It has changed a lot. Birth parents can make all the decisions planning an adoption. You can keep a relationship with your child if you wish. It is encouraged that the child knows right away about his/her adoption. Adoption is no longer a secret but celebrated as an act of love.
What is the difference between adoption and foster care?
It is a big difference! Biological parents do not get to choose adopting parents. The adoption plan is NOT voluntary. A child in foster care can have several families. When a birth mother makes an adoption plan, she chooses the forever family for her child.
Remember this choice is about you and your child – not others. It might be the best choice for both of you. Hopefully others will see the loving choice it is but it is really between you and your child.
How do I deal with the pain that comes with adoption?
For me crying, counseling, taking time for myself. It is different for everyone. Your adoption professional can offer support groups for you to talk it over with others or even a counselor for one on one support. Take advantage of all the support you need.
How do I choose parents? Do I have to know a couple already?
You don’t have to do this on your own. The adoption professional has a list of parents and their profiles. Once you are ready you can even meet the family and make the choice that is best for you and your baby.
I advise expectant mothers to ask what is important to them. Is faith, is a two-parent home, what about education or having a brother or sister? It really is up to you and your adoption professional can help you find that family.
What are realistic expectations to set in an open adoption?
Every birth mother has the right to choose how much openness to have with the adoption. Keep in mind that this can change over time. Flexibility and honesty will mean a successful adoption in the long run.
Will I feel guilty for moving forward after placement?
You may find yourselves feeling guilty moving forward. Remember you are not moving on from your love for your baby – you are just moving forward in life. Grieving is part of healing. Your choice was made for your life and your child’s.
It varies widely. Your emotions happen when they do. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are common stages of emotions. Using counselling services adoption professionals offer can assist your healing.
How do I tell people about my child? How do I tell people I'm a birth mom?
Telling others can be difficult. But it is nothing to be ashamed of. Many times, others will be negative toward you. They really just need more education about adoption. You do not have to share your story with everyone.
Sometimes I get photos and I cry with thankfulness for the love he is smothered with. Other times I cry out of pain because it is not me who is loving him. The photos always remind me how much he is loved.
When my child turns 18 will I get to be involved in their life more?
By age 18 your child is now an adult. He or she will be able to make a decision about birth parents. There is no exact formula. My adoption is very open, and I see my child regularly. I cannot imagine seeing him anymore than I already do.
That is a tough question to face. It is a painful and valid concern. However, adoptive families are very loving. I have never had to doubt my adoptive family’s love for my son. He is their entire life.