Wouldn’t adoption be harder on me than abortion?
A lot of people have this misconception and feel that abortion might be easier to "just forget about it and move on." However, a child is a child. Whether that life is terminated in the womb or placed for adoption after the birth, the pain is still very real. We have talked to many women who thought they could forget their abortion, but afterwards they still carry the hurt, nightmares and memories of a decision they painfully regret.
In adoption, the pain and loss is also there, but instead of ending in death, it ends in life. Here is some additional information to help you weigh the two options:
If I choose Adoption:
- I will be part of the creation of a new life.
- I can plan a future for my baby.
- With an open adoption, I can be a part of my baby’s life, and watch him/her grow up.
- I will suffer loss, maybe some ridicule from my friends, but my child will be glad I chose life.
- I will know in my heart that I have made a responsible decision.
- I alone will suffer for any mistakes I have made; my child will have two parents and a chance at a full life.
If I choose Abortion
If this is a dilemma you are thinking about, please call us. We can sit down with you and offer you some guidance as you are weighing such a difficult decision. Also, we know of some excellent resources that can assist you.
People keep approaching me about placing my baby with one of their friends who can’t have children and going through an attorney. What is the difference between private and agency adoption?
This is a very common scenario, and can seem confusing because of different laws, people’s opinions, etc. To make it easier to understand, we have composed a chart that can simplify the pros and cons of using an attorney and using an agency to facilitate an adoption.
What is the difference between private and agency adoption?
- The clients feel that they are in control of the adoption.
- The adoptive couple and birth parents may already know each other and feel confident about the placement.
- Because the attorney charges only for legal fees, and the adopting couple pays medical fees directly, the total cost of the adoption is usually less than with an agency.
- Attorneys can do only the legal work involved in an adoption. There are many more aspects to adoption than just legalities.
- There is no counseling or adoption education for birth parents or adoptive parents.
- Allowing the adoptive parents to pay directly for medical expenses can leave birth parents feeling obligated to place their baby with the couple.
- Texas law prohibits adoptive parents or attorneys paying living expenses for the birthmother.
- There is no one to help mediate in the open adoption relationship should it become necessary.
- If the child that is placed needs future services, there is no guarantee the attorney will be around.
Agency Facilitated Adoption
Most agencies are “full service” in that they will help with all aspects of the adoption planning. They can be public or private, for-profit or non-profit. Additionally, they may be affiliated with a religious organization.
Agency Adoption Advantages:
- The adoptive couple could be someone you already know. Ongoing counseling for prospective birth parents and adoptive parents, both before and after the placement is available.
- Education is available for birth parents, adoptive parents and all extended family regarding adoption issues.
- Monthly support groups meet for the benefit of birth and adoptive parents.
- Thorough screening of adoptive parents (including two separate background checks, reference checks from pastor and friends, individual and joint interviews, applications, speaking with children in the home, safety checks in the home, physical and financial health, monthly support group, six months of orientation, etc.).
- An agency can provide financial assistance with medical care, transportation and other pregnancy-related expenses.
- A counselor will help negotiate and mediate in regards to the open-adoption relationship.
- Many agencies have been in existence a long time; they are most likely to be available to everyone, especially the adoptee, in the future.
- You can speak to other clients who used the agency to learn about their experience.
Agency Adoption Disadvantages:
- The disadvantages of working with an agency primarily occur due to specific procedures or policies within each individual agency.
- Working with an agency requires adoptive parents to undergo a thorough assessment process, which feels invasive to some people.
- Texas law requires licensed agencies to offer counseling to birth parents. Sometimes, this too, seems invasive.
If this doesn’t clear up your questions, please give us a call and we will try to help you with your specific situation.
Do I have to choose adoption if I work with your agency?
No. We are here to help people make the best plan for their children. Part of our counseling will be helping you examine what that is, even if that means that you parent!
Does your agency offer any kind of financial assistance?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, but it depends on what kind of assistance you mean. If someone offers to give you money or anything valuable for placing a baby for adoption, that is ILLEGAL. The State of Texas tightly regulates what can and cannot be paid for in adoptions.
The only thing agencies are allowed to provide are services that cannot be paid for by a client and are pregnancy related. (This includes rent or utilities if you cannot work because you are pregnant.) If you need financial assistance, you can submit your request and each case will be reviewed by our clinical director.
Isn’t open adoption confusing to the child? Does the baby have two moms?
No. when the birth parent signs the relinquishment, she is no longer parenting the child. She is offering love and support through a different role.
I just want to move on and forget this ever happened. Doesn’t open adoption make it harder to do that?
In an open adoption, your child will benefit from knowing you, and you will benefit from dealing with your grief instead of pretending like it doesn’t hurt, stuffing it away in denial, and having it resurface later. It doesn't matter whether you choose open or closed adoption, our experience shows that you will have grief to deal with.
Should I tell the father about the baby?
Unless you have reason to fear a violent reaction, he needs to know as well, and the sooner the better. He needs to have a part in deciding the baby’s future if he is willing to take that responsibility. If you decide to parent, he is obligated to help you support the child. If you decide on adoption, he needs to be contacted.
Isn’t it easier if I say I am not sure who the father is?
Designating the father of a child as "unknown" can put an adoption at risk. Without notifying an alleged father, it would take a minimum of 32 days to terminate his rights through the Texas Paternity Registry. Buckner would not expect you to make contact with the child's father. Buckner is prepared to notify him and will consult our attorney on the best means of doing this. Your counselor can explain the legal consequences of not contacting the father in more detail when you meet.
Do I have to tell my parents?
It is understandable why you might not want them to know: They might be angry, disappointed and hurt. But no matter how young you are, you have the legal right to decide whether to parent this child or to make an adoption plan. (Texas law requires parental notification for a minor who wants to have an abortion). Talk to a Buckner counselor about ways to approach your parents. We can help.
What if parenting doesn’t work out? Can I still choose adoption?
It takes a great deal of courage and strength to realize that you cannot provide for all your baby’s needs. A really good parent puts her child’s needs first. If you get to this place, please call Buckner. We can help you look at all your options. If adoption seems like the right plan, we can help you and the baby with the difficult transition. An open adoption is especially important in this situation – it makes the transition so much easier for everyone.