Adoption Talk Blog | A Baby Step Adoption

Birthmother Benefits

Birthmother Benefits

For a birthmother considering adoption, it is crucial to have support during and after the pregnancy. There are things you should know and expect when it comes to placing your child for adoption. It is your child, your choice, and ultimately, your decision to choose adoption.

Here are some of your birthmother benefits and expenses you should know about if you’re a birthmother considering adoption.


Birthmother Options
As a birthmother placing your child for adoption, you are ultimately in charge of the adoption plan. By making choices that feel right to you, you can make a difficult situation better.  Remember, you are not giving up a baby, you are choosing the best adoption plan.

As a birthmother, your options are to:

  • Choose the family who will adopt your child – As a birthmother choosing adoption, you will receive several options of potential families who want to adopt your child. You may also meet the family you choose to make sure you feel comfortable with them.

  • Choose from an open or closed adoption plan depending on your preference on post adoption contact agreement.

  • Choose to receive updates, photos and correspond even after the pregnancy with the adoptive parents

  • Receive support and assistance from an attorney specializing in adoption law and from a caseworker who will support you emotionally during and after the adoption process.

  • Receive financial assistance to pay for your living expenses

  • Lifetime counseling and support


Living Expenses
Your birthmother benefits also include FREE financial benefits at no cost to you at all.

These benefits and expenses include:

Housing

  •   Money to pay your rent, utilities and other household living expenses

  •   Medical care for yourself and your baby

  •   Maternity clothing

  •   Mobile phone and service

  •    Transportation

  •    Lifetime adoption support

  • Confidential advice from a caseworker who will help you every step of the way.

Call us day or night if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to talk through your options.  Contact us at 1-888-505-2367 or text us at 610-613-1911 to discuss your options and decide if adoption is the right choice for you and your child. You are not giving up your baby, but choosing the best future for you and your child.

Resources for Birthparents

Resources for Birthparents

Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and trying to decide if giving up your baby for adoption is the right choice for you or you are post placement in need of some assistance, it can be helpful to know what local resources you can count on to assist you. Over the years, we have referred our birthmothers to many of these wonderful local organizations. We thought it would be helpful to have them all in one place for easy access should you find yourself in need! As always, you can call us with any questions at 888-505-2367 or text us at 610-613-1911.

Organization: Congreso de latino
Purpose: To strengthen Latino communities through social, economic, education and health services, leadership development and advocacy
Address: 216 West Somerset St. Philadelphia, PA 19133
Phone: 215-763-8870
Website:http://www.congreso.net/

 

Organization: Concilio
Purpose: To provide social, educational, cultural, prevention and intervention services and programs to underserved young people and families in the Philadelphia region. To serve as a convener/voice for the diverse Latino community around issues impacting children, youth and families. To serve as a catalyst for maintaining and celebrating the cultural heritages and histories of our diverse Latino communities
Address:141 East Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia 19124 USA
Phone: Phone: 215-627-3100
Website: http://www.elconcilio.net/


Organization: Women in Transition
Purpose: Provides empowerment counseling, referrals and advocacy to women in Philadelphia who are endangered by domestic violence and/or substance abuse
Address: 21 S 12th St #601, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: Phone: 215-751-1111 (lifeline)
Website: http://www.helpwomen.org/wp/  
Email: WITServices@helpwomen.org

 

Organization: Women's Way
Purpose: Overarching group that helps other organizations get grants, develop services, and educate
Address: 123 South Broad Street, Suite 1399, Philadelphia, PA 19109
Phone: 215-985-3322
Website: www.womensway.org
Email:info@womensway.org

 

Organization: Bucks County Women's Advocacy Coalition 
Purpose: Non-partisan coalition of more than 100 individual and 36 organization partners that serve women and girls. We empower, educate and advocate together to promote gender equality and economic self-sufficiency for all;  focused on achieving economic self-sufficiency for all through advocacy work in areas of child care, health care, housing, transportation, job and workforce development; domestic violence and addiction issues affect all areas of concern
Address: P.O. Box 248, Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone: 215-860-1449
Website: http://www.bcwac.org/
Email: coalition@bcwac.org 


Organization: 2-1-1 SEPA
Purpose: Referrals for basic human and health services
Address: United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, 709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Website: http://211sepa.org
Email:1info@211sepa.org


Organization: Community Women's Education Project (CWEP)
Purpose: Provides educational opportunities and support services to low income adults to help them improve their lives and become self-sufficient
Website: http://www.cwep.org/ (website under construction) 

 

