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New to Adoption: The Many Facets of Adoption

By Jan Douglas

Adoption has changed greatly over the last couple of decades. If you are a pregnant woman seeking information about adoption, Adoption Choices of Arizona has experience and knowledge. We have agencies across Arizona – Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Our adoption specialists can walk you through the adoption process for adoption in Chandler and adoption in Yuma

If you are new to adoption and exploring this world, the terms associated with this process can be confusing! To better help you understand, we define a few adoption terms. The dictionary definition of adoption-related terms can be narrow. Adoption and its related terms can mean very different things to those who use them and go deeper than standard definitions.

Four Adoption Terms Commonly Used

Adopt: Generally speaking, to “adopt” means “to take by choice into a relationship, especially to take voluntarily as one’s own child.” The term can apply to animals or ideas, but in this article, we’ll stick with its context in cases regarding people.

Adoption: Related to human children, “adoption” means “the act or process of adopting a child.” But, legally, adoption doesn’t just refer to children, although that is its most popular use. Adults over the age of 18 can legally be adopted as well.

If you ask anyone affected by adoption what it means to them, you will likely get a personal answer that reflects their own experience with adoption. So there’s no singular definition of adoption, just the understanding that it is a beautiful, healthy way of creating a family. When placing your baby for adoption, you give a special gift to adoptive parents.

Adopted: When someone uses the term “adopted” as an adjective, it usually refers to a child or adult who has legally become part of a family other than their biological parents. Most people involved in most adoptions today embrace the term “adopted” and celebrate its meaning to them. Adoption can represent the love a child’s birth mother had for them to give them their best opportunity. And the commitment the adoptive parents had to create a family. It can represent the unique relationship formed between two previously unrelated sets of parents.

Adoptive: Most commonly, it is applied to parents who have adopted a child. It distinguishes between parents who gave birth to a child and those who chose to adopt and raise that child. A label that many parents who have adopted a child wear with pride and love. It is important to remember each adoption term holds a special meaning for each individual in the adoption process. Our private adoption agencies in Arizona offer adoption help to anyone. We treat everyone with respect and dignity and ensure you receive the birth mother benefits you need.

What is an Adoption Plan?

Finding out about an unplanned pregnancy may leave a woman feeling frightened or anxious. Adoption is one of your choices if you are not ready to raise a child. Although a pregnant woman may feel like she is “giving up,” this could not be farther from the truth. Accepting the fact, for whatever reason, that you are not ready to raise a child takes courage. Deciding on adoption is a brave choice! 

Adoption Choices of Arizona has adoption agencies across Arizona. We can also meet you virtually or at a private or public location. An expectant woman does not have to visit our office to receive the best personal adoption support in Arizona. We have guided and supported many women that choose to place a baby for adoption. The first step when considering adoption is contacting one of our private adoption agencies. The second step involves creating an adoption plan. 

Three main aspects of an adoption plan:

  • The life a birth mother envisions for her unborn child after adoption.
  • What characteristics does she want in the adoptive family? These include aspects like a two-parent family, a particular religion, siblings, the city/state they will live in, etc.
  • And if the baby has not been born yet, the hospital or birth plan

In Arizona, a birth mother maintains control of the adoption plan throughout the entire adoption process. If she does not feel comfortable at any point during the adoption process, she can make changes to the plan, even choosing a different adoptive family up until placement.

Three types of Adoption

The majority of adoptions today are either open adoptions or semi-open adoptions. Adoption Choices of Arizona believes that every adoption story is unique. There are various reasons why a pregnant woman chooses adoption. When developing an adoption plan, there are three types of adoption.

  • Open Adoption – an open adoption will bring about the most interaction between the birth parent, adoptive family, and child. The birth mom will choose the adoptive family. It will involve sharing information between the birth mother and adoptive parent(s), whatever is comfortable for the birth mom. And contact with the adoptive family and child post-adoption. How much contact and interaction are flexible? It can include visits, phone calls, letters, photos, etc. 
  • Semi-open Adoption – this type of adoption typically involves the birth parent choosing the adoptive family. However, there is usually no sharing of identifying information. After the adoption, it will often include updates throughout the years. This interaction between the birth mom and the adoptive family usually occurs with letters, emails/photos. 
  • Closed Adoption – a closed adoption was the usual method with adoptions years ago. There is not any interaction or exchange of names between the birth parent and adoptive parents. The only information shared will be the medical and emotional history of the birth mother. A closed adoption will sometimes have the adoption agency choosing the adoptive family. There are different reasons a pregnant woman may choose a closed adoption: the circumstances of the pregnancy, teenage pregnancy, and the emotional situation of the birth mother.

Information and Support for a Private Adoption in Arizona

It can often be overwhelming to seek adoption help. Our adoption specialists at Adoption Choices of Arizona bring compassion to the adoption journey. We can help with adoption in Yuma or adoption in Chandler. Our private adoption agencies help women from all walks of life. Although we are not a Christian adoption agency, we support and guide women of all religious affiliations. Our adoption specialists offer a kindhearted and supportive person to walk this journey with you.