Considering Abortion Alternatives in Oklahoma
The sensitivity surrounding the topic of unplanned pregnancy can be deeply personal. With recent changes in abortion laws, emotionally charged messaging is all around us.
At DPA, our role is to provide unbiased, unconditional support and information to those facing unplanned pregnancy. There are many misconceptions and even bad practices surrounding the adoption process and we think it’s important for birth mothers to know that our role is to be a loving, supportive resource that helps mothers sort through the complex issues of making the decision to parent or place a child for adoption.
The New Oklahoma Abortion Laws
There has been a lot of confusing information in the media since late June 2022 when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court at the federal level, so before we jump in to highlighting resources for abortion alternatives in Oklahoma, let’s take a look at a clear explanation of the law.
When Roe v. Wade was overturned, this reversed the previous interpretation that abortion was a Constitutional right and eliminated the federal standards for abortion access.
Now, the right to legislate on abortion access resides with individual states. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt recently signed HB4327 banning all pregnancy termination from the stages of fertilization.
This means that, as soon as an individual becomes pregnant, termination of the pregnancy is illegal in the state of Oklahoma. There are exceptions for terminations in the event of medical emergencies, rape, incest, or sexual assault that were reported to the authorities.
Because of this new law, terminating a pregnancy under normal circumstances is no longer an option in the state of Oklahoma. Unless your pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or sexual assault you have reported or you’re facing a medical emergency, you have two alternative options.
1. Parenting your baby
2. Placing your baby for adoption
How to Know if Adoption is Right for You
Only you can make the right decision for you and your baby. When you seek counseling from DPA, you should never feel pressured to place your child for adoption. In fact, when birth mothers come to us to learn about adoption as an option for their baby in Oklahoma, we take great care to make sure they understand all of the options available to them, including parenting their child.
DPA provides education and loving support no matter what the birth mother ultimately chooses. Often birth mothers feel they aren’t in a place to parent a child due to a variety of reasons including unstable finances, work or relational issues. Many birth parents choose adoption because they aren’t ready to parent and yet they still want the very best for the child, including opportunities they may not be able to provide for them.
Choosing to parent a baby requires financial stability and this can weigh on parents, even those who aren’t considering placing their baby for adoption. The average cost of having a baby in the US (without complications during delivery) is $10,808 without insurance. This number continues to increase when you factor in care before and after pregnancy as well as the costs of raising a child. However, financial hardship alone does not mean a birth mother cannot choose to parent their child as there are a growing number of resources in our state.
When a birth mother chooses to place a baby for adoption, all medical costs associated with the pregnancy and delivery are covered. In addition to counseling support, DPA also helps match birth mothers with additional resources including things like assistance for certain living expenses like rent, groceries, gas, and more.
A birth mother’s choice
Birth mothers can pursue a closed or open adoption. Many times a birth mother may choose to remain in the child’s life and this can be an emotionally healing element of adoption. While pregnancy may not have been in the plan,forging a lasting relationship with a couple who will provide for your child can be rewarding.
There are some really beautiful examples of birth mothers and adoptive families who have chosen to stay in touch, sharing photos, updates and even being a part of one another’s lives. Birth parents can also develop a special bond with the selected adoptive parents.
At DPA, birth mothers are actively involved in selecting the right family for their child. Birth mothers are presented with family profiles that match their preferences along with a letter from the family that includes pictures of their home and life. Once a family is selected, DPA sets up a time for everyone to meet in person to make sure the birth mother is comfortable with the family she has selected. Check out our find a family page to see some of our waiting adoptive families.
Making a Difference
Adoption sometimes feels like you’re “giving up” something. You’re giving up the ability to be with your child every day and make parenting decisions; it might even feel like you’re giving up a part of yourself. However, many women feel that they have peace in their decision and gain despite the loss.
Placing your child for adoption when you are not able or ready to parent can be an incredibly selfless act of blessing another family. Giving the gift of parenthood to others who desperately want it and may not be able to have it without adoption can be a strong motivator for many birth moms.
There’s no question that there is no easy decision when facing an unexpected pregnancy. Even if you’re not certain of whether you want to place the baby for adoption or parent the baby yourself, you can make that decision in the days after the baby is born.
Learn More About the Adoption Experience
Adoption may seem daunting if you aren’t familiar with the process. Hearing from people who have been through adoption can humanize the experience and make it feel more tangible if you’re worried about what will come next. You can watch this testimonial from a birth mom and adoptiove family that worked with DPA.
This video tells the story of how a birth mother and adoptive couple came together through open adoption. To this day, the birth mother continues to have a relationship with the son she placed for adoption. Her parents (the baby’s birth grandparents) even visit and watch his sporting events.
If you’re looking for support through the adoption process, DPA is here to help. We also recommend BraveLove as a resource to all expectant moms. This community provides support to birth moms who have placed a child for adoption. It always helps to hear from those who have walked before you and shared similar experiences!
Our staff is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about adoption. You can expect to have a confidential, no-pressure conversation with a caring member of the DPA team to talk through your concerns and questions whenever you’re ready.