Is Adoption Right for Me?

If You are Considering Adoption . . .

Things to think about if adoption is an option you are considering.

Please let us know if you have any other concerns or want additional information.

  1. What are the circumstances leading me to think about placing my baby for adoption? Are they short-term issues that can be resolved over time, or serious ones that could undermine my ability to parent – and my child’s prospects to have a good life – now and over time?
  1. Do I have the ability to parent a child (or another child), taking into account factors like family support, including from the other parent of my child; other support systems such as friends and public services; financial and housing situations; and my own state of mind?
  1. What is my relationship with the other parent of my child, how would it be best to let him or her know that I am considering adoption, and do I need support to do so?
  1. What would be helpful to me during the process and afterward if I choose adoption – from counseling to deal with the emotional issues I’ll face, to information on educating/handling people in my life who may have opinions about my decision, to guidance and support for shaping a good relationship with my child and his/her adoptive family?
  1. If I choose adoption, what can I do to ensure that my child knows I love him/her and that my decision about adoption was shaped by my desire to provide him/her with a good life?
  1. If I choose adoption, what will life be like for my child, and what should I know and do to establish a strong, positive relationship with his/her adoptive family?
  1. Where can I get more information about my options, and is there a trained professional who I can talk to about these kinds of questions? Can I connect with other expectant parents in my situation, ones who have already placed children for adoption and/or ones who chose to parent?

Information relating to the option of adoption

  • No one should ever be pressured or coerced into making any decision, but especially one that’s as huge and lifelong as whether to parent your child, to place him/her for adoption or to have an abortion. That includes the counseling you receive about your options; that is, it should be informational, empathetic and “non-directed.” The choice should truly be yours. There’s no “right” or “wrong” decision, just the one you feel is best after getting well informed.
  • Adoption should be pursued only after careful thought and, if at all possible, counseling and education. It should be a very well-informed decision based on your own life realities and desires for your child’s future. In other words, it should be a plan with you in charge.
  • If you decide that adoption is the right option for you and your child, you will feel grief and loss, among other strong emotions. Having support systems in place, as well as getting counseling from professionals, are important steps to take now and, as needed, in the future.
  • If you decide on adoption, you (and your child’s other parent, if involved) play the central role in choosing the parents/family for your child (unless you don’t wish to do so). You will receive information about potential families, and can meet the family if you wish, before making a decision. You should know that before being allowed to adopt, prospective parents undergo a rigorous approval process that includes a home assessment, background record checks, in-depth interviews with trained professionals, medical and personal references etc.
  • If you make an adoption plan, you can remain an important part of your child’s life as he/she grows up. The degree of contact and communications (which may include photos, phone calls, texts, emails, gifts, visits etc.) should be decided upon cooperatively with the adoptive family, and may change over time. But, at a minimum, regular updates and knowing how your child is doing will help you deal with the emotions you will probably feel.
  • If the child’s parents are both known, each has to agree to the adoption, or at least not object to it. If you do not want to reach out to your child’s other parent, the professionals working with you can do so. If a parent cannot be found or is unwilling to participate, a legal proceeding can free the child for adoption without that parent’s consent.
  • You have the right to change your mind about placing your child for adoption at any point until you sign legal papers permanently consenting to the adoption and terminating your parental rights; under Massachusetts law, you cannot sign those papers until at least the fourth calendar day after your baby’s birth. If you are not feeling ready to make a decision in this time frame, you may take as much time as you need to make a decision and loving interim care is available for your baby until you do.