The term put my baby up for adoption stems from orphan trains that ran from the mid-1800’s until the early 1900’s. These eras were filled with orphans and these children found themselves abandoned and homeless. The children were then “placed” on these trains and were adopted by families that needed manual labor.
Before the trains got to a city, an advertisement was sent out and families waited for the children to arrive. Some children were even “matched” with families before the trains arrived, very similar to the customs of adoption today. At some of the nicer stops when the trains arrived the children were ushered into theaters, schools, or some sort of stage to perform for the adoptive families. At other stops when the trains arrived the children were simply “placed” on a block or platform.
Obviously, this is no longer how adoptions are processed. Instead, now there are several resources a birth mom can explore. Deciding if adoption is the right plan for your child is probably one of the hardest decisions you have faced. In order to decide if adoption is right for you, first, you should know this is a decision the birth parents should make, not a family member, not a friend, not a co-worker. Make sure you are educated on your decision but don’t base it on what everyone else tells you. As with most things in life, everyone has an opinion. Find a local adoption agency (adoption.com can help you find one in your community) and get in contact with a social worker to discuss your options. If you can’t find an adoption agency, most churches will be able to help you find an agency.
Every adoption is different… Every mother is different…
Once you have educated yourself on adoption, you should decide on an adoption “plan.” Things to think about in your adoption plan are: the ideal family for your children to have, what type of contact, if any, do you want with the family/child, what the hospital stay will look like, etc. You will discuss all of these things with your social worker and decisions do not need to be made right away, but you should definitely be thinking about these things.
Your social worker will probably have a “list” of families for you to choose from. Again, make sure you are making this decision based on what you feel is right for your child. You may want to choose a family that does not already have children or you may want to choose a family that already has children so your child has siblings. You may even choose a family because one of the adoptive parents looks like you.
Once you choose a family, you will want to get to know the family. Decide how much contact you want to have with the family. Will you have contact without your social worker? Will you meet in person, if the location isn’t an issue? Will you have email, text, or phone communication? Make sure you have contact with your social worker to explain how your relationship is developing.
Make sure to have a hospital plan in place. Will the adoptive parents be there? Who will you have there to be with you for support? Will the baby stay in your room at the hospital? Does the hospital give the adoptive parents their own room? What will the day look like when you leave the hospital? Will you want to say “goodbye” to the baby?
Every adoption is different, just as every birth mom and situation is different. But the goodbye does not have to mean forever. If your plan is an open adoption plan, make sure to discuss when you will have contact again. Will the adoptive parents send you pictures, updates, etc.? If so, how often.
Whatever you choose, know that your decision is not easy and is commended by many, including your unborn child.