Adoption: Circle of Love
A young couple sat in the waiting room of the hospital eagerly awaiting to visit a woman and her husband in the maternity ward. The young couple had been selected to be the parents by this man and woman to be their new baby girl’s parents.
As this couple waited patiently their smiles did not diminish. It had been a whirl wind last few days! They learned they had been selected on Sunday and it was the best day of their life together as a couple. They were told that the birth mother would be induced on Thursday. Well, the baby had a better idea and the birthmother was in labor on Tuesday morning. A beautiful baby girl was born mid-morning and the birth father walked out to the waiting room to bring the adoptive parents into the room to meet their new daughter.
As the birthparents lovingly placed the baby into the adoptive parents’ arms, hugs and tears were shared. The most precious gift had just been given from one couple to another. Words could not express how each of them was feeling. For the birthparents, giving this couple what they had so desperately hoped for during the past four years was a beautiful and humbling experience. For the adoptive parents, the love they felt for these two was nearly incomprehensible. They were overwhelmed with gratitude and love and could hardly contain themselves. The birth mom then produced a beautiful quilt which she had lovingly made during her pregnancy and gave it to the adoptive couple.
The parents of the adoptive couple came to the hospital in hopes of getting a peek at the baby. When the birthparents learned they were there, they said, “Bring them on in! We would love to meet them and watch them see their grandchild for the first time!” Gratefully, the grandparents came into the room, were welcomed by the birthparents and were able to see their new granddaughter. What an amazing experience for all! The adoptive mom and dad kept saying, “We hope we don’t wake up to find this is only a dream!” The birthparents were so comforted by the entire family being there to love and support the baby that they had nothing but smiles knowing their child would have no lack of love.
All involved in this scenario were so grateful to the other for their role in this adoption. All four parents love this child with all their being, and in turn love each other. This is how an adoption circle is created, and the child is the recipient of all that love. This adoption will continue to have ongoing contact with most exchanges being done by email. It is the start of a wonderful relationship that will last forever.
Each adoption is unique. There are never two situations that are the same. Most would say that they knew the birthparents were right for them, or the adoptive parents were meant for their child. There is a connection that happens in adoption and each one is special.
As a birthmother explained the other day, “I had ten adoptive parent profiles in front of me and I just knew which one was right.” “I knew that they are supposed to be the parents for my child. I kept going back to them, and I had the most wonderful feeling reading and re-reading their profile. I just couldn’t wait to let them know!”
Frequently Asked Questions About The Adoption Process
Did you know that less than 1% of all unplanned pregnancies in the United States result in adoption? Considering that it’s such a small percentage, it would only make sense that you have a lot of questions. Well, don’t worry, because in the following sections, I am going to answer some of the more common questions that birth mothers tend to have regarding the adoption process.
Question #1: What’s an Adoption Agency?
An adoption agency is basically there to facility the logistics associated with screening, meeting, and arranging the adoption with the baby’s adoptive parents. You’ll want to place just as much emphasis on choosing the right adoption agency for your situation as you would choosing the right adoptive parents, because they’re both important.
Question #2: How Can An Adoption Agency Help Me?
One of the primary advantages of an adoption agency is that they’ll go through all of the time-consuming tasks of screening potential families for your baby. Granted, you’ll be able to screen through each one individually, but this initial screening is what separates the good candidates from the bad. While you may have many unanswered questions, know that you’ll be in good hands with an adoption agency, and that by choosing one, you’re not obliged to make any decisions until you are comfortable with your decision.
An adoption agency will be available to help you before, during and after you place your baby for adoption. Many adoption professionals are not committed to helping you with services such as counseling, helping to arrange and maintain contact with the adoption family, assisting you with your medical, financial and legal questions and just being there for you to hold your hand. It brings great peace of mind to know that someone is advocating for you and your baby and available to assist you when you need it.
If you have questions about adoption, contact us at 800-835-6360 or text to 801-450-0094. Information requests and questions can also be emailed to email@example.com.
How Involved Should I Be?
As the birth mother, you’ll be the person deciding how open you want your adoption plan to be. Although adoptive parents are not obligated to share with you the status of your child, most adoptive parents are happy to share pictures and letters with you about how your child is doing.
Everyone Deserves to Know Who Their Biological Mother Is
No child should be deprived of knowing who gave birth to them. However, things change completely if you’re going through a “closed adoption”. A closed adoption is basically a form of adoption in which you keep your identity hidden from the adoptive parents. This is typically a more discrete form of an adoption. In cases like this, you shouldn’t expect to stay involved on how your baby is doing.