Organization: Home of the Sparrow
Purpose: Provides housing and supportive services to homeless and low-income women who want to improve their lives and become self-sufficient
Address: 969 E Swedesford Road, Exton, PA 19341
Phone: (610) 647-4940
Website: http://homeofthesparrow.org/

 

Organization: Interim House
Purpose: Provides a continuum of comprehensive services to women with substance abuse and mental health issues.
Address: 333 West Upsal Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Phone: 215.849.4606
Website: http://www.interimhouse.org/ 
Email: Admissions coordinator, Karen Higgins at karenh@phmc.org

 

Organization: Maternity Care Coalition
Purpose: Dedicates itself to improving maternal and child health and wellbeing through the collaborative efforts of individuals, families, providers, and communities
Address: 2000 Hamilton Street, Suite 205, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: 215 972-0700
Website: http://www.momobile.org/index.html 
Email: MCC@MOMobile.org


Organization: New Directions for Women
Purpose: Provides residential services as an alternative to incarceration for female offenders from Philadelphia County prisons who are eligible for early release. The 25-bed licensed facility provides a home-like atmosphere for its residents. The programs promote self-sufficiency, empowerment, and a crime-free lifestyle.
Address: 1638 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA19103
Phone: (215) 809-2170
Website: http://www.newdirectionsforwomen.org/about-us/philadelphia/
Email: Outreach Office Manager, Nancy Oliver, available Tuesday and Thursday of each week 8 AM to 3 PM; noliver@newdirectionsforwomen.com

 

Organization: Philabundance
Purpose: Provides food to low income individuals
Address: 3616 South Galloway Street | Philadelphia, PA 19148
Phone: (215) 339-0900
Website: http://www.philabundance.org/
Email: contactus@philabundance.org


Organization: The Center Foundation
Purpose: Empowers women and teen parents to overcome obstacles and reach their goals by building caring communities and networks of support; run two mentorship programs, one for women in transition
Address: 300 West State Street, Suite 304, Media, PA 19063
Phone: 610-565-6171
Website: http://www.thecenterfoundation.org/
Email: Jane D. Todd, WomenCare Program Manager, Jane@theCF.org


Organization: Planned Parenthood of Southeast PA
Purpose: Provides sexual health care, sexuality education, and advocates to protect our right to reproductive choice
Address: 1144 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: 215-351-5500
Website: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/ppsp/ 

 

Organization: Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR)
Purpose: Provides comprehensive sexual assault counseling, advocacy, community education, and training services
Address: One Penn Center, 1617 John F Kennedy Blvd., Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: Office: 215-985-3315 Hotline: 215-985-3333
Website: http://www.woar.org
Email: info@woar.org

 

Organization: Berks Women in Crisis Center
Purpose: Provides a safe haven and ongoing support system for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our advocacy and education programs increase awareness and promote the prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault, and all forms of oppression
Address: 255 Chestnut Street, Reading, PA 19602
Phone: 610-373-1206
Websitehttp://www.berkswomenincrisis.org/ 
Email: peace@berkswomenincrisis.org

 

Organization: BirthMom Buds
Purpose:  Providing Support to Birthmoms & Pregnant
Phone: 1-855-4MyBBud
Website: http://birthmombuds.com/ 
Email: BirthmomBuds@gmail.com

 

Organization: Women Considering Adoption Community Action Program of Lancaster County
Purpose: Champion the achievement of long-term self sufficiency for individuals and families through services and advocacy targeting the elimination of poverty
Address: 601 South Queen Street, P.O. Box 599, Lancaster, PA 17608-0599
Phone: 800.732.0018
Website: http://www.caplanc.org

 

Organization: Bmom
Purpose: Support group run by a birthmother
Website: http://www.bmom.net/ 
Email: nanaWendt@aol.com

 

Organization: Birthmother Support Group
Website:http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a6696495/birth_mothers_support_group  

 

Organization: American Adoption Congress - state list of support groups for BPs
Website: http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/docs/SUPPORT_GROUP_LIST_Table_-_Aug2013.pdf  

 

Organization: Adoption Services
Website: http://www.adoptionservices.org/
Phone: 1(800) 943-0400
Email: Vince@adoptionservices.org

 

Organization: Cradles to Crayons
Purpose: Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
Address: 30 Clipper Road, P.O. Box 799, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428
Phone: 215.836.0958
Website: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/philadelphia 

 

Organization: North American Council on Adoptbale Children
Purpose: Committed to meeting the needs of waiting children and the families who adopt them
Address:  970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106, St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: 651-644-3036
Website: https://www.nacac.org/about/about.html, https://www.nacac.org/about/staffboard.html
E-mail: info@nacac.org

 

