Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Placing a Child for Adoption

When Robert and I underwent our home study, we were required to read "The Third Choice: A Woman's Guide to Placing a Child for Adoption." Written for pregnant women who are struggling with the many choices available to them, this book is a powerful and informative handbook.

As I was reading the book, I felt a great compassion for birth mothers. As a young woman, I too was faced with the same situation and chose a path that I have often looked back on with regret. I feel for anyone who has to face the same prospect. That being said, I'd like to share some excerpts from the book:

  • "One of the most common reasons for placing a child for adoption is feeling unprepared emotionally to parent a child at this time or under these circumstances. You might have personal dreams or goals that feel more pressing. Or you may wish to be in a committed relationship or marriage before starting or adding to your family. Some birthparents say they feel burdened by unresolved feelings from their own childhood that they would like to explore and address before becoming a parent."
  • "The reasons for choosing adoption over other options are quite varied, personal and complicated. How do you begin to explore whether it is the right choice for you? You can start by looking at your feelings the moment you found out you were pregnant."
  • "If you have formed your ideas [of adoption] based on movies or other people's experiences, or if you yourself were raised in the foster system, you may need to reexamine adoption in light of today's options for openness."
  • "The authors [of this book] view birthparents as selfless, courageous and loving people."

These excerpts are from Chapter 1: Choosing Adoption. The rest of the book goes on to outline adoption options (did you know there are many types of adoptions?), finding the right adoptive parents, your pregnancy, birth and the grieving process. I would recommend it to anyone facing an unexpected pregnancy - including a birth father - or to anyone who is considering adopting a child.

We also had the opportunity to meet a birth mother who had chosen an adoption plan for her child recently. This courageous young woman was a 23-year-old college graduate. She became pregnant just before graduation. Her parents, while sympathetic, told her they could not support her financially. Her boyfriend told her he wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. After much thinking, she decided to find adoptive parents for her child. They chose a type of open adoption, where she maintains communication with her child's adoptive family and receives periodic pictures of her daughter. She had delivered her baby just six months earlier and was still grieving. I felt her loss deeply and cried while she told her story. Still, she was so thankful to the adoptive family for providing the home she was not quite ready to provide for her child.

Adoption is a powerful choice.

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