The Difference between Newborn and Infant Adoption: Is it too late?
If you are a birth mother who is new to the adoption process, overwhelm and stress are probably you’re two best friends right now. As humans, we desire to be in control of our environment and part of that control is knowing what’s ahead. In order to conquer this uneasy feeling, it is vital that you get all of the information you need to make the best decision possible. Here at Adoption Choices of Arizona, we aim to equip you with the best information possible and answer those nagging questions. One such question that you may be curious about is the difference between newborn and infant adoption.
Why Adoption is Always a Choice
It may seem like there is a deadline for making the decision to place your baby for adoption — 9 months, to be exact. However, it is possible to place your child for adoption at any point, even if he or she has been home with you for days, weeks or even months. While newborn adoptions are typically arranged before the birth of the child, the baby is considered a newborn up until a month after birth. Newborn adoptions are more or less preplanned. After this first month, though, the adoption is labeled an infant adoption. Whether you feel too overwhelmed to make the decision to place your baby for adoption now, or you just want to wait to see if finances change before you make a decision, infant adoption is a choice that you have. Making an adoption plan is totally possible even after the child has returned home with you.
The early days of motherhood are filled with both joy and exhaustion. Motherhood may have seemed doable for you when you brought your baby home; however, you may now feel like you cannot give your child the life they deserve. Days can slow down to a crawl for birth mothers who are struggling with taking care of their baby – especially those with severe Postpartum Depression (PPD). Birth mothers who place their child for adoption weeks or months after birth are often overwhelmed and realize that this choice is ultimately the best thing for their child.
If you are considering this option, realize that many women have walked this path before you, questioning their ability to provide the best life for their baby. And believe us, you will not be the last!
I Can’t Handle the Adoption Process!
Some days are bad. Really bad. Some nights as a new mom push you to your limit and to the edge of insanity. Those nights are just a part of the process. You may be suffering from PPD or just the normal rollercoaster of emotions that occur after giving birth. If you are having a few bad nights and your child is screaming constantly, know that this too shall pass. Almost every mother feels the need to just run away sometimes. But if the pressure is constant and you are seriously concerned about your ability to take care of your baby and provide for him or her, considering adoption may be a choice you want to look into.
Birth mothers choose infant adoption for many different reasons. You may be in an abusive relationship that you need to protect your child from, or you may just feel like being a mother is too much to handle at this point in your life. Something to remember when making this decision is the consistency of your thoughts. If you are experiencing a bad week and your emotions are ruling over your world, making the hasty decision to pursue adoption may not be the best thing for you. On the other hand, if you have been contemplating the idea that your baby needs more than you can give them, looking into it would be an option to consider.
Remember, making decisions out of only pure emotion typically end up in regret. Emotions change. However, making a cognitive decision to place your child with another family based on fact and deep consideration is a better way to approach this. When we fly off the handle because we are overwhelmed for a short time period, we tend to make bad decisions. You have time to make this decision and you should take all options into consideration before making a choice.
Am I Giving Up by Choosing Adoption?
The short answer is no. In fact, you are making the most selfless decision possible by even considering placing a child for adoption and enduring the grief that will inevitably ensue. Loving your child and keeping their best interests at heart isn’t giving up. Quite the opposite.
Everyone’s situation is different. You may not have the financial resources to take care of your baby or you may have no support from the birth father. The reasons you feel that you should go this route are infinite. None of these situations make you a bad parent. Wanting what is best for your child is the farthest thing from bad parenting. When you think about this option, do not think of it as “giving up” on your child. Birth parents make the hard decision to choose adoption every day, not because they don’t love their child, but because they love them so much that they want to provide him or her with the best future possible — even if it’s at the birth parent’s expense.
What Considerations are There if I Choose Infant Adoption?
While similar, the process for placing an infant for adoption will be a little different than placing a newborn.
As your little one grows, they are going through developmental stages. They are curious and learning more about the world around them. He or she realizes when you are not around and may be irritable in your absence. This makes the infant adoption process a bit more difficult for you as the birth mother. An important consideration is also the presence of the birth father and his involvement in your child’s life. Family may also have strong feelings about your choices regarding adoption after birth. This is the main difference between infant and newborn adoptions, as the family has had time to bond with your child and may fight you to not choose adoption.
Infant vs. Newborn Adoption
While in the process of taming the aforementioned “out of control” monster in your mind, remember that no one knows better than you what is best for your baby. Taking the step to read this article and search for information is a great start, even if adoption is not what you choose.
Many times birth mothers will accept a life of struggle and pain for themselves and their baby just to appease the opinions of people around them. To avoid the stigma that placing a child for adoption carries. But remember, this is your life. Not theirs. They do not have to live with your decisions everyday. You and your child do. Lastly, be sure to examine this decision from a non-emotional standpoint. Since emotions change, we cannot rely on them when making a decision that is ultimately a permanent one.
If you are experiencing PPD or just a bad night, take some time to see if these feelings change before making a hasty decision. You may find relief in support groups or a therapist without having to place your baby for adoption. If you do come to the conclusion that placing your baby for adoption is the best thing, there is a world of support out there and Adoption Choices of Arizona will walk you through it every step of the way!
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Megan Nichols is a writer, artist and collector of multiple plants- most of which she has successfully killed. She lives in North Carolina with her goldendoodle, Rosie, and super-hero daughter. Megan is pursuing her MFA at Liberty University and plans to teach Art History and Creative Writing at her local community college after graduation.
When she isn’t sipping pumpkin spice coffee and madly typing away in her office, you can find her biking with her daughter or painting her next masterpiece while watching the squirrels.