By E. Parker Herring
|Older children placed in forever homes in an open adoption.|
All mothers who make the difficult decision to place a newborn child for adoption should be praised and supported for their selfless decision to do what is best for their children. From both parenting experience and circumstances, the same holds true of women who have concluded that what is best for the child is to place with a family who can better provide for their child’s physical and emotional needs.
Time and time again, we have seen women place older children for adoption and the outcome is positive. Many of them have cared for the child for months or years trying to hold on in situations that are dire.
Take for example 28-year-old Maria who came to the U.S. from Mexico. She had a toddler and learned soon after arrival she was pregnant again. She had lived in poverty with a relative in a rural area. She had no transportation and rarely left the place she was living. She started considering adoption right after she gave birth, and ultimately placed her daughter when she was nine months old.
Her daughter is thriving, and she has toys and books and clothes— things her mother struggled to provide. The child now has the love of two mothers and a father, and you can feel how much they all love each other. Birthmother Maria has an open adoption and receives pictures from the adoptive parents.
The story is similar for a 16-month-old placed for adoption by her parents also through Raleigh’s A Childs Hope. This young couple struggled to care for their daughter for the first year of her life. They were married, but homeless and jobless. DSS was involved as they were not able to secure housing. “We knew it was just a matter of time before she was taken from us,” her biological father said. “We wanted what was best for her and to choose the family she would be raised by.”
After careful consideration, the young parents placed their daughter in an open adoption with a loving couple who had struggled to have a family. The little girl transitioned over time to her new home.
“She walked into our lives almost seamlessly,” said her adoptive mother. “She is a loving and independent little girl who knows all about her adoption story and talks openly about it.”
A Child’s Hope focuses on newborn placements, but sometimes sees older children like the ones shared. Parents place them because they cannot fully provide the life they wanted for their child and make the difficult decision to place the child for adoption. We know how challenging these placements are for the birth parents. These adoptions are almost always open adoptions so that the birth parents can stay in touch over the years.
The agency also has placed a six-month-old boy. His mother was not in a relationship with the biological father and was entering the military. He joined a family that already had two little girls. “He was immediately welcomed by his sisters,” said his adoptive father. “We can’t imagine our family without him.”
The next story is about Christian, a two-year-old. His mother contacted A Child’s Hope explaining she could no longer care for him and was suffering from ongoing loss and pain. The biological father lived in Mexico, and Christian had a twin that died at birth.
In her grief, the birth mother was not able to bond with Christian. In this case, one of the waiting couples had previously adopted a Hispanic boy, now 16-years-old. Upon the introduction, both boys started bonding almost immediately, and today continue to be close.
“They do everything together, whether its fishing or biking or playing in the water,” said their mom. “We know that these boys have each other for life.”
Many families contact us wanting to know, “How do I adopt a child in North Carolina?” While A Child’s Hope focuses primarily on domestic infant adoption, we have placed older children through our agency as in the cases we talked about. We help birth mothers make adoption plans for their infants, toddlers, and children as old as 8-years-old.