Birth Mother Blog

Understanding Adoption Expectations: Navigating the Realities of Adoption

Understanding Adoption Expectations: Navigating the Realities of Adoption

By: Maleah Adams

Considering adoption can be an emotional and complex decision made by birth mothers. The weight of such a choice is heavy and the impact of making that choice can present itself differently. It all depends on the mindset and the situation of the birth parents. If you have decided that adoption is the best option for your baby, it’s important to control your expectations. The first step in doing so is to ensure that you remain informed throughout the entire adoption process. This will allow you to better understand the details of your personal journey. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will work to help you navigate these expectations so you are fully prepared for the realities of adoption. 

What are Unrealistic Adoption Expectations? 

Many expectations can arise after you ask: how do I put my baby up for adoption? It’s important to recognize that some of those expectations are unrealistic. Unrealistic expectations can stem from a variety of sources or can simply just be wishful thinking. One common unrealistic expectation is the belief in having complete control over choosing the adoptive family or expecting frequent, unrestricted contact with the child after placement. While these desires are understandable, they may not always align with the realities of the adoption process, which is governed by laws, ethical considerations, and the best interests of the child.

When choosing adoption, you may have already decided how you want the entire process to play out. However, it’s important to understand that those expectations may not be in the best interest of all parties involved. It can also prove to be difficult to manage all of these expectations during the heightened experience of a pregnancy. Once you have chosen the level of openness you desire (open, semi-open, closed) you will then assist your adoption counselor in narrowing down the adoptive families.

If you choose open adoption, you are saying that you wish to have some type of contact with your child after they are born. A family that also chooses open adoption as their preferred level of openness will adopt your baby. It’s important to understand that you will not be hand-picking the family the child goes to. Adoption Choices of Missouri will ensure that your baby will be placed with the adoptive family that is in their best interest. 

What are Realistic Adoption Expectations? 

It is of utmost importance for birth mothers to have access to honest and accurate information about adoption. This transparency helps in setting realistic expectations right from the start, ensuring that birth mothers are prepared for the journey ahead. Knowing the legal and procedural aspects of adoption can help in managing expectations and making informed decisions. Having this information and creating realistic expectations can assist you in crafting the adoption plan that works best for you and your child. 

Realistic expectations for birth mothers can include:
  • Receiving support throughout the adoption process
  • Having the opportunity to choose an adoptive family with shared values who will provide a loving and secure home 
  • Potentially maintaining some level of contact with the child

The degree of contact, whether it’s through letters, emails, or visits, often depends on the type of adoption agreement and the laws of the state. Open communication and clear agreements with the adoptive family are crucial in setting these expectations. It’s important for both parties to discuss their preferences openly to establish a foundation of mutual respect. This clarity can help prevent misunderstandings and set the stage for a healthy relationship moving forward.

Adoption Support in Missouri 

Throughout this journey, emotional support and pregnancy help for birth mothers are non-negotiable. The decision to place a child for adoption can bring a range of emotions regarding your child’s future. Knowing you have options for unplanned pregnancy is the first step in creating a better life for your baby. Access to adoption services such as support groups, therapists specializing in adoption, and knowledgeable local adoption agencies can provide invaluable assistance. These resources can offer guidance, understanding, and a sense of community, helping birth mothers to feel supported and understood.

While giving a child up for adoption is filled with emotional complexities, setting realistic expectations can significantly ease the journey for birth mothers. By seeking out accurate information on adoption in Missouri, establishing open communication with the adoptive family, and accessing emotional support, birth mothers can navigate the adoption process with greater confidence and peace of mind. 

Please do not hesitate to contact Adoption Choices of Missouri with any questions or concerns you may have regarding unplanned pregnancy or the adoption process. 

Birth Mother Blog

Nurturing Post-Placement Relationships in Open Adoptions 

Nurturing Post-Placement Relationships in Open Adoptions 

By: Maleah Adams 

When considering adoption, the level of openness (open, semi-open, closed) available throughout the process is entirely up to the discretion of you, the birth mother. And although most adoptions today are considered “open,” the term “open” can mean different things to different people. At Adoption Choices of Missouri we provide you with options for unplanned pregnancy, the assistance you need to navigate all open adoption entails, and the post-placement contact that will work best for both families. Which is care and consideration you may not get at your local adoption agency

What is Open Adoption?  

