Tag Archives: birth mother resources

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How to Take Care of Yourself During the Adoption Process

The adoption is a difficult emotional experience for everyone involved, especially for both birth mothers who are navigating the complexities of their choice to place their child for adoption, and for adoptive parents who are anxiously preparing for a new child. The adoption process can also be very demanding as all parties involved must follow rigorous guidelines. With all this additional stress, it can begin to take a toll on you. Below are some tips for keeping yourself healthy both physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout the adoption process. While everyone has a different experience, here are some self-care tips to consider as you navigate this emotional time.

  1. Use your Resources

When the stress of the process seems overwhelming, it can help ease any anxiety or discomfort by reaching out to your adoption counselor, social worker, lawyer, agency, or other staff that is helping you through this journey. They can provide you with information, walk you through your adoption plan, answer any questions, and ease your worries. Their job is to help you, so always remember that you can reach out at any point. Additionally, they can provide you with materials whether it be books, websites, online community forums, etc… to help you share your experience and talk to other people going through the same experiences.

  1. Talk to Someone

Taking care of yourself is important, and during this process, it is important to reach out to others to find additional support. If possible, maybe try to talk to a therapist or another licensed medical professional who can provide you with different tools and resources to help you throughout this time. However, this might not always be possible and that is okay. If you cannot talk to or do not feel comfortable talking to a therapist, you can talk to a family member, a friend, or another trusted person in your life. They can provide you with the support and help you may need.

  1. Schedule Time for Yourself

While this may seem obvious, giving yourself the time you need to focus on yourself is not always a top priority. People often get caught up in everyday life and the added stress of the adoption process only makes the rushing around more hectic. However, this is an incredibly emotional time for everyone involved. Because of this, self-care is even more important. Know yourself and your body and set some time aside each week to unwind. There are many ways for people to do this whether it be through exercise, meditation, a religious practice, or a favorite hobby. Whatever your preference might be, it is important to find time to relax. This will help you both physically and mentally as you go through this process.

  1. Focus on Small Goals

It is easy to get caught up in the stress of finding the perfect adoptive family for your child or preparing yourself and your home to welcome a new member into your family. Often, these big goals can seem overwhelming and can be a source of anxiety and fear. Rather than focus on the long-term goal, take a step back and focus on the present. Set daily goals for yourself. Even if it may feel unimportant, focus on the day in front of you. Do not be afraid to be kind to yourself. If you got up, showered, went to work, or just faced the day, that is a victory. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge the different obstacles you overcome daily.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Express Emotion

This process is hard! It is okay to have bad days. It is okay to cry, to break down, to feel stressed, to worry about the future, to have doubts. Everyone has days where it feels like it’s all too much. Acknowledging your feelings and expressing your emotions throughout the experience is an important part of the growth and acceptance of the process. These feelings of pain, grief, anxiety, and excitement are all part of the process. However, while it is important to acknowledge these things, do not let them consume you. Be confident in yourself, your decision, and the process. While it may be difficult at times, at the end of it all, adoption is an incredibly selfless decision on the birth mother’s part and an exciting moment for new parents who are hoping to create a family.

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Top 10 Questions by Women Considering Adoption

If you have found this article, you are probably an expectant mother considering adoption as an option for a unplanned, crisis, or unwanted pregnancy. Since we are often asked similar questions, 1) you can trust that you are not alone! And 2) we have compiled some of our most common adoption questions asked by expectant mothers considering adoption with Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri.

1. If I contact Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri, am I obligated to choose adoption?

When you contact Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri, an adoption specialist will help you objectively explore adoption to determine if it is the best choice for you and your baby, and they will help answer any of your other adoption questions. If you decide adoption is right for you, your adoption specialist will begin working with you on your adoption plan.

2. How much will adoption cost me?

All of Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri services are free to you, including medical expenses, legal services, counseling services, adoptive family matching services and more. Also, based on your state’s adoption laws, you may be eligible to receive living expenses to help cover your pregnancy-related expenses.

3. Do I choose the adoptive family?

You are in charge of nearly every part of your adoption plan, including choosing the adoptive family to raise your baby. Your adoption specialist will work with you to find exactly the type of family you see your child growing up in.

Whether you envision your child growing up in the city or in the country, in the Midwest or on the West Coast, you choose the adoptive family and thus the life your child will have. Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri families are all unique, and we believe there is a perfect family waiting for every woman who is considering adoption.

