You’ve told everyone the news. You’re pregnant and have no idea what to do next. You’re doing your best to process the emotions, but there are all these unanswered questions…
“Should I keep my baby and try to raise him or her?”
“Will my friends and family actually support me long-term or are they just being nice?”
“What if I make the wrong decision? Or what if I can’t make a decision at all?”
Every woman goes through this even if they have a strong support system. Pregnancy is life-changing. It changes your perspective and it changes the way you make decision because you’re now making them for two. If your pregnancy was unplanned, you have likely considered adoption by now. It’s scary to think of your child growing up in another household where you can’t see them or guide them through childhood.
Sometimes family members will volunteer to take on this responsibility. However, you need to consider all of your options before making that choice.
Advantages of family adoptions:
You trust them. You know your family and what kind of parents they will be to your child. You know they have your best interest in mind and will likely take your emotions and wishes into consideration. You can’t always guarantee this when choosing an adoptive family.
You can know your child. When a family member adopts your child, there is a greater likelihood you’ll be able to meet them. This can be a positive, but be prepared for the adopting family member to keep your identity unknown from the child if they choose. This can be a blessing for birthmothers, but can also be a difficult adjustment to make.
Temporary guardianship. Adoption is permanent, but you can place your child in a temporary guardianship until you’re ready to parent. You may want to finish school, find a better job, move into a safer home or save money before you take on the full responsibility of parenting. Just know that if you choose adoption, you can’t return to this option. And if you choose a temporary guardianship you have time to be sure of and prepared for parenthood.
Constant reminders. If you choose a family member to adopt your child, it may be harder to let go. You’ll be in your child’s life, but for some birthmothers this isn’t enough. Adoption is hard no matter what. Make the choice that will be best for you, regardless of what others think.
Disagreements in parenting. No matter who you choose as the adoptive parents, they will have full rights and responsibilities to make decisions for your child. You will not always be a part of that process. There will be times when you don’t agree with the adoptive parents’ choices, but you must trust them to do what’s right.
Mixed emotions from all family members. Keeping your child in the family may cause mixed emotions for other members of the family. They may disagree with your decision or be hurt that they weren’t chosen as the parents. You know what to do, but it can be hard to make the right call with everyone’s opinion in your ear.
No matter what you decide, know that you are supported. If you need to talk to an adoption counselor, contact Birthmother’s Choice. We are here to help, every step of the way.