Can You Put Your Child Up for Adoption while in the Military?
Unexpected pregnancies can happen to women in the military, just as they happen to women out in the civilian world. Being in the military does not negate the fact that you may be facing the same unfavorable situations that have you thinking adoption is the right choice for your child. But, does being in the military change the process? Are the circumstances different? Are there different ways to go about adoption in the military? Are you allowed to put a child up for adoption while you’re in?
If you’re wanting to put your child up for adoption while in the military, you’re in for some good news. Women in the military are given the same choices as civilian women in regards to adoption, the adoption process and the power of making every single decision in your adoption plan.
How does Adoption in the Military Start?
Being on active duty while beginning the adoption process may come with its own nuances that have a different work around than a civilian adoption. However, the first step is the same. Finding the right adoption agency will require some research and devoted time depending on your location. If you’re in the New York area, Adoption Choices of New York is a good place to look into for your adoption agency. Once you’ve found the agency you want to work through, adoption professionals will help you move forward and guide you through the next steps.
Expectant Mother Support Groups through the Military
Support during this moment in your life is crucial. There are support groups created by other women in the military to help if you’re wanting stories from other women who have put a child up for adoption. Support groups can also provide answers about the adoption process on a more personal level, and they can provide a first-hand experience so you know what to expect during the process.
Military Oncesource is a military run program that offers a variety of counseling services and adoption help. They can answer any questions you have and offer guidance while you’re starting your adoption process. If you want, they can even aid in finding the right adoption agency for you to partner with. You can reach them over the phone or on their website for more information.
Is the Adoption Process Different in the Military?
Would it surprise you to know that the adoption works the same way while you’re in the military? Going through the steps is the same for all birth mothers, regardless of their government status. You are still given the same rights, which means choosing the adoptive parents and laying out specific details in your adoption plan.
The only thing that may look a little different is the in person interviews if you choose to have them. Depending on if you’re stationed outside of where you want your child to be placed you may have to conduct phone or skype interviews. If both parties are willing, the adoptive parents can fly out to where you are stationed for an in-person meet up. This is especially helpful if you want to meet and interview them face-to-face.
Giving Birth while Stationed Overseas
When you put a child up for adoption while in the military, there is a chance you will be stationed overseas during your pregnancy. This is the one major factor that can be different for birth mothers in active duty. You will have to fly back to the United States to give birth to your child, and then traditional adoption steps will proceed afterwards. Planning to fly back around your final month of pregnancy can be stressful! One way to curb that extra stress is to plan ahead of time with the help of your adoption professional. You and the adoptive parents will know what is going to happen step by step, which can alleviate pressure on both parties.
Specific preparations for the hospital stay will be a part of your adoption plan. This is where you will decide if you want the adoptive parents in the room while you give birth or want them in the waiting room. You will be given the choice of spending a few moments with your child before they are placed with the adoptive parents. All of these decisions should be made and agreed upon by both parties before labor and delivery.
Open and Semi-Open Adoption as a Military Birth Mother
Being in the military does not take away your right as a birth mother to choose if you want open communication. The types of communication are dependent on what you would like your relationship with your child and their adoptive parents to look like. Remember, there is always room for change and adjustments! Just be sure to put this in your adoption plan so the adoptive parents are aware some communication may change from more frequent to less frequent or vice versa.
Adoptive parents come into the process expecting a type of open or semi-open adoption with various types of communication. If you’re overseas, letters might be a good personal way to connect with your child. Photos and updates from the adoptive parents can be sent via email or text. Some birth mothers receive communication only through the adoption professional but this is all dependent on the agreement
Adoption and the Military
Situations change and things come up unexpectedly. Being in the military does not erase your rights as a birth mother. You are still able to cultivate what you want your adoption process to look like in order to provide the best outcome for your child. The military can offer additional help via counseling and group support outside of what is offered by adoption agencies. A few steps may be a bit different than civilian adoption but the outcome is all the same. A loving home for your child and the knowledge you did what was best for both of you.
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