Adoption, The Other Option
When 15-year-old Sara* found out she was pregnant, she considered abortion, but ultimately chose to parent. Her son Matthew* was born and came home to live with her and her parents. About one month later, Sara decided to make an adoption plan for her son. “I was young,” she recalls. “And there was really not a lot I could offer him as far as being a good parent at that time of my life.” Working with an adoption agency, Sara was able to choose her son’s parents and just how open the adoption would be.
“Matthew has a wonderful life,” Sara adds. “He has wonderful parents and a great family. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”
Most of the women who come to Your First Look are trying to decide between abortion and parenting. Adoption is that other option that is usually quickly dismissed by the women who come in for options counseling. But there are several reasons why adoption just might be the best option for you at this time in your life.
1. An adoption allows you to have a new beginning while letting you select a stable, secure, and loving family for your child. The agency or attorney you select will have information about many couples who are waiting to adopt. Want a family who lives on a farm, or has a dog or is a particular faith? You can specify what type of couple you would like. You can see photos, learn their stories, and pick the family that feels right to you. You can even choose to meet them. All of the couples on a waiting list have undergone an extensive screening process called a home study. This means a social worker has visited their home and interviewed them extensively. They have also completed required background checks.
2. You can decide how much contact you have with the adoptive couple both before and after the adoption. In an open adoption, you meet the family and receive their contact information. You can also decide to have ongoing contact with the family. In a closed adoption, you choose not to meet them and receive no information. You can select to do an open, closed, or even a semi-open adoption.
3. All costs associated with an adoption are paid by the adoptive family. This includes agency/legal fees, counseling, doctor, and hospital bills. In addition, in Ohio you are allowed to receive up to $3,000 to pay for such living expenses as food, rent, clothing, phone, gas and electric.
4. Research shows that women who choose adoption are more likely to finish school and less likely to live in poverty. They are also more likely to be employed after the baby is born. Children who are adopted typically do as well or better than other children in the areas of education and emotional and physical health.
Making an adoption decision requires careful thought and consideration. Counseling during your pregnancy is encouraged so you will be able to work through any uncertainly you have and ultimately decide if adoption is the right choice for you.
In Ohio, you must wait 72 hours after the baby’s birth before you can ultimately consent to going through with the adoption. This allows you time after the baby is born to evaluate the adoption plan you made before the birth.
For most expectant women, making a choice for adoption happens after several months of exploring their options. At Your First Look we have trained peer counselors who can help you explore your feelings and decide if adoption is an option you wish to consider. We can also give you the names of agencies and attorneys able to work with you and would be happy to attend any meetings with you, should you desire. Give us a call at 419.720.3338 to set up a meeting.
Today Sara is married with three children. She still has a close relationship with Matthew and his family.