If you are currently pregnant and experiencing homelessness, you may be thinking that it might not be the best time for you to parent a new baby. When thinking about options as an alternative to parenting, making an adoption plan may come up as an option. You likely have questions, about adoption, the first one being if you can choose adoption if you are homeless. If so, the answer is YES, you absolutely can choose adoption for your baby if you are currently homeless.
Not all pregnant homeless women choose adoption for their babies. There are other unplanned pregnancy options to consider, another being abortion. If you are pregnant and you know that parenting is not what you want or what you are capable of right now, and you don’t want to remain pregnant, you might want to consider termination. Open Arms has relationships with several abortion clinics where we can refer you and we know that you will be treated with excellent medical care and respect. If, however, termination is not what you prefer, and you feel that adoption is an option you would like to learn more about, we can help you through this process.
How to Choose an Agency If You are Homeless
If you are currently homeless, you may want to consider working with one of the local adoption agencies in your area, as they can most likely help you with resources, such as housing and pregnancy expenses. Since counselors are nearby, they can come and meet with you and get you into a place to live so that you can be safe and feel secure, especially during your pregnancy. They can likely help you get back on your feet so that you have a more permanent living situation as well. In addition, if you work with an agency such as Open Arms Adoption Network, they have access to all sorts of other services, in addition to financial assistance. They can connect you with a social worker at JFCS of Greater Philadelphia that can be helpful with career services and other emotional support that you may need, along with your Adoption Counselor from Open Arms who will provide you with options and counseling services.
Adoption Options for Homeless Women
Homeless women have the same adoption options as everyone else. No matter your current situation, you can work with a counselor to figure out if adoption is in fact right for you, and if so, choose the type of adoption that you wish to have for your unborn baby. You can choose an Open Adoption, in which you can choose and meet the adoptive family of your choice and maintain contact with them after you move forward with your adoption plan. You can also choose to have a confidential or closed adoption, if that is what you prefer. Although you may feel like you are in difficult circumstances now, this is your baby, and you have an opportunity to make the best decision that you feel is right. Whether you ultimately choose an Open Adoption, a Confidential Adoption, or even a Semi-Open Adoption, one of the major benefits of adoption is knowing that your child will be in a loving, stable home, and that you made the best choice that you could for your baby.
One on One Counseling
Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may want a different level of counseling. Some moms like to meet with their adoption worker weekly, whereas some women only want to meet a couple of times before delivering. If you call Open Arms at 1-888-OPENARMS, we can help to get you into a shelter right away so that you can feel safe. We can also work to get you prenatal care so that we can make sure all is well with your pregnancy. What we will NOT do is shame you regarding your current situation. No matter what has occurred up to this point, we will do all that we can to get your needs met and get you into a safe, comfortable environment.
After meeting with you for counseling, learning more about your situation and getting you medical care, we will continue through the adoption process if that is what you prefer. You are likely experiencing many emotions, and our Social Workers are professionals and trained to help you through this process. You can feel comfortable and confident knowing that your counselor is there to fully support you, no matter what you ultimately decide.
Meeting a Family
If you continue to work with us at around 7 or 8 months into your pregnancy, if you prefer, you can begin to look through adoptive family profiles, which are books put together by prospective adoptive parents. These waiting adoptive families are prepared and ready to adopt, and are excited to offer a baby a permanent, loving home. If you choose a family for your baby, it is completely your decision as to whether you would like to meet them or not. Some pregnant mothers are incredibly excited about the idea of meeting an adoptive family, while others have mixed emotions and might ultimately decide not to meet a family. No matter which path you choose, your counselor will support you. If you do choose to meet a family, we will be there and help you get to know them so that you feel comfortable and at ease with the family. Even at this point, we will not pressure you to move forward with adoption, as this is still fully your decision to make.
After Your Baby Is Born
Once you give birth, your adoption journey is still not complete. You can choose to have the adoptive family visit you and the baby in the hospital if this is what you prefer. After you and the baby are discharged from the hospital, we will continue to work with you and support you however we can. Should you continue to feel that adoption is what is best, you would sign adoption consents or the legal paperwork, a few days after giving birth. We will continue to be there for you even after you move forward and can help you navigate your adoption based on your preferences.
We Can Help
If you would like to learn more about adoption for your baby, Open Arms Adoption Network is a licensed adoption agency that is fully available to help you. We can send you information, speak on the phone, by text or in person. We can get you to doctors appointments, help with groceries and rent assistance so that we can get you into a more stable housing situation. We have years of experience working with homeless pregnant women and are here for you. Call us at 1-888-OPENARMS and we will be there for you every step of the way.
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