If you recently found out you’re pregnant and you weren’t planning on this for your life right now, you may feel overwhelmed. You have a lot of decisions to make about next steps, and may be wondering what your options are.
For women who aren’t ready to parent but aren’t comfortable with the idea of abortion, adoption provides a way forward with hope. There are a number of factors to consider, and we’re here to offer support and resources as you choose the option that’s best for you.
Who Should Consider Adoption?
Adoption is a great option for women who don’t feel ready to parent. Depending on the kind of adoption you choose, you can still have a relationship with the child after placement. Or, if you want to close this chapter of your life and move on, you can do that, too.
Many women who choose adoption are also uncomfortable with abortion. Perhaps they’ve had a previous abortion experience that didn’t go well, or they may be opposed to abortion for religious or other reasons. Whatever the case, adoption is a good option for women in this category as well.
What Is the Adoption Process Like in Illinois?
The state of Illinois outlines various rights and responsibilities of the birth mother to protect her interests. You can read the full list here, but in general, you will:
- Work with an adoption agency
- Request an attorney to represent you at no cost to you
- Request help with reasonable pregnancy expenses
The adoption agency you choose can help you select the adoptive family and adoption plan that most aligns with your desires and wishes. The agency will guide you through the entire adoption process, ensuring that you’re comfortable with each decision you make along the way.
In the state of Illinois, the earliest point at which you can relinquish your parental rights is 72 hours after birth.
The adoption is not final until you sign the Final and Irrevocable Surrender or Consent for the Purposes of Adoption paperwork. You can change your mind or request more time to consider your decision post-birth up until you sign the paperwork handing over your parental rights.
What Kind of Adoption Is Right For Me?
As you consider adoption for your unplanned pregnancy, you have three options: Open adoption, closed adoption, or semi-open adoption. Each has pros and cons and each person will need to decide which plan is best for them.
An open adoption plan provides the most opportunity for an ongoing relationship with the child and adoptive family if that is important to you.
In an open adoption, you can agree to exchange letters, emails, texts, and other forms of communication with your child. Visitation times may also be arranged and what that will look like will be determined with the input of the adoptive family and the guidance of the adoption agency.
Remember, as the birth mother, you get to decide what is best for you and work with your agency to find the family that meets your desires for the adoption.
A closed adoption means that no identifying information is exchanged between you and the adoptive family and child. The birth records are sealed, and no communication will take place between either party.
While less common today, closed adoptions are still an option for women today. Most women who choose this type of adoption do so to close this chapter of their life and move on.
Like the name implies, a semi-open adoption is in between the first two options. If you want to keep up some form of communication with your child but don’t want to be part of the day-to-day or big moments or his or her life, semi-open adoption can be a good option for you.
Your Adoption is Your Choice
Ultimately, your rights as the birth mother trump all other parties when it comes to the adoption process. You are free to change your mind, switch directions, and work with the agency and attorneys of your choice to come up with the best plan for you and your future.
If you have questions or need referrals to agencies in our area, we are happy to help. Please contact us to learn more today.