How did you decide that adoption was the right choice for you?

AMANDA

Well when I was pregnant I went through the whole process of looking at whether I should keep the baby or if I should go through adoption and I think early on I settled on adoption. I think it became really evident that I was not ready for motherhood. I just felt really young and not qualified. I didn’t feel prepared or at all in a place where I could provide for a baby. So that’s what really drew me into choosing adoption and that’s kind of how I’ve decided that that would be the right way to go. That someone else could raise the baby and provide everything that the baby needed.

LEAH OUTTEN

I decided adoption was the best for us because at that point of my life, at 16 years old and I didn’t have a boyfriend that wanted to be around. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have a license, junior high school was ending. It took 7 months to come to that point of realizing the reality of what all that would mean as a mom, but I decided that for her it would be the best thing for her at that time. Physically, I could not do it and I wanted to be there for her and I didn’t want that emotional and physical stress on her and us. I was trying to do everything from being able to buy her diapers, getting my schooling done, and taking care of her. I just felt like she deserved more at that point.

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I probably considered abortion for about 30 seconds. Basically, everybody has 3 choices and it never was a serious consideration of mine, but it was just a compromise between me and a family member. The family member suggested it and I said well, if medically it was needed for my life or for the baby, like if something was wrong, then I would consider it. I but in general, it was not a consideration. I wanted to choose life for her and to have her be part of this world.

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MAKENA LEIGH PORTER

When I found out I was pregnant I was 16 years old and I had no clue what I was gonna do when I was 16, really young. And everyone else I had friends that were pregnant too and I just kind of—what’s happening? Everywhere and other high schools, summer parenting, a lot were boarding and no one else was placing. I never heard of adoption before and when I discussed it with my mom she gave me this 3 options, boarding, placing or parenting and I was confused. I didn’t know what most of the consequences would be for most of them and so I chose adoption after praying about it for a week and it was the right one for me.

BAILEY CORRELL

When I started suspecting that I was pregnant, I went to a woman’s education center in Dalton, Georgia. When I got there, they did a typical pregnancy test. It came back positive. I remember going into a room. Whenever you tested positive they would take you into a room and they had a little educational video that looks like it was from the 80s that was very, very grainy. The quality of the video was absolutely awful. It was very cheesy and it led you through your options, whether it was abortion, adoption, or parenting. I was sitting there watching the little video and I remember thinking I don’t even want to watch the abortion section just because I was already so excited to be pregnant.

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So that really wasn’t an option for me and then once I heard my daughter’s heartbeat that was totally off the table. I was in love. Parenting was a little more difficult for me to let go of. I wanted to parent so badly. What really changed my mind was mainly that I did not have the support that I needed to be a successful single parent or emotional and financial support. Her biological dad left when I was roughly 8 weeks pregnant and then proceeded to sue me over custody. So by the end of all that, any hope for funds for parenting were long gone.

I started realizing that I could never give her the life that I wanted to give her in that moment. It would be years before I could afford to raise her the way that I wanted to and I didn’t want to deprive her of a financially stable life with two parents who loved her and all the experiences that come with a financially stable life. It would make me uncomfortable not to raise her [no audio]. So in that, I end up choosing adoption. The hardest choice I have ever made. I fought it kicking and screaming for at least 7 months and then I even started investigating. Like I said, I’m a grad student, I love research, and I love data. All that, it’s just my life right now. So I started looking into research, there wasn’t a whole lot and that was kind of depressing and worrisome. I started going to an adoption agency and realized how uncomfortable I was because their way of talking about adoption was, here’s a scrapbook, look how good the parents are. And I realized that would never be an okay way to choose for me. So I ended up choosing 2 people that were like second parents to me when I was growing up. It’s the best choice I have ever made. She is so happy and so loved by all four of us by this point and I could not imagine her growing up any other way.

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HEIDI RUSSO

I didn’t know adoption was right for me initially. I looked at all of my options as far as abortion, parenting, and adoption and I pretty quickly ruled out abortion. So then it was just a choice between parenting and adoption. To be honest, I went back and forth quite a bit, thinking I could parent. How was I gonna do that? Then adoption, and what would that look like? Ultimately, I landed on adoption because there just wasn’t a way at that point of my life that I could parent my son well and give him all the things I wanted him to have in his life. It was a long road. There was a lot of back and forth, weighing options.

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I had gone through private adoption. Trying to go through that route which didn’t work well. The couples I was meeting were great people but they just weren’t what I was looking for. So I went back to parenting. I was going to parent and then ultimately through a family friend of my dad who was a social worker from Lutherans Social Services. I met with her and she knew my family very well and ultimately I found a family, Rick and Theresa, through her. It’s actually the first folder I picked that she gave me.

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KELSEY QUESENBERRY

All my sisters had kids really young. My oldest nephew and I are only like 4 years apart. I pretty much spent my entire childhood helping babysit my sister’s kid. As of now, I have 9 nieces and nephews from ages 3 to 20. All my sisters had kids really young and I watched them struggle having kids and trying to raise them, try to work and go back to school. In my house, adoption was never discussed as an option.

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Honestly, the idea of adoption was just so foreign to me until I went through it but I knew when I found out that I was pregnant and everything, it was honestly too late to even consider abortion or anything but I kind of already knew that adoption would be my choice. Everyone kind of says how selfless you are when you choose to place but when I made the decision it felt really selfish, because it wasn’t just base on Henry. It was based on my own future and his birth father’s too. We learned about adoption from the hospital case worker. Although I knew that’s what I’m going to end up ultimately doing, we hadn’t really decided or done any preparing until I got to the hospital. The case worker there helped us pick an adoption agency.

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JANEL BROWN

I’m not quite sure why I decided that adoption was right for me. I did think about parenting for the first 6 months before I told my mom that I was pregnant. When I discussed my pregnancy with my mother, she gave me my options. Abortion is not an option, ever, my entire life. We knew a family that was looking to adopt and so it kind of open my eyes to adoption and that’s how it really was a chosen thing for me because I had a little sister at the time that was 13 months old and I knew that there was no way that I was going to be able to raise a child the way that he or she deserves to be raise.

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