Organization: Northeast Treatment Centers 
Purpose: A non-profit, licensed and accredited organization, offers a range of behavioral health and social services to adults, adolescents, children and families in the Greater Philadelphia region, the Lehigh Valley and the state of Delaware. From foster care and school therapeutic services to residential and outpatient programs for addiction recovery, our services are comprehensive, quality-driven, cost-effective and delivered by a staff that’s committed to doing its best for their consumers
Websitehttp://netcenters.org/

 

Organization: Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM)
Purpose: A Latino-based health, human  services, community and economic development non-profit organization serving  the Philadelphia area. Our mission is to  help families achieve their greatest potential.
Website: http://apmphila.org/

 

Organization: Turning Points for Children 
Purpose: Since 1835, Turning Points has been a major provider of services for children and families, now serving over 6,000 families annually. We reduce child abuse and improve the lives of children throughout Philadelphia.
Address: 415 South Fifteenth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: 215.875.8200
Website: http://turningpointsforchildren.org/ 
Email: info@turningpointsforchildren.org

 

Organization: Women Against Abuse 
Website: http://womenagainstabuse.org/  

 

Organization: Lutheran Settlement House
Website: http://www.lutheransettlement.org/  

 

Organization: CUA
Website: http://www.dynamicsights.com/dhs/ioc/cua2.php  
   

Organization: Northern Children's Services
Purpose: Northern Children’s Services supports the healthy development of children, while stabilizing their families to build stronger communities.
Address: 5301 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128; 100 West 15th Street, Chester, PA 19013
Phone: 215.482.1423
Website: http://northernchildren.org
Email: Bonnie Dugman - BDugan@northernchildren.org BDugan@northernchildren.org or info@northernchildren.org


Organization:  Urban Affairs Coalition
Website http://www.uac.org/  
   
 

Organization: Berks Counseling Center Website:
Website: http://www.berkscounselingcenter.org/joomla/  
   
 

Organization: Berks Substance Abuse
Website: http://www.berkstasc.org/  
   
 

Organization: Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance
Website: http://www.grmha.org/  
   
 

Organization: SAM
Websitehttp://www.sam-inc.org/Services/mental-health-crisis-intervention-and-emergency-services.html

Adoption Book Library

Adoption Book Library

When deciding if adoption or surrogacy is the right choice for you, it's natural to want to read and research everything you can about the topics. We have taken some time to compile a selection of books that we hope you find useful as you go on your path to parenthood. We've broken them down by general books about adoption and surrogacy to picture books you can share with siblings of the adopted child and even books specific to single parent adoptions and same sex couples. We have included links to directly purchase the books on Amazon. 

As always, here at A Baby Step Adoption, you can contact us 1-888-505-2367 or text us at 610-613-1911 to discuss your options and decide if adoption is right for you.


General


Adopting in America: How to Adopt within One year by Randall Hicks, 2011
Adoption is a Family Affair!: What Relatives and Friends Must Know by Patricia Irwin Johnson, 2012
Adopting Online.com by Mardie Caldwell, 2006
Adoption: The Essential guide to Adopting Quickly and Safely by Randall Hicks, 2007
Complete Adoption and Fertility Legal Guide by Brette McWhorter Sember, 2004
Complete Adoption Book by Laura Beauvais-Godwin, 2005
Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation by Ellen Sarasohn Glazer and Evelina Weidman Sterling, 2013
How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio: Easy Steps to Help You Produce the Best Adoption Profile and Prospective Birthparent Letter by Madeleine Melcher, 2014
In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends by Elisabeth O’Toole, 2010
Labor of the Heart: A Parent’s Guide to the Decisions and Emotions in Adoption by Kathleen Whitten, 2008
Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience by Betty Jean Lifton, 2009
Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen, 2008
So You Want to Adopt…Now What? A Practical Guide for Navigating the Adoption Process by Ruth Bell Graham and Sara R. Dormon, Ph.D, 2006
Ultimate User’s Guide to Adoption: Everything You Need to Know About Domestic and International Adoption by Elizabeth Swire Falker, 2006

Surrogacy

Birth Power: The Case for Surrogacy by Carmel Shaley, 1991
Surrogacy was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories by Zara Griswold, 2006

