Important Factors to Remember When Giving up Your Baby for Adoption

Important Factors to Remember When Giving up Your Baby for Adoption

If you are thinking about giving your baby for adoption or placing your baby for adoption there are many things you should know about your rights and the process before you start working with an agency. Here at Adoption Minnesota we think that it is important to work with an agency who helps you through the adoption process in a caring, compassionate and non-pressuring manner. An agency should be there to help you through the process, make sure your legal rights are followed and support you with each step of your journey. Here are some important rights to remember that you have during the process of giving up your baby for adoption.

  1. You have the right to receive FREE, in person adoption counseling.
    • Counseling for adoption should always be free. At Adoption Minnesota it is also free from pressure, and any influence. This should be your plan and an agency should not push their agenda on you. If you chose to place your child for adoption, you also have the right to receive support after the adoption takes place for as long as you need it.
  1. You have the option to work with a licensed, nonprofit adoption agency.
    • If you are thinking about placing or giving up your baby for adoption, keep in mind that not all agencies are the same. Some unlicensed organizations and individuals earn a great deal of money by encouraging and pressuring women to place for adoption. Always ask the agency you are working with if they are licensed for adoption in the state you live in.
  1. You can receive financial assistance if you choose to make an adoption.
    • If you decide that adoption is right for you and your child, you have the right to receive help financially. Adoptive parents can help with basic living and medical expenses during your pregnancy, and for up to 6 weeks after you deliver.
  1. You as the birth parent should be allowed to decide how you want your adoption to go.
    • If you decide that giving up your baby or placing for adoption is right for you, then you should be in control of how the adoption will proceed. You can decide who the family will be, how the hospital time will go, and also what you want for openness or contact after placement. An agency should not pressure you to do it “their way.” At Adoption Minnesota every adoption is different, and unique. We feel that it is very important to support and help birth parents create an adoption plan that fits them and their child.
  1. You have the right to your own attorney and to have your legal rights represented at no cost to you.
    • If you are planning on placing for adoption or giving up your baby it is important that you have your own attorney. If you are not working with an agency, we urge you not to waive your right to an attorney. Having your own attorney allows you to have the legal support you need, and also have the emotional knowing that you have someone on your side making sure your rights are respected and followed.
  1. You have the option to have a legally binding agreement about what kind of future contact you want with your baby.
    • A legal binding Contact Agreement lays out the details of what kind of contact birth parents, adoptive parents and your child will have after placement. Each Contact Agreement is different and not every state has them, but your agency should tell you about them and offer to get you in touch with an attorney to draft one if you would like.
  1. No matter what you should be respected, regardless of your decision.
    • Whether you decide to give up your baby for adoption or not, you should not be pressured or made to feel guilty by the agency or people that you are working with. Making a choice about adoption is a very difficult decision and you should be respected no matter what you decide. Adoption Minnesota supports women in whatever decision they make and are here to support them in the process.

Social Media and Adoption

Social Media and Adoption

Our society uses social media to keep in touch with family, friends and many others. Social media has changed the way we communicate both in our personal and even work lives. Adoption is no different and birth parents and adoptive families are no exception.

In the adoption world social media can help make connections between adoptive parents and birth parents. It can help to keep an open adoption going with easy communication. Online support groups offer communities for adoptive and birth parents, that are easily accessible for when they need them.

Before agreeing to be friends through social media Adoption Minnesota encourages adoptive parents need to think about how they will feel if they were to see their child’s birth parents or family posting about their struggles and the coping that go along with placing a child for adoption. They also encourage birth parents, to think about how they will feel reading about the feelings adoptive parents might post about the adoption process, fear, stress, nervousness, happiness etc. When using social media, it’s important to remember that the adoption process is not only your story, but your child’s story, and the way you tell that story could impact everyone involved in the adoption. The following are some tips for when you are considering using social media on your adoption journey.

For Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents:

  • Assume that anything you say or post on social media will stay there forever. Before posting sensitive information about your adoption plans and your child, consider the possibility that the information you share now could one day be seen by your child.
  • It is a good idea to work on a post adoption social media plan. Adoption Minnesota along with many other agencies help adoptive parents and birth parents create one so that everyone is on the same page about what will be posted. Having a plan in place will allow birth parents and adoptive families to establish and agree on boundaries regarding discussions of their child and the adoption on social media.
  • If you are not currently a social media user or not a frequent user, it is very important to become familiar with sites before using them. Many sites have features that you should understand about public or private information and how you add information that is private verses public. Even after you become familiar with the privacy settings on any given site it is also important to still be aware that these sites often change the settings options. If you plan to share information about your adoption process on social media, adjust your privacy settings to limit the people who can access that information.
  • When sharing adoption information with your social media networks, remember that friends can share or respond to your posts, opening your information to a wider audience beyond your intended group of friends and followers. Include this consideration in your pre- and post-adoption social media plan.
  • Adoption Minnesota suggests that parties do not share identifying information about the birth or adoptive family or the child.
  • When sharing images of children, consider private photo-sharing websites that require a password to view posted photo galleries.
  • If you have an open adoption, consider setting up a separate, private website or private Facebook page to share pictures, information and milestones between the birth and adoptive families. This will allow you to share adoption information with a select group of individuals without including the day-to-day information you might share on your public social media sites.
  • Have clear boundaries from the beginning about who you will accept friend and follower requests from, including extended birth and adoptive family members.
  • Avoid angry or emotionally charged communication about other members of the adoption process. Again, remember that anything you do or say on social media could potentially be seen by your child one day, and these types of negative posts could be upsetting to your child.
  • Monitor and censor what friends post on your social media pages. If you shared adoption information with a friend or family member outside of social media, they may post questions or information to your social media pages that publicly reveals this information.
  • When posting to online adoption support groups or discussion forums, be careful to guard the privacy and identity of the members of your adoption. Consider changing names or using commonly used acronyms, such as “BP” for birth parent.

For Birth Parents:

  • Talk with your family, friends and the birthfather about your post adoption social media plan. Make sure everyone understands your wishes regarding the information that is shared on social media.
  • If you receive a friend request from a child, speak to your Adoption Minnesota counselor or an adoption specialist before responding. Social media is often not the best format to make these types of connections, and you may consider redirecting the request to more traditional formats, such as personal letters or emails.
  • Do not criticize the adoptive parents on social media, including expressing frustration with their parenting decisions.

For Adoptive Parents:

  • Do not post pre-placement adoption information, such as ultrasound photos, without an agreement from the birth parents.
  • If you are connected to your child’s birth family on social media, avoid posting complaints about your child. Simple expressions of routine frustrations over late-night diaper changes or a messy bedroom can be misinterpreted by birth parents and lead to hurt feelings.
  • If you have an open or semi-open adoption with your child’s birth parents, share big news and milestones regarding your child with them directly via letter, email or phone call before posting it online for the rest of your social network to see.
  • Never criticize members of the birth family on social media, including those who seem to be unsupportive of the birth mother’s adoption decision.
  • As your child grows up and begins to use social media, consider their privacy settings and their access to information about their birth family. Prepare your child for the pros and cons of developing a social media relationship with his or her birth family.

Social Media can be a great way to get to know each other and stay connect, but it can also lead to hurt feelings and misconceptions if not used right. The important thing to think about when using social media for adoption purposes is how it will affect everyone involved. As long as both sides are on the same page and have discussed their plan, Adoption Minnesota feels that social media can be a very helpful adoption tool.

 

Adoption Minnesota is on the Documentary 9 Months by Courtney Cox

Adoption MN has been a part of a documentary that is currently being presented on Facebook Live. This opportunity came to us through local birth parents who had already committed to the production of Nine Months by Courtney Cox during the beginning of the birth mother’s pregnancy.

 

Nine Months follows several different people around the country who have pregnancy situations that involve surrogacy, infertility struggles, a single parent, cancer during pregnancy, etc., all during their nine months of pregnancy. If you are thinking about placing your baby for adoption this may be a helpful documentary to show how the process goes for birth parents.

 

The story that Adoption MN is involved in is the only adoption situation. It follows the birth parents’ pregnancy, adoption choice, how they chose a family, the hospital experience and afterwards.

 

You can watch Nine months by either clicking on the link below or logging into Facebook and clicking on the “watch” tab, then searching for Nine months by Courtney Cox.Several of us have watched the episodes shown so far, and we feel that, for the most part, they have been positive and give a sense of what the “real life” process of planning an adoptive placement looks like. However, we do see how edited the story is and not everything shown is completely accurate.

 

Overall, the show portrays quite a variety of pregnancy related issues, struggles and the desire for and joy of becoming parents. We encourage you to view this series.

https://www.facebook.com/9monthswithcourteneycox