FAQ

 

 

 

 

FAQ

We’re here to answer your frequently asked questions.

If you are interested in placing your baby or child for adoption and have questions, please call or text us at 1-800-923-6784. We’re here to help you.

Why should I choose African American Adoptions?

Choosing to place your child for adoption is a huge and emotional decision. You are doing this to give your child a safe and secure future and, hopefully, to start a positive journey for your life as well. Our caring and experienced adoption coordinators are here to help you 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They are here to not only help you create an adoption plan but to listen to you, support you, and make sure you and your child have all the resources you need.

Since 1986, Lifetime Adoption, our parent organization, has been helping expectant mothers and mothers who have young children find bi-racial or African American families to adopt their children. All the services we provide for you are free. We will help you find non-judgmental doctors and public assistance programs to help you with housing and medical care if you need. You may even be eligible for some pregnancy-related expenses where it is allowed. We will also put you in touch with professional counselors or peer counselors who have walked in your shoes and understand. They will not only help you work through your adoption decision and the emotions that go along with adoption but will also help you create a plan for your future.

We have additional resources for you through Lifetime Foundation. You can apply for educational scholarships, and with the Birth Mother Blessings program, we can even provide you with maternity clothes, a hospital delivery kit, and other needs you might have. We will create a personalized adoption plan for you.

My friends say they will help and I should keep my baby. Are they right?

Adoption is a decision only you can make. Friends often have the best of intentions but at the end of the day, they are not going to raise and care for your baby. You are the one who must decide what is best for your child and you.

Call or text us at  1-800-923-6784, and we can put you in touch with a professional counselor or peer counselor. They can help you work through your decision. You will not be pushed into adoption. They will listen to you and help you look at the pros and cons of adoption and parenting. They may bring up some issues you had not thought of, and they can explain what modern adoption is like. This is the time to honestly look at your life and consider your future and, in some cases, the safety of your baby.

If your choice is adoption, do not let anyone try and tell you that you are wrong or bad. Correct them when they say, “How can you give up your baby?” Let them know you are placing your baby, out of love, with a family that will give them the best chance of a great future. You are picking a family that will keep them safe and provide a stable and loving home. You love your baby enough to go through the pain of the adoption process because you know it is best for your child.

My boyfriend and other friends think I should get an abortion. What should I do?

An unexpected pregnancy can cause a lot of confusion and upset. You may have very mixed emotions, and those around you may have very strong opinions. This is a good time to take a deep breath and do a little research so that you understand what all of your options actually are.

Let’s go over your choices.

There are three basic choices when you find out you are pregnant.

Parent the child

Get an abortion

Place your child for adoption.

Now you need to ask yourself some hard questions and answer yourself honestly. Hopefully, you have a non-judgmental friend or family member that you can go through these questions with. Someone who will not impose their opinions on you but will listen. You can talk with one of our adoption coordinators, or they can put you in touch with a professional or peer counselor. You will not be pushed to adoption. They are here to listen and support you and your decision.

So – here are some questions to ask yourself.

Am I ready and able to parent a child?

This may be the most important and hardest question to answer honestly. Parenting means that what your child needs must always come before what your wants and needs are. You must be there emotionally, physically, and financially for them. While others may offer help, they are not required to give that help, but you are required to provide a safe, healthy, stable home for your child.

Do I Have Enough Emotional Support from Friends and Family?

Is the birth father going to be there emotionally for you and your baby? Is he going to make you both feel loved and cared for during your pregnancy and after your baby is born? Without emotional support, raising a baby can feel very lonely. At 2:00 AM, when your baby has been crying for 3 hours, and there is nobody there to take over, or when your baby is sick, and there is no one there to worry with you, can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Be sure you have faith that those who offer their support will be there for the long haul and for the hard times. Everyone loves to hold a happy, cute newborn, not everyone is so excited to help change endless diapers and stay up with a baby that is sick all night.

Do I Have Enough Money and Financial Support to Raise a Child?

Children are very expensive. When they are little, there are diapers and formula, and they grow so fast that they are always in need of new clothes and shoes. What about when they want to play sports or take up a musical instrument. Take a look at what you have left over from your pay at the end of the day, is there enough to pay for a child’s additional needs? Will the birth father contribute, and can you count on him to continue his support in the future?

If you feel parenting is not the right choice for you and your baby after asking yourself these questions, you now have two choices.

1. Abortion

2. Adoption

Should I Get An Abortion?

Many times an abortion seems like an easy, quick way to take care of an unexpected pregnancy. It may especially seem like this to someone who is not the one who is actually pregnant. While abortion may be quick, it is not easy and may create some issues you have not thought of. Let’s ask some more questions.

Can I live with the decision to abort my baby?

Once you choose abortion, you will visit a clinic. They will determine how far along you are and do an ultrasound in which you will be able to see the size of your baby. You may be amazed that at just seven weeks, the brain and face are already developing, and the nubs of the arms and legs can be seen. Many women who have an abortion are surprised at the emotional toll it has both short term and long term. According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion.

