Facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary. Sometimes, it can help to hear from someone who has experienced what you are going through.
Here are seven tips that Cradle birth parents have shared with us when we asked them "what would you like someone just looking at this option today to know?"
- It’s okay to feel emotionally torn. This is likely the biggest decision you will make in your life. It is not easy. There will be pain and grief and loss. You have the right to cry and wonder. Acknowledging that the deicision is a sad one to make does not make it right or wrong. It simply means that it is going to be hard no matter what you choose to do.
- You are in the driver’s seat. You make the decisions. No one should ever tell you whether to place your child or pressure you in any way.
- Openness works the way you and the family make it work. Many birth parents go into an adoption plan with lots of questions about how ongoing connection with the adoptive family could work. As with any relationship, it will be driven by the people involved. There isn't a standard plan.
- You do not have to defend your choice. It is easy for others to give advice. Often this advice is well intentioned but uninformed. No one else knows your situation and circumstances and dreams the way you do. It is your choice to make.
- Openness isn’t only about you. For open adoptions to work all three parties need to be committed to making it work. That can take work on the adults' parts in order to have the child be the recipient. When everyone is focused on what's best for the child, the pieces can fall in place.
- You will never be alone. This choice is entirely up to you, but your counselor will help you understand your options. She will also support you no matter what you choose to do.
- Remember adoption is about making a parenting choice for a child, not giving up. The common language around adoption is that birth parents "give up" a child. This is so wrong. It is not about giving up on a child. Instead, it's about giving a child the life you really want for them. The life if you were in a position to give them yourself you would.