Deciding who will be your child’s parent is probably the most important aspect of an adoption plan. Many women feel that keeping the baby in the family would be best, and frequently family members will offer to adopt a child. Here are some things to consider when thinking about whether you’d like your baby adopted by a family member.
Remember that your family member will be the child’s legal parent
When you place a child for adoption, your parental rights are terminated. At the same time, the adoptive parents’ rights are established, and a new birth certificate is issued with their names as the parents along with the name they give the child. This means that the new parents will have all the same rights as a legal parent. They can live where they want. The adoptive parents will make all parenting decisions for the child (how they discipline, where the child will go to school, who the child has contact with and how much etc. – learn more about the family law and adoption at wolfeandstec.com). They also assume all financial responsibility. It might be difficult to watch someone else raise your child, especially if you live nearby and have frequent contact. It might also be difficult to hold your tongue when you disagree with the choices they make.
Decide how you will talk about the adoption with your other family members and the adoptee
You will need to think about how you want your family to talk about the adoption with the adoptee. Some women think it’s best to keep the adoption a secret from other family members and the child (the adoptee). This is almost certainly a mistake. Eventually your child will find out about the adoption and will wonder why this information was kept a secret. The adoptee might feel that there is something shameful or wrong about the fact of the adoption and that there is something wrong with him or her. Therefore, it’s really important that family members understand why you chose adoption and why you chose that particular family member to adopt. They should be prepared to share the adoption story with the adoptee as honestly and sensitively as possible.
Be prepared to explain to your child why you chose adoption
Most adoptees will want to know why their biological parents chose adoption for them, and it’s simply part of human nature to want information about who we are and where we come from. Be prepared for anything as it’s impossible to know how any particular adoptee will feel. For some, their adoption story is a source of comfort and a starting point in discovering their identity as an adoptee. For others, the adoption is just a fact of their existence and doesn’t have more meaning than biology. Your child may want to talk with you about this, and the important thing is to be prepared and to have given it some thought ahead of time to be prepared.
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, only you can decide which option is the best for your situation. Whichever option you choose, remember that you aren’t alone. I have been there (read my story) and I can help.
Images Courtesy of Help With Adoption: Client photos printed with permission.