As a licensed newborn adoption agency, we have worked with countless pregnant individuals. One of the questions we commonly hear is, “What’s the adoption process like from the birth mother’s perspective?”
After struggling ﬁnancially and emotionally for many years to raise my daughter, I was ﬁnally in a good place. I had gotten my GED and had a job that would actually support my daughter and I. Although money was tight and I had little time for myself, I was hanging in there. Then, I found out I was pregnant. It felt like some cruel joke!
I was numb for a while. The baby’s father was a nice enough guy but not father material. I knew I couldn’t raise another child on my own at this time. I knew ﬁrsthand how hard it was, the sleepless nights, endless feedings and diapers, the constant worry when your child is sick and, of course, always worrying about money. I started to wonder if adoption was my answer.
I wasn’t ready to talk about my pregnancy with my family until I ﬁgured out what I wanted to do. I wound up finding an adoption agency called Friends In Adoption that talked about kindness and respect. I thought I could use a little of that! I called two or three times before I got the nerve not to hang up. The person on the other end of the phone was kind and caring and asked about my story. I started crying and the woman just patiently waited and listened until I calmed down enough to talk.
She sent me some information about adoption and some booklets with pictures and information about the families that were waiting to adopt. She also sent me a book that I could read to my daughter about why I was choosing adoption. She assured me that none of what I was doing meant I was deﬁnitely committed to placing my child for adoption because I couldn’t sign the ﬁnal papers until after my baby was born.
I chose a family with an adorable two-year-old son. Since I always wanted a big brother when I was growing up, I decided to give that to my unborn child. I talked to the adoptive mom to see if they were the family for me and we hit it oﬀ right away. We talked on the phone every so often. I was busy working, taking care of my daughter and going to doctor’s appointments. The caseworker at Friends in Adoption also helped me ﬁgure out how to explain to my family that I was choosing adoption for my baby and how to deal with the baby’s father. It wasn’t easy.
Since the baby was breech, I was scheduled for a C-section. But my daughter had a mind of her own and was born two days before. The adoptive parents got there as fast as they could, but they had a long drive. I couldn’t wait to actually meet them and ﬁnd out the name they had chosen for our daughter. We all spent time at the hospital with the baby before it was time to sign the papers and to leave the hospital.
It was the toughest thing I ever did but it was made a little easier knowing that my daughter now had two loving parents, a big brother, many grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and a life I could only dream of for her. I also know her adoptive parents will tell her about me and her sister and remind her how much I loved her when I made this decision, and that I will always love her. I was also thrilled that I would get letters and pictures from the adoptive parents twice a year so that I would always know that my precious baby girl was safe, happy and loved.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I didn’t tell anyone except the baby’s father. He said many insulting things to me. So, I dug myself a hole, wore big, baggy clothes and denied that this was happening to me. I was 16 years old and worried about what my friends, family and small town community would think. So many thoughts were on my mind. Would my parents kick me out? Would I be able to finish high school? Would I be able to go to college as I had always planned? What would happen to my baby and me?
When I told my Mom in my seventh month, she was surprisingly supportive and we cried together as she kept telling me that we would get through this. My Mom had a friend whose daughter placed her child for adoption a few years back. Mom contacted the adoption agency they’d used. I remember my Mom hanging up the phone with tears in her eyes telling me that the agency would be able to answer all our questions about what to do about the birth father since he wasn’t cooperating and what kind of contact we could have with the adoptive family. The agency even connected us to an adoption attorney in our area and a counselor. (I knew I couldn’t get through this without some counseling.)
We were happy to learn that we could pick the adoptive family and choose someone who was similar to our own family. We spoke to them on the phone and met with them twice before the baby was born. I finally got prenatal care and would speak to them after my doctor’s appointments. The relationship we developed was built on respect and gratitude on both of our parts. They were an answer to my prayers and I was an answer to theirs. By the time my son was born, his adoptive parents felt like part of my extended family. With the help of my son’s adoptive parents, I realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of. He was a beautiful baby boy and I was so proud!
The day I left the hospital and drove away without him was the most difficult day of my life. Despite that, I don’t regret anything. My son has a loving and stable home with every opportunity imaginable. Even though I would have done anything to give my son a great life, I didn’t have the financial resources, the maturity or time to give him the life he now has. I receive frequent letters and pictures from my son’s parents, visit with him once or twice a year, write poems to him and write about him in my journal.
Deep down inside, I know I made the right decision. Through my experience, I grew up in so many ways and learned that an unfortunate situation can be turned into something much more positive. The future looks pretty fantastic for both my son and me.