4. How does Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri screen adoptive families?

Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri pre-screens all of our adoptive families to ensure that they:

  • Have completed an extensive home study, ensuring the family has completed criminal, medical and financial checks, and that their home is a safe environment for a child.
  • Are fully committed to adoption.
  • Are accepting of certain contact with you before and after the adoption, including participating in a conference call, meeting at the hospital, and sending pictures and letters for up to 18 years after the adoption.

Finally, Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about any family that matches your preferences, so you can perform your own “screening process.”

5. Can I get to know the adoptive family?

We believe it is very important for you to get to know the family you have chosen before proceeding with the adoption. This ensures that it is a good match and that you both share the same goals.

Here are some ways in which you can get to know the adoptive parents:

  • Conference Calls – A phone conversation between you and the adoptive family with your adoption specialist being present on the call as well.
  • Email Exchange – A popular way to quickly ask questions or provide updates without having to call one another.
  • Visits – An in-person meeting between you and the adoptive parents.

Your adoption specialist will help guide you throughout this process of getting to know the adoptive parents and selecting the type of adoption you wish to plan.

6. Can I have a relationship with my baby?

Over the past few decades, adoption has become increasingly “open” in that birth parents have more opportunities than ever to continue a relationship with their child and the adoptive parents.

You have the opportunity to stay a part of your child’s life with:

  • Pictures and Letters – The adoptive family sends you pictures and letters in the mail or email of your child at least once per year.
  • Phone Calls/Skype – You may talk to your child and the adoptive parents over the phone or through Skype.
  • Visits – Many of our adoptive families are interested in open adoption, meaning they are excited for you to maintain a personal relationship with your child.

7. Will my child “hate” me for choosing adoption?

Today, most adopted children love and respect their birth parents for the selfless decision they made, which provided them with the best life possible. Think about it: a child who grows up with loving parents, a comfortable home, a good school and is provided an overall great life is going to be a pretty happy kid.

Why would a child have any ill feelings toward his or her birth parents for making such an awesome decision?

This concern is most likely a product of adoptions prior to the 1980s, which emotionally scarred some adopted children because they weren’t told of their adoption properly. Since adoption has opened up over the past 30 years, today’s adopted children, adolescents and adults often have overwhelmingly positive feelings about their adoption and birth parents.

8. Can I still choose adoption if I have other children?

You may be surprised to know that many of the women we work with already have children.

If this describes your situation, your adoption specialist will guide you on how to approach this delicate topic with your other children, and even on how to include them in the process. We can even provide counseling to your other children, when necessary.

9. Will adoptive parents love my child like a biological child?

Nearly all adoptive parents have tried for years to have children, but they are unable to because of infertility. Because of their struggles, it makes their desire to become parents even stronger.

This is why adopted children often have such happy lives filled with opportunities, because their parents know the feeling of not having children. Once they are blessed with a child, he or she is truly the light of their lives.

And even with families made up of both adopted and biological children, they are all loved and treated equally.

10. When will I feel better and more confident about my adoption decision?

Women often feel better about their adoption decision when they begin looking at adoptive families and finally find the perfect family for their child.

If you pursue an adoption plan, once you select a family and get to know them, the family becomes more “real” and not just a family seen through pictures and video. You are able to see how excited they are to become parents and why they would make such great parents.

Finally, by staying connected after the adoption, you will see that your child is happy and healthy, which makes most birth mothers feel awesome about the life they’ve created and the opportunity they’ve provided for a family.

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This is just a sample of the many questions asked by women considering adoption. If you have any other questions about adoption, call us toll free at Toll Free: 1-877-903-4488 to speak with an adoption specialist. Serving expectant women across Kansas and Missouri, you can also contact us online here.

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Do I get paid for adoption?

If you’re unexpectedly pregnant, having to worry about money can put you under additional stress.

Adoption Choices of Missouri and Kansas works to help expectant mothers receive as much financial assistance for placing your baby for adoption as possible while you’re going through the adoption process. We want you to have one less thing on your troubled mind.

 

 

 

If your circumstances allow, we can help you find financial assistance for everyday costs like:

  • Housing and Rent
  • Medical care
  • Transportation
  • And more

Additionally, all of our legal services are offered completely free of charge to you along with some adoption services like:

  • Helping you sign up for free medical care throughout your pregnancy and delivery
  • Access to free counseling and support services before, during and after the adoption; whenever you need them
  • Help finding the perfect adoptive parents for your baby
  • General case management and adoption planning services

While you’re sorting through the process of finding adoptive parents for your child, we can help handle whatever adoption- and pregnancy-associated costs that are allowed by law so that you can focus on doing what’s best for you and your baby.

