How Our Son’s Birth Mother Knew We Were the Dads for Her Baby

This guest post is by Brian Esser, an adoptive father and attorney.

When my husband and I created our first adoption profile in August 2010, we wondered what would catch a birthmother’s eye.

Would she care that we lived near the park or a zoned for a good public school? We included photos from past trips—would she choose us thinking her child could see the world?

Or would we be immediately dismissed because we were gay?Skipped over after all the work we put into the profile?

Summer turned to winter, and we waited, tethered to our phones. We waited, as winter creeped toward spring. After six months, we noticed a change in people when we told them how long we were in the books.

A slight tilt to the head, usually followed by “Have you thought about surrogacy?”

And then, on a day in late March, an eight-year-old boy matched us with our baby. Continue reading

10 New Adoption-Themed Books To Add To Your Reading List

This guest post is by Rachel Garlinghouse, an adoptive mother and author.

As an avid reader, especially of books featuring adoption themes, I’m an advocate of considering the intricate and interesting points of view of different adoption triad members: the birth parents, the adoptee, and the parents-by-adoption.

Here are 10 new adoption-themed books to consider curling up with this fall. Continue reading

A Guide to Surviving a Failed Adoption Placement

This guest post is by Sarah Pirtle, an adoptive mother. 

Our adoption placement failed on a Tuesday, 50 hours into the 72-hour post-birth wait required in our state for a placement to occur.

On Wednesday I woke up, pulled the covers back, and put my feet on the floor. As I stood, I had the distinct sensation that I was walking out of a fog into a clearing.

I picked my son up from his crib, threw on my shoes, grabbed the stroller, bolted out the door, and walked the neighborhood in the August humidity until my legs nearly buckled, speaking this story into my phone as a voice memo until it was complete.

Through one adoption wait and now a second, this had been the experience I’d wondered if I could emotionally survive. Continue reading

Adopting A Baby The Second Time Is Harder. Here’s Why I’m OK With That.

This guest post is by Kimberly, an adoptive mother.

After many months of questioning, thinking, analyzing and wondering, my husband and I recently took the plunge and launched our networking campaign for our second adoption.

Many people wonder if adopting a baby is any easier the second time around. We adoptive parents know it’s not.

The adoption process doesn’t care if you’ve already adopted, had a criminal background check, or had your home studied. You need to start all over again.

Once we were certified to adopt, we put together a website, set up a dedicated Facebook and Twitter page, and posted our profile on some online adoption services.

Basically, we did everything we did the last time we created our outreach plan, back in 2011. But while only four years have passed since we adopted our daughter, so much has changed.   Continue reading

Gay Couples Looking to Adopt A Baby Still Face Challenges Despite Marriage Ruling

When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June, hopeful gay adoptive parents such as Clay Jones and Joe Babin breathed a sigh of relief.

The landmark ruling instantly eliminated some legal hurdles. But it didn’t do away with the challenges that all couples looking to adopt a baby face such as getting themselves adoption-ready and being chosen by an expectant mother.

And it didn’t help them sidestep any of the additional obstacles and prejudices that are specific to same-sex adopting couples.

Despite studies that show children’s well-being is affected more by their relationships with their parents than by the gender or sexual orientation of their parents, hopeful gay adoptive parents still face an uphill battle.

Clay and Joe, who added their adoption profile to America Adopts! earlier this month to give their outreach efforts a boost, have taken it all in stride. 

“We’re taking it as it comes,” Joe told America Adopts! after his adoption story and our profile service were featured in  this article. “We want to let things happen as they may—kind of like ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.'”

He added that he and Clay are “definitely excited about expanding our family and welcoming a beautiful child into our home. We figure whatever way we can get it known that we are looking to adopt and the more venues we can be on, the better chance there is that the right expectant mother at the right time will see us and say, ‘You are the family I choose!'”

Continue reading

Finding A Family To Adopt My Baby Girl Was Never About ‘Giving Her Away’

This guest post is by Cannille Turner, a birthmother

I first found out I was pregnant on July 17, 2014.

As I was sitting in a little room waiting for the results, a doctor came in to ask a few questions about whether I had a plan and if the dad was in the picture.

I got annoyed with her questions and just silently hoped the test would come back negative, because I wasn’t ready for a baby.

But she just kept rambling about pregnancy and babies. When she noticed I was annoyed with what she had to say, she stopped talking for a bit. Then she read the test and said “well, Miss Turner, it looks like you’re about five weeks”.

A sudden flood of thoughts came to my mind — mainly worries.

How could this be true? I was going to have a human being growing inside of me, moving around, kicking and in just a few months entering the world I live in. Continue reading

When A Friend Told Me There Were Websites To Help Me Find Adoptive Parents

This guest post is by Simmy, a birthmother.  

When I was younger I always tried to imagine what it would be like to be a senior in high school. Being pregnant was never part of the plan.

So it came as a complete surprise that I got pregnant, and even more surprising when I didn’t find out until my eighth month in.

I’ll never forget what my best friend said to me in the school bathroom when I told her I was having pains. “Simmy, you’re so stupid you’re having contractions, because the baby is coming!”

My small group of friends were completely shocked when I told them the news, and I was in denial too when I first found out.

How was this possible? I had never gained weight or even had any of the symptoms you’re suppose to have when you’re pregnant.

But there was no escaping it, I was pregnant. Continue reading

I Didn’t Give Up My Babies. I Gave Them More.

This guest post is by Stephanie Burton, a birthmother.

As the birthmother of four children, my story is probably unique.

Three of my children were adopted by the same adoptive couple at different times. The child who was not adopted is being raised by her biological father.

I raised my first child for 2 1/2 years. But when I gave birth to my second child, I found that as a single mom to two girls under three I was too overwhelmed to carry out my duties.

I wanted more for them than what I could provide and started to look at adoption.

I called a close friend and told her how I was feeling. The father of my youngest girl would not allow her to be adopted, so I asked my friend if she knew anyone who would be ready and willing to adopt my oldest daughter.

Continue reading

How Our Blog Has Helped Us Bond With Our Son’s Birth Family

This guest post is by Kim, an adoptive mother.

A picture is worth a thousand words. That is something we have heard a million times over.

But I didn’t fully understand the meaning of that phrase until we started our open adoption in 2013.

When my niece in California was born I was sad because, as a New Yorker, I felt like I would miss her growing up—seeing her in her adorable little outfits, watching her learning to crawl, hearing her babbling.

Then, a few days after her birth, my brother sent me a link to their blog. And there she was, in all her glory, every day.

I watched her take her first steps and got messages from her about how much she loved me.

I even knew what to get her for her birthday because I knew what she liked from religiously following her blog.

Continue reading

How A Couple’s Failed Adoption Match Led Them To Their Baby

Last Christmas, Adrienne and Will Pfaffenberger hit rock bottom.

After being matched with an expectant mother considering adoption, they got to know her over the next five months, receiving pictures, ultrasounds, and even an angel teddy bear with a recording of the baby’s heartbeat inside.

When the delivery day arrived, Adrienne and Will packed up their car and drove from their home in Indiana to a hospital in Ohio, where Adrienne was invited into the delivery room and cut the baby’s umbilical cord.

From the moment they arrived, they felt a special connection to the child.

“We’ve never had a child like that and so people have always told us, there’s a shift in your mind, and there’s a shift in your heart, when you see your baby for the first time and you hold it,” said Will, a radio producer who had been documenting their adoption journey for listeners. “That definitely happens. And it did happen for us.” Continue reading