward them on to the other family. Many birth families desire to know how their child is doing, but maintain their privacy in doing so. A semi-open adoption provides that confidentiality. ABI ensures that your privacy will be protected.
Closed adoptions occur when the birth parents and adoptive parents agree to share no information with each other, and no continuing communication occurs. In a closed adoption, no letters or pictures are exchanged after placement. Generally, ABI does not encourage closed adoptions as closed adoptions do not benefit the birth family, the adoptive family, or the child. Therefore, ABI requires all adoptive families to submit regularly scheduled letter and pictures updates to the agency. We place these updates in your file, and you are able to request them whenever you desire.
You will most likely have many questions concerning the level of relationship that you desire with the adoptive family. Our counselors are here to answer any questions that you might have!
ADOPTION PLAN FAQS
"I haven't gone to the doctor yet. How do I find a doctor, or pay for medical care?"
It is very important that you seek medical attention, for both your and the baby’s good health. A good way to find a doctor or clinic is to talk with a friend or family member who has had a baby or may know that you are pregnant and see what she has to say. Or, you can call a pregnancy center or All Blessings International, since they often have established relationships with medical providers in the area. As far as paying for medical care, you may qualify for Medicaid. Many pregnant women qualify for the Medicaid benefits, but if you do not and are not covered by private insurance, there are other resources available to help. If you choose adoption, your baby’s adoptive parents could help with medical and hospital expenses, in addition to the other essentials necessary for life if needed.
“My family does not know I am pregnant and am thinking of adoption, and I am not sure how or if to tell them. What should I do?”
This is a hard one. The first thing we must consider is your safety. If you are worried that by telling your family you could be hurt, please let your adoption counselor know right away so she can organize community resources to help protect you. However, if safety from physical harm is not a reason why you haven’t told your family, but are mostly concerned that they will be angry with you, there are lots of good ways to break the news. We think it is very important to have at least one person in your family or circle of friends who can support your choices. All Blessings International has articles for having the adoption discussion with family and can help you with this if needed. But of course, this is all up to you. You know your family best, and if you think it’s a better idea that no one knows, then you can certainly choose to keep this private.
“How do I know that my baby will go to a good family?”
Adoptive parents are screened very carefully. They participate in several interviews with a social worker, and have adoption and infant education so that they are well prepared to adopt a child. In order to be approved for an adoption, prospective parents must submit to criminal checks, health screenings, character references, financial verifications, and provide copies of a number of supporting documents. Homes are inspected for safety, and if the family has any pets, a veterinarian must provide a statement that the animals are not dangerous. A report is written and a professional recommendation is made before families are allowed to adopt.
“If I am choosing adoption, what happens at the hospital after the baby is born? Will I get to hold the baby? Do I have to hold the baby?”
This is all up to you! It’s a good idea to tell your nurse when you come in to have the baby that you are making an adoption plan, but to make that easier you can write down your wishes and hand it to your nurse when you are admitted. All Blessings International has a Hospital Plan document which your adoption counselor will review with you in order that you can express your desires for the adoption process, and present that Hospital Plan to the hospital staff. The nurse can put your plan in your file, and this way you don’t have to have the whole I’m-doing-an-adoption conversation over and over again with new nurses. Most of the time, women choose to hold and spend time with their babies while in the hospital, but it might be that you’re nervous about seeing the baby and how you will feel. If it helps, you can have your adoption counselor present at the hospital for your visit with the baby to support you at this emotional time. However, it might be that you decide not to see the baby at all because it may feel too painful to tell him or her goodbye later, and that’s okay, too. You certainly don’t have to visit in the hospital at all, but its okay if you change your mind either way after the baby is born.
“Can I name the baby?”
Yes, if you want to! Sometimes the birth mother chooses to name the baby, and sometimes they don’t and the baby is legally considered “Baby Girl” or “Baby Boy” until after the adoption is completed and the name is legally changed to the adoptive family’s name.
“Who will take the baby home from the hospital?”
Again, this is your decision. The baby is legally released from the hospital into the custody of the agency. The agency can then either place the baby into a temporary care home or directly place with the adoptive family, according to your preferences.
Hopefully, these answers have provided helpful information, but it is very likely they will also raise questions that you might not have realized you have! Please feel free to call and speak with an adoption counselor about all of your parenting or adoption planning questions and concerns – it is her job to assist you in a private, confidential, and honest manner. The counselor’s role is to educate and support you and your baby, no matter if you choose adoption or parenting.
If you are pregnant and considering adoption, you can contact a pregnancy counselor 24 hours a day at 1-866-424-2974. Or, simply text 270-993-4109 or email Lucy for adoption information and assistance.
ABI has many wonderful prospective adoptive families for birth mothers to choose from. Listed below are many of our families. If you are interested in learning more about the available waiting families, please contact us.
ADAM & EMILY
BRAD & MICHELE
ADAM & FELICIA
DAVID & DANIELLE
COLT AND ERICA
JASON & ELIZABETH
JONATHAN & ANDREA
TY AND JULIE
JACK AND EMILY
CRAIG AND ASHLEY
BEN AND JENN
OBIE AND REBECA
If you are interested in looking at more profiles of prospective adoptive families, please contact our offices.
THE ADOPTION PROCESS
The expectant mother contacts All Blessings International.
The expectant mother speaks with an adoption counselor; paperwork may be mailed and/or a meeting between the counselor and expectant mother may be scheduled.
At the first meeting, the counselor discusses parenting and adoption issues and answers questions. If the mother is close to giving birth, the counselor may take a medical and social history and talk about prospective adoptive families. If there are a few months or weeks before the baby is due, more interviews or phone conversations may occur for the medical/social history and discussion about families.
The expectant mother considers adoptive families and chooses one (or asks the agency to choose a family). If she wants to meet the adoptive family or talk to them on the phone, there is an opportunity to do so. Some women may want the adoptive family to be active in her prenatal care.
A hospital and adoption plan is made. This plan may change at any time, according to the expectant mother’s wishes.
The expectant mother continues in regular contact with her counselor, and has her counselor’s cell number so she can call when needed.
When the expectant mother goes into labor, she calls the counselor and the counselor may then call the adoptive parents if that has been planned. Depending on the mother’s plan, the counselor or adoptive parents may be present for birth or not.
The adoptive family will be able to visit with the baby, if the mother chooses. What happens in the hospital, in the way of visits and time with the baby, is completely up to the mother!
On the day of hospital discharge, the baby will be released into the care of ABI. ABI will either place directly with the adoptive family or into temporary care home according to the preference of the birth mother.
Paperwork to request voluntary termination of parental rights will typically be signed while in the hospital. An attorney will assist with the legal aspects, at no expense to the birth family.
Termination of parental rights will occur, either by signing legal paperwork or at a court hearing. This process is dependent on state law.
The arrangements that were agreed upon for ongoing contact (in the form of pictures, letters, emails, phone calls, and even visits if desired) are now to occur, according to the schedule determined by birth and adoptive parents.
The counselor is available as needed to provide support in the weeks, months, and even years that follow, at the request of the birth parent.