I'm A Teenager. What Do I Do Now?

Being a teenager, and finding yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy may make you want to take off into outer space!

Your hopes and dreams for your future and your unborn baby's future depend on some BIG decisions you need to make! You are about to embark on quite a journey! It might be scary, but it can also be exciting and rewarding. It's all about what's inside you!

On February 24, 2011 I stood on the Causeway of Cape Canaveral waiting with thousands of people to witness an historic event. The space shuttle Discovery was about to lift off for the last time. For Decades, thousands, maybe millions of people have traveled to the Florida coast to hear the countdown over the loudspeakers and witness that shuttle soar into the sky.

Why are so many drawn here? I think it's because of the hopes and dreams that are realized...venturing to new places and learning so much more about our world...as they say...the sky's the limit!

As I think about that shuttle going into space, I think about you, your unplanned pregnancy and the difficult decisions you are having to make. You may feel like you would like to soar into space and leave your troubles behind!

Your unborn child's hopes and dreams depend on you making a plan that is best for him or her. The sky's the limit for them too, if you will only give them the chance. Perhaps you are not ready to be a parent at this time in your life. There is a family, a forever family, who is just waiting to love your child, to nurture them, and raise them to be somebody great and do great things in this world.

Who knows? Perhaps your child will discover the cure for cancer! Maybe they will be the President of the United States someday! You have so much to do in your life too and you also can make a difference in this world!

The sky is the limit and your baby's hopes and dreams depend on you taking this journey! The Astronauts work very hard to prepare for their space experience...there are fears and unknowns, but they take the risk; they walk that path in order to gain more knowledge, more power, more confidence, and they are greater because of it.

You, too, have a path to take, a journey of your own. Walk through it. Push past the fears and the unknowns in order to gain a greater awareness of just how very strong you are. You may not climb into space strapped in a Space Shuttle, but you will soar in your spirit as you discover the inner strength you have to make the hard but loving choices necessary for your future and for the future of your baby.

Linda Barnby is an adoption attorney and adoptive mom in Orlando, Florida.  She practices exclusively in the area of Adoptions and we welcome your call. We are private, confidential and caring. We are here to listen. If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville or anywhere in the United States, we would love to hear from you. If you decide that adoption is right for you, you can pick one of our wonderful waiting families, meet them, get letters and pictures after birth and for a lifetime!

Call us at 877-874-3715

Destined To Be Somebody Great!

Love this video about the effects of choosing adoption! 

Are you pregnant and thinking about abortion? Think again, my friend! That baby you carry has a purpose for being here. 

He or she is destined to be somebody great. 

Where would we be without Steve Jobs? (You know his birth mom and birth dad placed him for adoption, don't you?)

You could be the birth mother of the next president, or the doctor who finds the cure for cancer. 

Imagine!

Adoption. Anything Can Happen ...

Last night was the premiere performance of Central Florida Community Arts "The HeART of Theatre." It was an amazing night full of lights, music, acting singing, dancing. As I sang and listend to the drama, I was struck at the relevance of the music and words to someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption. Songs like..."Anything can happen if you let it...life is out there waiting, so go and get it! Grab it be the Collar! Seize it by the scruff! Once you've started living life you just can't get enough."

Life is out there. You have the power to go get it. To make the decisions and changes in your life to make that happen. Nobody is going to do it for you. No one can take over for you. It's all you.

The "Wicked" medley was about goals and dreams and rising up to defy the odds and to make them come true. Even so far as to defy gravity.

"Electricity"...a song about not always understanding what's going on inside you, but breaking free from that to pursue your dreams and when you do...you are free!!

I thought about all the women who need to grab life by the collar and go reach their dreams. I thought about the women who need to dream "The Impossible Dream" and reach for the stars.

Go ahead. Make your decisions.  Reach for that star. "Reach for the Heavens and you get the Stars thrown in!"

After All....anything can happen...if you let it.

Adoption may be a part of that dream...seeing to the needs of your baby while continue to pursue your dreams. Your baby will dream dreams someday. And they will love and thank you for making such a brave decision for them.

Would you like to talk about your goals in life and how to make life happen? We would love to talk. Just give us a call at 877-874-3715. "It's time to try defying gravity, and you can't pull me down."