How to Get Paid for Adoption Costs

Pregnancy and childbirth are expensive even if you’re medically insured, and maintaining a consistent work schedule can be difficult as your pregnancy progresses. When you choose to place your baby for adoption with Adoption Choices of Missouri and Kansas you may be eligible to receive some form of “payment” for birth mothers in the form of living expenses. These can help offset the costs of your pregnancy and adoption.

The amount of adoption financial assistance that you can receive will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The birth parent living expense laws and limits set by the state law that applies to your adoption plan
  • Your current income
  • Your current living situation
  • If you have any dependents that you’re financially responsible for

We’re here to help you navigate these laws so that you’re able to receive the maximum amount of adoption compensation for birth mother expenses that is available in your situation.

Birth Parent Living Expense Laws in Missouri:
“Do You Get Money for Putting a Baby Up for Adoption in MO?”

The answer is a little more complicated than just a simple yes or no. No one should ever give you money to influence your adoption decision. However, as a woman considering adoption, Missouri does allow adoptive families to pay for certain pregnancy-related expenses. So, while you don’t get paid for adoption, you may receive financial assistance to help you keep up with bills and additional costs  related to pregnancy. Pregnancy-related expenses may include but are not limited to: Rent, Utilities, Food, Phone service, Transportation, Maternity clothes, and Medical expenses.

Missouri prevents adoptive parents from paying any expenses deemed unreasonable by the courts, and it’s illegal to ever exchange money for the termination of parental rights.

Birth Parent Living Expense Laws in Kansas:
“Do You Get Paid for Putting a Baby Up for Adoption in KS?”

Similar to Missouri, in Kansas, essential services such as free medical care, counseling, and legal representation are always provided for women considering adoption. Additionally, you may qualify for KS adoption compensation for birth mother living expenses as well as the costs of pregnancy and birth, in addition to post-adoption birth parent benefits. Pregnancy-related expenses may include but are not limited to: Rent, Utilities, Food, Phone service, Transportation, Maternity clothes, and Medical expenses.

 

Additionally, you might ask, “Is it free to put a child up for adoption in Missouri or Kansas?” Yes. Placing your child for adoption always comes at no expense to the birth mother.

We are here for you. A caring caseworker from Adoption Choices of Missouri and Kansas will be by your side to provide you with comfort and emotional support. But our involvement doesn’t end there. We’re with you through the birth and afterward for all of your emotional needs.

Adoption Choices of Missouri Kansas will cover appropriate living expenses to birth mothers who need the help. We understand how difficult it is to get back on your feet and return to work after delivering a baby.
Contact us Toll Free: 1-877-903-4488

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I want to give my baby up for adoption, help!

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, considering your options, and researching the process of placing a child for adoption, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Fortunately, you are not alone, and with a little guidance, you can make the decision that’s best for you and your baby!

This is an outline of the steps you can follow if you decide that adoption is the right choice for you and your baby. The process will be different for every woman, and when you contact Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will help you make a more detailed plan that fits your needs and your pregnancy.

Visit your doctor

If you believe that you are pregnant, you should visit your doctor or OB/GYN specialist to confirm that you are pregnant and to learn how your pregnancy is progressing. Whether you ultimately decide to choose adoption, parent your child, or abortion, you should begin to care for yourself and your baby.

The first few months of your pregnancy are very important to your baby’s development and health. As your body undergoes changes and new stressors, it is essential that you begin to take care of yourself as soon as possible. Discontinue any alcohol or drug use immediately. Your physician will be able to give you detailed instructions on how to care for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy.

Call an adoption professional

Understanding adoption is the first step in your decision-making process. If you have already decided that you would like to place your baby for adoption, an adoption professional, like Adoption Choices of Missouri will help you make a plan and discover your needs during your pregnancy. If you have not made your decision, our professionals will explain the process to you and give you all the information you need to make a decision. You are never pressured or forced to make a choice one way or another.

Make a plan to give up baby for adoption

Your specialist will explain all of your options and help you determine how you would like your adoption process to continue. We will help you choose the level of openness you wish to have, the adoptive family, plan your labor and hospital stay, and depending on your financial and social situation, we can direct you to government programs that will assist you with healthcare costs and groceries. We will also help you obtain housing, food and supplies, maternity clothes, and other items necessary as you continue with your pregnancy. We will collect your medical history and the medical history of the father if he is known. Your adoption professional will also offer to provide counseling throughout your pregnancy and after!

Determine type of adoption

There are three different types of relationships you can have with an adoptive family: open, semi-open and closed. You are able to decide what type of contact, if any, you would like to have with the adoptive family and the child. Some women choose only to receive pictures and letters once a year, but if you want, you can have more contact and even in-person visits. The level of contact you will have with your child and the adoptive family is up to you.

