Considering Adoption

Ari - posted on 06/02/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I recently discovered I am pregnant. I currently have a 20 month old son and this being an unplanned pregnancy, I'm not quite financially prepared for another child at this time. I don't want to have an abortion, but I sincerely believe my fiance and I are not ready for another child this soon. Although I hate the idea of giving my old child up, I am considering adoption, but I'm also not comfortable with the traditional forms of adoption. I would like an open type of adoption where the child can opt to know who I am and who his/her father is. We would like regular updates on our child as well, but I'm not too sure how many adoptive parents would condone such a relationship. The main drawback I have when it comes to the thought of adoption is Not knowing how my child is or how he/she is being cared for. Naturally we wouldn't dare be overbearing with our ideals on parenting, but we'd just like to have contact with the family that adopts our child, if we agree to adoption. Has anyone done anything like this and if so, what type of adoption is this? Where do you go to find families that would comply with such an adoption plan? We have no idea where to begin. Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you.

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Joanna - posted on 06/04/2010

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My adopted-out daughter is 8 and she has never thought of me as her mother. She knows that her mom couldn't have children, and I still remember when she was almost 5, she came up to me and said "my mommy couldn't have babies in her belly, so God put me in yours." And that's that. When I was still pregnant both me and her father wrote letters to her about why we were giving her up for adoption, and that we still loved her but couldn't take care of her, and her parents put those letters in a book that contained our pictures, plus any cards/other letters we'd sent. She loves her book even to this day! So I think it's a great thing, compared to closed adoption... Getting to know we still care, and getting the answers straight from us I think has helped her be confident.

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@ Lisa,

"quoted: Would they feel rejected? Wonder why mummy didn't want me?"





Actually the very opposite is true, They have a much better understanding if they can actually ask birth Mom. Hey why did you choose adoption for me? Then get a frank answer in response. it totally changes them. MY neighbor has an open adoption (she is the birth Mom) and 2 children of her own now. No weirdness her kid loves both his Moms and deals with his grief much better.



a Adopted child actually will experience less grief (as in the feeling you get when some one you love dies) when birth parents and adoptive parents are open honest, and make sure the child has a forum to talk.



Its when we try to keep everything a secret and we have unknowns that the kids get weirded out.



As to the other stuff be sure to plan for those moments and follow the plan make the answer be the same every time. Kid are resilient and once they know how something happens they go with it.



Look at kids of divorced families open adoption is much easier than that but I don't see anyone asking these questions of those kids yet the situation is very similar.



and as for Feeling that like baby is yours. the moment you see them or hold them or kiss them you just know. I cannot tell you how much love I have for my kids, even tho I did not give birth to them. I just love them to pieces.



I would also mention that occasionally my kids cry when someone asks me "Why did her birth mom give her up." That phrase really hurts them. It makes them wonder if they were not worth keeping. Where as replacing it with "chose" doesn't.

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Jane - posted on 07/07/2011

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My son has attachment issues. He was placed with us at 6 weeks, but had previously bonded with his birth grandmother, and then with his foster parents. He was too young for anyone to explain anything to him, but it did indeed affect him negatively.

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Jane I have to disagree. A child who has an attachment can move the attachment if handled correctly. Although I do agree between 7-24 months is a poor choice of time to try to place a child, as it is a critical time in their life. But once an attachment is formed a child can re-attach.

I have a child we adopted at almost 6, she was well bonded to her birth mom, attached well to her foster mom and then bonded like cement to our family. In her case she understood what was happening, she didn't have to many broken bonds (by to long in care/bouncing). So her adoption "trauma" has been minimal.

yet in our hague training they asked if a new born will have attachment issues and (my hubby and I said yes) everyone else in the room said no... guess what we were right. infants have spent 9 months with their birth parent they know their voice, heart beat and touch.

I'll also point you to Sherrie Eldridge she was placed at birth and wrote that book "20 things adopted kids want their parents to know." Have you heard her life story... serious attachment issues. :-)
every child is different, age certainly can play a part in attachment but so does personality of the child being placed.

yet if you look at the original post it was a year ago.. so who knows what happened.

Jane - posted on 07/07/2011

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"Although I hate the idea of giving my old child up, I am considering adoption..."

I don't understand - does this mean you would place your 20 month old for adoption, not the newborn?

In terms of child development, a newborn will bond to whoever is parenting the child quite easily if placed at or immediately after birth. However, a 20 month old would already be solidly bonded with you and could develop attachment and trust issues if adopted now.

In any case, we adopted two babies, 10 days old an 6 weeks old, through open adoption. We haven't always been in touch with the birth parents, mostly because of reticence on their side, but we consider them on a par with an aunt or uncle. In fact my son (now age 16) is visiting his birth father's family for a few days right now.

Lutheran Social Services was the agency we used because they have offered open adoption in our state for more than 40 years.

Cheri - posted on 07/06/2011

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I am adopted and I am also in the process of trying to adopt a baby with my husband as well, so I have two perspectives to offer.
Growing up, my brother and I were adopted as infants (closed adoption) my parents also had a biological child. I knew I was adopted before I knew what it meant...and I knew I was special. I have an amazing adopted family, who has loved me as their own, and I them. I have had questions (as did my brother) about our birthparents but more about our nationality, siblings etc. We know they loved us enough to want a better life than they could offer us, at the time (17/poor/single). I appreciate and am thankful for her selfless sacrifice, but my parents are my parents in every way and were all I needed, so I never felt the need to find them and interrupt their lives or my own.

Today there are lots of adoption options: closed (no contact) semi-open (cards and pictures through the agency until age 18- some direct contact is possible via email/phone) and open (cards/pictures and visits and possibly more).

