Q: This pregnancy was unexpected, and I am not sure if I can be a parent right now. How can Open Arms Adoption Network help me?
A: You are likely feeling overwhelmed and confused right now. An Open Arms counselor can help you work through your emotions. We offer counseling and support to help you understand all the options available, so you can decide what is the best choice.
While exploring all your options, you may decide that adoption is the right choice. If you choose adoption, your Open Arms counselor will talk with you about adoption law, your rights, and about the opportunities available to you to plan the type of adoption you want.
We also may be able to assist you financially with expenses due to your pregnancy and will be able to assist you to get the medical coverage you and your baby may need. And all services offered to you through Open Arms are free of charge.
Q: Are there different types of adoption?
A: Yes. Your Open Arms Counselor will explain the different types of adoption available to you. You can have an Open Adoption where you enjoy ongoing visits and/or an exchange of photos and letters over the years. Or we can arrange a Confidential Adoption for you, where there is no ongoing contact between you and the family who adopts your baby.
If a Confidential Adoption makes you feel more comfortable now, you always have the opportunity to work with Open Arms to re-establish a connection with the adoptive family in the years to come. Making an adoption plan for your baby is a difficult process. We promise to support you as you move forward. Counseling is always available for you, at no charge.
Q: Who might choose to make an adoption plan for their baby?
A: People in many situations choose adoption for their baby. Someone who is already struggling as a single parent may choose adoption; someone who may not feel emotionally or financially ready to raise a child may choose adoption; someone who has college or job prospects ahead that might prevent them from being the kind of parent that they want to be; or someone who feels too young to raise a child might choose adoption. Also, women who face potential involvement from the foster care system may still have a choice to make a permanent adoption plan with Open Arms. The women we work with are sometimes teenagers but are usually in their 20s or 30s. But the one characteristic that is common in all cases, is that people who choose adoption believe in their heart and mind that adoption is the best choice for their baby and their baby’s future.
Q: What other kinds of support are available to me?
A: Some women are interested in staying in close contact with their Open Arms counselor after their baby is adopted. For those women, we offer support groups with other birth parents, ongoing counseling, and participation in events over the years. Other women prefer to not stay connected to our agency or the adoptive family after their baby is adopted. That is fine too.
If you have given birth to your baby and are still not sure whether you will raise the baby or make an adoption plan, you can choose to place your baby with an Open Arms approved family for a few days while you make your decision.
In addition, we have a network of birth parents who chose adoption for their baby, who are also available to offer support and answer any questions you may have. You can speak with them in person, via phone, email or text.
Q: How do I find out more about the adoptive families of Open Arms?
A: If you decide to plan an adoption, an important question may be, “If not me, who is the right family to raise my child?” You have the option to choose one of our approved families to adopt your baby. Or, if you prefer, our agency can choose the right family for your baby.
Our approved adoptive families prepare Family Profiles that include photos and details about the lives they lead. We will provide you with these profiles to look through. You will likely be drawn to particular families who have certain interests, hobbies, and values that you feel good about. After you have chosen a family—one that you could envision your baby growing up with—you and your counselor can meet with them.
All adoptive families are screened thoroughly via criminal background and child abuse clearances, references, and employment checks, and a counselor speaks with them in their home several times. Your baby will be well loved and cared for forever by an Open Arms family.
Q: How do I find out about adoption law?
A: Your Open Arms counselor will educate you about adoption law and your rights. Also, we will answer any questions you have about the law and involvement of your baby’s father.
Q: What is the next step to learn more?
A: Call us 24/7 at 1-888-OPENARMS (1-888-673-6276), visit www.openarmsadoption.net or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our counselors are happy to meet with you at a place that is convenient for you.