You may be asking yourself: If I put my baby up for adoption, will I be able to stay in touch with them after placement? Open adoptions, where birth and adoptive families have the opportunity to be in communication, allow you to do just that and are becoming increasingly common. Giving a child up for adoption can be difficult enough, and choosing open adoption can provide you with a sense of clarity regarding that choice. In open adoption, the level and type of communication can vary widely from one situation to another. Some families choose to have regular, in-person visits, while others might opt for occasional updates through letters or phone calls. These specific arrangements are usually agreed upon before the adoption plan is finalized and can be adjusted over time to meet the needs of the child.

The best definition of open adoption is the one that works best for you and your situation. And while there is no single definition for open adoption, most of them fit into two widely known categories:

  • Semi-Open Adoption: Occurs when both parties, adoptive family and birth parents, provide each other with non-identifying information (such as first names) and exchange contact indirectly through an adoption counselor. 
  • Fully-Open Adoption: An adoption in which the birth parents and adoptive family may exchange identifying information (such as personal contact information) and communicate directly.

Understanding Post-Placement Contact 

Choosing to implement open adoption throughout the adoption process can benefit all parties involved, especially the child, by providing a sense of identity and belonging. However, coordinating post-placement communication and visits requires careful consideration, sensitivity, and respect for the boundaries of all parties. Successful post-placement visits require careful planning, considering factors like frequency, duration, location, activities, and preparing the child. Below, we will explore effective strategies for nurturing these precious relationships.

  • Establish Method of Communication: From the beginning of your unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to establish clear and consistent communication channels. Both families should agree on the preferred methods of communication, whether through emails, phone calls, or letters, and set a tentative schedule for updates and visits. This idea provides stability and predictability, which are crucial for building respect and trust among all involved. 
  • Create a Flexible Agreement: While it’s important to have an agreement in place, flexibility is key. Life circumstances can change, and what works for one stage of a child’s life might not be suitable for another. Regularly revisiting and, if necessary, revising the agreement can ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the child and both families. 
  • Respect Boundaries: Open adoptions are based on mutual respect. It’s essential to establish and adhere to boundaries that protect the privacy and emotional well-being of the adoptive family, the birth family, and most importantly, the child. Discussions about what is shared on social media, the types of information exchanged during updates, and the nature of in-person visits should be had early on to avoid misunderstandings. 
  • Encourage a Child-Centric Approach: In all communications and interactions the child’s best interest should be the guiding principle. This includes being age-appropriately honest with the child about their adoption story and recognizing their feelings about their relationship with you and the birth father. Encouraging and supporting a healthy curiosity about their origins can promote a stronger sense of identity. 
  • Celebrate the Extended Family: Open adoptions create extended families that are not bound by traditional definitions. Celebrating this uniqueness can enrich a child’s life immensely. Acknowledging and asking to be included in significant milestones and holidays, when appropriate and agreed upon, can reinforce the child’s understanding of their personal story and the love that surrounds them.  

Navigating Open Adoption Challenges

Even with the best intentions, challenges can arise in navigating post-placement relationships. These challenges can include unrealistic expectations, miscommunication, and life changes. Open communication, empathy, and professional guidance can help navigate these challenges. Seeking the support of adoption professionals at Adoption Choices of Missouri can provide families with the tools and strategies to address these issues constructively. We can offer a neutral perspective on adoption in Missouri and mediate discussion to ensure that the focus remains on the child’s well-being. 

Assistance is Available at Adoption Choices of Missouri 

Open adoption represents a shift towards more inclusive, transparent, and child-centered adoption practices. It recognizes the importance of a child’s right to know their origins and maintains connections that can positively impact their sense of identity and well-being. However, it requires a commitment to open communication, flexibility, and respect for all parties involved. 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we provide you with the pregnancy help and adoption services  you need post-placement to assist you in navigating the choice of open adoption. If you have any questions or adoption concerns, please feel free to reach out today. 

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Exploring Different Adoption Types

Exploring Different Adoption Types

By Maleah Adams 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we seek to empower birth mothers and provide them with the adoption knowledge they need to make a well-informed decision. If you have researched local adoption agencies previously, you may be aware of the terms open, semi-open, and closed adoption. These levels of openness refer to the amount of contact that is to be had between the birth parents, the adoptive family, and the child. And although these terms are more commonly used to describe adoption types, they nowhere near scratch the surface of what is available. 

