November is National Adoption Month and we are excited to join the conversation and celebrate what is such a beautiful choice for so many kids and families.
We had a couple here at Clarity not long ago who were considering adoption for their unplanned pregnancy. They were trying to decide between choosing to parent, having an abortion, or making an adoption plan. When I discussed with them what adoption could look like, they asked me:
“Why would a couple want to adopt if they could have children of their own? We thought adoption was just for couples who couldn’t have kids.”
“What if our child ended up with terrible adoptive parents?”
“Wouldn’t choosing adoption for this child make me a bad mom? Would my child resent me?”
All of these are completely normal questions but are rooted in a lot of misconception about adoption that we want to help clear up.
Adoptive families adopt for so many amazing reasons and have a lot of love to give a child- love that goes deeper than blood alone. Some choose to adopt because they cannot have biological children of their own. Many choose to adopt because of a positive adoption experience they, or someone close to them, have had. Some adopt because they want to welcome one (or two or ten!) more children into their home to provide for these children in ways the birth family may not be ready to. Some adopt for spiritual convictions and beliefs. Some people choose adoption simply because they see a need and know their family could bridge the gap. There are so many incredible, noble reasons couples and families choose to adopt.
Often the hesitation in choosing adoption for many birth moms and couples is not knowing who their child would end up with or not being able to trust the adoptive couples’ level of love or care for their child. Trust us! These adoptive couples and families go through an intense, often years-long process including classes, counseling, financial investment, and extensive time investment in order to vet them to be your child’s adoptive parents. They have to deeply want to adopt to go through this. These people are put through the wringer on state, national, and even international standards (if adopting internationally) and pass countless background checks, sometimes even psychological testing, to make sure their motives are pure in adopting and that they are ready and suitable to bring a child into their home.
Here is what is amazing and what so many birth moms and couples don’t realize: they are in the driver’s seat through the entire process.
- The birth family chooses the adoptive family: You know those couples and families we just talked about that go through the intense vetting process? When and if they make it through, the biological mom or parents are the ones who choose the adoptive family themselves. Each adoptive family makes an extensive picture book all about them, their beliefs, their family, etc. that birth couples can look through. They can even set up meetings with the adoptive family before they decide!
- The birth family chooses what type of adoption they will have: Not only do they get to choose which family will adopt their child, they also get to decide the type of adoption (yes- there are types!).
- Closed adoption: Maybe a birth mom wants to choose an adoptive family and not stay connected to their biological child at all- they can choose that!
- Semi-open adoption: Maybe a birth mom wants to stay in touch through pictures and emails through the years to be assured of their child’s well being- they can choose that!
- Open adoption: Maybe they want their biological child to know and spend time with them throughout their lives- a completely open adoption relationship with the birth family- they can choose that too!
The birth mama or couple chooses what kind of adoption and which family gets the privilege of adopting their biological child. Pretty amazing right?
We hear it all the time:
“I would be a bad mother if I were to make an adoption plan. Who would carry a baby for nine months, and then ‘give it up’?”
Sigh. We are here to shout from the rooftops that birth moms are FAR from ‘bad moms’. These women are selfless, brave, self-aware, loving, and dang strong! They are incredible, biological mamas who deserve to honored and respected. In fact, they love their child so much that, even if they recognize that they aren’t currently in a place to provide the life they would desire their child, they are willing to put up with morning sickness, mood swings, cravings, and a tough decision…all for their child. It’s the best gift anyone could ever give someone else.
Though Clarity is not an adoption agency, we do partner with amazing adoption agencies like Bethany Christian Services, Lifeline Children’s Services, and Nightlight Christian Adoptions that walk alongside birth moms and dads to navigate the emotions and legal aspects from start to finish. They not only work with the adoptive families, but the birth mom/parents, to help the whole process go smoothly.
So if you are pregnant and unsure if you are ready to parent, but also unsure if abortion is the right choice for you, adoption is the other (often not talked about) option for any unplanned pregnancy. Adoption gives you a way to still pursue your goals with perhaps only a small hiccup in the timeline (as opposed to a lifelong commitment when you choose to be a parent). Adoption also gives another couple of your choosing a priceless opportunity to add to their family. And finally, adoption gives your child a chance to grow and thrive in an environment you choose. It is a win-win for everyone involved. If you are interested in adoption, don’t hesitate to call and set up an appointment to talk through what this choice could look like for you.
Happy #NationalAdoptionMonth! We hope you’ll celebrate with us.