Women dealing with an unexpected pregnancy have three basic options: abortion, adoption, or keeping and raising the child. For many, personal beliefs exclude abortion as an option. For those people, they may feel extreme guilt about the idea of adoption. They may feel as though they are throwing away their child. However, placing a child up for adoption in a situation where the mother is unprepared may be the best gift that she could give the child. Many childless couples look for a child to adopt each year. Placing children for adoption is a difficult choice to make, but most noble choices are difficult.
Adoption is a permanent choice. Temporary issues should not be the primary reason for placing a child for adoption. Financial issues that can be remedied should not be a reason; family and friends may offer support in these situations. Government agencies may also provide help to women who need financial assistance when dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. A woman considering adoption should consider all potential effects of the act because once done, it can not be undone. Today’s adoptions include the mother. She can meet the potential adoptive parents, ask them questions, and choose the adoptive parents for her biological child. If needed, she may receive financial assistance, but it will be little. A woman should not resort to adoption as an income source. Women may choose between an open and a closed adoption. Open adoptions offer less anxiety for birth mothers because they can interact with their child and know how well their child is doing. They do not have to worry about the child they placed for adoption and not be able to know. Closed adoptions may prevent the biological mother from knowing about the child’s future life. However, the lack of interaction during childhood may prevent some problems. Should the biological family and adoptive family have issues that can not be reconciled, it may leave the child with psychological issues and confusion. Women who are considering adoption should ensure that the father of the child agrees. Legal issues can arise should the father decide to exercise his paternal rights. Offices of social services should be able to provide women considering adoption with advice and guidance concerning the logistics of adoption.
Mothers who choose adoption need to be aware that adoption involves loss. The choice is not temporary; they cannot take it back once the baby is born and the legal period has passed. While the choice of adoption is a noble one that provides happiness for a couple who cannot have children, the biological mother will experience grief. She will mourn the loss of her child even though she made the best decision for the child’s future. For this reason, a mother should be doubly sure that adoption is the best alternative for her. Open adoptions may lessen the initial grief the adoptive mother feels; however, it also provides a continual reminder that she is no longer the child’s mother. This reminder can exacerbate the grief involved with adoption. A woman facing an unexpected pregnancy faces a difficult choice; however, adoption is a viable alternative for women who cannot adjust to the burden of an unwanted pregnancy.