5 Questions to Ask If You’re Considering Adoption
If you’re unexpectedly pregnant and considering adoption, you may be wondering: How do I know if adoption is right for me? It’s a completely reasonable question. As a pregnant woman, you ultimately have three options — parenting, abortion or adoption — and you’re facing one of the biggest, most important choices of your life.
If you’re wondering how to know if adoption is right for you, we’d encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I ready to be a parent?
This is always the first question a woman should ask herself if she’s experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and wondering, “Is giving my baby up for adoption right for me?” Are you really and truly ready to be a parent? There’s a lot to consider when answering that question:
- Will you be able to continue with your education or career aspirations if you have a child now? It is absolutely possible to achieve your goals while being a parent; many women are doing so every day. However, it’s also true that this will be harder if you’re also caring for and raising an infant.
- Can I afford to raise a child right now? According to the Department of Agriculture, it costs approximately $233,610 to raise a baby until the age of 17 — and that’s an estimate from 2015.
- Do you want to be a mom right now? Do you want to be a mom at all? It’s entirely okay to admit that you don’t wish to be a mother; not everyone does. Whether you think you may want a child later in life or you know you’re not destined to be a parent at all, it’s okay to admit that you just don’t wish to raise a child.
2. Do you understand the adoption process?
If you’re wondering how to know if “giving your baby up” for adoption is the right thing to do, there are a few things you first need to understand. Women who choose adoption for their children are not “giving up” on them in any sense. This is a phrase that we use on this site only because it’s what many women unfamiliar with the process use, and we want to ensure that we help as many women as possible to learn about adoption. However, it can be misleading, as it implies that you’re abandoning your child rather than carefully ensuring he or she has the best life imaginable.
It’s also important to understand that you will be completely in charge of the adoption process, should you decide to pursue it. You’ll get to choose adoptive parents for your child and maintain a relationship — both with them and your baby — as your child grows up. You can choose adoption at any point, either before or after your baby is born, and you will work with an adoption specialist to determine exactly what you’re comfortable with at every turn.
3. Do finances come into play in this decision?
As we mentioned above, raising a child is expensive; $233,610 is a large sum of money, even for someone who’s been preparing to raise a child for years. Many women ultimately consider options other than parenting because they know they can’t afford to give their children the lives they deserve.
However, it’s also important to understand that you should never feel financially forced to place your child for adoption. If the only reason you’re wondering how to know if adoption is right for you is because of finances, then you should know that there are resources available to help you raise a child. You can look into programs like food stamps, low-income housing and WIC if you feel that you would like to raise your child but aren’t sure about your financial ability to do so.
4. Do you have a support system?
Many women wondering, “Is adoption right for me?” choose this path because they know they will ultimately be alone in raising their babies. Of course, it is absolutely possible to be a wonderful parent as a single mother, and there is no shame whatsoever in this. It’s also true, though, that you’re going to need help at times. Consider whether the father of your child will be a reliable source of support. If not, can you expect any of your close family members or friends to step up when you need help?
5. Have you considered all aspects of your adoption decision?
Ultimately, the only person who can determine the answer to the question, “Is adoption right for me?” is you. Your family, friends, and even the baby’s father may want to weigh in on your decision, but ultimately, you are the only one who knows what’s right for you and your baby.
There is no easy route when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy — parenting, abortion and adoption are all difficult choices in their own ways. Each has pros and cons, and each is a viable option for you. Only you can decide which choice is ultimately the right one.
To learn more about why giving up a baby for adoption is the right choice — or could be in your situation — it’s always helpful to talk to an adoption professional, such as: