Are there any costs to me for placing my baby for adoption?
No. There are no costs for you as the birthmother.
Can I choose a family for my baby?
Absolutely! You will have the opportunity to choose a family that you love by viewing profiles of screened and trained families that fit the desires you share with your local worker. These profiles show you more about these families like what they like to do, how they will parent, what life in their home would be like, and much more. If you would like, you can meet the family you choose to get to know them even more.
Does the father of my baby have any rights?
The father’s rights are different in every state. We love working with birth fathers who want to be involved. However, birth mothers often make an adoption plan without the help of the baby’s father. As part of your support and counsel, you will be advised about the rights in your state and together with an attorney, we will develop a plan that is best for you and baby.
Can I have contact with my baby after adoption?
Yes, if this is something you desire. Most adoptions will start semi-open and Lifeline can help facilitate and navigate the relationship between you, the adoptive parents, and the child. Then, as you get to know each other better, the relationship may progress from there. We will help you think through what level of openness you desire to start with such as just letters and pictures or visits. The adoptive parents you choose will be committed to the level of openness that you choose.
Why is Lifeline Children’s Services the local adoption agency for me?
We believe that every good decision begins with good information, and at Lifeline, that’s what we desire to share with expectant parents. Our pregnancy counselors are passionate about providing pregnancy options counseling in a way that is supportive, understanding, and non-pressuring. We desire to equip expectant parents with the knowledge needed to make the best choice for their child’s long-term well-being.
Our staff is committed to treating you with respect and providing non-judgmental counsel. We want to know your hopes, your dreams, and your fears and walk beside you in all of those.
Additionally, our families are top notch! They have chosen Lifeline because of our commitment to you! They don’t want you pressured into a decision and they want to know you if that’s something you desire!
At what point in my pregnancy may I make plans for adoption?
Women begin their investigation into adoption at all stages of pregnancy. Maybe you’ve just found out your pregnant and want to explore the option of adoption, or you’re in your final trimester or even already delivered and think adoption could be a good plan for your child – wherever you begin, our pregnancy counselors meet you where you are and give you the tools and resources you need to walk through this process. We can explain hospital procedures, discuss grief and how you’re feeling, and support you as you choose a family for your child. If giving up your baby for adoption is something you are sure of or simply just considering, we are here to help you learn more about how this option is not giving up, but could be a good plan for you and your baby.
What is open adoption?
At Lifeline, we work with families who value you and want their children to know about their birthmother, who chose life and a plan for them. They desire an open relationship with you, based on how much openness you desire. Our pregnancy counselors work with you as you decide if you’d like frequent letters and pictures, regular visits, or if you prefer us to store the pictures for you until you feel ready to see them. You lead the way in determining how open you want your adoption to be.
This also means you can share about yourself with your child! We encourage you to write them letters and send pictures so they know more about their birthmother, what she looks like, what she enjoys doing, and what their shared heritage is. If you chose to have regular visits, you can do this in person also. None of this is required, but you are always welcome! We respect your decisions when it comes to your openness and will show you families that match the level of openness you prefer.
Regardless of how open you choose to be, we will always protect your identity and will never share your last name, address, or any other identifiable information if you do not desire us to.
How will I know an adoptive family will take good care of my child?
First, we put our families through an extensive review process to ensure they are stable, capable, and ready to be parents. Our social workers get to know them on a personal level, spend time in their home, and provide them with training for parenting. Additionally, they have been trained in how to honor you in their home. They know you are not giving up your baby for adoption, but are making a loving plan. In fact, they have chosen to utilize Lifeline because of our commitment to you!
After placement, you are able to see the care and love they provide to your child through letters, pictures, and even visits with the family. While these updates let you see your child as he/she grows, they can also provide you with comfort knowing your child is in a loving, stable home.
Why should I meet with a pregnancy counselor?
A pregnancy counselor’s job is to come alongside you, hear your needs and the needs of your child, and help you consider the best plan for you both. She can also provide you with emotional support, a different perspective, and someone outside of your friends and family to talk to about your unplanned pregnancy. Her goal is not for you to place your baby up for adoption. Her goal is to give you the tools and resources you need to make the right decision for your child, whether that’s making an adoption plan or parenting. We want to get you as much information as you need to make a well-informed decision you feel confident about! Only YOU can know the right decision for you and your baby.
If you do choose adoption, she will walk with you every step of the way. We can help you pinpoint what’s most important about the adoptive family to you, show you profile books of families that fit your requests, and walk you through finding the best fit for your child. She can personally explain paperwork, be your advocate with healthcare providers, and give you support after the adoption. Our services don’t end with the adoption – we always want to be here for you when you need us!
Why should I use a local agency instead of an attorney or an online facilitator?
As a licensed agency, Lifeline provides you with one person to assist with all your separate needs: options counseling as you make a decision, financial resources as you continue your pregnancy, matching services as you choose a family, legal assistance as you process paperwork, and lifelong support as a birthmother. We love that we are able to connect with you personally throughout the process. We provide you with a pregnancy counselor who specifically works with you from the very first meeting throughout your journey. We encourage you to do your research to see if an attorney or online facilitator can offer the same services.
What should I consider in choosing an adoptive family?