Choose the family

You are not required to choose the adoptive family, but many pregnant mothers enjoy the experience of learning about and ultimately selecting the family that will parent their child. We will send you information about adoptive families so that you can learn about their interests, careers, parenting styles, and excitement to become parents through adoption.

You can begin searching for potential adoptive parents at any time by viewing waiting families’ adoption profiles online.

Many women find that they form a connection with a family after seeing their profile and discovering similar interests or values. Once you have decided on a family, you can choose to have an in-person meeting or a phone interview with them. During this conversation, you will be able to get to know the family better and let them know your wishes during the rest of the process. You should feel free to address any questions, thoughts or even concerns you might have.

Welcome your baby

Before the birth of your baby, you will have already gone over your hospital and delivery plan with your adoption specialist. Once you go into labor, immediately notify your adoption specialist and they will contact the adoptive family. After delivery, you can spend as much time as you would like with your baby. Whether you had a natural birth or a C-section, you will most likely be discharged within 72 hours, and depending on the state in which you live, you will sign the birth parent relinquishment papers before you leave the hospital.

Preparing for the relinquishment

Adoption is a lifelong choice, and many women find that they need help after the relinquishment. The adoption specialist will be there for you not only during your pregnancy, but also after you have signed the relinquishment papers. They will help you work through your thoughts on the adoption and prepare you for the various types of emotions you will feel.

Many women find that contact with other mothers who also put their baby up for adoption is helpful. Your adoption specialist can put you in contact with other women who have been in your position and can even direct you toward local support groups if you are interested.

If you pursued an open adoption, you will also have the support of the adoptive family and the comfort of seeing your child. In an open adoption, relinquishment is not a “good-bye,” but the beginning of a unique and beautiful relationship between you, your child, and the family you’ve chosen.

The adoption process is different for every woman, depending on what she needs during her pregnancy and what she wants for her adoption plan. If you are considering adoption for your baby, you may call 1-877-903-4488 or send us an email from Adoption Choices of Missouri .

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In the Hospital and Adoption Placement

One of the rights of the birth mother is to create her birth plan, which will be used to share her wishes and preferences about labor and delivery with the hospital staff. Adoption Choices of Missouri is very supportive in helping a birth mother create her ideal birth plan.

In an open adoption, the adoptive parents might be invited to share their wishes for the birth process as well, such as whether they prefer certain types of pain medication (or no medication) to be used during delivery. Ultimately, however, decisions affecting pregnancy and birth will be made by the birth mother, for it is ultimately her body and birth experience. The birth mother is considered the parent of the child during the birth process and therefore has the right and the responsibility to make all decisions for herself and her child.

The birth mother also has the right to keep all hospital items, such as bracelets worn by herself and the baby, the bassinet announcement card from the nursery, first pictures, etc. She can choose to give these items to the adoptive parents if she desires, but this is not required as part of the adoption process.

The time in the hospital is also one where the birth mother must consider whether she truly wishes to go through with and complete the adoption process or whether she has changed her mind. Again, until she signs the formal papers, regardless of the agreement up to that point with the adoptive parents, she is still the parent and has the right to change her mind. Adoption Choices will support any decision you make and provide the proper counseling and information for all of your choices.

Placement

If the birth mother decides that she wants to proceed with the adoption, the next step is saying goodbye to her child. This can be done in many ways depending on the type of adoption and the wishes of those involved. In a closed or semi-open adoption, it is possible that the birth mother will spend no time with the baby in the hospital. However, in an open adoption, she will likely have spent time caring for and being with the baby and therefore, will need to officially say goodbye.

In some cases, the birth mother may say goodbye while still in the hospital or upon discharge, while in other cases, she may actually take the child home for a few days or weeks leading up to formally signing the petition for adoption papers. The latter course can be undertaken as an added period during which she may continue contemplating her decision to adopt while experiencing the reality of taking care of a newborn.

Some birth mothers in an open adoption situation choose to do a placement ceremony where family and friends are invited to witness the handing over of the child to the new adoptive parents and the uniting of the two families. Some birth mothers may videotape their goodbye in order to have a record (for themselves or the adoptive parents) of the special time with the baby. Finally, some birth mothers prefer a quiet goodbye that is spent with the baby alone before a third party removes the baby and gives him/her to the adoptive family. Choice of the manner in which to say goodbye is definitely a personal decision that each birth mother needs to make based on her comfort and wishes regarding the official release of her parental rights and responsibilities.