Most adoptions are open adoptions though, meaning that the birth parents and adoptive parents will be able to freely communicate with one another. When taking this route, speak with your adoption counselor about the amount of contact that you’re interested in having throughout the course of your child’s life. In many cases, adoptive parents won’t have any problems with you seeing your child or staying updated with pictures and letters.
It’s Healthy For a Child’s Development
Knowing where they came from can provide your child with a healthier development, as well as provide them with a stronger identity and feeling of self-worth. Adoptive families and birth mothers may find themselves entering a more complicated set of relationships, but is usually more rewarding for everyone.
The Adoption Journey: Blessed Beyond Measure
The power of words and the power of an experience are both unique and bring about many different emotions and experiences. As an adoptive mom of two beautiful children, I can look back on our family journey and remember the feelings of great joy, sadness, uneasiness, anticipation, excitement, insecurity and most of all the happiest times of my life. Adoption was an experience that I never dreamed of or thought about as I was thinking ahead to what my life would hold. Like many young women, I had my whole life planned out in my head and felt confident that I KNEW what my life would hold.
However, the VERY best part of my life found me!! All too often as we go through experiences we wonder, “Why, is this happening to me?” Well, NOW I know exactly why our adoption experience happened the way it did and why our children found us. It was as if our hearts had always been connected and there was no beginning and no end to our love.
As a newly adoptive mom, I was asked if I thought I could love my son more if I had given birth to him. I remember pausing for a minute to gather my composure and responded saying, “I am not sure how you love someone more than you love them?” To this day, I often think about this question and I KNOW without a doubt my love for my son is boundless. I am grateful that our family was given the greatest blessing of all – the chance to love our children. Their love found us and has blessed us beyond measure.
A friend recently sent me a link to an article written by an adoptive mom and as I read it, I felt as though I had written the article. I was amazed how many feelings returned about my own adoption journey and how I was thinking, “That was me – How did she know?” I do know her too!
This article, “Dear Mom of an Adopted Child” confirms the feelings and experiences of an adoptive mom and gives hope and inspiration to those moms that will travel the adoption road. I share this article with those that have traveled the road and to those just beginning or in the middle of the journey to give you hope and to know you are not alone.
The GREATEST LOVE has come to me through adoption and I know without a doubt our journey was meant to be. There is no greater achievement than the love of your children and the boundless love and joy they bring each day to our lives.
Please share your comments and the article.
Caucasian Baby Due in September 2015
Birth parent G is making an adoption plan for her Caucasian baby due the beginning of September 2015. G has requested Act of Love Adoption Agency assist her in her search for an adoptive family that meets her parameters. She is seeking an adoptive family that is “active in the LDS faith”. She has determined that she would like to receive pictures and updates from the adoptive family through email until the child reaches adulthood. G would also like to meet the adoptive family prior to birth and again when the baby is born.
Birth mom G reports that she is healthy and has not experienced any major illness, injury or developmental problems during her life. Birth mom also currently reports no use of illegal drugs or tobacco. She does report having a couple of drinks during the beginning of her pregnancy. She also reports that she is receiving prenatal care and taking vitamins. Available medical records and further non-identifying information and social health history will be made accessible to approved Outreach families. To become an approved Outreach adoptive family and to receive further information regarding this potential situation, along with available medical records, please contact Act of Love Adoptions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a home studied adoptive family and interested in this situation, please contact Act of Love Adoptions through email at email@example.com. Families that are in the process of completing a home study may also contact Act of Love regarding the possibility of the Outreach Situations. Families interested in the Act of Love Outreach Program will need to complete an Application for Services, provide an original signed notarized copy of the home study along with supporting documentation to meet agency requirements. Adoptive families that apply for the Outreach Program are NOT required to pay any agency fees prior to a match and are not obligated by completing an application. For more information on the Outreach Program, contact Act of Love Adoption Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-572-1696. All Act of Love situations are presented to full-service adoptive families prior to presenting to Outreach adoptive families.
Act of Love Adoptions offers individual services to families and birth parents to help complete an adoption, as well as full-services. A free Adoption Orientation is offered, on the first Tuesday of every month beginning at 7:00 p.m. The next Adoption Orientation will be held on June 2, 2015 and is located in the Sandy offices. The orientation is a casual, educational meeting designed to provide adoptive families with the tools needed to complete a successful adoption before, during and after placement. Call 801-572-1696 to receive further information on the orientation or to schedule a no-cost, private informational appointment. It would be our pleasure to support your adoption needs.
