Adoption offers a “perfect solution” for a baby whose mom isn’t ready to raise a child. Adoptive families offer better financial circumstances, “stability,” opportunity for college education, an “intact” family, and happiness that mom (who isn’t ready to parent) cannot offer. Statements such as these are often used in advertising on adoption sites. However, these phrases offer eloquence in the wording to entice moms to consider placing their child with a loving family, albeit strangers.
Looking back on a lifetime of pain and complete regret, advice from this side of the world comes easy. Looking back from the current vantage point the change in life circumstances, overcoming those temporary circumstances seems so certain and obvious. However, when mom begins the journey of making decisions about an unplanned pregnancy, the present and current circumstances give an essence of never ending. Stress, anxiety, uncertainty, lack of familiarity, and the involvement of others about something that feels so personal becomes a difficult matter.
A few points follow to help you begin to bring perspective on the frantic feelings you may have.
1) First of all, put off freaking out until after some decisions are made. This is critical because you feel like freaking out. But think about it, freaking out will not change the pregnancy and will only cause you to feel much worse. So put it off and go to your calendar. Set a date (make it at least a week or two out) to freak out. Now you have it on your calendar and you have given yourself permission to freak out at that time.
2) Understand, this is your baby you are carrying. Babies are their own individual human selves. They are not a “part” of you, they are now another human being. Your baby is shared by the person you were with when your baby was conceived. However that circumstance may not be a pleasant one. You may have difficulty considering the involvement of the other person. Right now, making the decision about the involvement of the other person isn’t critical. You have a baby to nurture and protect.
3) Do your research on your options. As pointed out earlier, going to an adoption site and talking to someone at an adoption agency can result in no further research. What does that mean? It means that an adoption attorney or an adoption representative will tell you that adoption is the very best solution for you and your baby. However, they will continue to state that it is your choice. If the father of your baby happens to be at risk for as a good parent, all the more reason for the agency to encourage you to place your baby. However, adoption agents are NOT about your best interests, nor about your baby’s best interests. You are a supplier of the product that commands a lot of money from adoptive couples who desperately want children. In fact, that agency and private adoption attorney can offer you quite a bit of money for living expenses and help you with your financial indebtedness. An exchange of money for your baby is selling your baby. You can get resources and helpful support. If money is what you need, you can get help.
4) Find someone you can trust to confide in. Friends may or may not be your first point of contact. There is an organization, Family Preservation Outreach, email@example.com, who will talk with you and help you in this unplanned circumstance. Of course, the options out there are: parent your baby, place your baby, allow guardianship arrangement, or even find a doctor to do an abortion. Getting educated on these options is critical because you are making a life altering choice.
5) Getting counseling will help you with any guilt or shame you may feel. While these emotional responses come naturally they can impose another layer of anxiety and stress, unproductive energy. When more anxiety happens, it’s impossible to make a good decision.
Before making a decision, remember time is on your side. Research, talk to people who have truly been there (you don’t have to tell them your circumstances), read books, articles, and get some good counseling help. Letting someone tell you that you MUST make a decision now, make up your mind, or pressure you in any way, will not result in a decision that you can feel good about later.
You will get through this and you can get through this with a good life decision. Next article on threats or circumstances of having your child removed from your care.