Adoption

If you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy, adoption will be one of the most important options you consider. Adoption is not a perfect system, but when choosing between life-giving adoption, and abortion, which takes your unborn baby’s life, the choice is clear. Whichever decision you make, you will always be a mother – of an infant placed with a loving family, or of a child whose death you will always remember.

If at anytime during your decision-making process you feel forced or pressured toward “only one solution” by someone – a boyfriend, parent or clinic worker – you would be wise to consult others whom you trust.

A complete listing of Wisconsin pregnancy help centers can be found online.

Looking for licensed adoption agencies?

Click for a list of agencies in Wisconsin.

I don't want to abort my baby. What are my options?

If you have been honest with yourself, you realize that you are in a difficult situation. No one can change that. No matter how you choose to deal with your pregnancy, no decision will be easy. Following your choice to give your baby life will require courage. Let’s examine your options.

Raising the ChildYourself

This means your child will be fully dependent on you for her or his needs. This requires love, encouragement, time and, of course, food, clothing, shelter and education. This may seem like more than you can handle, and you may be right. But you also may be underestimating yourself. Discuss this option completely with family members and mature adults whose judgment you trust. Raising your child yourself may be difficult, but it can prove to be most rewarding with a good support system. Nothing compares to the love of a child for his or her mother.

Shared Parenting or Grandparenting

This means that you and your parents raise your child as a family effort. Many children have grown up happily in the stable environment provided by a mother and loving grandparents. This option requires that your parents have the time, resources (and most importantly) the willingness to help you raise your child. Challenging? Maybe, but this option may be a good way to parent while you juggle your school or career schedule. Of course, if there is any ongoing pattern of drug, alcohol, physical or sexual abuse in your home, then shared parenting is clearly not an option for you and your baby.

Marry the Father and Raise Your Child as a Family

You also want to consider how the father may be able to support you and the child. If the father can help you provide a safe, positive environment, then your child will benefit. Loving two-parent families where both the father and mother take their responsibilities seriously and help to support each other provide a much more positive environment for the physical and emotional health of your child. You and the baby’s father should explore these issues together before you make a decision.

Putting Your Child Up for Adoption

You, with your trusted adoption counselor, will make the decision which is best for you and your baby. In any of these situations, you never forget your child, and placing your child is emotionally a hard decision. There will be a grieving process for your child. But you always know that you gave your child two gifts: the gift of life and the gift of a loving family. You have also given yourself two gifts — knowing that someday you can see your child again and being able to move on with your life, knowing that your child will be loved and cared for.

Placing Your Child for Adoption

Adoption options today are very different than they were 40 or 50 years ago. When you placed your baby back then, you were never able to see your child or know how he or she was doing. Today adoption searches have reunited many families.

There are three different types of legal adoption:

Open

You can choose the family to raise your child, and even though your child is legally adopted by the couple, you have the legal option of seeing your child and receiving information on your child’s development. Once the child reaches the age of 18, if both parties are willing to meet, you can meet your child and reveal your identity.

Semi-Open

You again have the choice of choosing the family for your child. But, in this situation you can only receive information about your child; you can not visit the child until he/she is 18 years of age and agreeable to meeting with you.

Closed

n this case, you work with an agency to place your child for adoption for you. Once your child is placed, you may not have contact with your child or learn of his or her progress until the age of 18. You may meet only if the child wishes to meet with you.

You, with your trusted adoption counselor, will make the decision which is best for you and your baby. In any of these situations, you never forget your child, and placing your child is emotionally a hard decision. There will be a grieving process for your child. But you always know that you gave your child two gifts: the gift of life and the gift of a loving family. You have also given yourself two gifts — knowing that someday you can see your child again and being able to move on with your life, knowing that your child will be loved and cared for.

Can an adoptive parent love my baby as much as I would?

Yes. People who adopt do so not because they have room for a child in their homes, but because they have room in their hearts! Adoptive parents will tell you that they love their adopted children every bit as much as they love their genetic children. The elements of good parenting are the same for all kids, adopted or otherwise: love that is unconditional, and care and commitment to nurturing.

What rights and responsibilities does the father have?

Legally, an adoption could be reversed if the legal birth father has not signed away his parental rights to his child. By the same token, if either the birth mother or father has been coerced into placing a child for adoption, the same thing could happen.

When birth mothers are counseled regarding an adoption option, she is generally told what her legal rights are. However, the same may not be true for the birth father, since his identity may not have been revealed and he may not know of the pregnancy.

This site offers several resources for fathers who may be facing an adoption placement of his child. As the birth father (with paternity of the father having been proven), he has legal rights to help decide what is best for his child, just as the birth mother does.

There are many websites available with legal information, but listed below are a few of them for reference and assistance.

What About Adoption for Special Needs Children?

The Adoption Resources of Wisconsin website says this about special needs adoptions: “Special needs adoption is similar to other types of adoption except the child who needs a family has specific conditions that may be linked to disabilities or past mistreatment.”

There are thousands of children with special needs who need care and a family to love them. Contact the Wisconsin Adoption Information Center for more information, or if you should be interested in international adoptions, contact Bethany Christian Services at 1-800-Bethany.

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