As I was finishing up my recent post about making a hospital plan, I began to think about something that isn’t talked about often − the possibility the expectant mother will change her mind and choose to parent. This possibility is sometimes tiptoed around because people are afraid if they mention it, it will happen.
As someone who has made an adoption plan, I can assure you hearing it mentioned won’t put the idea there. It was always in the back of my mind, but for me, I knew pushing forward with the adoption plan was the best outcome for my situation. But what if you are an expectant mother and are having serious doubts about adoption? How do you handle those?
The time in the hospital with your baby tends to bring up the most doubts because this is no longer a “when I have the baby” down the road situation. You have given birth to a beautiful baby, and it is at this point many have to make the decision to place again. Placement is often a decision you make twice, first while pregnant and second after the baby is born confirming adoption is the right choice. The exception to making this decision twice may occur for those who did not know they were pregnant or did not consider adoption as an option during their pregnancy.
It is important to keep in mind that there is a big difference between wishful thinking and actually changing your mind. I can recall holding my baby boy in the hospital desperately wishing I could take him home, but I knew I wasn’t ready. I knew I wasn’t physically, emotionally, or financially prepared. I wasn’t changing my mind; I was just desperately wishing circumstances were different.
If you feel you are beginning to change your mind, don’t rush into making a decision one way or the other. Don’t let the hospital staff, your adoption caseworkers, or anyone make you feel rushed into making this decision. If you and your baby have to leave the hospital before you have made a final decision, some adoption agencies can arrange for private foster care to give you more time. You can even take your baby home and try parenting to see if it works for you.
If you have already selected an adoptive family but come to the conclusion that moving forward with an adoption plan is no longer in your or your baby’s best interest, you will most likely feel some guilt regarding changing your mind at the last minute. While this won’t be easy for the adoptive family to deal with, they are educated during the adoption process of this possibility. Consult the adoption professional you are working with about the best way to move forward with letting the adoptive parents know you have changed your mind about adoption. In most cases, the caseworker will notify the adoptive parents, but some mothers who have changed their minds write letters to the adoptive parents helping bring about closure to both of them.
Whatever decision you come to, it is a difficult and emotional one to make.