If you’re considering placing your child for adoption, you may wonder what to expect once that decision has been made. You can expect several things to occur, and you should be prepared.
Your Rights Will Be Terminated
After you give birth and the baby is placed with the adoptive family, there is a period of waiting before your parental rights are terminated. This period varies by state and can take several months, depending on where you live. Once the required time has passed, your rights as a parent to the child will be terminated, and you will not be able to make any decisions concerning your child or have access to your child unless the adoptive parent allows.
Many women don’t realize that things aren’t final just because they have placed their child with an adoptive family. If circumstances change or you just don’t feel right about your decision, you can legally change your mind in certain circumstances.
The Adoption Finalization Will Occur
Once you have placed your child for adoption, it will take some time for the adoption to be finalized. After the termination of rights, the adoption of the child will move forward and a court date set. The adoptive parents and the child will appear before a judge who will approve the adoption.
All papers regarding the child and pre-adoptive information will be sealed. It will be difficult to access these documents without a court order.
You Will Grieve For Your Child
Even if you know that placing your child is the best for you and for them, you will still experience feelings of loss. You will grieve just as a mother with a stillborn or miscarriage. The emotions may come right away or it may take weeks, months, or even years before you complete the grief process.
You can expect to feel anger, denial, hurt, guilt, and even relief as you go through this process before you reach acceptance. Adoption is a lifelong decision, one you cannot take back once it’s completed. The feelings may also impact you for the rest of your life.
You Will Be Able To Receive Counseling
You can find a therapist or program that will help you deal with the loss of your child once you place him or her for adoption. In fact, it’s a good idea to have the name of a place even before you reach this point. Look for a therapist or center that specializes in adoption counseling. They will be able to understand your situation and offer methods to deal with the emotions you’re going to experience.
Choosing adoption for your child is a noble, selfless choice when you cannot give them a home. However, it’s not without consequences to you. You should be prepared for what will happen once your child has been placed for adoption so that you can move forward.
by Joyce Morse
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.