Thinking about adopting a child? We did! We adopted 2 baby boys to make our little family and we love them more than life. I've advised a number of friends and acquaintances over the years on the ins and outs of the domestic adoption process. (We have little experience with international adoption other than researching agencies and starting to fill out paperwork.)  We've talked about private, semi-private and open adoption (we prefer open), going through an adoption attorney vs. an agency (we've done both), creating a portfolio, etc. All very useful.

One thing I've never really talked about are regrets. As a whole, we've been very pleased and very lucky, but there is one thing, if I had it to do all over again, that I would change. Before I get into that, I'd like you to consider something.

Imagine what is going on in the life of a teen who accidentally gets pregnant. If they come from a loving and supportive home environment, chances are that baby won't be placed for adoption. Teens who give their baby up are most likely to come from a chaotic home environment. During the pregnancy, the fetus will likely be exposed to a lot of stress. Fighting, yelling, poor get the idea. All the literature says pregnant women should avoid stress, maintain a calm and restful environment and talk to their unborn child. They can hear you and are deeply affected by what is affecting momma.

That said, I wish we'd brought our first birth mother home with us. Our baby would have grown in an environment full of love, support and the sound of not only his birth mom's voice, but ours as well. I think it would have made a huge difference.  If you have the means and opportunity to have the woman carrying your child come and stay with you during her pregnancy, DO IT.

If you are considering giving your baby up for adoption, please go to a lawyer who specializes in adoption or to a reputable agency. Ask for housing with your prospective adoptive family. That way you can get to know the people who will be raising your baby, they can help take care of your needs, and lower your stress level. It's a wonderful gift and will make you more confident in your choice. They will really want to be there for you and even help with delivery, if you feel comfortable with that.


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