Adoption in the Time of Uncertainty

Merle GuttermanAdoption, Adoption Placement

No one likes uncertainty and this is quite an uncertain time. Life as we know it has stopped while our brave, selfless nurses, doctors, military, grocery workers, pharmacists, and all who are essential workers tend to our gravely ill and provide us with the necessities of life. For most of us, our worlds have been shaken to the core like never before.

How Does This Affect Those in the Adoption Process?

Adoption, itself requires a lot of trust and leaps of faith on both sides. Now, this “leap of faith” is even greater. Many waiting adoptive parents may be wondering some of the following:

  • Are less birth families considering adoption or reaching out to agencies or professionals during this time because they are dealing with more imminent issues such as loss of job and income, having children home and helping with virtual schooling and fear of going out to prenatal care? Of course, on the other hand, with all these new in-home responsibilities, there may be less time to devote and parent another child.
  • Are birth parents feeling more insecure about making an adoption plan with the world in such an unstable place? Will adoptive parents be able to offer the newborn baby more stability? We believe that these factors will be used in weighing whether a birth parent places for adoption.
  • Now, that many birth parents may not be working due to the shelter in place orders, will they feel that bringing another newborn home is more realistic as their normal routines have been disrupted? However, at the same time, income and benefits may be severely decreased.

Birth Families also May Be Considering Some of Their Own Questions

  • How can a birth mother and father know that the family whom they have chosen to be parents for their child will be able to provide the security and life that they want for their baby? During the Covid19 virus, citizens of the United States and around the world are confined to their homes and many may not be able to telecommute. Thus, they may be laid off from their jobs and lose their source of income and economic stability.
  • What if the adoptive parents become ill due to the virus? Who will care for the baby? What if the baby becomes ill because the adoptive parents contract the virus? During this pandemic, birth parents must consider whether the adoptive family is going to be able to best help their child make it through to the other side with less stress and more security than they can. For all of us, we have never experienced a time like this. We have never been through a pandemic.
  • How long will confinement go on? No one can answer that question, right now and we need to do our part by sitting back and staying home to allow the doctors and nurses and all who provide essential life services, do their jobs without adding to it.

Many adoptive parents, who may have already experienced loss through infertility, wonder if their adoption process is going to be halted for the unknown future. Again, this is a question that we cannot answer. Our office may be closed, but we are available to help any birth parent in need.

  • Both birth and adoptive families may wonder if the agencies will still be working with birth mothers?
  • How will counseling occur?
  • What happens in the hospitals now?
  • Can adoptive parents still be there to support the birth mothers?

There are Some Questions that CAN be Answered!

Many of the licensing bodies for adoption agencies have relaxed the regulation during this time for face to face counseling. Agencies such as Adoption ARC can meet birth parents via facetime, skype or other video conferencing mediums to deliver options counseling.

Also, if a birth parent is having an emergency, we can meet them face to face with protective gear on.

Hospitals will operate on a case by case situation and depending on their own individual rules. Some will allow one adult support person during the labor and delivery. However, this does not mean you may not support the birth parent even if you are not there physically. There is still skype and the telephone. All communication will be with the agency counselor there, acting as the conduit.

The world has changed for now. It’s scary and uncertain. Maybe, we just never saw that as clearly as we do now. Yet, babies are being born and need safe, stable homes. It’s our jobs to give birth families the tools that they need to make their own decisions about placing for adoption by examining both pre COVID-19 stressors and current ones.

Although, I don’t possess a crystal ball, (Many of you have heard me say that.) we at Adoption ARC truly believe that our babies manage to find their way to the right families via a Higher Power and the incredible strength and love of their birth parents. That will never change.