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Changing The Stigma On Adoption

By Anabel Sierra

For decades, we as a society have always said the phrase “giving up for adoption.” Unfortunately, this phrase shines a negative light on the adoption process. All of us at Adoption Choices of Texas want to try to change that stigma. Instead, we want to show that adoption is an act that is done out of love, courage, and selflessness. We also want to change the phrase from “giving up” to “placing a child” for adoption. 

Why Positive Adoption Language (PAL) Is Important

Phrases like “giving up a baby” and “unwanted pregnancy” may seem fine, but in reality, they can be very harmful. For expectant mothers, we prefer to use the term “unplanned pregnancy” versus unwanted. The same thing goes for replacing “giving up” with “putting up” or “placing” a child for adoption. By changing the way we speak, we lessen the stigma around adoption in TexasPutting a baby up for adoption is a difficult journey to go through, and we want to make it easier. By using the terms above, it empowers the birth parents who are choosing to better their child’s life. 

A Brief Historical Overview Of Adoption

To change the future, we must first understand the past regarding adoption. Before the 20th century, adoptions were made in secret because unmarried mothers carrying children were seen as shameful. It wasn’t until 1851 that adoption began to be viewed as an operation based on child welfare via adoption laws. 

As the years have gone on, the use of adoption agencies has become more prevalent in society and the stigma has lessened. The language used regarding adoption shifted slightly, but not to where it needed to be. It’s difficult to break a decades-long stigma that always brought about feelings of shame to birth parents, after all! As an agency, we make sure that all birth parents feel heard and respected regardless of their situations. We also encourage birth parents and adoptive parents alike to adhere to the new language regarding adoption. No child is being “given up,” and we want to make sure they know that as well. 

Going Forward With Adoption For Birth Parents

If you are choosing to go through the adoption process, it’s important to know what your adoption options are. During your appointment with one of our adoption counselors, you will be able to choose the method of adoption. The adoption methods that we have in place are open, semi-open, and closed. 

  • Open adoption means that you will be able to meet with the adoptive family and have all of your questions and concerns answered. With open adoption, you will also be able to maintain contact post-placement and receive photos of your baby as they grow!
  • Semi-open adoption is a slightly more private option. This means that all communication will be through a third party, like Adoption Choices of Texas. After your placement, staying in contact is optional, and you may not receive as many updates from the adoptive family. 
  • Finally, there is the method of closed adoption. This is the most private option that we offer where no contact is had between the two parties. We understand that certain situations may call for this option, and we are here to support you.

Solidifying Your Child’s Placement

Once you have chosen your adoption method, you will then be taken through the steps of creating an adoption plan. This plan includes financial support, choosing your child’s family, prenatal care, a birthing plan, and counseling after the placement. If you are worried that you may be too far from one of our adoption agencies, don’t worry! We have an adoption agency in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, TX. If those are still too far, we will arrange transportation for you to the nearest center. 

However, if you wish to stop the process, that’s totally okay. You will never be pressured to complete the adoption process because we understand that you may or may not change your mind. Even with our dedicated staff, putting your baby up for adoption can be a scary process to go through. We want to stress that you will not be alone and encourage you to use our facilities for therapy or support groups. This offer stands for your entire lifetime, as we know that healing is not linear.

Your Adoption Placement Is Important

If you are struggling with the idea of child adoption, that is okay and perfectly normal. This process is known to bring up a myriad of feelings, such as fear, anxiety, or even grief. But, by choosing Adoption Choices of Texas, we will make sure that all of your feelings are validated. If you are not fluent in English, then we have resources for your concerns with “dar a mi bebe de adocion.” You are our top priority, and we want nothing short of the best for you and your baby. Give us a call or visit one of our adoption agencies for more information today.

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Serving Expectant Parents Statewide
Birth Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call  24/7)

 Or Text: 945-444-0333

Adoptive Parents instead, call: 832-971-1358

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