After you discovered you were pregnant, you might have felt shocked or even scared. If you chose adoption for your baby, you might still feel overwhelmed and you are uncertain what to do next. Or, what do you do first? …Where do you go from here?
Whether or not you have already contacted Adoption Choices of Arizona, here is what you can do next:
1. Reach Out for Support
You don’t have to face the adoption process alone. Many women find hope and help through Adoption Choices of Arizona, and friendships or family. If you have a parent or close friend who supports your choice, they can help you feel more confident as you make plans for your future. When choosing someone who can support you, try to focus on what help they can give you. You want someone who is level-headed and who can help you stick to your goals when you might feel overwhelmed. You also want someone who can give you emotional support. Choose someone who cares for you but who will not manipulate you or try to control your choices.
2. Contact an Adoption Agency
Hopefully, you’ve already contacted us; one of the first things you should do is reach out to an adoption agency. The right agency will provide for your emotional needs. You should never feel forced, rushed, or pressured into choosing adoption for your baby.
When you meet with one of our adoption specialists, bring all your questions and concerns. You might want to know how birth parents are screened, how long the process takes after you give birth, if you can change your mind, and how you will pay for your medical bills.
Choosing to meet with Adoption Choices of Arizona does not mean that you have to continue to use our agency. Meet with as many people as you like until you find a place which fits your needs and where you feel comfortable. You can also use a family lawyer instead of an agency if you already have birth parents you want for your baby.
Going to an adoption agency early in the process will make everything easier for you. We provide the services, including legal services, that help connect you to good adoptive families, but we also can provide mental health support for birth mothers and guidance during the pregnancy.
Your health is important. When you find out that you are pregnant, call a local doctor’s office to get your first OBGYN appointment. And OBGYN focuses on the health of both mother and baby. Your first appointment should happen when you are about 6 to 8 weeks pregnant. Your OBGYN can confirm the pregnancy with an ultrasound.
Your first appointment will also involve some blood tests and questions about your medical history. The doctor will test your blood for sexually transmitted diseases that could affect your baby, and they will also test for things like iron levels to make sure that you don’t need extra supplementation. You might also get a breast exam and Pap smear at your first appointment.
Your doctor will recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin to make sure that you and your baby get all the nutrients you need. If you have been using alcohol or smoking, your doctor will recommend that you stop immediately and can provide advice on how to keep you and your baby healthy during your pregnancy.
Don’t postpone getting prenatal care because you are concerned about cost. Adoptive parents sometimes cover the cost of pregnancy expenses. You can talk to your adoption agency about how that compensation will occur.
4. Seek Counseling
Adoption Choices of Arizona might suggest that you get counseling as part of the process of adoption. This counseling can be provided by the agency, but you might feel just as comfortable seeking a different counselor. Counseling can provide you with the emotional preparation that you will need during the adoption process, but it can also help you focus on your own future. You can set goals for your life, and your counselor can help you plan how to achieve them. You might find it hard to stay positive, and counseling can help you through bouts of depression that can occur during pregnancy.
5. Fill Out Your Forms
Finally, once you have met with doctors and Adoption Choices of Arizona, you will have some paperwork to fill out. These forms will detail your desires for your child and help the agency find a good match your baby. You can explain the type of adoption you want, how much contact you hope to have with your child, and the future you want your baby to have.
After you fill out these forms, you can start the process of choosing your baby’s parents. The choice is entirely yours so that you can know what future you are giving your baby. You will also choose the type of adoption you desire and begin considering your hospital plan.
These are just a few tips to move forward and help ease your angst of 1) being pregnant and 2) the fear that comes along with choosing adoption. You are not alone! And you are facing normal emotions and fears! For more information or to begin your adoption journey, you can always contact us at Adoption Choices of Arizona.