Picture Books

Adopted and Loved Forever by Annetta E. Dillinger, 2009
Adoption is for Always by Linda Walvoord Girard, 2014
All About Adoption: How Families are made by Marc Numeroff, 2003
Before You Were Born…Our Wish for a Baby (The Story of Embryo Donation) by Janice Grimes, 2004
Day We Met You by Phoebe Koehler, 1997
Forever Fingerprints by Sherri Eldridge, 2014
Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen, 2004
Happy Adoption Day by John McCutcheon, 2001
How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole, 1999
I Wished for You- An Adoption Story by Marianne R. Richmond, 2008
Lucy’s Family Tree by Karen Halvorsen, Schreck, 2006
Max and the Adoption Day Party by Adria F. Klein and Marnie Gallagher-Cole, 2007
Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza, 1996
My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You by Dr. Kevin Leman and Kevin Leman II, 2007
My family is Forever by Nancy Carlson, 2006
My New Family: A First Look at Adoption by Pat Thomas, 2003
One Wonderful You by Francie Portnov, 1997
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee-Curtis, 2000
We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr, 2007


Single Parents

Adopting on Your Own: The Complete Guide to Adopting as a Single Parent by Lee Varon, 2000
Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Women’s Guide by Mikkie Morrissette, 2008
Raising Great Kids on Your Own: A Guide and Companion for Every Single Parent by David and Lisa Frisbie, 2007
Singles by Chance, Mother by Choice: How Women are choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family by Rosanna Hertz, 2008
Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering Or Have Chosen Motherhood by Jane Mattes, 1994
The Martian Child: A Novel about a Single Father Adopting a Son by David Gerrold, 2011
The Single Parent Resource Guide: An A to Z Guide for the Challenges of Single Parenting by Brook Noel and Art Klein, 2005

Same Sex Couples

A Gay Couple’s Journey Through Surrogacy: Intended Fathers by Michael Menichiello, 2014
Issues in Gay and Lesbian Adoption by CWLA, 1995
Lesbian and Gay Foster and Adoptive Parents: Recruiting, Assessing, and Supporting An Untapped Resource for Children and Youth  by Gerald P. Mallon, 2007
Lesbian and Gay Fostering and Adoption: Extraordinary Yet Ordinary by Stephen Hicks and Janet McDermott, 1998

Things to Consider When Choosing an Adoption Agency

Things to Consider When Choosing an Adoption Agency

When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and you’ve decided adoption is the right choice for you, it’s important to consider all of your adoption agency options. Not all adoption agencies are alike, so you’ll want to choose carefully. The agency you choose should help you through the entire adoption process from start to post adoption support. Above all else, remember you are not giving up your baby, you are making an adoption plan.

Here are some important things to consider when choosing an agency to place your baby.

Does the agency have an open adoption program?
If maintaining some contact with the family you choose to adopt your child is important to you, make sure the agency has an open adoption option. Here at A Baby Step Adoption agency, it is entirely your choice if you would prefer a closed adoption with minimal to no contact with your adoptive family or an open adoption, in which the family maintains contact during the pregnancy and often times, goes on to have contact after the adoption is complete. When facing an unplanned pregnancy, these options are entirely up to you. This is your baby you are placing for adoption, and ultimately, you decide the kind of of adoption that will take place.

Does the agency work with birthmothers from all over the country? Is it important to you to be close to the agency?
Some agencies will work with women facing an unplanned pregnancy from all over the country, while others prefer to work with women who are local to them. For A Baby Step Adoption agency, while we are a Pennsylvania adoption agency, we handle adoption for women placing their babies from all over the United States. In today’s day and age, if you don’t live in Pennsylvania, your baby’s adoption will go just as smoothly with modern technology at the helm. Our adoption caseworkers are located in Pennsylvania, but we talk, text and email our birthmothers daily. The location of the agency is not really an important point to consider. Although we are leaders in our industry in Pennsylvania adoption, a woman from anywhere in the U.S. who is facing an unplanned pregnancy can always look to us as a viable option for adoption.

Do you feel comfortable with the agency and the caseworkers?
At the end of the day, this is truly the most important factor to consider when choosing an agency. Many of our birthmothers report feeling incredibly grateful and connected to our caseworkers as they go through the adoption process. We will talk to you when you are first facing your unplanned pregnancy and review all of your options with you without pressure. We will be there to help you decide if an open adoption is right for you and navigate the adoption process with you. Even after the adoption is complete, we are here for you to help you get the support you need and get you back to your life.

At A Baby Step Adoption agency, we are here day or night if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to talk through your options.  Contact us at 1-888-505-2367 or text us at 610-613-1911 to discuss your options and decide if adoption is right for you.

