Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adoption from the Perspective of a Birth Parent

In private adoption, adoptive parents will first meet with the birth mother or birth parents to determine whether the adoption is a good match. This is a way to ensure to the birth parents that the child is well taken care of in the way that they would wish. In the past, a woman who "gave her child up for adoption" often had no idea where the child was placed. This is not the case anymore. The birth mother almost always has the opportunity to meet the adoptive parents of her child. They may communicate with her quite frequently during the pregnancy and may actually be present during the delivery of the child.

One thing I plan to do for my adoptive child to help him or her connect to the birth parents is make him or her a birth story book. The book will include how they came into our family. This story book will include as much information as possible on his or her birth parents. Knowing who you are and where you came from helps develop a strong sense of self-identity and self-worth. As you can see, the face of adoption has changed tremendously.

Some facts about adoption expenses in Virginia:

  • If a birth mom doesn't have insurance, she can often sign up for Medicaid to help with the cost of carrying and delivering a child. In the state of Virginia, adoptive parents can help with expenses associated with pregnancy and delivery. For example, if the mom has Medicaid or some other form of insurance, the adoptive parents may pay for the copays not covered by the insurance. 
  • The adoptive parents are also allowed to pay for legal expenses on the birth mother's behalf. The birth mother's lawyer will represent only her interests and is separate from the lawyer representing the adoptive parents.
Choosing an adoptive family:

An ongoing study of birthparents and adoptive families reveals "When deciding on the adoption option, it was pretty or very important that [birthparents]:"
  • [Are] able to screen and select the adoptive parents
  • Are able to talk with, email or meet potential adoptive parents before the birth
  • Have access to post-adoption services, like counseling, support groups and updates from adoptive parents
  • Receive counseling
  • Are able to talk with other people who have made an adoption plan
  • Can have medical care paid by the adoptive family
Excerpt from: Domestic adoption: perception & reality, an article by Eliza Newlin Carney.

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