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If you've already decided that you'll place your child with an adoptive family, the next hardest decision you'll need to make is choosing the family for your child. This isn't an easy decision to make, and it can take days, weeks, or even months to decide. You may work with a social worker at the adoption agency or you may be searching for the right family on your own. However you go about it, here are some things to keep in mind:
Be Open - If you enlist the help of your friends and family, you will probably get a lot of information on couples heading your way. Some of these couples may not have been ones that you'd pick out initially, but don't write them off just yet. Instead, take some time to get to know them through their profiles or whatever information you have access to. Be open to different types of couples. This is a great way to really explore all your options when it comes to adoptive parents. You never know. You may find the perfect couple that was least expected because you were open to all couples in the beginning.
Make a List - Make a number of lists to keep you organized and up-to-date during the placement process. First, make a list of all the attributes you're looking for in an adoptive couple. Number these according to importance, so you can reference the list later. Remember that some things on that list will probably be negotiable and some are just wants and not needs. It's important to understand the difference if you want a successful placement and post-adoption relationship. The second list you'll want to make is how far you've come in the placement process. Some of those steps included on this second list may include working directly with the adoption agency or with your caseworker. You will have ample paperwork to fill out, for starters. So, keep track of what you've accomplished already and what you still need to accomplish.
Understand All Your Options - As you're going through the process, you'll need to sort through many options. There are your basic options, which include adoption, parenting, or termination of your pregnancy. But chances are you've already sorted through these options. The options you'll need to sort through now are how to proceed in the placement process, including the type of adoption relationship you want, who you'll work with during the process, and how much interaction and information is shared across the triad, before and after the placement. If you have questions about these options, you can always contact an adoption professional, which could consist of an attorney or a social worker.
Don't Commit Until You're Ready - Throughout the placement process, you're going to experience a lot of pressure to commit from a lot of people along the way. People will want you to choose a certain couple because they like them the best, because they have the same religious beliefs, or because they look the most like you. The truth of the matter is that this is yours and your partner's decision. No one else can make this choice for you. If you want to be at peace with the final decision, you'll need to make that decision. If you're not ready to commit to a couple, don't. Wait until you find the right one. However, do keep in mind some time constraints with the placement process.
Just as the entire placement is a process, so is finding the right adoptive family for your child. If you can stay informed and up-to-date, it will make your experience that much better and smoother. There will be highs and lows during this time. Lean on your support system to help you through it. That's what they're there for. If you don't have a support system currently in place, you can always join a support group. Remember, this is a big decision you're about to make. Make sure you're comfortable and confident in that decision.
The information and links displayed above relate to profile posting services provided on the ParentProfiles.com web site, which is a service of Adoption Profiles, L.L.C., who sponsors this section and is solely responsible for its content.
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"I am 17 years old, but the first time I got pregnant I was 16, which ended in a miscarriage. It is now a few months later and I am pregnant again. This wasn't a planned pregnancy, but didn't come to me as such a big suprise. I really didn't think you can get pregnant so quickly after a miscarriage. I don't believe in abortions. I believe if it happened it was meant to be, otherwise a miscarriage would take place. At first I was so nervous to tell my mom because after the last one, she told me to promise her I wouldn't get pregnant again. I didn't promise, but I knew this would hurt her. I kept it from her for about 2 weeks when I just had to tell her. We both stood there and then started to cry. She asked me a whole bunch of questions and I answered them. My boyfriend is happy about the pregnancy and comes with me to all my appointments, but I'm still not sure what's to come when the baby comes." - Breana
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.