We can help you decide what matters most to you about your child’s family. Maybe there are some favorite activities, like hiking, movie-watching, or football, that you’d like to have in common. You may want your child to have older brothers or sisters or you may want to give a gift to a childless family. You tell us what matters most to you, and the preferences you may have. We will show you families that meet your requirements and will continue helping you narrow down your options until you find the perfect family for your child! You will not be matched until you feel 100% positive about your choice.
What should I do if my family or friends don’t support my decision?
It can be hard to make a decision that isn’t supported by family and friends. It is good to listen to people you trust and seek input. Family and friends can do that for you; we advise you seek input from a professional like Lifeline, as well. While family and friends may have good intentions, they may not understand adoption. We can help you find the words to share your decision with them, whether in conversation or through a letter, and we will be here to talk afterward. We can help educate your family about newborn adoption so they know the control you have in the choice of family and long-term contact with your child if you choose.
Am I being selfish if I give my baby up for adoption?
Adoption is courageous and sacrificial, but it is not the easy way out. It takes thoughtfulness, commitment, and selflessness. You are making a responsible decision by considering all your options for the health and well-being of your child and placing them with loving, prepared parents. Placing your baby for adoption is a plan that considers both your needs and your child’s needs.
Can I talk with other women who have made an adoption plan?
It’s so wise to consider receiving counsel from women who have walked this journey before! We would love to connect you with another woman who placed for adoption. She can explain the process, emotions, and overall experience better than anyone else.
What happens if I change my mind?
As always, YOU make the decision about what’s best for your child. If you choose adoption and at any point change your mind, we will support you in your decision. Our job is to help you make a plan for your child, whether that’s placing or parenting.
After the baby is born, we talk with you again about the decision to sign relinquishments. We want you to be confident before you sign, as this is a permanent document. We will never, ever have you sign if you are not confident this is the best choice for you and your child.
Will I regret my decision?
Asking this question shows you’re already considering the long-term effects of this decision for you and your child. Adoption is filled with many emotions, some are joyful and full of hope, and some are hard and full of grief. Throughout the emotions, you can remember that you took your time to consider all of your options, and you chose the best possible plan for the long-term wellbeing of your child. You are never rushed or pressured. We’ll talk with you about how you may feel, and help you know what to do when you feel sad. Many mothers find remembering the reasons they chose adoption, and the specific family, give them peace and reassurance.
Years ago, birthmothers did not have contact with their child after placement. This was extremely hard on them and left them with questions about the wellbeing of their child. We are so glad this is no longer the norm! All Lifeline families chose to work with us because they care about YOU. They want to keep you updated, share photos and stories, and tell their child about the courageous decision you made out of love for them.
While placing your child into an adoptive family comes with sadness, loss, and grief, each option (parenting, adoption, or abortion) is a difficult one and comes with difficult feelings. Most women who make an adoption plan say those tough feelings are paired with great hope, peace, and possibility. You will know you’ve made a responsible, loving decision for your child. We are committed to helping you think through these feelings and how you may experience grief before making a final decision. Our post-adoption support team is available to you for a lifetime after you place your baby
Will my baby hate me if I put them up for adoption?
Mothers who put the care and well-being of their child before their own desires are self-less, loving, and courageous. Your child will know that it was because of your great love for them that you chose their family. Through open adoption, you can write letters or tell your child in person how much you have always loved them! Your love for them will never be in question. We also train our families to celebrate their child’s adoption story and to honor you, the birthmother, in their home.
Is there support for me after the adoption?
We offer post-adoption support to each of our birthmothers. When you work with us, you can maintain your relationship with your pregnancy counselor and receive resources for post-adoption grief, support groups, online support, birth mother events, and more. You can always reach out to Lifeline – we are here for you!
How are adoptive parents screened?
We place a high priority on knowing each of our prospective adoptive families personally. Our social workers spend time in their home, hear from their coworkers and family members, and hear their heart for domestic adoption. We ensure they are able to provide the physical, spiritual, and emotional support needed to raise a child. We require extensive background checks, national and statewide criminal history searches, and a thorough homestudy. We even require financial and medical records of our families. If we are unsure about the qualities of a family, they will not pass our screening system.
Once a family begins our process, we also ensure they have proper education on adoption. We provide training on open adoption, transracial education, how to share with their child about their adoption, and more. Our families are trained in how to honor you in their home. They know you are not giving up your baby for adoption, but are making a loving plan. In fact, they have chosen to utilize Lifeline because of our commitment to you!
How will I feel after I say goodbye?
Birthmothers experience a wide variety of emotions when they leave the hospital. No one person is the same. It’s not unusual to feel grief and sadness when you say goodbye. Your decision was not easy, but it was made with love. It’s because you love your child that it can be hard. You may also feel great relief at having made a secure decision for your child, and joy at the love you see between parents and child. You may feel all of these emotions, none of them, or completely different ones. We want to walk with you through those emotions, both the good and the bad, as you heal.
While placing your child into an adoptive family comes with sadness, loss, and grief, each option (parenting, adoption, or abortion) is a difficult one and comes with loss and difficult feelings. Most women who make an adoption plan say those tough feelings are paired with great hope, peace, and possibility. We are committed to helping you think through these feelings and how you may experience grief before making a final decision. Our post-adoption support team is available to you for a lifetime after you place your baby