As a member of the U.S. military, you are no stranger to challenges. However, the challenge of an unplanned pregnancy while on active duty may have you feeling lost and alone. On top of the stress of your pregnancy, you may also be stationed away from home and far from your loved ones.
What are your choices if you know that raising a baby will not fit with your lifestyle? Active-duty service members have the same three choices as everyone else when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy:
- Parent your child.
- Have an abortion.
- Place your baby for adoption.
If you are not sure about your options, you can always reach out to Lifetime Christian Adoption for non-judgmental guidance. Our caring adoption coordinators can provide you with resources and support whether or not you decide to pursue adoption. You can reach us at Lifetime by texting or calling 1-800-923-6784.
If you decide that adoption is the best option for you and your baby, you are not alone. Women of all different stations and professions consider adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and that includes women in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force. The adoption process for U.S. military members is mostly the same as it is for anyone else. If it’s important to you that your baby is raised in the Christian faith, you can choose Christian adoptive parents for him or her. Here are the steps you will take to create a Christian adoption plan while you are on active duty.
Step 1: Choose an Adoption Agency
Your adoption agency will be your guide and partner throughout the adoption process. Choose an established, licensed organization you will feel comfortable working with.
Many expectant mothers who pursue adoption know that they want their child raised in a specific faith. When you choose a Christian adoption agency like Lifetime Christian Adoption, you can feel confident that you are working with professionals who share your values.
Step 2: Create a Christian Adoption Plan
At Lifetime Christian Adoption, you are always in control of your adoption decisions. You will work one-on-one with a caring adoption coordinator who will help you design a plan that works best for you.
You will decide if a closed, semi-open, or open adoption plan fits best with your active-duty military goals and lifestyle. If you choose an open adoption plan, you can select the level of contact you wish to maintain with the Christian adoptive family after your baby is born.
Step 3: Choose the Perfect Christian Adoptive Family
Lifetime Christian Adoption works with hopeful Christian adoptive families from all over the United States. Each one of them is qualified and eager to raise your baby in the Christian faith.
You can browse adoptive family profiles here on our website no matter where you are stationed. These profiles include pictures, videos, and testimony to help you find the Christian values and lifestyle you wish for your child. You can reach out to the families to get to know them better, and your adoption coordinator will help you make the best match for you and your child.
Many expectant mothers plan a pre-placement visit once they have chosen an adoptive family. However, you may not be able to coordinate an in-person visit if you are stationed overseas. You might choose to video chat or speak with the family over the phone instead.
No matter how you decide to communicate, you will want to discuss your wishes for your child and the level of contact you are comfortable with after placement. It’s important to be open and honest with the adoptive family, so everyone is on the same page moving forward. Remember, no decision is final until you say it is.
Step 4: Delivery and Placement
Delivery is another step of the adoption process that may be different for active-duty military. While you can create a Christian adoption plan from anywhere, you must return to the U.S. for delivery and placement if you are stationed overseas.
After your baby is born, you will then sign your consent for adoption. Most states have a revocation period when the birth mother can change her mind before the adoption is finalized. This can range from 72 hours to 30 days, depending on your state of residence. Once you sign your consent, you terminate your legal parental rights and transfer custody to the adoptive family.
Step 5: Recovery and Life After Placement
The U.S. military grants its service members a period of non-chargeable leave for qualifying adoptions. Additionally,
you’re allowed six weeks of non-chargeable maternity leave. According to Army.mil, with your doctor’s permission, you can choose to go on maternity convalescent leave for less than six weeks if you’d like. You can use this time to begin physical and emotional healing.
Even if you are confident that adoption is the right choice, you will likely experience complicated emotions like grief, loss, uncertainty, and relief. Lifetime Christian Adoption offers post-placement support and counseling to help you navigate these feelings and move forward with confidence.
Your adoption journey does not end when your baby leaves the hospital. When you choose an open Christian adoption plan, you are never “giving up” or “giving away” your baby. Whether you choose to stay in contact through periodic updates or a closer relationship with your baby’s Christian adoptive family, you can still have a future with your child while you serve your country.