Baby Adoption: The Miracle of Private Adoption
Each year, private adoption leads to the creation of many families while allowing birth parents the opportunity to face an unplanned pregnancy with options instead of worrying about raising a child they are not ready to support. While going through the adoption process isn’t always easy and requires a great deal of commitment from both birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents, the rewards make the entire experience worth it.
Licensed private adoption agencies, like Adoption Choices, are regulated by federal and state adoption laws and regulations. Each year, the government reviews licensed adoption agencies. For a local agency, the state comes to review files and audits to ensure that the agency is complying with state laws and adoption regulations. When an agency is licensed in many states, they get reviewed multiple times per year by each state’s government. Since adoption regulations vary by state, that agency is then held to more restrictions and guidelines. Essentially, this creates an extra layer of safety and dependability for birth parents and adoptive families.
Using the safest, most regulated types of adoption organizations means putting individuals, couples, and families on the path that will yield the best outcomes for everyone so they can look back on their adoption journey with no regrets.
Navigating Private Adoption
Know the Advantages of Private Adoption
Private adoption provides many benefits for birth parents and adoptive families. For adoptive parents, going the route of private adoption is typically much faster than going through public options. Additionally, private adoption is typically the better option for those seeking to adopt an infant since most children in foster care tend to be older.
As a birth mother, participation in the private adoption process is completely voluntary, as is withdrawal from it. Independent voluntary placement is when a birth parent voluntarily places their child for adoption directly with the family of their choice; whereas with a public adoption, the Department of Social Services takes custody of the child and the birth parents have no choice in where the child is placed.
Voluntary placement also offers more options in terms of post-placement contact. If birth parents decide to pursue open or semi-open adoption, private adoption agencies can help facilitate any contact with the adoptive family and birth child as necessary.
Take Control of the Adoption Journey
One of the greatest advantages that private adoption has to offer is that it is highly customizable to the unique needs of both birth parents and adoptive parents. A private adoption agency is in a position to be highly attuned to individual adoption goals, and they work hard to meet those goals. This allows both birth parents and adoptive parents to be in charge of their respective adoption journeys.
If an expectant mother, she can decide the details of her adoption plan, such as choosing the adoptive family, deciding what type of adoption to pursue, and how her hospital stay will play out. At any point in the adoption process, an expectant mother reserves the right to change her mind on any of these details up until she relinquishes her parental rights.
Adoptive parents also have agency support in the adoption process. They have a say in whether they want an open, semi-open, or closed adoption. They can set their own criteria for what they want in an expectant mother and birth child. Working closely with both birth parents and adoptive parents to understand all their needs means a higher chance to make a compatible match. If a match doesn’t work out as initially planned, neither party is asked to compromise their selection criteria, instead, the agency will continue to facilitate the matching process until both parties find the right fit.
Take the Time to Research Different Adoption Agencies
As an initial step in the adoption journey, researching the reputation of an adoption agency will help ensure the positive adoption services one might desire. Expectant women and adoptive families have many options to choose from in a private adoption, and no two agencies are identical. Make sure the agency is transparent and trustworthy. Don’t be afraid to explore multiple agencies; comparing different agencies can help evaluate which one is the right fit and has the most reasonable terms.
Find Reliable Adoption Legal Representation
To truly take charge of the adoption journey (especially) as a birth mother, it is imperative that she understand her rights throughout the process. Choosing an agency who offers independent legal representation will protect her best interests and will keep her well informed. The best adoption center will never leave a birth mother in the dark about her rights.
Seek Adoption Counseling as Needed
Choosing to adopt or place a child for adoption is not a decision to make lightly. Adoption Choices believes that an informed decision is an empowered decision, which is why we provide all birth parents and adoptive parents with free and easily accessible adoption counseling throughout the adoption process.
We never want to make a birth mother feel forced, coerced, nor cornered into making a decision that isn’t right for her. In fact, one of the first things our adoption counselors discuss with expectant mothers is all of her pregnancy options before even proceeding with the adoption process. If she is considering other options, we will not only discuss those options in detail, but we will also provide her with outside resources and guidance to learn more so she can make an informed decision.
Obtain Any Necessary Adoption Assistance
Pregnancy comes with many expenses, and the last thing a birth mother should worry about is meeting her basic needs while nurturing the life growing inside her. That’s why birth mothers may be eligible for certain forms of assistance that can help her cover necessities such as housing, utilities, food, clothes, transportation, medical care, and legal representation. The assistance a birth mother receives can come in the form of government assistance or direct assistance from the adoptive parents or adoption agency.
While often mistaken for “buying babies”, the assistance a birth mother receives is intended to keep her afloat so she can focus on her well-being during her pregnancy. This assistance is not intended to last beyond the recovery period after she gives birth. Additionally, adoptive parents who help a birth mother cover her costs understand that she has the right to change her mind about following through with the adoption as long as she has not already relinquished her parental rights. If they decide to help cover her costs, and she decides to keep the baby, that’s a risk they take.
How to Make the Most of the Adoption Journey
By being proactive and having the confidence to pursue the adoption process on your own terms, provides the assurance for a positive private adoption experience. Through careful planning and obtaining as much information as possible before making any final decisions, complications can be avoided along the way that can cause doubt or regret.
Adoption Choices is fully committed to giving birth parents full control of their adoption experience while providing them with any support and guidance you need.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary is passionate about empowering and supporting those involved in the adoption and surrogacy processes. She finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.