The waiting time is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about adoption and some of the issues that may need your attention as your child grows. We hope you use this as a learning tool to enhance your adoption journey preparation. Don’t forget, after you have read and reviewed this material, log onto www.myadoptionportal.com to complete a summary in the Domestic Education section.
Ashley, Hayley, Amber, and Samantha pose for a picture following their participation in AAI’s Birth Mother Panel on May 13, 2019.
This month we are focusing our attention on the inspiring and selfless stories of birth mothers. Adoption Associates’ staff was honored to sit with four birth mothers and two of their mothers to hear about their adoption experiences and to learn from them. Their willingness to participate in a panel allows us all the opportunity to gain a unique perspective of the birth mother’s experience in adoption.
The video of the birth mother panel is attached below, along with a short bio of each of the birth mothers who so graciously shared their stories. Listen to these wonderful women as they talk about the very difficult and life-changing decision to place a baby for adoption. We learn from them the role that the adoptive parents can play in a birth mother’s healing and recovery following the placement, along with their thoughts and feelings about openness over time. Woven through each of their stories is the undeniable and abiding love they have for their children.
Ashley enlisted the help of her mother to reach out to the agency to begin making an adoption plan in 2018. She was 22 years old, and had a history of safety concerns with the birth father, for who she was no longer in a relationship with. Ashley had specific goals and plans for her life, and she made the adoption decision out of pure love for her son. Initially, Ashley and her mother had reservations in selecting an adoption agency to work with, as well as concerns about the legal process of adoption. After reviewing adoptive family profiles and selecting a couple, Ashley met the parents and began getting to know them. Having an open relationship with the adoptive parents provides her a great deal of comfort.
Haley was already parenting her two year old son when she found out she was pregnant. After a great deal of consideration, she decided to make an adoption plan for her daughter. She felt that it was the best choice for her daughter, her son and for herself. She initially contacted an out of state adoption agency, but later decided a local adoption agency would be the best option. It was important to her to have an open adoption and she realized this would be much more feasible if she chose a Michigan adoption agency. Haley chose the adoptive couple by looking through several profiles and they share a wonderful open relationship today. Choosing the path of adoption was very difficult for Haley, but having the openness with the adoptive family provides great peace to her and she is proud of the loving decision she made.
Amber was 34 years old and seven months pregnant when she first contacted Adoption Associates in 2017. She was a single mother parenting three children and felt that she could not provide emotionally or financially for the child she would soon deliver. Amber made the difficult decision to place her newborn daughter for adoption, but worried that she would lose contact with the adoptive parents following the adoption finalization. Having an open adoption was important to Amber, and she is amazed by the relationship that she now shares with the adoptive parents.
In 2007 when Samantha was 22 years old she learned she was pregnant and knew right away that she would plan adoption. She selected a prospective couple who were very ready to become parents, and they were honored that Samantha would entrust them with her daughter. In the coming months Samantha and the adoptive couple developed a very close relationship. When the day came for Samantha to deliver her baby she requested the adoptive mother and adoptive father be in the delivery room with her to meet the child she would go on to legally make theirs. It’s been almost 12 years now, and Samantha struggles to make peace with the adoptive parents’ failure to follow through with the Openness Agreement.
Watch the video of the birth mother panel here: https://vimeo.com/348490692. For our waiting families, don’t forget after you have reviewed this material and watched the video to log in to www.myadoptionportal.com to complete a summary in the Domestic Education section.
The video of the birth mother panel is just one of many tools that are available as you continue to grow in your understanding of the birth parents’ experience and appreciation for their loving decision. We recommend that you take a little time to listen to some Adoption Focus podcasts, and while you’re at it go ahead and become a follower of Adoption Associates Radio (www.blogtalkradio.com/adoptionfocus) so that you can know when new episodes are scheduled. These podcasts are short, easy listening and offer incredible insight in to the heart of the birth mother. You might also consider completing an Adoption Learning Partners online course, such as ‘Open Adoption 101.’ https://www.adoptionlearningpartners.org/catalog/courses/open-adoption-101.cfm
Expectant Parent’s Bill of Rights
You have the right…
- to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion.
- to understand all your options, including adoption and parenting.
- to be free from pressure or coercion.
- to obtain prenatal medical care.
- to receive counseling.
- to seek financial help with pregnancy related expenses.
- to choose the adoptive family for your child.
- to meet the adoptive parents.
- to know that the adoptive parents are qualified for adoption.
- to ensure that the adoption process is safe and legal.
- to give your child his or her original name at birth.
- to choose an open or closed adoption.
- to have your own representation and support through an agency.
- to work with an agency that is caring, kind and non-judgmental.
- to change your mind about adoption within the legal limitations permitted in your state.
You have choices! We’re here to help