This guest post is by Maxine Chalker, an adoption professional and adoptee.
If you’re pregnant and thinking of putting your child up for adoption, then you’ve got a lot of factors to consider.
The percentage of unintended pregnancies in the U.S. stood at 45 percent in the years between 2009 and 2013.
When should you consider adoption as an expectant mother?
As a mother, you have rights and being in a position of facing an unplanned pregnancy can be tremendously stressful.
Here are some instances where you may want to consider adoption as an expectant mom.
Too Young Or Not In A Position To Be A Parent
If you are too young to be a parent and you’re not in a position to accept the responsibility that comes with it, then adoption may be a viable choice for you—especially if both you and your partner feel the same way.
Many women choose adoption because they love their babies and want what is best for them.
Contrary to popular perception, it is not a selfish or irresponsible choice.
Lack Financial Support
Research shows that women with low incomes are five times more likely to become accidentally pregnant than those with higher income levels.
Many expectant mothers choose adoption because they lack the financial means to provide for the child, especially when the average cost of raising a child in the U.S. has been estimated at $245,340 based on data from a USDA report.
You may sometimes wonder what raising your child would be like.
These are not signs that you’ve made a poor decision, but that you loved your child enough to give them a better life because you didn’t have the financial means to support them.
Two Parent Household
Many single expectant mothers choose adoption because they are afraid that they cannot provide the same stability as a two-parent household might.
It is possible to be in a position to control who gets to raise your baby, so this helps you find a family best suited to the needs of your child.
Is Adoption Selfish Or Selfless?
In most cases, the decision to give your child for adoption is a loving and unselfish choice that expectant, unmarried mothers can make for their unborn children.
While society may be divided in view, many people believe that giving up your child for adoption is a selfless act because:
- You’re offering your child the opportunity of a better life, which you cannot give him/her.
- Your unconditional love is acting in the best interest of your child’s welfare.
- You get the opportunity to choose parents who you think will be the best fit for your child.
Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong here.
You are bound to have feelings of regret in your lifetime, but the choice to give your baby up for adoption may have been the best one for you at the time.
If you want to stay in the baby’s life, there are ways you can explore that possibility with the adoption agency and the adoptive parents.
Counseling Options During And After Your Pregnancy
When you’re faced with an unintended pregnancy and considering adoption, it is normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious.
This can make your pregnancy even more difficult. You must get proper health care for both you and your baby to ensure that you tackle these times as best as possible.
You may want to consider counseling sessions during your pregnancy with neutral professionals who will help you make informed decisions for you and your unborn child.
Counseling will also help you accept your decision, whatever it may be.
Know that feelings of loss, guilt, and grief are normal reactions after you give your child up for adoption. You must admit these feelings and accept them as normal in your life.
Support groups and counseling sessions with other birth mothers can help you better accept your choice to adopt—if that is your decision.
The choice to give your child up for adoption does not make you a bad person and you will probably never forget your baby.
However, you must be ready to to take steps towards healing and move on for yours and your child’s sake.
Maxine Chalker is the founder and Executive Director of Adoptions From The Heart. She holds a MSW and LSW which she uses to give adoption a new face by breaking down the barriers and taking some of the mystery out of the adoption process. Maxine is also an adoptee.
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