What Sexual Risks and Concerns do I Face?
This page is about risks. Some of the risks relate to pregnancy, others to labor and delivery and still others to adoption.
The first risk is having sex and getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or getting pregnant. The only sure way to avoid both is not to have sexual contact. While this is easy to say, it is not very realistic. Next best thing is to limit your sexual contact to someone you know well. Ask the person before you have sexual contact if they have ever been tested for a sexually transmitted disease or if they have any sexually transmittable conditions. Next, regardless of the answer, unless you are in a long standing monogamous relationship and unless you are trying to get pregnant, ALWAYS use a birth control measure that also protect against STD's, such as a condom. For more information visit the link birth control.
What about Pregnancy Risks and Concerns?
Pregnancy itself has its share of risks, both physical and mental. Without addressing each one separately, the best way to reduce all risks is to start prenatal care as soon as possible, take prenatal vitamins, folic acid, eat in a healthy way, keep your weight under control, get regular exercise, keep your prenatal appointments and follow your midwife or doctor's advice. For additional information, please visit the website Pregnancy And Children and the links Pregnancy Concerns and Pregnancy Problems and Pregnancy Risks.
What about Labor and Delivery Risks?
There will always be some risks involved in every labor and delivery, but by having prenatal care and by understanding the potential risks, potential problems can be eliminated and your stress level and level of concern greatly reduced. Labor and delivery can be much easier for you if you understand what to expect and understand the terminology concerning what health care professionals are saying to you. The website Pregnancy And Children addresses many of these issues in the link Labor and Delivery where inducing labor, the labor and delivery process, C-sections, episiotomy, and pain control are discussed.
What about Adoption Risks?
If you are thinking of placing your baby for adoption, the major risks involve working with a family or an attorney, facilitator or agency that is not straightforward or not ethical. Other risks include your not being fully honest about the pregnancy and about the birth father. Not being honest about the birth father, taking money that is not legal, or performing some other illegal act can result in your being prosecuted and in the adoption being overturned at some time in the future. All of these and other risks can be eliminated by following some simple guidelines.
First, work with a fully licensed non-profit adoption agency and avoid an adoption facilitator. The adoption agency can make sure all your rights are protected, that you are aware of all the choices you have, that you can participate in an open or closed adoption, that you can select the family or have the agency screen and select the family, you can meet the family if you want, and that you and your baby can be assured that the baby is placed in a perfect loving home.
Next, since every state is different, do not accept any money form the adopting family until the agency has made sure what you are doing is consistent with state child adoption laws and that you receive all the benefits and reimbursements that the law allows.
Next, make sure to be totally honest with the adoption agency. Do not mislead them about your prenatal care, your health, drug and alcohol use, or your knowledge about the birth father. Remember that the birth father has rights and to hide his identity or not be honest about him is only to create problems down the road for you, the adopting family, and your child.
We hear from so many birth mothers each month who have worked with an adoption family directly, or with a private adoption attorney or an adoption facilitator. They call with problems that could have been avoided but, because they did not anticipate the risks and problems ahead of time, by the time they found this site and called me it has often been too late to undo or overcome the problems. The list of painful stories from uninformed or misled birth mothers goes on and on and over the past 40 years I have personally heard so many stories that break the heart of everyone involved.
As a PhD Psychologist I have helped over 9,000 pregnant women, birth mothers, birth fathers, children, and adopting families over the past 40 years. I am the founder of Adoption Services, Inc., an adoption agency licensed in multiple states, and I have created 8 websites filled with information to help pregnant women, birth mothers, birth fathers, their children, and adopting families. As my staff and I have helped many other pregnant women, birth mothers and birth fathers, we are available to help you with every aspect of the adoption process, no matter where you live, no matter your age or marital status, and no matter whether you are pregnant or the child has already been born. There is never any obligation or cost to you for our help.
Make sure to click on the link "Ways we can help you".
We will clarify with you the real meaning of an open or closed adoption and help you in your decisions regarding what you really want. We will help you decide about getting and sending pictures and updates, meeting the family before and after birth, placement and adoption, about the best way to select a family and to make sure they are truly as they appear, what to look for in a family profile and Home Study, and how to insure that your child is placed in a safe and loving home. We will go over what, how and when to tell your family and friends. We will make sure you understand your rights and the rights of the birth father. We can help you with the development and implementation of an adoption plan and offer help throughout your pregnancy, delivery, the placement, and finalization of the adoption. My staff and I will help you focus your priorities and determine exactly which elements are most important to you. We will also be there for you in the future should you need our help.
We will help make sure all of your medical and legal bills are covered and that you are reimbursed for legally allowable expenses such as counseling, living expenses, travel and even loss of wages. We will be available to you for guidance, emotional support and advice.
Let my staff and I help to take the stress, worry and fear out of the adoption process. Do not forget the negative adoption stories you have heard, but recognize that you can do much to make sure you are never one of those stories. We will help you get through what can otherwise be an overwhelming, fearful, and complicated process.
Where Can I Find Additional Sources of Information?
If you need additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact me, Dr Vince Berger. I am a licensed psychologist who has been helping birth mothers, birth fathers, and adopting families for over 40 years. You can call toll-free at 1(800)943-0400 or click on the following link to contact me by email.
Please visit the link "Ways we can help you".
Can your Agency Help a Birth Parent Living in Any State?
We are licensed in multiple states and are able to help a birth mother, birth father, and adopting family living in any of the 50 U.S. states and U.S. citizens living in other countries.