You will want to put a lot of thought into this before you make your final decision. Talk to a counselor, friend, or family member you can trust to listen to and be supportive of you.

What are the physical risks of abortion?

Abortion is not without its physical risks as well. There are short and long term complications that can occur.

Here are some possible abortion complications:

Pelvic Infection

Incomplete abortion

Blood clots in the uterus

Cut or torn

Perforation of the uterus wall

Anesthesia-related complications

Rh Immune Globulin Therapy

Difficulty in future childbearing

If the emotional and physical risks of an abortion make this an option you are not comfortable with, then modern open adoption may just be the option for you.

Why Should I Choose Adoption?

There are a million reasons why women choose adoption for their child. One thing they all have in common is they place their child for adoption out of love for their child. Some factors that lead people to the decision to place their child for adoption are:

  • Financial hardships
  • Physically cannot provide a safe and stable home for the child
  • Substance abuse or domestic abuse issues
  • An unexpected pregnancy could be putting a halt to plans they have for the future
  • Jail time has been given
  • Children’s services may be planning on placing your child in foster care.

No matter the reason, when you choose adoption, you are deciding to take control and create a future for your child. You get to choose the adoptive parents, the amount of contact you have with the adoptive family, and how your time in the hospital at delivery will play out.

How does open adoption work?

Open adoption is the most common type of domestic adoption today. As an African American birth mother, you get to pick the adoptive parents. Choosing African American or bi-racial adoptive parents that are open to the same amount of contact after the adoption is final is very important.

Adoption today doesn’t have to mean you will never hear from or see your child again. We have birth families and adoptive families that are like extended families, including birth grandparents and we have birth mothers who prefer to just receive a letter or picture once a year. There is no right or wrong here, only birth families deciding what is right for them matched with adoptive families that feel the same way.

Why is open adoption so popular now?

Open adoption is popular because everyone involved in the adoption benefits. A birth mother gets to maintain some contact and know that her child is healthy and happy. Adoptive parents have access to medical and biological history for their child, and many adoption questions are more easily answered when they have the birth family history. Most of all, it’s the best thing for the child. Knowing where they came from, why they were adopted, and their family history helps a child have more confidence and higher self-esteem. They understand that they were placed for adoption out of love, and they were not abandoned.

How do I know my child is being placed in a safe family?

To become a Lifetime Adoptive Family, you must apply to our program and complete several requirements to qualify. Due to our screening process, we only accept about 17% of the families that apply. They then must complete a home study. In a home study, a social worker visits the family at home to interview them and any other family members who live in the house. The adoptive family must then have a financial and criminal background run along with medical checks. Families are not listed as eligible to adopt until this step is complete. You can be very sure that all Lifetime families have been checked and that we know they will have a safe and loving home for your child.

What is the Adoption Process if I’m Pregnant?

1: Your first step is to call or text Lifetime Adoptions. You will find a friendly adoption coordinator waiting there to answer all of your questions. She will explain how open adoption works and let you know what some of your choices are, such as:

You get to choose the parents for your baby. If you want an African American or bi-racial adoptive family, you can look through profiles of couples that meet that need.

You get to decide what type of contact you want after the adoption.

You get to plan how everything will go at the hospital.

You can let your coordinator know if you need help with pregnancy-related expenses.

Don’t worry – your coordinator will help you answer all of these questions. All of our coordinators are very experienced and ready to guide you through the adoption. She knows just the right questions to ask you so that she can help you pick out just the right family for your baby. She will send or email you a free adoption book if you like that will also answer a lot of your questions. This is a good time to let your coordinator know if you have any expenses you need help with or other needs such as maternity clothes.

2. Next, your coordinator will help you go through the African American and bi-racial parents’ profiles. You can see pictures of them, read about their lives, and sometimes view videos. You will find amazing couples from all across the United States. They come from every walk of life, every race, and different religions and professions. All are unique and special and have a lot of love they are waiting to share with a child.

Once you narrow down your search, your coordinator will set up meetings with the families you are interested in getting to know better. You can meet them by phone or text, video chat, or sometimes even in person. If this makes you nervous at all, your coordinator can join you on the call. We have found that a birth mother and adoptive family most often just kind of click. Something feels right, and a match is made. For some birth mothers, however, this may be hard for them, and if you are not comfortable with this part of the process, your adoption coordinator will be happy to pick out the perfect adoptive family for you.

3. Once you are “matched” with a family, your coordinator will work with all of you to create a personalized adoption plan. Just as every expectant mother, adoptive family, and child is special and unique, so is each adoptive plan.

This is a great time for you and the adoptive family to get to know each other. You can talk about your hospital plan, details about contact after the adoption, and share any information you feel they should have about your families’ health history or other family stories you would like them to know.