Adoption Counseling


If you are pregnant and it wasn’t planned, you may have many questions about the adoption process. You might be thinking about adoption as a very real option. Are you asking some of these questions?
  • When do I have to make a decision? 
  • Should I see the baby? 
  • Should I take care of the baby in the hospital? 
  • Should I write the child a letter?
  •  How will I feel about the adoption is six months? 
  • In a year? 
  • In ten years? 
  • Will I be okay?
  • Will the child be okay? 
  • Will I feel regret? 
  • Will I be sad? 
  • Will my child hate me -- or honor me for my decision? 

The answers to these questions, and so many others that you might have are questions that all young women considering adoption have!  You are not alone. Most situations that come up during the adoption process are probably new two you.  But not to us.  You'll find good information here to guide your decisions.

The adoption process might require expert counseling more than just about any other period of life. The rapid physical transformations make pregnancy difficult during even the best of times. There are hardly any other circumstances that involve so many conflicting emotions and thoughts tugging powerfully in various directions.

Some experienced adoption attorneys or agencies counsel birth mothers, while also making the services of specialized adoption counselors available whenever the birth mother desires. It is nice to be able to talk directly with the people who are helping you make an adoption plan. 

By working closely together, there is a bond that forms between the birth mother and the agency or attorney she is working with. This often results in a lifelong friendship between the birth mother and her counselor.

Counseling helps a birth mother find the right answers for her particular needs and goals, and to smooth the adoption process for everyone involved, including the adoptive parents and, ultimately, the child who will one day be affected by how the adults have dealt with the adoption process and each other.

Birth mothers usually reject or minimize the counseling services available to them throughout the adoption process. In reality, a birth mother urgently needs the feedback and insight of an experienced adoption professional who can help keep the whole process in clear perspective.

You might think you have to have counseling. Counseling is not required. Most birth mothers who take advantage of counseling, however, find it very helpful.   

Having someone to talk to who has nothing to gain or lose by the conversation can be powerful for a young woman facing such a huge decision.

Counseling probably won’t hurt. And it most likely will help!

Something to think about!

Teenage Pregnancy: A Mother's Perspective

When a teenager becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has many decisions to consider... If she has a relationship with her parents, they will help her talk through her choices. If she chooses to parent, she will need the support of you, her mother.

Therefore, an unplanned teenage pregnancy is going to greatly affect more people than just the teenager and her unborn baby. You, the baby's grandmother, must also be considered. Teenagers are just that...teenagers, there arises immediate concern for her ability to parent her child for 18 years! She wants to go to parties, after school activities, perhaps has a job and is working.

She has homework. She wants to date. The birth father, in most instances, is not around to help. He doesn't want the responsibility. You may be the only one who is left to support your daughter and her baby.

If you are a Grandmother of a teenage parent, you know what I mean. The teenager who is pregnant needs to consider you in her decision. You have finished parenting. You may be older and settled into life and work that does not revolve around children in the house.

Your patience and ability to keep up with a toddler may not be what it once was. You are looking forward to the day when you have grandchildren...you know, the kind that come and visit or come for a sleepover. You are looking forward to holidays spent with your grandchild. You are not thinking about full time parenting.

In the instance of an unexpected teenage pregnancy, you may not be ready to be a full time mom again, but this often happens, whether you think it will or not. The teenager chooses parenting over adoption. But the reality is, she may have chosen for you, HER MOTHER, to parent.


A grandmother who was parenting her toddler, and, in fact, had become the legal mother because her teenage daughter was "too busy" to properly care for and nurture her baby, realizes that she is older and most likely will not live to see her granddaughter to adulthood. Now the grandmother is faced with the decision to find parents for her granddaughter who are younger and better able to care for the needs of her very active granddaughter.

When you are helping your daughter with her teenage pregnancy, remember that she is making a decision, not just for herself and her baby, but for you also!

Linda Barnby has been caring for birth mothers and adoptive parents and placing babies in loving homes for over 23 years. 

Visit our website and find out more about all things adoption or to ask us your questions! 

http://www.OrlandoAdoptionAttorney.com http://www.AdoptionMatchBook.com

Adoption Question: How much does it cost to raise a baby?

