Abrazo Adoption Associates, San Antonio, Texas

Making adoption plans

Sometimes, life has a funny way of taking us places we never intended to go.

At Abrazo, we know that. We've been there ourselves, and we've worked with thousands of expectant parents who knew that feeling, too. Whether your pregnancy was planned or unplanned, whether you are single or married, younger or older or right in between, whether you are reading this because you are just thinking about adoption or because you need to make placement plans for a coming baby or a child already born, we know what you're going through. And we want to help.

Hands making heart shapeYou're not alone, even if you feel like you are. If you're feeling scared or nervous or guilty for considering adoption, give yourself a break. You'd be surprised to know how many loving, responsible parents make open adoption plans nowadays…and how positive many feel about it, afterwards, hard as it was for them. Most of Abrazo's birthparents say they don't regret the choice that they made... they only regret that they found themselves facing such a hard decision in their lifetime.

We know that the public still wants to think that adoption plans are generally made just by scared teens who couldn't possibly raise a child by themselves. But the truth is, birthparents today come from a wide variety of life circumstances, and the birthparents we work with are some of the most wonderful parents we know! They don't turn to adoption because they don't want their babies, or because they don't love their children. They make loving adoption plans because they put their child's needs before their own, and the children they place grow up to love and respect them for their courage and unselfishness.

At Abrazo, the majority of our birthparents range in age from seventeen to forty-something. They come from every race and every walk of life. Some are young women pregnant for the first time. Many are single parents, struggling to provide for the children they have already. And still others are couples, who want the best for their kids but realize life has not equipped them with the things they need to make this happen. Texas laws at present don't require the consent of an unmarried father who hasn't proven paternity, but if your babydaddy is wanting to be involved in your adoption plan, we welcome his participation.

Whatever your circumstances, we understand. We know that this is a stressful and often confusing time. You are probably facing one of the biggest (and probably the hardest) choices you will ever have to make in life. You want the best possible future for this child of yours, and you need to consider all your options. Adoption isn't your only choice, of course. But for those who don't believe in abortion, who are not ready for parenting and who don't see foster care or relative placement as appropriate alternatives, loving adoption plans offer a "win-win" solution for all concerned; birthparents, adoptive parents, but most of all, for baby!

What Can Abrazo Do To Help?

For starters, you need to know that in Texas,moms who are placing (and their husbands) cannot make any legal commitment to adoption until at least 48 hours after their child's birth. That's important to know. At Abrazo, we believe that our first responsibility is to help you know your rights as you consider all your options and alternatives.

If you are in need of assistance with maternity expenses, housing, transportation, food, clothing, medical care or other pregnancy-related essentials, our laws in Texas enable us to help, before and after birth (void where prohibited).

We also offer private counseling, adoption education, a birthparent support group and professional referrals to help you find your own best answers. Do you have other children or family members who might be affected by the adoption plan? We'll help to counsel, educate and/or prepare them, too, if you wish. Want to talk with other birthparents who've "been there, done that?" We'll gladly put you in touch.

And if you choose not to complete an adoption plan, that's your right, and you owe nothing but an honest answer. Because ultimately, only you can decide what is best for you and your baby.

How do Abrazo's adoptions work?

Remember the old saying "Mother knows best?" Well, over the years, we've found that our adoptions generally work best when we leave the important choices to the people who are most affected by them.

This means that at Abrazo, we believe our job is to help you create a personalized adoption plan based on your own unique preferences, needs and values. All the choices are yours to make! That's why Abrazo offers private and personalized adoption planning, so our services are sure to fit your individual needs and special desires. You have the right to participate in the important choices about which adoptive family is right for your child, to get to know that family, and to keep in touch with them if you wish.

Birthmom feeding newbornWe believe open adoption is best because it is based on honesty and trust and we know these things are good for children! Open adoption is not about "co-parenting"--it's about cooperation and commitments that honor the welfare of all parties involved. Still, it's a permanent solution that should not be applied if your lack of readiness for parenting is a temporary problem. In most of our adoptions, our birthparents and adopting families choose to get to know each other personally, exchanging identifying information and keeping in touch afterwards, whether by letters and pictures, or phone calls or visits. Don't settle for other programs that claim open adoption means placing your child with someone who won't share their last name, or who promises you nothing more than a letter and picture once in a while. Open adoption means your child grows up knowing who you are from the start, because he or she has loving parents who know that telling the truth from the start is the very best way to prevent confusion and fear.

In Texas, like most states, open adoption agreements are still a matter of trust. Nobody can force you to have contact or continue communication if you don't want to, after the adoption is completed. We have no laws, yet, which allow agencies or courts to enforce any agreements between birthparents and adoptive parents to keep in touch after the adoption is finalized. At Abrazo, we ask our clients to decide together how much contact is right, and to put those plans in writing, so everybody knows what to expect. Because we believe that open adoption is best because it is based on honesty and trust and we know these things are good for children. And we trust that those who want what is best for their children will keep their promises--for the child's sake.

If openness doesn't seem to fit your needs, then let's talk about what kind of adoption plan would feel right. We'll work with you to make whatever arrangements are best for you and your child.

Placing the callWhere Do I Begin?

There's an old Chinese proverb which says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

If you're ready to take that first step, you could start by giving us a call. Let's talk about what's going on in your life and what you need and how we can help. We'll help you explore your options and we'll give you honest answers to your questions. There's no obligation on your part, and even the phone call is free. If you're in Texas, where we are, you can dial our toll-free number 'round the clock, day or night, 800-454-LOVE (that's 800-454-5683). If you're outside Texas and need to call us collect during business hours, dial 210-342-LOVE. We're friendly and easy to talk to, so call and ask for Audra, who has a special understanding of what you're going through and how to help, or Elizabeth, who's a licensed counselor.

Or if you prefer, complete the confidential inquiry form and we'll get more information to you, promptly and privately. Take a few moments to complete this confidential form, so we can get you the information you need, right away. Then, if you feel this is still the best plan for you and your little one, let us know. We'll contact you personally by whatever means you prefer, to get acquainted and help you find the brighter tomorrows that you truly deserve.

By contacting Abrazo, you're taking the first step in a loving journey--exploring all your options in order to choose the best and brightest future for your child! You're also making a wise choice in seeking help from one of the most caring adoption agencies you could find. We know there are many alternatives, but at Abrazo, we'll stand by you before, during and after your adoption decision, so you can count on us for all the support you need. At Abrazo, you'll find respect, compassion, and dignity, because we believe in you and we'll help you make whatever choices you feel are best.

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