My husband and I are now trying to adopt (and have been for a year). We have chosen a semi-open adoption meaning cards/letters/emails/pictures between parents, but there would be no visits/direct or physical contact until he/she is at an age to make that decision that they want contact. When we do adopt, they will know their birthparents loved them and they will have cards/pictures/gifts and letters from them and will be able to have all their questions answered (which I definitely would have wanted).

Adoption for a childless couple is the greatest gift imaginable, for the birthparents it is the hardest decision of their lives but also a selfless one, and for a baby it is a chance to be loved endlessly by all of them.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/04/2010

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Wow! That clears up a lot of the questions I had. Sounds like open adoption is a good option!

Charlie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Ive never been in your situation but i do know it takes a very mature and thoughtful woman to put their child up for adoption when they know they cannot provide for the child , you are giving someone the greatest chance to be a parent , its incredibly selfless of you .

Try for an open adoption if you would ;like to remain in contact with the child and family .

Natalie - posted on 06/04/2010

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I almost gave up my youngest for adoption, I was talked out of it by my family and they promised to help me through college so that I could afford to take care of her. However, hard as I knew it was going to be, I was convinced it was the right choice. I had already picked out a family, and was going to let it be as open as I could (and they were completely ok with me even visiting once a month or so - but I wasn't sure *I* would be able to). Open adoption is better, imo, because the child can know you and understand that it was NOT that you didn't want them, you just wanted them to have a better life than you could provide. It also lets you know how your child is doing/growing, and makes you available if they need blood or bone marrow or something specifically from a family member down the road. My older brother and sister were both adopted when my dad didn't think he was able to have children, and they were both very much adored. I know that no one thinks that other people can love your child as much as you, but I disagree. Most of these people have been wanting a child for SO LONG that they are completely elated at just the thought of a child of their own. I also didn't think it was fair that my older child should have to suffer with complete poverty because I chose to have a sibling for her without thinking it through. I was going to go through American Adoptions, and they were completely supportive (even when I changed my mind). I picked everything out about the prospective parents, including that they only wanted one child (a girl), the mother was a teacher, and the father was a doctor. I saw pictures of their home, read complete biographies on both of them, and even read references from family members, friends, and their places of employment. If only there were standards like these on some of the people who "shouldn't" be having children! I know you'll make the right choice for you and your child and baby, good luck.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/04/2010

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Wow. That's making me sad just thinking about it. I wonder how the child would feel being adopted but still seeing his/her bio parents? Would they feel rejected? Wonder why mummy didn't want me? I wonder if it would be really painful for you as the mother too being able to see your baby but not take him/her home. And would it be hard for those adoptive parents to actually feel like the baby is theirs if you are still in the picture? What happens if the baby says 'take me home with you mummy!' after a visit! Arrrgh! Sorry I'm of no help at all. I feel for you being in this situation :( Is there any way you can boost your finances so you can keep the baby for yourself? I admire that you are willing to give your baby up for adoption rather than abort it. I really hope you find the answers you are looking for. Good luck :)

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My mom tried to give up one of my brothers after aleady having a few kids and she couldn't do it! She still feels guilty to this day! If you can manage it you are one brave woman! I know I couldn't do it! A co-worker of mine found someone in her family, her sister & spouse were having difficulty conceiving and they adopted their nephew. My neighbor gave her 1st born up to a close family friend (both of whom still are in contact w/their kids). So I'd look to family or close friends first...they are always WAY more understanding and lenient in regards to spending time w/someone...maybe grandma & grandpa would like a lil one? IDK...brave brave woman!

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I would suggest calling your local State Adoption agency or a Local support group for adoptions. Ask them Who in your area has a great/fabulous/fantastic reputation for open adoptions. And you want to feel comfortable with them if you don't. find another place. I could tell you Bethany or Catholic Charities is fabulous but it might not be in your area. Where as the Local Social workers know all the skinny on who is tops and who is not.

I also would encourage you to not think of it as giving up your child. I always tell my eldest that her Mom made a plan and choose our family for her. In no way are you abandoning this child but rather carefully thinking though what you can and cannot handle. You are looking out for her/his best interests. I just do not see that as "giving up" But rather an act of great sacrifice.

Open Adoption it is so much more mentally heathy for the children involved, to be able to talk to you and see you and know that you are there if they have any questions. Its huge in how they feel about who they are.

I think you are amazing! And as an adoptive parent I think you are incredible that you would consider so great a sacrifice so that one empty arm woman who was once so incredibly devastated can now be called mom.

JuLeah - posted on 06/02/2010

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Someone in my family was in this situation. They went for open adoption. The adoptive parents view the birth parents and birth grand parents as part of the family and part of their son's life. The extended family of the adoptive parents and the extended family of the birth parents all attend family events.

You can set up anything from yearly pictures, to what my family has. It would be up to you and the adoptive parents.

There are adoption adgencies that handle open adopt - you might even google open adopt and your city and see what comes back.

It can happen and it can work!

Joanna - posted on 06/02/2010

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I gave my daughter up for an open adoption 8 years ago, through the Village which was an adoption network in my home state of North Dakota. We got to pick a family ourselves and meet them first and discuss what we would like... at the time we got pictures every 2 months until the baby was 1, and then every 3 months after. Luckily we got to know the parents and we got to actually see her whenever we wanted, which is only about once a year when I get back to the state. But the open adoption worked great, and it's actually pretty common. Maybe get in touch with a family planning center (like Planned Parenthood) who should be able to point you in that direction. Good luck!

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