Same-sex parenting and LGBTQ Families

Same-sex parenting and LGBTQ Families

Ever wonder if you should place your baby for adoption by a gay couple versus a heterosexual couple? There are many couples excited and eager to adopt, so how do you choose the right family? Adoption agencies for same sex couples work hard to ensure they receive the exact same treatment as a heterosexual couple. Adoption agencies for same sex couples and LGBTQ families have had just as wonderful results.  Generally speaking, same-sex couples are motivated and committed to the entire adoption process and are very accepting of open adoptions. Children that have been adopted by same-sex couple’s show to have more open minds, tolerance and better role models for equitable relationships. Children in these families have shown to do better with discipline and self-esteem. The children of LBTQ families have less psychosocial difficulties at home and school. There is also no difference recorded in behavior, adjustment, and gender identity or peer relationship.


In 2004, the American Psychological Association (APA) declared that “there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children." Their results support years of experience with LGBTQ families as foster parents. There have been many studies conducted about same-sex parenting, and how the children differ psychologically (if they do). One study that was conducted by Ellen C. Perrin, MD shows that lesbian couples tend to share household responsibilities and chores more equitably. Children of lesbian couples are found to be less aggressive, more nurturing towards peers, more tolerant of diversity, and more inclined to play with both boy’s and girl’s toys. Another study conducted by Dr. Simon Crouch from the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne has stated, ‘We know that same-sex attracted parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than heterosexual parent families, based more on skills rather than gender roles. This appears to be contributing to a more harmonious household and having a positive impact on child health." Another study has reported that children in gay and lesbian households are more likely to talk about emotionally difficult topics, and they are often more resilient, compassionate and tolerant.


There are, however, some complications that arise when placing a baby for adoption by a gay couple. One complication that has been stated is that same-sex parented families must live in a culture that supports heterosexist and homophobic attitudes and beliefs, which can affect these families in a variety of ways. A second complication is that these families are usually part of a blended family and include children from previous heterosexual marriages. Another is lack of support from a previous heterosexual partner of the other biological parent can cause major conflict and distress. Homophobic attitudes inhibit the ability of heterosexuals to form close, intimate relationships with individuals of their own sex, because there is a fear of being perceived as LGBT. It also locks people into rigid gender-based roles that inhibit creativity and self-expression. Stereotypes and assumptions are what fuels heterosexist attitudes. There is never shame in gay and lesbian parented families to seek therapeutic help for guidance, support, and recognition. Parenting is hard no matter if the couple is heterosexual or homosexual, there will always be rough patches, but there are resources to help. A Baby Step Adoption is proud to be a supporter of LGBTQ adoptions, and we are among the agencies for same sex adoption. If you are thinking of giving up a baby for adoption by a gay couple, A Baby Step caseworkers will provide you with the support you need.

 

National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness Week

With infertility awareness week on the horizon, and since often times, infertility leads to making an adoption plan, we thought we’d lay out some of the facts. National Infertility Awareness Week is a movement that began in 1989 with the goal of raising awareness about infertility and encourage the public to understand their reproductive health. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

When faced with infertility, often times couples begin to discuss an adoption plan or decide if surrogacy is a viable option for your family. Surrogacy is when you arrange to have a woman, called a surrogate mother, become pregnant and give birth in order to give the child to someone who can’t have children.  Whether it is the desire to give a child a loving family or the ability to provide for a child, there are many reasons why some couples choose adoption or surrogacy, however, one of the top reasons is infertility. Infertility complications can lie with either the male or female or both individuals of the couple. Infertility affects about 30% of couples. Within the couple, about 1/3 of infertility is with the female partner, 1/3 is with the male partner and 1/3 is caused by a combination of both partners or is just simply not explained.

It is very important to take time to process the emotions synonymous with infertility. After all, it can be hard to come to terms with the situation. One of the primary emotional aspects is that the couple won’t be raising their own biological child. When couples start to realize that they can’t bear any children of their own, it is not the end of the world. Making an adoption plan is an option. Adoption is a wonderful and rewarding opportunity, as you get the chance to raise a child as your own, and give the child love and support. As critical as it is for couples to process their emotions, caseworkers do encourage couples to start looking into the adoption process, as it can take time to create your adoption plan. When you fill your heart with a child and give them all the love and support they deserve, adoption is completely worth it.

When you start a conversation with an adoption agency like A Baby Step Adoption (ABSA), there are services that are available to the parents. Our caseworkers work with people with infertility issues all the time and often times, they open the doors to emotional support and help, such as being introduced to support groups (if that is a helpful way of coping) or connecting with a counselor to talk to you about what you are going through and processing your emotions in a healthy way.
Don’t hesitate to contact A Baby Step Adoption even if it is to learn more about the process of adoption or surrogacy and what they entail. It’s beneficial for any couple to know about their options. We are here for you every step of the way. Call us at 888-505-2367, and we can talk to you about our services and making a plan that work for you.

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