Unexpected pregnancies happen -- and when they do, the decision about how to proceed, or even if to proceed, can be heartbreaking.
However, for those who want to continue the pregnancy, adoption is an option -- especially if there is a family member that's willing to adopt the baby and raise the child as his or her own. The practice is known as "kinship adoption," and it's something to give serious consideration.
What are the benefits of kinship adoption?
Kinship adoption is especially beneficial if you have a loving, supportive family that you're happy to see your child grow up in.
If you and the adoptive parents are willing, you can stay close to your child, watch your child grow and eventually establish a relationship with your child. In today's world, an unexpected pregnancy no longer carries a tremendous stigma, so it's even possible to be upfront with your child about your biological relationship.
For your child, the benefits can be profound as well. He or she will never have to wonder about the circumstances surrounding his or her birth or why he or she was given up for adoption. There will never be any doubt about his or her importance as an "adopted" family member compared to the biological ones. The child will also never have to wonder about unknown biological relatives.
When should you not consider kinship adoption?
Don't consider kinship adoption if you feel that you are simply being pressured into it by family members who don't agree with your decision.
In addition, kinship adoption is never a good choice if your family isn't supportive and loving. If you weren't happy growing up in that environment, your child won't be either.
You also shouldn't consider kinship adoption if there's any lingering doubts about how you want to continue your life -- adoption is a permanent thing. You could lose your parental rights and your authority over the child -- which means if you have a falling out with the adoptive parents later, you could be cut out of your child's life.
Before you finalize your choice to place your child for adoption, make certain that you understand all of the legal ramifications. Adoption can be a wonderful thing -- but only if you're content with the choice.