After weighing their unplanned pregnancy options, many women choose adoption to bless their baby with a promising future in a loving home. In fact, around 140,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. For birth mothers, it’s a way to ensure their child receives the care and love they deserve. For babies, it’s an opportunity to grow up in a caring, safe and supportive family. For adoptive parents, it’s a chance to share their life and love with a precious new addition. And it all starts with a plan.
Creating an adoption plan is the birth mother’s opportunity to outline what qualities she values in the adoptive family, how much support she needs during the pregnancy and birth, and what role she wishes to play in her child’s life after the adoption. Crafting the adoption plan is usually done with the assistance of an adoption counselor, access to which many women find through their local pregnancy counseling center.
The Adoptive Family
Some birth mothers lean heavily on their adoption counselors to identify a great adoptive family, while others are very specific about the qualities they want in the adoptive family. If you choose to give input into the makeup of the adoptive family, you may voice your expectations around whether the adoptive family has many children or few, whether they live in the city, suburbs or country, or possibly even personality traits or family values that are important to you. From there, depending on the type of adoption you choose, you may be involved in reviewing prospective adoptive families by viewing video profiles, reading letters or meeting them in person.
Your Pregnancy and Care
In Florida, the adoptive family can contribute to paying many costs associated with supporting the birth mother during the pregnancy, through the birth and shortly beyond. Florida adoption laws state that during the pregnancy and for up to six weeks after, a birth mother may receive, “reasonable living expenses […] including rent, utilities, basic telephone service, food, toiletries, necessary clothing, transportation, insurance and expenses,” as well as, “reasonable and necessary medical expenses.” Your adoption plan can specify your expectations in this area.
A key portion of any adoption plan is addressing the specifics of the birth itself. As the birth mother, you can indicate how you want the transition to take place between the time you give birth to your baby and the time the adoptive family takes custody. Some things to consider include whether you want your own family members and/or members of the adoptive family present in the delivery room, whether you wish to hold your baby after he or she is delivered, and how much time you want to spend with your baby.
Possibly the most important aspect of any adoption plan is defining whether you prefer a closed adoption, an open adoption or a semi-open adoption. In a closed adoption, neither the birth mother nor the adoptive family receive any identifying information about each other, and there is no contact before or after the birth. In an open adoption, the birth mother and adoptive parents often get to know each other well and decide together how much access the birth mother will have to the child. This may be as simple as exchanging photos and letters or as involved as including recurring visits and shared holidays. Semi-open adoption is an increasingly popular option, offering some of the best aspects of both closed and open adoption plans.
If you’re a birth mother considering adoption, contact Sira in Gainesville today at 352-377-4947. Our compassionate counselors can help answer your adoption questions and connect you with the right resources and community organizations to give you and your baby a beautiful future.