Options Counseling

Options-Counseling-Adoptimist

As you are considering your options of parenting versus placement for your unborn baby, you may wish to consider perusing options counseling to help you with this decision. 


What is options counseling?
Options counseling is typically provided by a licensed social worker or therapist and explores both the options of parenting and placing in the goal of helping you reach a decision that you can eventually be at peace with.

How do I find a counselor to discuss my options with?
If you are working with an adoption agency, most of the adoption case workers there are trained and can provide you with counseling, assistance, and support as you make this decision. If the adoption agency you are working with 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 parenting as it is the most natural choice and should be the answer whenever possible. They will discuss things like where you see yourself in 5 and 10 years, how to make those goals possible while raising a baby, emotional issues, social issues, father issues, family issues, legal issues, whether or not you will have support and help raising your baby and what that support will look like, and more. They can provide you with information about community support, government programs, support groups for young or single Moms, and other resources that could make parenting your baby a reality.  They can also connect you with resources to assist you in obtaining financial support from your baby’s father if that is needed.

After exploring parenting with you, if you still feel adoption is the best option for the counselor will begin to explore adoption and will discuss things like the type of adoption you’d like, the emotional issues surrounding placing a baby for adoption, issues regarding the birthfather, what kind of life you envision for your child, what type of family you want your child to be raised in, your rights as a birthmother, and more. The counselor can also provide you with resources, support groups, and reading material regarding placing a child for adoption and birthmother grief.

Simply put, an options counselor helps you look at the big picture long term to come to the best decision for you and your baby.