At the age of 39 I found myself in a much unplanned situation. I was on birth control and involved in a very nice relationship. Becoming pregnant was the least of my worries – after all there is only a .2 percent failure rate of birth control. Well, much to my surprise I found myself in that .2 percent and searching for answers. One thing that I knew was that I could not terminate the pregnancy. I was so torn as I already had two beautiful and amazing daughters but I just was not sure that I was ready to or desired to go down the path again of becoming a parent at my age.
The birth father and I began the search. We looked at several agencies that worked with people in our situation. Throughout our search we came across many that we felt cared about us only for the amazing gift that we wanted to share with somebody else. Then we found an adoption agency that treated us as people. We were not judged. We were welcomed immediately into the agency family.
Our adoption case worker had frequent conversations with us on the telephone at first. I remember the excitement and relief when we were told that we could select the family that our baby would become a part of. I vividly remember finding the profile of the couple who we were to choose as adoptive parents. They exuded such warmth in all of their pictures and you could instantly feel a sense of sincerity in their words. We immediately knew that they had to be our family.
We remember clearly the day that Kate was born. We called our caseworker to tell her that we were in the hospital, and she called the adoptive parents. The day that Kate was born was one of the most beautiful days of our lives. It was an honor and a joy to become a mom to my own daughters, but this was different – special in its own way and Kate was such a special girl from the moment that she was conceived.
Kate came into this world in record time. I heard her cry and then she was whisked away to the maternity ward to await the arrival of her adoptive parents. Both the birth father and I felt that this was the best option for us — but please know that we were fully allowed to create our own birth plan.
Even after Kate was born and until this very day we do not feel a loss. We feel such pride, honor, and gratitude for the help and support of our adoption professionals, the adoptive parents, and Kate as they are now parts of our extended family. We did not lose a child or give up a child. We gained a whole new family that will never be far from us throughout the rest of our lives.
I didn’t find out I was pregnant until 26 weeks. There was nothing to indicate it any sooner.
The fact of the matter was that my boyfriend and I just weren’t ready. We were not emotionally, mentally, or financially ready. So we ultimately decided that we wanted to adopt. The search started. My mother sent me a link to an adoption agency’s website. I looked it over and was really impressed with the whole operation, the goals of the agency, and the fact that they served same sex couples.
I contacted the agency and they sent me a list of couples looking to adopt. After I chose a family, I was assigned my case manager. She was everything I could have asked for as a guide throughout this whole process. She was kind, understanding, helpful, and answered every single question and listened to everything that had happened without judgment. This, in my opinion, was the start of making this story as amazing as it was.
The day came when I finally got the chance to speak with the adoptive couple. They, like me, didn’t want to waste any time. They had read my bio and scheduled a teleconference with me for the following Monday. Monday came and all of us got on the line. Everything went better than I could have hoped for. There were no awkward moments in the conversation, nothing was forced, and I laughed throughout the whole thing.
Fifteen minutes after the call, I got a call from my case manager saying that the guys wanted to come down to meet me that weekend. I was floored. As the weekend came closer I got more excited. This was going to be the most surreal blind date I had ever gone to in my life. As we walked up to the restaurant we’d all agreed on, my boyfriend and I looked at each other and took a deep breath then walked in the door. We were greeted with hugs and smiles. Any doubt I ever had was instantly gone. We ended up spending about 6 hours just talking and joking and hanging out with them. And the next morning we had coffee with them before they flew home. We all decided that this was going to be a wonderful match. And after meeting them, I decided to go with an open adoption.
Four weeks later, it was time for the big show. My doctor had decided to induce me so I didn’t get a strange on-call doctor, and so that the adoptive parents could be there. They flew down again, met my family (who love them to death now), and then the next day we all drove to the hospital. They were there through the whole labor, and then 16 hours later, were there when I was told I was going to have a C-section.
My mother told me that after the procedure, when they saw the baby getting cleaned up in the nursery window, they were about 5 feet off the floor. The nurses brought the baby into my room; I met him, then called the adoptive couple in. They were over the moon. It was at that moment I knew that not only had I helped two people who couldn’t have a baby on their own. I made a family.
Do You Have More Questions About the Adoption Process?
Four birth mothers with four different perspectives on the adoption process. They don’t represent all birth mothers, but their stories should give you an idea of the range of experiences.
If you’re considering adoption for your baby and find you’ve got unanswered questions, contact us. Our experienced, helpful adoption professionals are available to talk with you.
If you’d like to talk with someone who’s gone through the adoption process, we can arrange a one-on-one phone conversation with a birth mother for you. You can ask your own questions and hear about her actual experience.