Pregnancy Counseling Unplanned pregnancy can create pressure, confusion, anxiety and a sense of urgency. Questions about what to say, who to tell, what to do about medical care, school, the birth father and other concerns can seem overwhelming. Caring Choices’ professional staff are experts when it comes to offering help. Their objective is to offer you a listening ear, unbiased information and knowledge to help you make an informed decision and help you through each aspect of your situation. All counseling is offered free of charge.
If you choose adoption, Caring Choices seeks to maintain open adoptions, which means you can select adoptive parents and have the possibility of an on-going relationship. Caring Choices offers licensed adoption services approved by the state of Tennessee. Placement services are offered without regard to religious, ethnic, cultural and racial background.
Adoption vs. Parenting: is adoption good for my baby and me?
As you are going through the process of deciding whether to parent or place your child for adoption, it is important to keep in mind that you need to make the decision that you feel is best for your baby. If you are not ready to parent, adoption is an option that allows you to still give your baby the gift of life. You are able to plan your baby's future by selecting a family that is loving and stable to care for your baby. You can also choose to get updates on your child's progress either through pictures and letters or continued contact with the family. At the same time that you are able to continue your education and career goals, you are able to know that your child is being well loved and well cared for.
What is an open adoption?
An open adoption can mean many different things. You can choose a family to raise your child. You can meet that family and get to know them before placement. You also have the option to continue to get pictures and letters through the agency throughout your child's lifetime. Some birthparents decide to have a completely open adoption that allows for ongoing visits with their child and the adoptive family. Whatever you decide, you are making this decision based on what you feel is best for you and for your baby.
How much will my child know about me?
The more information that you can pass on to your child the better it is for them to understand their adoption story and where they came from. As they grow and have questions, all the information you provide will be very important to their sense of identity. We encourage you to pass your medical and social history on to your child. In a completely open adoption your child will have ongoing access to you and what's going on in your life.
When do I have to decide about adoption?
You can decide at any point in your pregnancy or after the baby is born. Some birth mothers decide long before the birth while others may place the baby in foster care while they make the decision after the baby is born.
What if I change my mind about adoption?
While making your adoption plan for your child it is important for you to know that you have the right to change your mind if at anytime you decide that adoption is not in the best interest of your child. Nothing is final until 10 days after you sign a surrender of parental rights before a judge. This surrender cannot be signed until after your baby is born.
What if my parents and friends pressure me to keep my baby?
It may be hard for your parents and others to know that you are considering adoption. Your parents may be thinking of a grandchild and your friends may be thinking of a lovable and cuddly baby. Ultimately though the decision to release your child for adoption or raise your baby yourself is a decision that you have to make based on what you feel is best for your baby. It is a decision that you need to feel comfortable with now and one that you can continue to feel good about for the rest of your life.
What kind of rights does the father have?
The birth father has rights equal to yours. If he agrees with the adoption plan, then he can be a part of the decision making and counseling. If you disagree on adoption or no longer have contact with him we can work with the court and our attorney to determine the best course of action. It is important to try to work with the birth father to have his social and medical history passed onto your child. If he does not choose to participate only the information that you have will be passed onto your child.
How do I know that my child is going to go to a good home?
In order to for an adoptive family to go on our waiting list they must meet certain standards and complete a home study that involves many things including police background checks, physicals and a home visit. Supervision is done by the adoption agency from the time the child is placed with the adoptive family until the adoption is finalized. If you have an open adoption you will be able to see for yourself how much your child is loved and how well your child is cared for.