You will be amazed at the cost of raising ONE child! Can you guess?

Guess before you look!! No Peeking!




It will cost approximately $122,590.00 to raise a child to the age of 18...and that's just the basics!!

That comes out to having a job that pays $6,810.00 per year! Wow!

Are you ready to be a parent?

If you are thinking about adoption, you are thinking good thoughts! You are thinking about your future and the future of your child. It's not bad or wrong to place a child for adoption. It's actually very mature and loving. You are thinking about what is best for you AND for your baby's whole life!

Want to talk more? Give us a call at 877-874-3715. We are in Orlando, Florida!

Adopted or Abducted?

Yahoo News headlines show a report coming up by Dan Rather regarding birthmothers who were forced to place their babies for adoption or that their babies may have been actually stolen from them. The reports are hard to hear. They are likely true.

Yes. Adoption wasn't handled well at all in years past. But in domestic adoption,  the laws have changed to protect the rights of the mothers who are considering placing their children.

Florida Adoption Laws are VERY good. A birthmother cannot sign a consent for adoption until 48 hours after birth or when she has been discharged from the hospital or birthing center. She, by law, is allowed to see, hold, feed and care for her baby in the hospital. No one should EVER tell her different.

It is, after all, HER baby! The law requires an interview with her by a social worker, to be sure that she understands what adoption is and that it is what she wants for her baby.

 The birth mother can receive counseling and help regarding her decision. No agency or attorney wants a birth mother to sign a consent for adoption if she is under the influence of any kind of drug. In the hospital, the agency or adoption attorney handling the adoption will make sure that the birth mother has had no drugs for pain other than plain tylenol.

We do not desire to "take" a baby from its mother. We are there because the birth mother called us and asked for our assistance in her adoption plan for her baby. While no woman "wants" to place a baby for adoption, many do because they know what they want for their baby and they are mature enough to know that they cannot provide for them at this point in their life.

We are so sad for those mothers who wanted to parent and were not allowed to. Please be sure to work with a knowledgeable and reputable agency or attorney.  One way to tell you have a good agency or attorney is that they will never force you or trick you into a decision. They will do all in their power to see that your wishes for your adoption plan will happen.

Linda Barnby, an adoption attorney in Orlando, Florida for over 23 years, knows the laws well and she will do all in her power to make sure your adoption is handled legally, morally and ethically. Linda Barnby will always look out for the best interest of the mother and the baby she carries.

Her desire has been to help young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy to make a plan that is good for her and for her baby for a lifetime.

Adoption Video: October Baby Coming Soon!

This is the Trailer for a new movie! It looks awesome. Maybe it will help you to see your unplanned pregnancy in a new way. We love movies about Adoption!


Tell Me The Truth about Abortion

If you are pregnant and thinking about abortion, this is a difficult but important video for you to watch. The abortion clinics won't always tell you everything. Please understand what you are doing. Your life may depend on it, and your baby's life definitely depends on it.


2 Year Old Sings Adele Hit, Someone Like You

This is sooo cute! This could be your daughter! Maybe she will sing someday. Maybe she'll be an American Idol! Your unplanned pregnancy is not the end of the world, but just the beginning of a wild and wonderful roller coaster ride! Your journey will have ups and downs, you'll be happy, you'll be frightened. But we are ready to get on with you and hold your hand the entire time.

Pregnant AND Adopting?

Two pregnant women met in my law office, as well as the husband of one. The discussion was adoption. Kind of odd, don't you think, since they are both pregnant?

You see, one of the women has made a plan to place her unborn child for adoption. The other, equally as pregnant, plans to adopt that child as well as give birth just a few weeks later to her own child. How this crazy scenario came about is a study in love and commitment.

It's a simple story really. Dawn and Rick came to me desperate after many years of infertility treatments. Their dream was to adopt a child. Ann, a woman unable to parent any of her previous five children, due to her unstable life and intermittent drug use, came to me to find a loving couple to adopt her child. She said she wanted to "do it right" this time so nobody gets hurt, neither she nor this child.

