Birth Mother FAQs
I feel really confused right now. I’m pregnant but there is no way that I can raise another child. I’ve heard about adoption but don’t know where to even begin…
The fact that you are reading this website tells me that you have taken the first step –Yeah! It took a lot of courage to research adoption in the first place. It’s also normal to feel confused and not know where to begin. Adoptive families often feel the same way! You can be assured that through a licensed child placing agency you and the adoptive family will be given a lot of supportive counseling for as long as needed. Since we are an Alabama agency we would love to meet with you in person after having contact with you – no matter where you live in the state. We feel that it’s very important for us to meet one another and for you to feel comfortable with your clinical social worker. We do not want to be a voice on the telephone who you never meet face-to-face. Some women want a lot of contact; others do not. We certainly respect your desired level of communication. We have women who have worked with our staff many years ago who stay in touch because it feels comfortable to maintain that professional friendship.
The whole concept of adoption can certainly be confusing. That’s why it’s important to work with a licensed agency who is an expert in adoption. Adoption practices have changed a lot through the years – for the better! Unfortunately, you may have family and close friends who are not supportive of your adoption plan. They may have also given you some misinformation about the adoption process. Our agency can answer your questions correctly so you have facts and not opinions about adoption.
First of all, adoption means that you will no longer have custody and control of your baby. You can choose the adoptive parents or allow the agency to choose them. Any couple that is placed with your baby is already an approved adoptive family who is waiting for a child. That means that this is a family who has been through lengthy counseling, various types of background checks (including child abuse and FBI clearances), medical check-ups (including HIV and Hepatitis screens), often had to read several adoption related books and had to complete a lot of paperwork! Adoptive parents through our agency have to be married at least three years but many have been married much longer. It’s also important that couples are responsible financially and manage their money well. Letters of reference from individuals such as friends, family, employers, and pastors must be received by the agency. We also visit our families in their homes. These are just a few of the characteristics that agencies look for in adoptive parents.
Why should I work with your agency? What makes you special?
This is an excellent question that I would ask as well! First of all, A Angel Adoptions is a private licensed agency that I, Suzanne M. Peden, LCSW, PIP, created in 2001. My passion for work in the adoption field was the driving force that led me to open my own agency. Since 1985 I had been working for a faith based agency then worked as a private practitioner specializing in adoption related services. I then went through an intensive licensing process through the state office of adoptions to become licensed as A Angel Adoptions so I could place children for adoption and grow our services.
Making an adoption plan for your baby will probably be one of the most difficult choices you ever make in your life. I want you to always be able to look back at this time in your life and feel that under the circumstances you had a positive experience. Sometimes the best choices are the most difficult ones.
Every one working at this agency has tremendous compassion for birth families and adoptive families. Clinical social workers provide counseling services and are experts in adoption related issues. Supportive counseling services are available indefinitely for everyone in the adoption circle. Our phones are never answered by an answering service; a real person is on the other end of the line day and night…
Can you work with me no matter where I live in the state of Alabama?
Absolutely! We work with women in every county in the state of Alabama. Even though we are located outside of Birmingham, AL, we travel all the time all over the state. A lot of the women we work with don’t have cars or the money to pay for gas. That’s why we are very happy to meet with you wherever you want to meet with us.
I’ve seen Lifetime movies and talk shows about adoption. Is that how adoption really is?
I have seen a lot of movies, talk shows, and have even read things in magazines that are very frustrating to me as an adoption professional. Often the things I see are absolutely not the way the adoption process really works through a private licensed adoption agency. I feel this does a great injustice to not only you as the birth mom, but also to the adoptive family. The best way to learn about the way an agency handles the adoption process is to call and talk directly to the agency.
I’m late in my pregnancy and am thinking about placing my baby for adoption. Is it too late for me to make an adoption plan?
No, no, no – it is never too late to choose adoption for you and your child. Adoptive parents through a licensed private agency have already been through lots of counseling, education, background checks and have prepared their profile book. Therefore, families are ready and waiting to receive a phone call from the agency giving them the wonderful news that they have been selected by a birth mother or perhaps a child has already been born. Even if you have already delivered the baby, it is not too late to call the agency!
What is the difference between a closed and an open adoption?
First of all, there are many levels within a closed, semi-open, or open adoption. The differences primarily involve the degree of contact you choose to have with the adoptive family. You may want to choose the adoptive family from profile books with lots of family pictures and writing about themselves and their family. You may also want to meet the couple and get to know them during the pregnancy. Some birth mothers want the adoptive parents to be at the hospital or in the delivery room at the time of the birth. Many hospitals are now allowing the adoptive parents to room-in with the baby in a hospital room when the birth mother is not with the baby.
Through the years, you may want to get update letters and pictures from the adoptive parents to keep up with your child’s development. Perhaps you want more openness in your adoption and choose to have ongoing contact with the adoptive parents through phone calls, texts, emails, skyping, etc. Some birth parents want direct contact with their child as well over the years. Many adoptive families also want open adoptions.
If you prefer to have limited involvement in your adoption plan the agency can make choices for you. If you want to be a confidential patient at the hospital and have significant concerns about privacy issues in general than we will respect your wishes. Remember, A Angel Adoptions wants you to feel a sense of control in your adoption plan.
Do you have adoptive families for babies of all races?
Yes, absolutely! We have adoptive families for all children, regardless of the baby’s age or race. Not only do we work with adoptive families in Alabama, we also work with families through licensed adoption agencies across the country.
What if my baby is born with a medical problem? Would you still have families who would want to adopt this child?
Yes, yes, yes! There are actually adoptive families waiting for babies with special challenges who would absolutely love to adopt your baby.
Angels Remind You That You Are Enough