Here at Good Shepherd, we believe that adoption is a “brave, loving, and life-giving decision”. It’s on all of our adoption materials and it’s the way that we speak about adoption. We sincerely believe that the choice to place a baby in an adoptive home is a brave decision. We believe that it is an act of love. And, of course, we believe that adoption is life-giving.
How does adoption affirm life? For an expectant mother facing an unexpected pregnancy, her options are: adoption, abortion, or parenting. If she chooses to give life to her child and bring the pregnancy to term, she has made the decision to either parent or place the child in an adoptive home.
When a woman chooses to make an adoption plan, she is choosing to uphold the dignity of her child. There are many reasons women turn to adoption, but they are not because her baby is “unwanted” or “unloved”. Many expectant mothers who choose adoption want to parent, and wish that they could parent under different circumstances. There may be many different factors in her decision, but ultimately, she is choosing to give her baby a better life than she believes she would be able to provide.
Adoption not only offers the chance for a baby to be placed in a loving home, but also provides care and services for the birth mother who is placing her child. At an ethical adoption agency, services are not only provided for the baby and adoptive family, but also for the woman placing her child in an adoptive home. Services like access to prenatal care, connecting with resources, counseling, and emotional support can be offered during the mother’s pregnancy, depending on the agency. After a birth mom places her baby, she can have access to grief counseling and group birth mom support. Adoption honors the brave, loving sacrifice of placing her baby in an adoptive home.
During the adoption process, birth mothers have the option to make decisions about their baby’s life that they are comfortable with. They can choose the level of openness, how involved they would like to be in their baby’s life, and they can choose the family their baby will go to. Having an open adoption, where families exchange letters, photos, phone calls, and visit each other regularly, can be a wonderful way for birth families to say involved in the child’s life. Every family’s adoption looks different, but open adoption allows for birth mothers to watch her child grow up even though she wasn’t in a place to parent.