Mother’s Day Call
It was a Mother’s Day that will never be forgotten for two adoptive couples! Each has been eagerly waiting to adopt a new baby and become parents. Each had said “Yes” to have their profile shown to a certain birthmother. And, each had their wish come true with a call on Mother’s Day!
The first couple thought the birthmother who was looking at profiles had some questions she wanted to ask them. After talking for a few moments, the question the birthmom asked to the adoptive mom was, “Are you ready to be a mother?” The adoptive mom responded “Yes,” not realizing that the birthmother was actually telling her that she had selected them to be the parents of her child, due in just a few short weeks! Once the birthmother told her she was asking them to be the parents of her unborn child, the adoptive couple was shocked and thrilled! They could hardly believe they had been selected! It was the best Mother’s Day ever!
In another situation, birthparents wanted the adoption agency to make the call and tell the adoptive couple they were selected. The birthparents selected them on Friday, but wanted them to be told on Mother’s Day. Again, it was like the adoptive parents had won 5 million dollars! Their joy was uncontainable! And, of course this gift was priceless!
Both birthparents had made their decision a day or two before, but felt it would be more special to tell the adoptive parents on Mother’s Day. It made both birthmothers so happy to know that they had made someone else so happy. It was a really great day for all!
This is the beginning of an adoption journey for birthparents, adoptive parents and child. This is the start of a relationship that will last forever and can be the most wonderful type of “extended family.” When an open adoption is done with respect, love and understanding, all parties benefit. The one who benefits the most is the child. The child knows that both sets of parents love him/her. The child learns from an early age about adoption and that his birthparents wanted the very best life for him/her.
As the child grows, having an open dialogue with birthparents becomes very important. When the child has a question, the answer can be found by contacting the birthparents. When the child wonders why he/she was placed for adoption, the birthparents can explain the situation going on in their lives at the time. It can be done in person, through letters, emails, Skype or on the phone. There are thousands of ways an open adoption can work and are working.
In most cases, birthparents set the plan. They put together a plan of openness and post-adoption contact that feels right to them. With most agencies, this is then put on paper and presented to adoptive parents waiting to adopt. If adoptive parents agree to the openness and post-adoption contact plan, and feel the situation is one that they feel good about, they approve for their profile to be shown to the birthparents. They also sign that they agree to honor and abide by the openness plan as outlined. In many states, post-adoption contact is a “good faith” agreement. In fewer states, it is law. In those states, failure to comply with the post-adoption contact as agreed upon could end up in a court case. The best advice is to decline a situation if you do not feel comfortable with the openness and post-adoption contact agreement. It is only fair to the birthparents but more importantly, the child.
For those who are waiting to adopt, be patient, be strong, open minded and loving. There will be a call, and no matter what the calendar says, that will be your Mother’s Day!
Finding Your Happiness
To all of our beautiful birth parents that have so loving chosen adoption. Your Act of Love family honors and celebrates you!!! You are all amazing and brave. The incredibly unselfish decision of adoption you made for your children has blessed and brought joy and happiness to their lives.
Birth mothers place their children for a variety of reasons. So, how exactly will you find happiness once you’ve placed your baby? While it isn’t always easy, you can definitely achieve much more peace of mind with support groups and counseling from mothers who have been in the same situation.
Join a Support Group
An online search is a perfect place to start looking for a support group that can help you feel better about your decision. You’ll definitely want to verbalize your feelings during the first few months after giving birth. Holding in negative thought patterns isn’t healthy, and won’t be a way of reclaiming your life once you’ve placed your child. If you prefer, there are also in-person support groups that you could join, although you’ll need to perform Google searches on where the ones nearest to you are located as they vary from city to city. Your adoption agency can usually get you in contact with one.
Find Happiness in Your Baby’s Future
During the first few months after giving birth, you may occasionally have feelings of regret. Know that this is completely normal. As human beings, we tend to second-guess our decisions a lot, even if those decisions are logically sound. The fact is that you made a good decision that is ultimately going to provide your baby with a better quality life. And guess what? That in itself should make you feel happy! Although the decision was hard, you made a sacrifice that is going to put your child in good hands.
Finally, if you have supportive friends and family members to lean on during these emotionally trying times, try to speak with them often about how you’re feeling.
