Placing My Baby for Adoption: What Are My Options for Choosing an Adoptive Family?

By Shaina Santagata

As a woman, many moments in your life require you to take pause; one of the most significant is becoming a birth mother. If you find yourself currently in a position where you are thinking or seeking information about giving your baby up for adoption, look no further. Undoubtedly, you have endless thoughts and feelings about the matter. We want you to know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to adoption. There is quite a bit to consider before making a choice that is best for you and your baby. No matter what stage of pregnancy you may be in, the last thing you need is to be overwhelmed with hunting down information all over the internet. All while hoping you didn’t forget anything on your mental checklist. Here at Adoption Choices of Colorado, we will guide you and be with you every step of the way.

At the start of the adoption process, your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being are of the utmost importance. Do you remember the last time you took a few calming, deep breaths and thought, “What do I want for myself?” “What do I want for my baby?” You might be overwhelmed and scared with never-ending thoughts about the right thing to do. While others support the idea of adoption and think it’s beautiful. The turmoil you’re going through is normal, and we want you to know that many women have been in your shoes.

At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we want you to feel comfortable and supported from day one. Through experience, we have seen that the best decisions are made when our heads and hearts align. If any of this resonates with you and you might be ready to explore your options, we can sort through a few helpful and self-reflective questions together.

 Adoptions Questions You May Want to Know the Answers to:

As we all know, families are unique. There are no two families that are the same. We want you to remember that it is ok to be unsure of the answer to every question. At this moment, we want to give you food for thought and a starting place for your child to be adopted. Give yourself time to take breaks and think about what matters most to you. We’ll break this down into manageable parts for you; don’t worry! When you’re ready, we can begin to consider your answers to the following questions:

1) What Type of Lifestyle Do I Want My Child to have After Adoption?  

  • What type of family would I like my baby to be adopted by? Do I want them to be married or single? Do I want them to have other children, or will they be an only child?
  • Where would I like my child to grow up? Would I prefer if they did so in an urban or rural area? Will my child grow up with any pets?
  • Does the family have any hobbies or interests? Do they like to travel? If so, do they go on family vacations together?

2) What Values Should I Consider for My Child After Adoption? 

  • What are my religious beliefs? Do I want my child to learn the same religion I follow? Or would I be accepting of them believing and being taught differently? Would I like for the family to be religious?
  • What type of parenting philosophies do I want for my child? Do I have educational aspirations for them: private or public school, college, etc.?
  • Do I want my child to grow up with a particular cultural heritage (social values and traditions, practices and customs, etc.)?

 3) What Specific Considerations Do I Have for My Child with Adoption?

  • Is there a particular race or ethnic family I would like my child to be adopted by?
  • Would I like my child to be part of an LGBTQ+ family, where they might have two moms, two dads, transgender, etc.?
  • Do I want to consider the medical history of the family that will adopt my baby?

 Hopefully, that weight on your shoulders has become lighter. There are a few more steps that you might want to take into consideration when you’re working with a Colorado adoption agency. By now, our mission should be clear: for every planned or unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. We understand this is a big decision, and being nervous about the adoption process is normal. One of the common questions we have yet to address is related to communication and openness.

 Will I Still Be Able to See My Child After They’re Adopted?

 It is entirely your choice if you want to be part of your child’s life. Adoption agencies will be on board with whatever you decide. You will have the ability to view the profiles of the prospective families, and based on your preferences, you can choose the level of openness with them and your child after adoption. Together, you can decide on how much contact you have with your child. The three options for your child are open, closed, and semi-open adoption.

Open Adoption

This allows the child the opportunity to know their birth mother and have information about their cultural and ethnic background. We have found that this can reduce the amount of fear that the adoptive parents have about the child possibly being reclaimed by the birth parent(s) in the future. A plan can be made to have the adoptive family send pictures of your child and receive letters from you at specific points in their life (i.e., special milestones like birthdays, graduations, marriage, etc.) All the details can be sorted out between yourself and the adoptive family, making it a respectful and consensual process for everyone involved. 

Closed Adoption

You could decide to have no communication at all with your child once they are adopted. Many birth mothers choose this option, especially when they feel it is best for themselves and their baby. There are times when a birth mother feels that her life is too uncertain and that she cannot provide the stability she wishes for her child. We understand that this is not an easy decision to make. If you want your child only to know the adoptive family it becomes part of, that is more than okay. The adoptive family you choose for your baby, with the adoption agency, will provide your child with a safe and loving home. It will give you the ability to start anew.

Semi-Open Adoption

This option is a mix between both open and closed adoption. The adoption agency will mainly handle the interaction, as they will assume the role of the mediator. There would be limited identifying information (i.e., birth parents’ names and addresses) given to the family who adopts your child. If you should choose to leave room for any contact in the future, it may be limited to receiving only pictures of your child.

 Support for Birth Mother’s During and After Adoption:

 We know this journey can be a difficult one. We understand that there are many reasons why women choose to give their baby up for adoption. Some are not ready to be a parent, do not have the financial stability to provide the life they want for their child, or you may already have children and don’t want another child. No matter what the reason might be, it is okay. Remember, you will never be judged for the decision you make for yourself and your baby. Most importantly, we want you to know that adoption does not mean you are giving up on your child. You are allowing them to have a family ready to love them with open arms.

 At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we also have a monthly support group and offer lifelong adoption-related counseling. The support group has birth mothers like you sharing their stories, experiences, and struggles. You can share as little or as much as you feel comfortable with. It can be hard to go through the adoption process, feeling like you have no one in your corner. But with this group, you do.

For those more complicated conversations, we understand that you may need more time to open up to a group setting. That is why we also provide the option for any birth mother to have private counseling sessions, allowing you a safe and private space to open up. A trained professional will understand that the most challenging time will be when your baby is officially adopted. Birth mothers need extra care, love, and understanding in those moments. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive parents. Our staff is committed to providing an empathetic, empowering, and progressive experience to all involved in the adoption process.

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