Exploring the adoptive family types that exist (single parents, LGBTQ+ families, etc.) can provide you with peace of mind. It allows you to choose a family that most aligns with the future you have envisioned for your child. 

Domestic vs. International Adoption 

As you navigate unplanned pregnancy and consider adoption options, it’s important to be aware of the different types that are available. Being informed throughout the entire process allows you to find confidence in your decision. Understanding adoption, and all it entails, assists you in knowing that you made the best choice possible for you and your child. 

Please be aware that the information provided is for general knowledge only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with an adoption attorney for specific legal guidance regarding your particular situation.

Domestic Adoption 

Domestic adoption refers to giving a child up for adoption within the same country where the birth mother resides. The process is governed by the laws of that country, and the child will be placed with an adoptive family that also lives within the same country. Listed below are some key points that birth mothers should know regarding domestic adoption. 

  • Control and Choices: You may have more say in which adoptive family adopts your child and the level of openness (open, semi-open, closed) you prefer. You also have access to more adoption services that may not be available in international adoption.  
  • Legal Process: The legal process for domestic adoption is subject to the country’s laws, potentially making it easier since it doesn’t involve international jurisdiction. 
  • Cultural Unity: Your child is more likely to grow up in a similar cultural and linguistic environment. 

International Adoption 

International adoption involves putting a baby up for adoption in one country, only for them to be placed with adoptive parents in a different country. This process is governed by the laws of both the child’s home country and the adoptive parent’s country. Which is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions (U.S. Department of State). Listed below are some key points that birth mothers should know regarding international adoption. 

  • Anonymity: There’s typically more anonymity in international adoption, which may be preferred by some birth mothers. 
  • Less Control: You might have less control over the choice of adoptive family and level of openness. 
  • Cultural Differences: The child may grow up in a different cultural environment, which could be a consideration depending on your wishes for your child’s upbringing. 

Adoptive Family Types Available in Missouri 

The adoptive family selection process is sacred and personalized to meet the needs of you, the birth mother, through domestic adoption. As you sort through potential adoptive parents, you will become aware of exactly what you are, and are not, looking for. When exploring these adoptive family types, it’s important to recognize the diversity and range of family structures accessible to your child. Below are the different adoptive family types available through adoption in Missouri

Older Parent Adoption

Families where one or both of the adoptive parents are older often have more life experience and are more financially stable. They provide a more mature perspective on parenting. 

Choosing a Younger Adoptive Parent

Choosing a family where the adoptive parents are younger than the typical parenting age may provide the child with a more modernized approach to parenting. But they also might face questions about financial stability and life experience. 

LGBTQ+ Adoptive Family

Choosing a family where one or both parents identify as LGBTQ+ can offer a broad-minded approach to family life. It can emphasize inclusivity and showcase resilience against societal “norms.” They may, however, face prejudices and legal issues in certain jurisdictions.

Single-Parent Adoption

This type refers to an individual who has chosen to adopt a child without a partner. They can provide your child with a loving home and undivided attention while also demonstrating strong independence. A single parent, however, may face societal scrutiny and challenges that arise from parenting on your own. 

Transracial Adoptive Family

Families where the adoptive parents and child are of different racial or ethnic backgrounds. Choosing this type of adoption offers a rich, multicultural environment for your child and promotes diversity. Adoptive parents will, however, have to address issues of identity and racism. This will allow the child to feel connected to their heritage.  

Choosing an Adoptive Family with Adoption Choices of Missouri

Adoption types offer unique benefits and drawbacks. But a loving, stable home matters most. After you choose which adoptive family best aligns with your wants for your baby, Adoption Choices of Missouri will work to ensure the rest of the process runs smoothly. Our team will assist you through the adoption process and provide you with any pregnancy help you may need. After you commit to the adoption, a personalized adoption plan will be created to align with your needs. 

Choosing a path for your child is deeply personal, fueled by love and happiness. It’s a testament to your strength, giving them the best shot at life and security.

If you are considering adoption for your baby, reach out to Adoption Choices of Missouri with any questions or concerns you may have. We will help you explore the unplanned pregnancy options that are available and go over any adoption information that may seem confusing. Contact us today. 