Become a Part of the AAOL Family
Our experience with AAOL has been nothing short of fantastic. Everyone is extremely knowledgeable, compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic, genuine, professional and always willing to help. You can tell by their actions that they truly enjoy what they do and they are great at it. The staff takes the time to get to know you and your family whereby at the end of your stay in Utah, you are a part of their family; the AAOL family. Their guidance when engaging with a birth family is wonderful and they are with you every step of the way. They are so proficient at what they do that your experience is second to none. We highly recommend AAOL and becoming a part of their family.
Tracy and Jim in NJ
The Adoption Waiting Time
Adoptive parent(s) have many questions when they are considering adoption. One question that is almost always asked is: “How long will I have to wait?” or “What is the estimated placement time?”
This answer is really determined by the adoptive parent(s). As they complete their paperwork and questionnaire about what they are “open” to, adoptive parent(s) should have a good idea themselves about what their wait time will be. For instance, what ethnic backgrounds do you feel are right for your family? If they check “ALL,” they will definitely have more situations shown to them because they will consider any ethnic. The parent that selects just one or two ethnic backgrounds has narrowed down their pool of birthparents that can view their profile. Adoptive parent(s) who are open to either sex will have the opportunity to view many more than parents choose one or the other gender.
Another area which adoptive parent(s) should research is the use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. When presented, most agencies ask adoptive parent(s) specifics in each category. For instance, a family could check “yes” to a box asking if they would accept a situation where there has been marijuana use, but “no” to a box for heroine. They could also specify yes to a certain type of alcohol consumption and no to other types. It is very common for birthparents to be users of tobacco. Checking no to smoking would also reduce the number of profiles shown to that adoptive parent(s).
Many adoptive parent(s) want the opportunity to view as many situations as possible and decide if they want their profile to be shown to the birthparent. Those adoptive parent(s) who are “open” to and willing to look at various ethnic backgrounds, either sex, some substance use, and other health and mental health issues, will have more situations presented to them than those who have more narrow parameters. In many cases, some mental health problems are not genetic but situational, and could have stemmed from physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect.
Sometimes adoptive parent(s) feel discouraged by seeing fewer situations than they expected. In many cases, this discouragement has led them to review what they have selected as their parameters. When couples “open up” a little more, that can make all the difference. Nowadays, there are very few people that are “Full” Caucasian, with no other ethnic on either parent’s side. There are many situations that can have 3 or more ethnicities identified, and some are only 1/8 or 1/4 of a certain ethnic. But, by saying that they will not accept that ethnic, adoptive parent(s) have taken themselves out of viewing that situation.
Only the adoptive parent(s) themselves know what is right for their family. They are the only ones that can determine what they are comfortable with. A good piece of advice is to become educated on substance abuse during pregnancy, learn the effects of smoking, and talk with pediatricians about how certain drugs can affect a fetus. Also take a good self-inventory about ethnic background. If the thought of adopting a child of a completely different race then yourself makes you uncomfortable, then seriously consider your choice. If you are open to loving a child of either sex then mark both sexes. The most important piece of advice is to be willing to keep an open mind. You never know when you are going to find that right situation where everything in your being says, “This is right!” Give yourself as many opportunities to experience that as possible. Keep your heart and mind in a compassionate and understanding place. Many birthparents are looking for understanding and compassionate families. An empathetic heart can help you through this process.
How to Choose the Best Adoptive Family for Your Child
Choosing the best adoptive family for your child can be challenging, and is oftentimes stressful. After all, you want to be certain that your baby is going to grow up in the best household possible. When deciding on an adoptive family, you’ll want to take things like race, religious background, financial status, and parenting style into consideration.
Qualities to Consider in Prospective Adoptive Parents
Here are a few qualities to consider when choosing an adoptive family for your baby:
• Race/Ethnicity: Some birth mothers prefer to have their baby live with an adoptive family who are of the same race and/or ethnicity. This is so that the child can grow up with a stronger sense of who they are, as well as decrease the chances that he or she will be bullied for having different skin color than their parents. But this is not so important. I chose a family of a different race because I feel very comfortable about multicultural families. My adoptive family is amazing in every way.
• Religious Background: Perhaps you want your baby to live with adoptive parents who share the same religious background as you do. For example, if you’re a Christian, then you may choose a family of a similar religious background.
• Financial Status: Since most birth mothers place their children because they simply aren’t capable of supporting them financially, they often choose adoptive parents who have a secure financial situation.
The most important quality to consider in adoptive parents is their parenting styles. When making your decision, try to choose an adoptive family who is going to provide your baby with a healthy development. Don’t ever rush your decision, because you could end up regretting it later. Don’t settle for an adoptive family who doesn’t meet your expectations, and don’t stop searching until you find the best family for your baby.