Answer: No, orphanages do not still exist in the United States and your baby will not go to one if you choose adoption.
If you are either pregnant or have given birth recently and are feeling like you cannot care for your baby, you may be wondering what your other options are. One question that might cross your mind is likely, “what if I can’t take care of my baby, and I don’t find anyone else to? Will my baby be an orphan and end up in an orphanage or a group home?” Many of us have seen the move Annie, Oliver, or even newer movies such as The Queens Gambit that depict orphanages. This often makes us wonder if orphanages do in fact still exist today, and if so, it can be pretty terrifying.
While the traditional types of orphanages shown in these movies are pretty unusual today, there are Group Homes that still exist for children, typically older children, who have not been adopted and do not have Foster Homes. Sometimes the Foster Care System doesn’t work for certain children, either because they have behavior issues (very often stemming from abuse or neglect that they experience while in Foster Care) or sometimes have a disability that makes parenting them in a traditional home incredibly difficult.
These residential care institutions are not something that you need to worry about, especially if you are looking for an alternative to parenting your child now. You have several options, and we will discuss those so that you can make a fully informed decision, whether that means your child going to live with a family member for a period of time, being adopted by a friend or family member, or choosing to make an adoption plan for your baby to be raised by one of Open Arms Adoption’s loving families.
Reasons to Consider Alternatives to Parenting
There are many reasons that pregnant women and new moms consider alternatives to parenting. Often, it is many reasons together that make it feel incredibly difficult, or even impossible to parent a new baby. For instance, sometimes women are living in extreme poverty, with multiple children, and are struggling to parent their current children with little or no help from friends and family. For a single mother parenting young children with no help, the idea of bringing home a new baby and having another person to responsible for can feel incredibly daunting. Some women are struggling with addiction or mental health diagnoses and they know that it is likely that their children will end up in state care, and therefore want to consider other options. Whatever the case may be, there are other options and this is your decision to make.
Adoption is Always an Option
Voluntary domestic adoption can be a good option for a woman who is not in a position to parent a new baby. With Open Adoption, the mom or the birth parents have the option to choose the adoptive parents for the baby, and even meet them to help with the transition. Voluntary adoption can feel like an empowering decision, as rather than the baby be taken away and placed in a foster home, you have control over your decision and a say in who your baby’s parents will ultimately be. Adoption is also permanent, meaning once the baby or child is adopted, they will stay with that family forever. This is a comforting, reassuring feature of adoption that makes many women choose adoption for their baby.
Telling Your Family Members Can Be Helpful
If a woman is not in a position to parent a new baby, there is another option as well. Perhaps friends or family members would be a good fit to parent the baby, be it for a short term option or for the long term. Sometimes this option has appeal, as the new mom just needs some time to get back on her feet, but parenting is something that she knows she wants to do and WILL be able to do, she just needs a bit of time. If there are relatives in your life that you trust with your baby, and feel that they will take care of your child while you get back on track, choosing one of them might be a good alternative to parenting.
Is Abortion Still an Option?
Should you decide that you would like to terminate your pregnancy, you can find an abortion clinic that will help you through this process. Across America, the laws vary with regard to how far along in your pregnancy you are able to get an abortion, but if termination is what you ultimately decide on, Planned Parenthood can assist you with getting an appointment.
Making a Decision About Your Pregnancy
After learning about all of the options available to you, and knowing that an Orphanage does NOT have to be in your child’s future, you can now make a decision. Do you want to continue with this pregnancy? If so, who do you think the best person would be to take care of your baby? If you feel it is not you, is it someone you know? Is adoption something you would like to consider and learn more about? Here are some adoptive families who are ready and waiting to adopt if you would like to take a look.
Choose a Family You Think Your Child Deserves
Ultimately, no matter which option you are leaning toward, you likely feel that your child deserves some sort of family– be it with you, your friends or family, or an adoptive family of your choosing. In some countries, vulnerable children end up in orphanages, as they do not have the systems that we have set up in place in the U.S. . Thankfully, you have the opportunity to make a decision and ensure that your child does not end up in a situation that you would not want for him or her. Should you decide that adoption is the option that you would like to move forward with, you will ensure that your adopted child is well loved with a family (of your choosing) forever.
To learn more about adoption, contact us at 1-888-OPENARMS any time. We are here for you and ready to help you any way that we can.
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