Q: How do I know adoption is the best choice for me and my baby?
A: When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, every person has the right to decide what is best for them and their baby. Learning all the options available to you is a good start. Making fully-informed choices will avoid regrets later in life. Our counselor will meet with you to discuss the various alternatives available to you. Whether you decide to parent your child or place your child for adoption, we will provide all the necessary resources for you to start on either journey.
Q: If I want to make an adoption plan for my baby, how can you help me?
A: There are five steps to the adoption process – Adoption Education, Birthparent Intake, Choosing an Adoptive Family, Birth & Placement, and Post Placement – and we will provide guidance and support throughout every step.
Q: Do I have to pay for your services?
A: No, all birthparent services provided are free of charge to expectant parents. We also provide financial assistance for adoption-related and pregnancy-related expenses, such as medical and legal.
Q: Can I choose the parents who will raise my baby?
A: Yes! You will be shown family profiles that match the criteria you desire in an adoptive family. You are encouraged to meet with the families you like by phone or in person to decide who you want to raise your baby.
Q: How do I know my baby will be safe with the adoptive parents?
A: All of the adopting parents at A Precious Gift ARC are fully screened prior to being presented to a prospective birthparent. A “homestudy” is conducted to evaluate an adopting couple’s desire and commitment to adopt and determine if they are fit and able parents. We provide extensive education and counseling to families to prepare them for adoptive parenthood.
Q: What about the birthfather?
A: Birthfathers have legal rights to their child as birthmothers do, so it is very important the birthfather is a part of the decision-making in the adoption plan. If he is not reachable, or you do not know who the birthfather is, our attorney will proceed with the legal process of terminating the birthfather’s parental rights.
Q: What is open adoption?
A: Open adoption allows you to be a part of your child’s life as they grow. It is not co-parenting, but you are able to receive and share pictures and letters with your child over the years, and even visits if you and the adopting parents agree on it. The State of Pennsylvania recognizes open adoption agreements as legally binding contracts so you are assured the adoptive parents will adhere to their agreement. We encourage birthparents and adopting parents to take an active role in the adoption process and work together to provide a responsible, compassionate, and positive environment for the child who is the focus of the adoption plan.
Q: Are the adopting parents at the hospital when my baby is born?
A: Only if you want them to be. We work with you on a hospital plan where you decide who will be at the hospital, who will be in the delivery room, and who will visit you and the baby during your stay. This plan is shared with the hospital staff so that your stay is as comfortable and respectful as possible. You make all the decisions along the way, and we and the adopting parents will respect the choices you make. If needed, we will help guide you through these decisions.
Q: If I am placing an older child, how will you transition my child into their new home?
A: Placing a child into a new home is a very delicate process. Every child is different, so every adoption situation will be unique and have its own set of circumstances. We will work closely with you, the adoptive parents, and your child to determine what is in the best interests of your child. The transition will be monitored carefully and compassionately, and decisions will be made along the way to make this transition as smooth as possible for you and your child.
Q: How will I deal with my sadness?
A: Placing a child for adoption is not an easy thing to do, not at the time of placement nor years later. Although every birthparent and every adoption is unique in its own way, all birthparents must deal with some level of grief. Unresolved grief can cause problems in your life, therefore adoption counseling is crucial to your recovery and healing. We will be there to provide this counseling whenever you need it, now and in the future. We also have a support group available for you to share your experiences and feelings with other birthparents who have walked in your shoes.
Q: What happens if I change my mind?
A: If you change your mind, we will support you in that decision. Adoption is not about convincing you to relinquish your child. It is about supporting your right to make fully-educated and informed choices about the future of your child, whether it is to raise the child or to make an adoption plan. Although a pregnant woman can make an adoption plan prior to the birth of her child, she does not make the final decision to place her baby until after the baby is born.
Q: What happens if I am torn between parenting and adoption once my baby is born, and I need time to decide?
A: A Precious Gift ARC has homestudy-approved families available who provide temporary care for babies if birthparents have not yet chosen an adoptive family, or if they still need time to make their decision about placing their baby. This is not foster care nor is it a permanent placement. We call it “Cradle Care.” This is a safe and loving alternative that is provided for you and your baby while you consider all your options. In most cases, your baby can stay in Cradle Care for up to six weeks, and you will be allowed visitations during that time while you make your decision.