Q. My name is Lori Ann and I live in Oregon. Although I'm not sure when it happened, my 15 year old has just told me she is pregnant. Both my husband and I are basically private and quiet people living in a small town. We are sad and shocked and don’t know what to do at this point.
I heard you have information on adoption and would like to ask that you send me what you have to help us with some options. I am willing to allow my daughter to do what she wants but she has already told me she doesn’t want to raise the baby and asked if we would for her or she would like to find a family that couldn’t have a baby and let them adopt her baby. Please help us and share with us what to do and what our options in adoption are for our daughter. we are not able to parent her baby and if she is willing to look at families I would like to help her find the right adoptive parents.
Thank you, Lori Ann
A. Dear Lori Ann,
Your feeling and concerns are natural and expected when facing an unplanned pregnancy of a daughter. I understand your fears and want you to know there is a lot of help for you and your daughter- we will send you material right away and profiles of adoptive parents that have been prescreened and are home study ready (that is with a background check completed and ready to be parents). You will be able to view photos of them, their homes, family members and lifestyles. There are counselors and peer counselors who can speak to you and your daughter about the process of adoption. She has many options to select from, much different than many years ago when a teen had little in choices and was judged. Please feel free to call us and speak to an adoption professional to help you walk through the steps- the toll free number is 1-800-923-6784. Or, you can visit www.LifetimeAdoption.com to view adoptive parent profiles , many of which we will send to you.
We are here for you – please know we care for you and your daughter and her baby and will help her make the right decision.
Q. Dear Mardie,
My daughter is 18 and seven months pregnant. She lives with me part of the time while she goes to college and then part of the time with her dad. The thought of having her keep the baby is driving me nuts. I find that other people's kids annoy me, most of the time. I know this would be my grandchild, but I am only 38 and not ready to be a grandmother. I don’t want to even think about it, but this is what happened, my ex found out and now is pressuring her to parent and live with him, but then if she does that she will be still at my house at times. What can I do and what do I say to her? I want to enjoy life now that I have no little kids at home. I don’t think she would be a good parent and I am unwilling to help raise her child while she grows up. Help!
A: Dear Karin,
I am sorry that you and your daughter are going through turmoil. This is something that many parents hope they never have to face or deal with, but the facts are that your daughter is pregnant and needs your help in determining what is best for her and her child. This might not be easy for anyone to deal with, but the baby is going to be born in a few months and there needs to be a plan in place for the birth and beyond.
Most women who don’t have a plan end up struggling with parenting, resentment, and anger issues toward not only the baby but anyone that is around them. Giving your daughter options now will help empower her to make the right decision-it is important you keep your cool and keep loving her.
Her options are now parenting, adoption, or abortion, and she needs to be the one responsible for the decision. If you remain close to her, she will be able to confide in you, instead of going to someone else. Your daughter needs you now. It would be best to work out your personal concerns about being a grandmother with a counselor- you can speak to one by phone by calling us at 1-800-923-6784 and asking for a coordinator to help sort out these feelings. Our services are free. I know this is hard and you might not feel up to it-but it will work out if you keep your options open and your communication open between your daughter and yourself.
Q. Dear Mardie,
I'm 20 years old and live with my boyfriend in Austin, Texas. I know this site is for parents, but I have to find some help. I am going to school to become a child psychologist. I have not told my parents I am pregnant and don’t want to, they live 200 miles away from us. I don’t want to be a mother at this time in my life. I don’t have time to drop out of school and be a good mom. What should I do now? My boyfriend, the father of the baby, is willing to do whatever I want to do. I have thought about abortion but decided it would be too hard to do. Can you help me with some resources and finding parents that can offer my baby something better than I could now?
A: Dear Jenny,
It is good you have already been having this conversation with the baby’s father, and the fact that he is willing to be part of the plan is very helpful. In most domestic adoption plans, we only see about 25% of the birth fathers involved in an adoption plan. You don’t have tell your parents by law, but it might be helpful for emotional support. You can discuss this with your adoption coordinator and make the decision on your own about what you would like to do. There are resources on these sites that can help you: www.OpenAdoption.com , www.pregnancyhelponline.com, and www.LifetimeAdoption.com, where you can find adoptive parent profiles and contact them by email and then decide if you would like to meet in person.
You don’t have to give up your career. In fact, there are birth mother college scholarships you can apply for at www.LifetimeAdoptionFoundation.org
I hope this helps you and your boyfriend find the resources you need.
Q. Dear Mardie,
I am not sure how to start. I have a 14 year old daughter from a previous marriage. She lives with me and my new husband and our two other children, all younger than her. About two months ago she started complaining of cramps and when I took her to our pediatrician they asked if she was sexually active, which I quickly answered “NO” to. Well, the doctor took me aside and said he though she was active and asked if it would be ok to do a pregnancy test. I was dumbfounded and shocked when the test came back positive. Through my tears and fears, I had to find a way to explain to my daughter what pregnancy was, what birth was like, and what was going to happen along the way.
I took her to see the movie Juno and when we came out, she looked at me and said she wanted to place the baby in an adoptive home. I was also touched by the movie and so, here we are writing you for direction. I have heard good things about your adoption services and your adoptive parents. We even went online to your Lifetime Adoption site and the answers we were looking to the questions we had, fears and doubts were answered through your site. We did also look at parent profiles and printed out a few she liked .
My questions are, when do we select an adoptive parent and then how much contact can we have with them? We don’t want to be in their lives but we would like to know the baby is happy and since my daughter is so young she might want more contact later when she is older. Is that normal? Thank you for helping us.
A: Dear Nancy,
Thank you for the kind words and I am so glad you responded to your daughter's abdominal complaints, many teens and parents put off going to the doctor until later or not at all. To answer your questions, it is best to start looking around 15 weeks of pregnancy for adoptive parents. Some women wait until closer to their due date and this is also acceptable, but can add stress when there is paperwork to complete. We can help you meet adoptive parents within your specifications and with the contact you want . It sounds like you want an open adoption, and I recommend that you keep the adoption open to allow the child to learn more about your family, health and the reasons behind the adoption plan that your daughter wants. The movie Juno has helped a number of women of all ages find peace in their adoption decision and I am so glad to see it has helped you as well. If you would like, you can call the adoption hotline 24 hours a day and speak to an adoption coordinator about your choices in adoptive parents. The adoptive parent profiles you will receive will be parents only seeking an open adoption and willing to meet you and your daughter. I am glad you didn’t come down on your daughter at this time; remember to keep the communication open. Call 1-800-923-6784 if you have needs or concerns.
We are here for you and your daughter,
Q. Dear Mardie,
We are looking for housing for our 23 year old daughter while she is pregnant. She has a one year old and we are concerned about people talking in our small town. Do you have any recommendations as to where to start and if there is a cost to her? She is planning on adoption and wants to move before she starts showing. Could you help us with some clues on housing for pregnant women that is affordable or free?
A: Dear Sandy,
There is housing assistance available for your daughter while she is pregnant. The best place to start would be checking out Lifetime Adoption’s housing help info here. While receiving housing assistance, women are able to develop a customized adoption plan. This might help your daughter and support her one year old while she is pregnant. She should also be able continue receiving housing help for up to four to six weeks after the delivery.
If you have questions, call the Pregnancy Options Line at 1-800-923-6784 and speak to someone about living expenses while she is pregnant. Many adoptive parents are able to help with legally allowable expenses in many states. She can also speak to one of our referral attorneys without cost to her about this.
I wish you the best and hope she is able to find this helpful.