How to Include Your Family in Your Adoption Plan
One of the most valuable resources you have to rely on throughout your adoption journey is your own family. Whether it’s providing input, emotional support, or a ride to the doctor’s office, family members can help make the adoption process easier for you. That’s why when you’re putting together your adoption plan, you might want to think about how you can include your family in it. Including your family in your adoption plan can make the entire process more rewarding for you and can bring you closer to your family along the way.
Adoption Choices of Kansas wants you to get the most out of your adoption journey. That’s why we provided some suggestions as to how you can incorporate your family in your adoption plan.
Let Them Help You Find a Doctor and/or an Adoption Attorney
Regardless of whether you have begun your adoption journey, you will need to find a doctor early in your pregnancy. If your family lives in the same area as you, consider asking them to recommend an OB/GYN they trust and have had good experiences with. Additionally, they might be able to recommend a hospital where you can give birth based on their experiences there. Receiving care from a medical team that is familiar and trusted can relieve some of the stress that can come from childbirth.
Family members may also be able to help find an adoption attorney that can advocate for your interests. It might be worthwhile to ask family members if they have connections to anyone who practices adoption law. Even if they don’t, they can still help you in your search for an adoption attorney who’s a good fit for you.
Ask for Their Input throughout Your Adoption Journey
You will have to make several important decisions throughout your adoption journey, and having external input from the people who are closest to you can be highly valuable. Some of the most important items you will have to incorporate in your adoption plan are the type of adoption you will pursue (i.e. open, semi-open, or closed), and who you will choose to be the adoptive family. As you weigh your options, it’s helpful to be able to bounce ideas off of family members who know you well and whose input you value. If you have family members who have gone through the adoption process either as a birth parent or adoptive parent, this is a great opportunity to reach out to them.
Bring Them Along to Meet the Adoptive Family
It’s exciting to finally find a prospective adoptive family that you think will be the right fit for the baby. However, it can still be a nerve-wracking and emotional experience when meeting them for the first time. Bringing your family along for support when you see the adoptive family for the first time can mitigate any anxiety you may experience leading up to this meeting. Also, if they are able to get to know the prospective adoptive family, they can provide their own thoughts and feelings for you to consider which can help you make a better informed decision. When they are on board with the family you have chosen, it can feel validating and reassuring that you are on the right path. If they’ve formed a conclusion about your chosen family that differs from yours, that doesn’t mean you’re making the wrong decision, but it’s worth exploring more deeply so you feel confident in why you are choosing the family you’re choosing.
Include Them in the Delivery Process
When the day finally comes for you to deliver the baby, emotions will be running high, and having your family close can make it easier to get through this major turning point in your life. Not only can they be a reliable means of getting to and from the hospital, but they can also be present during the delivery if you wish. Having them present after the delivery can feel comforting in the hours leading up to the relinquishment of your parental rights.
Accept and Return Their Emotional Support
When you are facing the overwhelm of an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent separation from the baby, the feelings of grief and anxiety can feel like they’re impossible to control at times. However, having the support of your family can make you feel less alone in your struggle, and can give you a sense of hope that you will eventually find peace and healing. In the meantime, remember that this is a difficult time for your family members as well as they will also be separated from the baby you are placing for adoption. Consider going to counseling together during and after your pregnancy, so that you can resolve your grief and move on as a family.
A Path Forward for You and Your Family
Including your family in your adoption plan can give you a sense of stability during this uncertain time for you. It also gives you an opportunity to grow closer with them as you endure this experience together. Here at Adoption Choices of Kansas, we encourage you to build a strong support system for yourself, and family is a great place to start.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.