“How to put a baby up for adoption” was what she searched before calling Abrazo the first time. It wasn’t the first time she’d thought about it. But it was the first time she actually looked into how to put a baby up for adoption.
The first time she got pregnant she was just sixteen. Her parents wanted her to get an abortion, but her boyfriend’s parents promised to take the baby until she was ready to take over. When she was, they didn’t, though, so she hadn’t seen her firstborn in years. Her second and third babydaddies both left her, so she thought of adoption then, too. But she didn’t do it. So many friends promise they’d help, she thought she’d have it made. (Until she didn’t because they didn’t.)
Now, she was pregnant with her fourth child at the ripe old age of twenty-three. Misti felt at least twice that old, though. She knew her relatives wouldn’t agree with her adoption plan. Yet she didn’t want to raise another baby alone, on food stamps and thrift store clothing and diaper bank handouts.
She’d been there and done that, and now, she wanted more for her kids and herself. So that was why she called Abrazo to find out…
How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption (in a few thoughtful steps)
Step One: if your baby is not yet born, call Abrazo (1-800-454-5683) to sign up as a client. You can’t make any legal decisions before 48 hours after the birth. But you can get free counseling and receive needed maternity assistance. You can choose an adoptive family and start getting to know them if you wish. (You’ll still have every right to change your mind, however, if you decide to not place your child for adoption after birth.)
Step Two: if your child is already born, you can call Abrazo day or night (1-800-454-5683) to get immediate services and decide whether or not to become a client. Abrazo can help you get preplacement counseling, get preadoption assessments for your child, and understand the legal process. You can choose an adoptive family and help prepare your child to meet them. (You still have every right to change your mind if you decide adoption is not the right decision.)
Step Three: you can meet with Abrazo’s staff to sign the irreversible legal documents that will allow Abrazo to have your child adopted, if you are absolutely certain adoption is best for your child, provided your child is 48 hours old or older, and you need no more time to consider alternatives. Abrazo then becomes your child’s legal guardian. Your child goes home with the adoptive family. And you continue to receive support and counseling from Abrazo to help you adjust emotionally.
What Birthparents Need to Know
You’ll notice the prior section didn’t refer to a few “easy” steps” because adoption is not easy, and it shouldn’t be. Placing a baby or child for adoption is one of the hardest choices any parent ever has to make and most go through a grieving process, as they adapt afterwards. (That’s why Abrazo is so big on counseling; you may not think you’ll need it, but at least try it, okay?)
We don’t use the phrase “putting a child up for adoption” at Abrazo. Because that term goes back to the orphan train days in America, when children were literally lifted up on train platforms so people could bid for them. That’s a far cry from the loving open adoptions we do today, where birthparents take the lead in deciding which parents they want for their child, get to know them and keep in touch in the year that follow.
Open adoption won’t cancel out all of the losses of placing a child for adoption, and it’s not like having joint custody, since contact agreements are not legally-enforceable in Texas. You will still have information about and access to the child you place. But you won’t have parental rights anymore. (That takes some getting used to.) You may feel like a guest in the lives of your child and their new family, which can be hard. Your child may or may not agree with your adoption decision, so having a great relationship with the adoptive family is essential.
Finally, know this: the most important thing to know about how to put your baby up for adoption is to do it the right way, for the right reasons. Dealing with a licensed adoption agency like Abrazo means doing everything by the book, for your own protection and your child’s. The best advice on how to put your baby up for adoption is to do an adoption you and your child can be proud of– the Abrazo way.