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Adoptions Then and Now: A Counselor’s Perspective

By Terry Blanton, LCSW

Choosing adoption can be a difficult decision for many women, but did you know that today’s adoption plans offer more choices than ever before? As a master-level counselor, I’ve seen firsthand how the process has evolved and how it can benefit both birth parents and adoptive families.

How Adoption Has Changed

One of the most significant changes is the ability of birth parents to have more control over the process. With the help of a counselor, birth parents can select the family that will raise their child, ensuring that they feel comfortable and confident in their decision. Additionally, some agencies offer financial assistance to cover medical and living expenses during the pregnancy.

Today’s adoption plans also allow for pre-adoption counseling, ensuring that the birth parent feels confident in their decision. Birth parents can choose to meet the adoptive parents before delivery and decide if they want them to be present at the hospital. The birth parent also has control over the level of contact they want with their child and the adoptive parents after the adoption is finalized. This includes deciding on the frequency and nature of visits or communication.

Furthermore, open adoption plans allow children to grow up knowing both their biological and adoptive parents love them. As they get older, they can also learn about their roots and the reasons they were placed for adoption. Birth parents can even name their children, giving them a sense of involvement. 

Today’s adoption process is NOT what you may see in “Lifetime” movies or hear from others where birth parents had limited control or information. They may not have been allowed to hold their baby after birth and often had no idea where their child was going or who would be raising them. There was no opportunity to form a relationship with the adoptive family, and contact after the adoption was typically limited to a few pictures from the agency. Thankfully, many improvements have been made.

See if Adoption is an Option for You

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, adoption may be a way you can take care of your current needs and challenges while also taking care of your baby. Know that you’re not alone. Birthright St. Charles offers free master-level counseling to help you explore your options and connect with adoption agencies. With today’s open adoption plans, birth parents have more choices and control than ever before. A counselor can provide pre-adoption counseling to ensure that birth parents are making an informed decision that’s right for them and their child. Birth parents can have ongoing support and counseling post-pregnancy or adoption. Our goal at Birthright St. Charles is to support birth parents every step of the way so they can make an informed decision that’s best for them and their child. Contact us today to learn more.

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