You see, every one of her 5 other children are living with a different family through various circumstances. Each of them had been taken away from her by the state after she attempted to parent them. Ann has known a great deal of heartache and loss. It may be hard for us to understand how much Ann loves all of her children. It's easy to think that if she really loved her children, she would have moved heaven and earth to parent them well and to keep them. Well, Ann does love her children, she just can't provide enough stability and income to raise them. Help from family members or the children's fathers is virtually non-existent.

Each time a child was taken away, she hoped to help the state choose a loving family. Sometimes the state chose one of her family members to parent the child. Other times, the state took the child away and curtailed her visitation rights at the first opportunity, never allowing her to see that child again or even meet the unknown family chosen by the state to parent the child. That's what happened with her youngest, a boy of two. The state stepped in early and took him away.

Just last month, she lost all hope to ever get him back from the state. Fortunately, she was able, through the help of a lawyer, to have him placed with an adoptive couple whom Ann got to choose. She was there when the couple met their new son for the first time and it was there that she kissed him good bye. She is happy for him. He is finally in a permanent home. And she'll get to see him from time to time and receive photos and letters from the family. And the door to further communication and contact remains open. That makes Ann happy for her son and for herself. She is at peace because she knows he is now secure in a loving family.

This time, with this pregnancy, Ann decided to short-circuit the hurt and the grief by making an adoption plan early in her pregnancy. She doesn't want to feel any more pain from bonding and loss than is necessary to place this son into a loving home. And she wants her unborn son to feel safe, loved and secure from the very beginning -- and forever.

She selected Dawn and Rick from a number of families. They "interviewed" each other and came to care about each other. An adoption plan was agreed upon. A few weeks later, to the great surprise of all, Dawn discovered she was pregnant.

Dawn and Rick could easily have told Ann that they no longer wanted to adopt her baby. But they didn't. They had made a commitment to her and they had made a commitment to her unborn child. They were committed. And they already loved Ann's unborn child. They realized that they were meant to be the parents of two children, near "twins" in age.

Near the end of our meeting today, Ann looked Dawn in the eye and asked, "You aren't going to change your mind, are you?" Ann's fear is that after Dawn gives birth, she might not want Ann's child, preferring to focus only on her new daughter. It was touching to hear Dawn and Rick assure Ann in loving, but no uncertain terms, how fully committed they are to being the parents of Ann's child.

Then Dawn and Rick turned the tables. They told Ann that their greatest fear is that she might change her mind about the adoption. They wanted to hear Ann say that she was fully committed to placing her son for adoption with them. Ann, clearly moved by Dawn and Rick's commitment to her child, assured them her mind was made up.

The beauty of adoption is that everyone gets what they need. The adopting parents become the parents of a child. The child's birth mother has peace of mind that her child will be raised by a loving family she chose for her child. And the child is the biggest winner. The child gets a family where he is loved and wanted.

The power of love and commitment triumphs in adoption.
If you've ever considered adoption, I encourage you to consider the healing, helping loving effects of adoption with love.

You can find out more information at http://www.adoptionmatchbook.com/ and BraveHeartChoice.org

Diary of an Adoption Journey for an unplanned pregnancy

It may help you, if you are pregnant and thinking about adoption, to read about the journey from the moment  you found out you were pregnant until you gave birth and presented a perfect gift to the perfect family that you chose for your baby.
Read the Diary of an Adoption Journey. I hope it answers some of your questions! As always, we are here to listen and to care. You can contact us by calling 877-874-3715 or email us at lbarnbypa@gmail.com.
Linda Barnby has been helping young women like you for over 20 years!

UNPLANNED PREGNANCY??? NOW WHAT!??

A common reaction to an unplanned pregnancy is to think you have only two choices: Raise the child yourself or have an abortion. But there is another choice: Adoption.
When you first realize you are pregnant, it’s natural to feel pressured to make a decision right away about what to do. There’s no reason to rush into a decision you may not be prepared to live with. You have more time to decide than you think.