Resources: 

  • “ Understanding the Hague Convention.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Adoption-Process/understanding-the-hague-convention.html. Accessed 19 Mar. 2024.
Birth Mother Blog Putting baby up for adoption

Choosing Adoption and Considering Potential Regret

Choosing Adoption and Considering Potential Regret

By Maleah Adams 

Embarking on the journey of adoption is a profound decision filled with both hope and apprehension. While the prospect of choosing adoption is courageous, it’s natural to ask yourself: If I put my baby up for adoption, will I regret it later? Acknowledging this possibility of regret is not a sign of weakness but rather a testament to the weight of the decision. 

However, amidst this uncertainty, it’s crucial to recognize the inherent bravery that you possess in considering adoption for your child. It’s a testament to the strength of character, compassion, and selflessness that supports your decision. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we provide you with the counseling you need in order to come to terms with the reality of this tough decision. We also make sure to discuss with you all of the available options for unplanned pregnancy

Addressing Your Adoption Concerns 

Exploring any potential regrets allows for thorough introspection and informed decision-making. By confronting these doubts head-on, expectant mothers can gain clarity and find peace in the knowledge that their decision was made with careful consideration. Listed below are some of the concerns that you may face throughout the adoption process.

  • Loneliness and Judgement: Though the thought is completely untrue, there are many people who still believe that giving a child up for adoption is something to be ashamed of. If you fear that sort of neglect or judgment, we offer many supportive services that can assist you in overcoming your anxieties and listen to you when there may be no one else who will.   
  • Financial Burden: The financial strain of pregnancy can be a huge concern for many pregnant mothers, but especially for those mothers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we provide need-based assistance for qualified individuals. 
  • Regretting Decision: Despite how it may feel, having regret is completely normal and is not a singular emotion that only you experience. That’s why coming to terms with your loss and acknowledging the assuredness in your choice can assist you in overcoming that uncertainty. 
  • Lack of Control in Adoption Process: There are many “what-if” questions that you may have regarding the entirety of the adoption process. You may feel like because you have lost control over your body that you have also lost control over your choices. But here at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we make sure that is not the case. If you decide adoption is the best option for you and your baby, we will get started working alongside you to create your personalized adoption plan

Embracing the Choice of Adoption

Despite what society has told you, choosing adoption for your baby is not something that should be shameful. Not only are you providing them with a better life, but you are giving that life to a family that you know will love them.

Working alongside our agency will allow you access to our many adoption services that are available. You also will have direct control over choosing the adoptive family for your child. This will ensure that they will be placed in a home that you approve of. You will also get to choose the level of openness (open,semi-open, closed) that exists during your pregnancy and after the child is born.

  • Closed Adoption: In a closed adoption, the adoptive family and the birth parents share little to no contact with one another. This can often mean that identifying information about both parties is limited or completely unavailable. 
  • Open Adoption: This type of adoption allows for the birth parents and adoptive families to keep in contact throughout the birth mother’s pregnancy and/or throughout the child’s life. The term “contact” can mean different things to different families and is fully up to the discretion of the birth parents. 
  • Semi-Open Adoption: Many adoption agencies will provide a counselor as a method of communication between the birth parents and the adoptive family in semi-open adoptions. They will act as the point of contact and pass on items like photos, letters, drawings, etc.

Knowing that your baby is being raised in a loving home can bring you a sense of closure and peace of mind. You can give your baby the opportunity to grow up in a stable and loving family environment that you might not be able to provide for them presently. 

Choosing Adoption Choices of Missouri 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we believe in empowering birth mothers through streamlined support and comprehensive guidance that you may not find at your local adoption agency. Adoption isn’t an easy choice to make and we recognize the strength that it takes to go through with it. We work alongside the birth parents to provide a safe and nurturing environment where they can make informed decisions regarding their child’s future. 

Through our personalized assistance, we strive to alleviate any uncertainties and help you see past any regrets you may have. We commit ourselves to respecting the unique desires of birth mothers, ensuring that you feel empowered every step of the way. We provide tailored resources for birth mothers like adoption counseling and pregnancy support. 

With Adoption Choices of Missouri, you can find solace in knowing that you are not alone in your decision. Our dedicated team will work alongside you on your journey to create a brighter future for yourself and your child. If you need pregnancy help and are considering adoption in Missouri, feel free to reach out to our agency today.