In open adoptions, a post-adoption contact agreement will be made before the baby is born. This agreement, that the birth mother makes with the adoptive parents, describes the form the relationship between the new adoptive family and birth mother will take, spelling out the varieties of contact that may happen between the birth mother, adoptive parents and the child. In addition to governing the frequency and type of contact, this agreement will typically also address whether any other family members of the birth mother may have contact with the child, such as the biological grandparents or extended family. The post-adoption contact agreement may be modified in the future if both parties agree, or as circumstances change (for example, if the child is told he/she is adopted and then desires more contact with the birth mother or family).

If you would like more information regarding how the birth or placement process works in adoption, please contact one our of adoption specialists at Adoption Choices of Missouri or call us toll free at: 1-877-903-4488

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Telling others about your adoption plan

Choosing to place a child for adoption is generally a very difficult and emotional process for the birth mother. It is often hard for birth mothers to tell friends and family about their decision to place their child for adoption. This is particularly hard when the birth mother’s extended family is against the idea of adoption. Many grandparents, especially, may protest the idea of adoption and actively work to change the birth mother’s mind by making offers to raise the child themselves. Pleas may be made to “not give my grandchild away”. Suggestions about how to accommodate a new child may be made.

While family opinions and ideas should be seriously considered, it is ultimately the mother who must make the final decision about what is best for herself and her child, even if that means going against the wishes of her family.

A birth mother can involve her family in the adoption process in positive ways. If the family is resistant to the idea of adoption, she may need to give them time and opportunity to adjust to her decision. She can then use them as support while she goes through the adoption process. She should also recognize that just as she will need to deal with grief and loss issues surrounding the adoption, her extended family may also need time and space to go through their own grieving process.

As part of the adoption, the birth mother may choose to keep a pregnancy journal to be given to the adoptive parents to someday share with the child. The mother can allow her family to participate in the journaling as well, so that they are able to express their thoughts and emotions about the child.

Doubt & Guilt

Birth mothers who choose to adopt out their children may find themselves dealing with feelings of shame, guilt, doubt, and grief. Even though the mother is choosing adoption because she believes it is best for the child and for herself, she may still feel that she has failed as a mother. Another commonly experienced thought is that because she is “rejecting” the child, the child will some day come to hate her for “abandoning” him/her. She may feel shame at answering questions about her pregnancy or her decision to adopt.

Doubts about the decision to adopt are common at all stages of the process, including while making the decision, during pregnancy, and after the birth of the child. It is important to remember that the experience of doubt can be a natural consequence of having to make any serious life decision. Doubtful feelings should be taken seriously, but their mere presence does not mean that the decision to adopt is ill-founded. It is perfectly possible to have good reasons for wanting to adopt, but to still feel badly. Nevertheless, birth mothers who experience significant doubts should talk with their social workers or counselors about their concerns and review why they have made the decision to pursue adoption.

Loss and Grief

Birth mothers are also likely to experience grief and loss feelings, particularly after the birth when the child has been placed with the adoptive parents. Even though the child is still alive, there is still a very real sense of loss which has to be accommodated.

Grief is the process and emotions that people experience when their important relationships are significantly interrupted or ended, either through death, divorce, relocation, theft, destruction, or some similar process. There are two types of losses that people grieve. The first is the actual loss of the person or thing in someone’s life. The second is the symbolic loss of the events that can no longer occur in the future because of the actual loss. In adoption, the birth mother may grieve the actual loss of her child to another family, and additionally grieve the loss of many events that she might have shared with her child, including birthdays, graduations, and wedding days.

Grief is a normal and natural process that takes work to get through. Dealing with the emotions that occur during the grieving process takes much time and energy, and is usually both physically and emotionally demanding. It is normal for people to grieve in very different ways. Some people grieve openly, while others hide their feelings of distress. Some people grieve quickly, while others take a long time to “finish.” There is no “right way” to grieve. Each individual comes up with a method of grieving that fits them and their particular loss.

Joy and Happiness

Finally, and most treasured, the process of adoption may also trigger positive emotions. Some women feel joyous and hopeful as they contemplate the gift of a better life that they are giving to the child. They can also focus on the dreams and wishes that they have for the child and the reality of another family being able to make those opportunities happen at a time when they are not able to do so. In addition, birthmothers may also feel relief at resolving a difficult situation with multiple options. Other emotions may include gratitude in locating appropriate adoptive parents as well as a sense of satisfaction at helping people who have likely waited months or even years for this experience.

Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help. You don’t have to do this alone.
CONTACT OUR COMPASSIONATE TEAM! Toll Free: 1-877-903-4488

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