All about Adoptees: The Children of the Adoption Process
By Moki Murillo
What does adoption mean for my child? Many birth mothers have that thought after realizing that they are having an unplanned pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, most birth mothers do care about their children. Although they have good reasons to give their child up for adoption, it is hard not to worry. After all, another family would be taking custody of their child.
Even if the birth mother is updated regularly, they won’t always know what their child is feeling. Is the child happy? Are they sad? How do they feel about their birth mother?
At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we understand how pressing these concerns are for most birth mothers. We also understand that knowing more about the adoption process itself can put more of these worries at ease. Thankfully, our adoption agency has much experience in this field and is more than willing to share.
How to Start the Adoption Process in Missouri
To begin the adoption process, your first step is to contact one of our adoption agencies in Missouri. For Adoption Choices of Missouri, this means calling or texting us via the number found on our website. This will allow you to schedule a meeting with one of our birth parent specialists. After bringing proof of pregnancy, your specialist will then provide you with the paperwork to form your adoption plan.
Your adoption plan can allow you to begin screening possible adoptive families for your baby. As the birth mother, you get the final word on who gets to take your baby home. If you are eligible, your adoption plan can cover any reasonable living and medical expenses. This can include prenatal care with regular visits to a doctor. If needed, we can even provide you with free temporary housing.
Once the adoption plan is formed, you can then wait for your due date to arrive. In the meantime, you can continue communicating with both your birth parent specialist and the adoptive family.
When your due date arrives, your specialist should be present at the hospital to advocate for you as needed. Once the baby is born, the adoptive family of your choice will take the baby home. Your specialist will then schedule a court date for you to officially consent to the adoption.
If you are pursuing an open adoption, you can begin communication with your child’s adoptive family. At the bare minimum, you should receive letters and pictures from your adoption specialist. We will also continue to pay for your expenses for six weeks after delivery. This is how the adoption process should proceed, but what does that mean for your child?
The Adoptees of the Adoption Process
In open adoptions, birth mothers are able to keep up to date on their child. Arrangements can be made to allow the birth mother to be involved in their child’s life. They could even meet their child if the adoptive parents consent. Most birth mothers choose open adoptions for this reason, but they often raise a number of concerns. The following are their most asked questions.
How Will My Child Feel About Their Adoption?
These days, most adoptive parents inform their children of their adoption status as soon as they can understand it. The “big adoption reveal” is not as dramatic in modern times as popular media would suggest. That being said, some adoptive parents are known to delay that reveal for as long as they can. Regardless of when they learn the truth, this information does have the potential to shake adoptees. Being put up for adoption does raise questions for them.
- “What does being adopted mean for me?”
- “Does that mean that I was unwanted?”
- “What should I do with this information?”
In our experience, adoptees are more likely to adjust if they can talk to their birth parents. After the initial shock, most adoptees become curious. At worst, they feel lost, but they are rarely angry. Oftentimes, they just want answers about their past and their identity. This is especially true if the adoptive family is from another culture, race, or ethnic group. Your child might be navigating between different identities and may struggle to find a place for themselves. Having an open and supportive birth parent can help your child make peace with themselves sooner. You can even advise their adoptive parents if your child wants to explore your culture.
Regardless of their circumstances, adoptees have the right to their original birth certificate, citizenship, personal information, and history. Many adoptees may want this information, but it can be lost. In that case, it would mean a lot to your child if you could help provide this information.
While delivering this information to your child in person is ideal, you can choose to keep your distance. The adoptive parents can help you as intermediaries, or you can communicate with your child remotely.
What Should I Tell My Child if They Ask About Their Adoption?
If your child asks why you couldn’t keep them, then your best course of action is to be honest. Tell your child about the circumstances of their birth and why adoption was necessary. You should tell them that you love them. The choice was difficult, but you believe that the family they have now can give them a better future. And if you can, tell them you are there if they need you.
What Does Adoption Mean for You and Your Child?
Giving your child up for adoption is never an easy choice. Trying to have a relationship with your child can be even harder. If you want to pursue a less open or even closed adoption, we will not condemn you. While we offer our advice, each adoption is a unique case with no real guarantees on the adoptee’s feelings. You know yourself and your own circumstances better than anyone. If you believe that not being involved is for the best, then you know what you have to do.
However, if you don’t feel that way, then at least keep our advice in mind. Your child may likely have questions about themselves that only you can answer. While your child will always love their adoptive family, that doesn’t mean that it has to be exclusive. You might be able to earn that love if you put in the effort.
If you need help putting your baby up for adoption, then call or text Adoption Choices of Missouri today.