One of the hardest situations any woman can face is an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. Choosing whether giving a child up for adoption is the right choice is a challenging decision. If you need to decide what to do next, many factors are involved: your age, health, financial status, emotional state, relationship with the baby’s father. Many other people may also be involved—directly or indirectly—in your decision-making process: the baby’s father, your parents, other family members and friends. While these people have important things to add to the conversation, they also have their own emotional reactions to your predicament, so they may not be completely objective. As such, they should perhaps not be the only people that you consult about this life-altering decision. You might benefit from consulting an outsider who can guide you without the emotional entanglements.
For a woman considering giving a child up for adoption, it can be a confusing and highly emotional time. You may know you need to speak with someone objective, but you may not know who. You may wish to talk to a variety of specialists—and perhaps visit several. Here are some specialists to consider.
Giving a child up for adoption is not simple; there are legal ramifications and highly complex paperwork to complete. Emotional moments are not the best time to make complicated legal decisions, especially if you are unfamiliar with the applicable laws. Seeking information from a qualified adoption lawyer can help you understand the legal facets of the dilemma. A lawyer can translate complicated legal language into language you understand and can answer questions about the immediate adoption process and the longer-term consequences of adoption in general and of specific adoption types (open versus closed, for example).
A Psychologist or Counselor
If you think giving a child up for adoption is a viable alternative, you likely have conflicting emotions such as fear, guilt and sadness. You may also be concerned about the emotions of others affected by the unplanned pregnancy. A psychologist or counselor can help you sort through your emotions. He or she can ask questions that will help you discover what is most important to you now and in the future. He or she can help you help yourself make the best decision for everyone involved and perhaps bring you some emotional comfort as well. If you choose this type of assistance, be sure to find a psychologist or counselor with experience in adoption.
A Religious or Spiritual Guide
For some women, contemplating giving a child up for adoption also has religious or spiritual considerations. If you are one of these women, you may also wish to meet with a religious or spiritual guide. You can choose one you already know, who has the advantage of understanding a little about you already, or you can find someone you’ve never met, who would be more objective. In either case, this person can help you understand the religious or spiritual aspects of this decision and offer spiritual comfort in this distressing time.
Some women may want to consult many specialists about giving a child up for adoption. For those women—perhaps you are one—some agencies provide multiple kinds of help in one place. These agencies take a collaborative, integrated approach to helping women make this choice. An agency might just be what you need if you want guidance from objective practitioners in different fields.