Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pregnant and Working with a Private Adoption Agency

Birth parents considering adoption often seek the assistance of an adoption agency offering private adoption services in their state.  A private adoption agency is licensed by the state, but may not work in the public foster care system.  Rather, birth parents may work privately with licensed adoption professionals to create a personalized adoption plan for their child.  Here is a list of services offered by a professional private adoption agency:

  • Non-directive counseling to educate birth parents about the adoption option 
  • If adoption is the best path, a counselor will explore the types of adoption plans and assist birth parents in making a personalized adoption plan meeting their wishes and needs
  • Offer ongoing support and education services to birth parents
  • Arrange for birth parent housing and transportation during pregnancy
  • Arrange living and medical expense assistance during pregnancy
  • Assist birth parents in obtaining medical coverage during pregnancy
  • Offer match services with pre-screened and approved hopeful adoptive families
  • Create a hospital plan to be implemented during the hospital stay
  • Serve as the birth parent advocate with hospital staff during hospital stay
  • Arrange legal representation for birth parents 
  • Perform child placement services
  • Offer post adoption support services

When you are ready to choose an adoption agency, speak with a counselor about their services and make sure you feel comfortable.  Adoption is a personal experience, and you deserve to be treated with respect and professionalism throughout the adoption process.

Alliance for Children adoption services, counselor assistance at 877-402-3678

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Healthy Pregnancy

Many women wonder what steps they can take to ensure that they have a healthy pregnancy. Being healthy means making commitments in a number of different areas in your life. Having a healthy pregnancy means making changes in your day to day life that will benefit both you and your child. Here are a few steps to consider to make sure that you have a healthy unplanned pregnancy.

  • Get prenatal care as soon as possible.
    • As discussed in other posts, prenatal care is very important to the health of your child and your doctor is a great resource for all your pregnancy related questions!
  • Watch what you are eating and how much you are eating.
    • Talk to your doctor about what your diet should look like during your pregnancy. You'd be surprised to know that when you are eating for two you don't need to eat as much as you think!
  • Consider taking prenatal vitamins.
    • It is important to get enough folic acid and iron during your unexpected pregnancy for the development of the baby. Prenatal vitamins often have more of these in order to help maintain healthy levels of both.
  • Exercise.
    • Exercise helps relieve stress and will give you strength during your pregnancy. However, make sure that you don't push yourself too hard and make sure to stay hydrated!
  • Rest.
    • Make sure to relax during your pregnancy! Napping, stretching, prenatal yoga and deep breathing are all good strategies to relax and recharge.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.
    • Make sure to read other blog posts about the dangers of alcohol and drugs during your pregnancy! These can cause significant problems for you and your child both during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Limit caffeine.
    • Caffeine can cause difficulties during pregnancy, such as making it challenging for your body to absorb iron, so make sure to limit your caffeine or switch to decaf. If you are concerned about your caffeine intake, talk to your doctor!
  • Take care of your emotional needs.
    • Pregnancy often feels like an emotional roller coaster, so make sure to take care of yourself! If your mood swings are interfering with your ability to function in your day to day, you may want to get screened for depression. It is a relatively common condition, and your doctor can easily refer you to be screened and get assistance.
Alliance for Children adoption services

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Street Drugs and Pregnancy

Street drugs ( a.k.a. illegal or illicit drugs) can have significant effects on the health of your child if you take them during your unplanned pregnancy. Some examples of street drugs included cocaine, meth, and heroin. Taking these drugs during your unexpected pregnancy can cause serious problems and complications before and after birth. Some of these challenges include:
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature Birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Heart Defects
  • Birth Defects
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a group of conditions that a baby may experience if his mother has taken drugs during her pregnancy. NAS can happen when the child becomes addicted to the drug before birth and then experiences withdrawal after birth. Some symptoms of NASW include seizures, tremors, and fever. Additionally, children of parents who take drugs during pregnancy often have difficulties later in life, including learning and behavior problems, delayed growth, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is when a child unexpectedly dies before one year of age without an explanation.

If you feel that your drug use will affect your pregnancy, it is important that you seek help for both yourself and your child.  You may want to consider utilizing a rehab facility to provide you assistance in regaining control from the addiction. Organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide peer support for individuals looking to stay clean. As you create your adoption plan with your adoption counselor, it is also important that you are open and honest with them about your drug use. They may able to provide you with important resources to support you during your unplanned pregnancy and addiction.

Alliance for Children adoption services

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grieving Your Child

Whenever there is change, there is grief. When something changes, no matter if it is a positive or negative change, we grieve for what we once had. Many birth mothers having feelings of grief after their adoption process. These feelings are to be expected and will show themselves in different ways for each person. Below are some of the steps you can take to manage your feelings of grief after your unplanned pregnancy.

Find Support:  Birth mothers can find support in their family, friends, and support groups. Being able to share your feelings with someone is helpful in moving through the grieving process.

Create a Ritual: Some parents find it helpful to create a ritual to remember their child. This will look different for each person, but can include remembering a child on an significant date of their life (e.g. birthday) or writing a letter to the child. 

Write: Mothers may find it helpful to write a journal or a blog to process their feelings. This can be a way to express emotions and remember details that you may forget without documenting them.

