If you are facing an unintended pregnancy, and you have questions about whether you are ready to parent your child, creating an adoption plan is another option for you to consider.
Did You Know?
Not every mother can be a mom, and not every mom gets to be a mother. It doesn't seem fair, but life can be like that. And we all just do what we can with the hand we've been dealt. But maybe every once in awhile a mom and a mother will find each other and join hands and be for the other what they can't be for themselves 'cause even if she's not ready to be a mom, a mother can be strong, and brave. She can turn 9 months into a lifetime. And turn a couple into a family. Maybe it's easier said than done. But then, being a superhero always is."
Types of Adoption: Open, Semi-Open and Closed
Today, expectant parents can choose the family to raise their child. Expectant parents also get to decide how open or closed they want the relationship to be with the adoptive family. Adoption agencies help place them with a family that is willing to agree to the expectant parents' terms and act as a liaison between the adoptive family and expectant family.
Open and semi-open adoptions are becoming more and more common. In fact, 90% of United States infant adoptions are open or semi-open. A Closed adoption means there's no contact or identifying information shared between birth parents and adoptive parents.
The difference in terms varies between open and semi-open, but usually there's more direct contact and communication with open adoptions.
With semi-open adoptions, there's a liaison from the adoption agency that helps facilitate communications and openness agreements.
Our Catholic Charities agencies place children through open adoption, though, the amount of contact between the birth parents and adoptive families may differ from one adoption to the next.
When people ask me about adoption, one of the things that I really say a lot is that adoption is a great opportunity for the birth mom and the baby. It's a great alternative to anything else that could happen. It gives a great chance for the birth mom and the baby to have an amazing life even if they're not together at the time being."
Where To Go From Here
- Gather Information - The more you understand your options and talk to those you trust, the more confident you will feel about making the best choice for you. Consider these questions:
- Contact Catholic Charities - Your phone call does not mean you've decided on adoption. But it helps to talk to someone who cares and can also provide you with factual information to better understand the different aspects---legal, social and emotional---of the process. Click here to contact a Catholic Charities agency near you.
- Choose an Adoption Agency - If you choose an adoption agency, look for a licensed agency that cares about you and your adoption plan. Find an agency that will help you craft a personalized plan and provide lifelong services to you, your child, and the adoptive parents. For your emotional support, the agency should provide services and resources with a warm and personal approach.
- Develop a Personalized Adoption Plan - This happens with the help of a caseworker from an adoption agency. He/she will help you navigate some of the following decisions: living arrangements, choosing a family, the birth father's role, legal terminology and paperwork, delivery planning and hospital stay, openness with the adoptive family, and post-placement support.
- Sign Legal Papers to Relinquish Parental Rights - This can arguably be the hardest part of the process because it's when you make your official decision to terminate your rights as the parent(s). Until the final papers are signed, you have parental rights to make decisions regarding your child. Ask your agency about the time frame between birth and signing the papers because it varies by agency.
- Support and next steps - We strive to provide you the best support possible by offering these additional services to you throughout your adoption journey: counseling and support resources, open contact with the adoptive family, and assistance and encouragement to develop goals, plans and next steps for you.