Adoption is a beautiful process; nevertheless, it is often misunderstood. Many view adoption as shameful, or as a dishonorable act of love, when it is really love in the purest form. Adoptions consist of love that extends from the heart, not the mind. Choosing adoption is not chosen due to a lack of love, it is chosen because of your profound love for your child. As you are making your decision for your child, review some of the misunderstandings you or your family or friends may have about Adoption.
Misunderstanding 1: A mother who really loves her child would never “give it up.”
Adoption is a gift of love for your child in the most self-sacrificing way and a gift of life. Through adoption, you are not “giving up” your child; rather, you are giving up your parental rights. You are asking for someone else to look over your child, provide for your child, teach your child right from wrong, and guide your child through life. At Lifetree, we want you to feel comfortable with your decision for choosing adoption. We want you to be able to eventually feel good about your decision, and feel excited about the future you have given your child. To reach this decision exemplifies the greatest act of love. Let us help you prepare a Placement Plan that will reflect how much you truly love your child.
Misunderstanding 2: No one can love my child as much as I can.
Adoptive Parents can love your child as though your child was biologically their own. At Lifetree, we know. Robin Stephenson, Co-Founder of Lifetree, is an adopted mom. There is no difference in the love she has for her adopted child compared to that of her biological children. Many Adoptive Parents have been on an infertility rollercoaster and their only hope of having a family or extending their family is through adoption. Adoptive Parents have been longing to be a mom and dad, and that desire grows stronger every day. This strong desire enables Adoptive Parents to unconditionally love and nurture your child by way of placing their needs before their own. Most adopted children can be classified as “spoiled” with love! (Read profiles of Waiting Adoptive Parents)
Misunderstanding 3: I will have emotional problems if I choose adoption and will never get over “giving up” my baby.
Unlike the emotional problems you will have if you choose to abort your child, adoption will provide you with the luxury of knowing your child is alive and happy, what your child will look like when he/she is older, and what educational and career path he/she will take. At Lifetree, we understand you will have a grieving period during your pregnancy and most likely after your delivery. That grieving period is normal and healthy to experience. It is a sign of your good mental health. No one expects you to stop feeling and grieving your loss, nor do we want you to forget about your child. At Lifetree, we are here to help you through your grieving process any way we can. We want you to remember your child in a positive way and reflect back on the reasons as to why you chose adoption for your child. At Lifetree, we will encourage you to make a Placement Plan that corresponds to the openness you desire. We want the Placement Plan to be one you can be comfortable with for the rest of your life, and hopefully, without regrets. You have God on your side, and if you ask God for His help, He will indeed help you through any emotional problem that arises in your life. He loves you and also wants what is best for you and your life…for you are His child.
Misunderstanding 4: Adoption is an irresponsible solution to my unplanned pregnancy.
Actually, adoption is a responsible solution to your unplanned pregnancy. You are taking a stance and saying, “I am not ready to be a mom at this time in my life.” You are now in the chapter of your life entitled, “I am pregnant and don’t know what to do.” You are facing a lot of uncertainties at this time and you are probably looking for a solution. A responsible person understands there are choices to be carefully looked at, and the choice you accept will be your solution. You would not be irresponsible by placing your baby for adoption; rather, it reflects a higher level of maturity. That you are a responsible person who is making a plan for your child’s future. At Lifetree, we want you to know all your choices and feel comfortable with the solution you have selected.
Misunderstanding 5: I will eventually forget about my child after my child has been placed for adoption.
Some Birthmothers have said that placing a child for adoption is like experiencing a loss of a loved one. A Birthmother never forgets that sense of loss. You may put this chapter in your life behind you and continue on with life, but you will never forget about your child. If you ask a woman who has had a miscarriage, or experienced the death of her child, if she ever thinks about that child, she will say “Yes, I do think about my child and I always wonder what might have been.” Is it not great for you to know your child is alive and well!
At Lifetree, after deciding on placing your child for adoption, it is our desire that you have a healthy recovery before, during and after birth. At Lifetree, we know that it will be hard saying “goodbye” to your baby, but realize the comfort in knowing about your child as he/she grows older and matures into a fine young man or woman. We are here for you at any time…during your time with us as one of our special Birthmothers, and afterwards as you start living your life again and making your mark in the world. We don’t want you to forget about the precious gift you gave to another family. We want you to remember your child in a positive way and reflect back on why you chose adoption for your child.
Misunderstanding 6: Once I place my child for adoption, I will never know what happens to my child at birth and in the following years.
In past years, adoption was this “big secret.” The Birthmother would have a child and the child would be taken immediately away from the Birthmother without the Birthmother ever knowing the sex of her child, her child’s health status, and who adopted her child. At Lifetree, you get to make a Placement Plan that is right for you. You can specify your desire of knowing the sex of your child before your child is born, and determine how much time you want to spend with your child. At Lifetree, you can choose the adoptive family you want to adopt your child, and decide on the level of contact you desire before and after placement. You may elect to receive photographs of your child, or lean towards a more open adoption which allows you to visit with your child and the adoptive parents in a neutral setting. The choice is yours.
Misunderstanding 7: All adopted children grow up to have serious psychological problems.
In the past, adoption was supposed to be this “big shameful secret” among family and friends. No one discussed it and no one would tell the child he/she was adopted. As the child grew older and the adoption was made known, every truth that the child has known becomes open to question. This adolescent immediately feels a sense of loss and discouragement. At Lifetree, we encourage our adoptive families to be open and honest about adoption. We will explain the benefits of being honest about adoption with their adopted child at a very early age. Encouragingly the child will know that being adopted is a beautiful thing. Discussing their adoption story with their child will allow him/her to grow with secure roots and an awareness of being loved.
Misunderstanding 8: My child really doesn’t need a father.
Children who are raised in a home full of love from two parents will most likely excel in most areas of their life. When a father is present and actively involves himself in the adopted child’s life, that child will have a healthy foundation for future relationships that involve men; such as a future husband and father. Furthermore, a father who is a loving and devoted husband will pass down an important component on the making of a healthy marriage. This will form a progression of healthy relationships for that child in every part of their life.