Should I Get Adoption Counseling?

Woman with unplanned pregnancy with doctor

You may want to consider options counseling to help you with your decision to place your baby for adoption. This is a big decision in your life and getting the outside perspective of a professional may help.

What is adoption option counseling?
Options counseling
is typically provided by a licensed social worker or therapist. It explores both options (parenting or placing your child) with the goal of helping you find peace with your decision, whatever it may be.

How do I find a counselor?
If you are working with an adoption agency, most adoption case workers there are trained and can provide you with counseling, assistance, and support as you make this decision. If the adoption agency does not provide options counseling, ask them to refer you to someone who can. Crisis pregnancy centers, adoption attorneys, and other community organizations that deal with unplanned pregnancies may also be able to provide you with referrals to counselors.

What kinds of things are discussed in options counseling?
In most cases, a good and ethical counselor will start with the choice of parenting, as it is the most natural and preferable option. Your counselor will broach topics like where you see yourself in five years and then in ten. Will it be possible for you to attain those goals while raising a baby? He or she may also touch on all the emotional, social, familial, financial, and legal issues associated with raising a baby. You will have to consider whether you will have the necessary support and help you will need. Your counselor can provide you with information about community support, government programs, support groups for young or single moms, and other resources that can help make parenting your baby a reality. A counselor can also direct you to resources to help secure financial support from your baby’s father, if that is needed.

After exploring parenting, if you still feel that adoption is your best option, your counselor will begin to ask about what type of adoption you’d like (open or closed adoption). He or she will also discuss the emotional issues associated with placing a baby for adoption, issues regarding the birthfather, what kind of life you envision for your child, the type of parents you wish to raise your child, your rights as a birthmother, and much more. A counselor can also provide you with resources, support groups, and reading material regarding placing a child for adoption and birthmother grief.

An options counselor will help you see the big picture to come to the best decision for you and your baby.