Counseling: If your feelings of guilt are consuming you, or you feel that you need some support in processing them, you may want to consider finding a counselor to talk to about your concerns. If you decide that counseling is the right option for you, it is important to make sure that the counselor has some experience with adoption issues and bereavement.

It is important to recognize that everyone's grieving process is unique, and your experience may look very different from another person's process. Most frequently, individuals go through stages of denial, anger, sadness/depression, and acceptance. It is unlikely that you will ever forget your child after you have placed them with their new family. Finding a way to cope with the grief and loss of your child after your unexpected pregnancy is an important step of moving forward.

Alliance for Children adoption services

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Semi-Open Adoption

In the past, we have written about the pros and cons of open and closed adoptions. This article will be focused on the pros and cons of semi-open adoption. A semi-open adoption is when an adoption agency or other party acts as an intermediary. The identities of both the adoptive family and the birth family are kept confidential, but the intermediary facilitates conversation between the two families. This is usually done through letters and cards. There are several advantages and disadvantages to semi-open adoption.


  • Control
    • You may feel some increased sense of control by being able to select the adoptive family and choose how much information you would like them to have about yourself.
  • Privacy
    • Your identity will be kept anonymous, but you will still receive some communication from the family about the well being of your child.
  • Easing of the Grieving Process
    • Some birth parents find it easier to process their grief for their child if they are provided with updates on their child's well-being. However, this differs from person to person. You may find that it makes it easier, but you may also find that it could make it harder.
  • Reduced Fear and Guilt
    • When communication is facilitated between the two families, birth parents tend to experience less concern about the well-being of their child. Communication also tends to lessen the feelings of guilt experienced by the birth parents.
  • Decreased Relationship with Child
    • Since most communication takes place between the adoptive parents and the birth parents, there is less potential for a sustained relationship with the child.
  • Potential for Interruption in Contact
    • Since the communication involves a third party, complications in communication may occur if the adoption professional providing the intermediary services changes.
  • Feeling Obligated
    • The financial and emotional investment of the adoptive family in you and your child may increase the feeling that you are obligated to relinquish your child, even though you are legally able to change your mind at any time up until you sign documents to surrender your child.

Choosing between open, semi-open and closed adoption can be a difficult choice. There is assistance available through adoption agencies and birth parent counselors. For assistance in developing an adoption plan, you can contact Alliance for Children at 877-402-3678.

Alliance for Children adoption services

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Finding A Family

Once you have decided to place your child for adoption, you will be able to select an adoptive family. This can be overwhelming at first. There are a lot of things that you want to consider.What is important to look for in a family? How will you know they will be good parents? What do you believe is important for your child to experience with his family? Below are some questions that you may want to consider when you are reviewing adoptive parent profiles with your adoption counselor.

  • What traits or values are important to you?
    • Do you want a religious family?
    • Do you want a family that has values similar to your own?
  • Do you wish for them to already have a child ( so that your child may have an older sibling) or do you want your child to be their first?
  • What kind of relationship do you want with the adoptive family? 
    • Do you want to have an open, semi-open or closed adoption? Is this family open to what you are looking for?
  • Are the interests of the parents important to you?
    • Do you want them to be involved in sports, music, arts, ect?
  • What types of adoptive families are you open to?
    • There are many types of adoptive families, including single parents, LGBTQ families, and heterosexual couples. What matches your expectations for the life you want for your child?
  • Is their level of education important to you?
  • Do you want them to live nearby or far away?
    • You may want to consider how location will affect how you feel after the child is placed. Do you think having them live closer will make it harder or easier on adapting to this transitions?

Picking an adoptive family during your unplanned pregnancy can feel like an enormous responsibility, and it is definitely something that you will want to put some thought into for yourself and for your child. For more information on choosing an adoptive family and the adoption process, you can contact an Alliance for Children birth parent counselor at 877-402-3678.

Alliance for Children adoption services

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Birth Parent Support Groups

As mentioned in a previous post about resources for birth parents, the adoption journey can be a very emotional one and it may seem like you are walking it alone. In some areas, birth parent support groups are available to provide birth parents with community and support during the difficult struggle. Each support group is unique, and may be specialized to support birth parents or may be open to many different parties who are involved in adoption (i.e. all birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees and those determining if placing their child for adoption is the best choice).  They may be specific to the stage of the process that you are in, such as groups for those who have finalized their adoption, or those who are still in the process.

You may need to do a little research to find a support group. Some support groups are listed online, such as at Birth Mom Buds,  or Meetup and meet in person at a specified location. You will likely need to reach out to the listed contact person to learn more about the times and location of the meetings. You may also be able to find online support groups, such as the one offered by Concerned United Parents , which utilizes message boards on a website to facilitate a support group instead of meeting in person. Others groups may also be created on social media sites, such as Facebook.

Which type of support you participate in (if you determine that this is a resource that you would like to use) can be affected by a number of factors. While all types of support groups will stress confidentiality, there may be an added layer of anonymity when participating online. You will have face to face contact with other individuals if you participate in a physical support group.  Additionally, you may want to consider the distance you may need to travel to attend an in-person support group, and the cost of travel. If a group support option doesn't feel like a good fit, but you feel that you would like additional support, you could also consider individual counseling with a therapist that specializes in adoption issues.

Alliance for Children adoption services