Domestic Violence And Choosing Adoption For Your Baby
Domestic violence is misunderstood, and being pregnant in an abusive household leaves soon-to-be moms feeling lost. Adding another family member is stressful enough under stable roofs, but having a baby in an abusive environment does not have words to fully describe it. Existing children are already at risk, and mothers are against the clock on deciding what to do before the baby is born, so he or she can be safe.
A Kansas adoption also comes with misconceptions, so talking to your baby’s father may not be a comfortable option. The Kansas adoption process itself comes with its own range of emotions both during and after children are placed. Each case is unique, and it is natural to have concerns and even have feelings of loss afterward. Don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision against your will, and take time to think about all of your options. You are probably worried about who to talk to and how to give your child the best future they can have. Your situation is very hard, but it is not hopeless. It may be hard to see that hope, but there are places you can turn for help. Whatever you decide, do not blame yourself. Your situation is not your fault, and there are good times ahead.
We at Adoption Choices of Kansas will do everything in our power to help you out of your present situation.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Every couple disagrees and argues, but abuse has its own distinctive signs. Victims, themselves, often don’t recognize their partners as abusive. This is because abusive people are manipulative and controlling to their victims. This sense of control combined with emotional attachment makes it hard to leave the situation and see the abuser for how they really are. Signs of abusive include:
- Fearing your partner
- Being forced to have sex or do other things you don’t want to
- Being hit
- Being isolated from family or friends
- Being pressured financially get you to do what you want
- Withholding medical care
- Poorly caring for yourself
- Being constantly blamed
- Feelings of worthiness or shame
- Being out down by your partner
- Frequently making you question your memory of events
Abusive actions are not always daily events. Abusive partners might apologize and have periods of time of trying to be nice. This is solely done to charm you into going back to him or staying by tricking you into thinking he’s changed. It is not true remorse. He will repeat the abusive behavior again.
Hazards of Abuse to an Unborn Child
No one ever dreams they will find themselves in an abusive relationship. Sadly, it happens to many people. Outsiders may unknowingly pressure you into getting along with the abuser because he may seem nice from their viewpoints. Understand that these people don’t truly know what’s happening behind closed doors. If they find out, they may not understand why you stayed with your partner as long as you did. You and any existing children may even have an attachment to the abuser. This is common among victims. Before anything else, the safety of your children must come first. If you are pregnant, domestic violence puts your baby at risk in a number of ways, such as:
- Preterm birth
- Low birth weight
- Fetal injuries
- Death of the mother
Children raised in abusive households may develop abusive tendencies themselves or have poor mental health as adults. The violence may have even intensified during your unplanned pregnancy. The abuse will not stop after the baby is born and can also harm your child’s development. Emotional trauma is just one example. It is urgent to act now to ensure your family is safe.
Getting to Safety During Your Adoption Process
Don’t expect a violent partner to stop. If you are experiencing domestic violence, you need to make plans before things get worse. Keep emergency numbers in a safe place and think about how you will get out of the situation. Tell someone you trust but are not close to the abuser. Tell your adoption caseworker about your situation. Your caseworker is ready to help and has seen others with the same problems. There are services available to help across the country that can help you decide your first steps and get past obstacles.
One common obstacle is not having a safe place to go. If you do not have a safe place to go, find the locations of your area’s domestic violence shelters. Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, so it is critical to plan ahead. Keep essentials, important documents, and emergency numbers in a hidden place you can easily access in case you have to leave your home in a hurry.
Your Partner’s Paternal Rights During the Adoption Process
Once you find a safe new home, you might have concerns about what your child’s father might do. Perhaps you might be concerned he will ask for custody or give you problems with the choices you make for your baby or existing children. Paternal rights will vary from state to state, so knowing the law or getting legal help is important. This matter will likely have to be handled right away. Some moms might choose to place their newborns for a Wichita adoption to give them the best life they can. Others may keep their baby and make choices contrary to what the father wants.
Adoption agencies will have a legal expert on hand to handle such cases. First, you must know whether your partner has been legally established as the father. You may not have to inform him of the adoption if his paternity is not legally established. If he can establish paternity legally, his rights will have to be terminated before the adoption process can proceed. Talk to your adoption specialist or legal representative before you tell the father since laws vary. Most importantly, you need to be sure adoption is the right choice for you.
If you or anyone you know is in an abusive situation please reach out to any of these outside sources to get the help you need.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline & Chat Line: 24 hours: 800-799-7233 (SAFE)
- Kansas Crisis Hotline: (888-END-ABUSE) 888-363-2287
Adoption Choices of Kansas can be contacted 24/7 and has multiple services for unplanned pregnancies. Over 100 women are served annually as a licensed agency, and support counseling is offered during and after pregnancy and placement. When you’re ready, the agency will support you no matter what your decision is.
Meet the author: Seannea Wharton is a student at Miami University majoring in English. As of now, she is working on her first novel, starting a book blog, and learning American Sign Language. She was raised in a suburban town in New Jersey and has various hobbies such as gardening, cooking, and crocheting. She enjoys learning about a wide range of topics and loves finding new books to read.