4. Then the day comes when the baby is ready to come out and meet the world. This is an emotional time, and you will want to contact your coordinator, and she will make sure the hospital plan the two of you came up with is carried out. She will let the adoptive parents know it is “go” time. If you have planned for them to be at the hospital during labor and delivery, then they will be on their way.

Once your baby has been born, you can spend any amount of time you want with him. You can feed him if you like and take pictures. You will have this all in your hospital plan, but if you change your mind about holding the baby or you want to do anything differently, it is your choice. Just let your coordinator know it she will arrange it.

In the next day or two you will meet with your attorney and make sure all of the legal papers are in order and that you understand your rights. Once your attorney feels confident, he or she will file the paperwork.

Generally, the baby will leave the hospital with the adoptive parents. If they are from another state, they will probably have to stay in town for a few days until all paperwork is filed and in order. Some birth mothers like to use this time to see the baby and spend some time with the family. Some birth mothers prefer to have a little distance at this point. You do what feels right to you. Remember that professional and peer counselors are always available to you and your adoption coordinator is also here to support you.

I just gave birth, and now I want to give my baby up for adoption. Is it too late?

No, it is not too late. Call or text African American Adoption now. There are many reasons for a last-minute adoption. If you are concerned your baby may be taken to foster care, and you want to avoid this, we are available to help you 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can keep some control by choosing an African American or bi-racial adoptive family for your baby. Our team of caring adoption coordinators have families waiting to bring a baby into their loving home and they will get to you right away.

My children have been placed in foster care. I still have my parental rights, but I feel adoption would be best. Can I still place my children for adoption?

Yes, you can. Foster care can be a difficult place for children. It can also be difficult for the parents who lose control over who is parenting their child. If your child or children have been placed in foster care, we can help. At no cost to you, we will have one of our attorneys work with you to determine the steps needed to place your children in an adoptive home of your choice. Each state has its own processes, but we have attorneys who can help in all states. You will meet with them to work out the details, and you will work with our adoption coordinators to find an African American or bi-racial adoptive family for your child or children. We do not separate siblings, so you can be sure your children will be placed together in a safe and loving forever home.

What is the process for placing an older child or children for adoption?

We often get calls asking what happens if a parent, grandparents, or other guardians have a baby, toddler, or young child that they would like to place for adoption. We understand what a hard call, text, or email that is. It is brave to admit that parenting a child or children, for whatever reason, is just not in the best interest of the child at this time. Sometimes, a grandparent feels they are not capable of parenting a young child, or a parent is being sentenced to prison, or there may be substance or physical abuse situations. We will never judge, we will always care for you and the child. We understand the fear – will they be safe, will someone adopt them, if siblings, can they stay together? Our adoption coordinators are here 24/7 to help. You will find kindness, understanding, and solutions.

We have African American and bi-racial families who would be thrilled to bring your child or children into their home and provide them with a loving, secure, forever home. They have had home studies, and between background, financial, and social worker checks, we know they are ready to provide a safe and stable home. If there are siblings, we only place them together.

If you already have a case plan with your children’s services, we can still help. We can provide an “intervention.” We will provide you with an attorney to help you through the legal process, and you can take back some control as to what your child’s future will hold. You can choose who will parent them. You will know siblings will not be separated. You can pick parents that live close to you or in another state, you can pick parents who practice a certain religion and what lifestyle they have.

Here’s how it will work.

Our adoption coordinator will help you gather as much information as you can, including the following documents:

Birth certificate

Social security card

School records

Medical records

Don’t panic if you are unsure where these are or how to get these documents. Your adoption coordinator will help locate or order what is needed.

You will have some paperwork to fill out and a questionnaire about the child or children. Be as honest and complete as you can. This will help your coordinator to find the best adoptive parent options for you to consider. You will view adoptive parents profiles, and once you choose who you would like to meet with, your adoption coordinator will set up a time to speak with, video chat, or meet them in person.

Once the adoptive parents are chosen, a transition plan will be made. A professional counselor will be involved, and the best interests of the child will be the main concern. This will be an important time to share how you are feeling with the counselors available, your adoption coordinator, and the adoptive family. At the end of the day, we know this is not easy, but if everyone works together, a new and brighter future can found for everyone involved.

What will life be like after adoption?

After the adoption process is final, everyone involved starts a new chapter in their life. You might move on to a new career, start a new course, or continue on with your life with a little more knowledge and experience to gain from. The adoptive parent’s dreams have now come true, and they will enjoy loving their new baby, and your child will thrive in their happy home. While you all are starting new chapters in your life, know that you are all still part of the same book for that precious baby.

If you and the adoptive parent’s plans call for calls or visits, make sure to keep up on those. It will be good for you and for the child. If you feel you could use some counseling, reach out to your coordinator, and she will arrange it. Just because the adoption is final does not mean we are no longer here for you.

Life after adoption can look like anything you want. We are here to help you make it what you want.

If you are interested in placing your baby or child for adoption and have questions, please call or text us at 1-800-923-6784. We’re here to help you.