You have three choices. One of them will be the best decision for you. But to make the right choice for you, you must consider all three choices, not just one or two. Let's look at those choices:

Abortion is a final decision that leaves no room for error. Once it’s done, there is no opportunity to reconsider. You may rush into a decision to abort when in fact that may not be the best choice for you.
Some women “just know” that abortion is not for them. Even when pressured by their boyfriend to have an abortion right away, most women feel it in their gut and in their heart that abortion would not be the right decision for them or for their baby. With abortion, nobody wins except the boyfriend. So often, the boyfriend just wants the “problem” to go away – and fast. He has no desire to have a baby in his life. Having a child would interfere with how he spends his days and his nights. Having a child would force him into personal and financial responsibilities he does not want. Having a child would make someone else the focus of your attention instead of him!

To him, abortion is a quick and easy fix and then it’s over forever. He has no real concern or understanding about the long-term effects an abortion will have on you — not to mention the baby!
He may tell you that you will “forget” or that you “can’t remember what you never had”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that having an abortion, while it certainly ends the life of your baby, it does not end your thoughts and feelings about your baby.

Women who have had an abortion are sad and often filled with regret their whole lives. It becomes an empty hole in their hearts that never mends. It’s an especially painful regret because it was a decision they made. Abortion is not an accident that happens to you that’s not your fault. A woman who chooses abortion takes full responsibility for that decision. And, if there is regret, it hurts for a lifetime.

When you consider parenting your child, consider all of your resources carefully. Your time, your energy, your emotional availability, your financial resources and family members willing and able to help you. A young mother needs ample amounts of all these resources.

Wait! Dont' be discouraged! Be Encouraged! There is more information you need to know! Please click through to our blog at: Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption to find out more about your two other options... Parenting and Adoption! Or read on to learn more! Visit How Do I Start? for some more help!

Abortion or Adoption. Your Choice.

A VERY brave young woman made the decision that she would not have an abortion, but she would give her baby Life and a Family. This little "package" is the result of that decision. This beautiful baby girl is sleeping safe and sound and has a very bright future, all because of her birthmother's choice to make this plan for her. The birthmother, the birthfather,  the birthmom's parents and the adoptive parents are all in amazement at this process called Adoption. Though not easy, it leaves everyone with peace in the knowledge that they have all loved this baby and worked together to see that she has the brightest, happiest life ever.

Brave: A Poem

Brave
(By me on mother's day...)
I never thought myself as brave
I never needed to
But then one day, upon my heart
The thought of you just grew
It grew and grew and I could not
Let the thought go away,
God grew you in my longing heart
And there you, son, would stay
Then God made a little boy
Who grew outside of me,
God planned your set arrival time
And what your name would be
And somewhere in the world so vast
Inside of her you grew,
I’m sure you kicked and squirmed at times
As babies often do
What did others say? What did she think?
O, the choices she could choose,
But the one she picked was very brave
And for me, the greatest news

God picked me to be your mother
And I’m still surprised each day
That I feel like you grew inside me
Though it seems so odd to say
I love you so much, I can’t fully express
How much you mean to me,
A miracle from God you are,
Answered prayer you’ll always be
 Men do brave things and risk it all
We think of them with awe,
But in my heart ‘brave’ has a new face
A woman I never saw

From the Lips of a Birthmother in Orlando

My  First Reaction

I did not know I was having a baby until 18 weeks into my pregnancy.   Five months later, I ended up blessing a couple who could not have  children with a beautiful baby girl, or as most people would refer to  it, I “put her up for adoption.” When the doctor informed me of my  pregnancy, my first reaction was “Why did this have to happen to me?”   The second  question was “How will my mother react?”

Coming to Acceptance

Accepting the fact that I was pregnant and realizing that there was no  way out was the first step in coming up with a solution.  I knew I just  had to deal with it  And I had to develop a plan for how I was going to  handle the situation. An abortion was not an option that I considered  because it is against what I believe in. In my mind, I knew that I was  not ready for a baby emotionally, mentally, nor financially. Not being  financially stable meant that I had to choose government assistance,  also known as welfare, and I did not want to be a statistic of African  American women depending on the government to take care of them and  their children. Being on welfare would create a chance of limiting my  child from attending college. Knowing there was a possibility of her not  being able to pursue a decent education, I decided to research other  alternatives. The alternative that I chose from my research was  adoption. I made the choice that would best benefit me and my child.

First Attempt at Adoption 

First, I chose a local agency. Not having much time until the baby was  due, I had to speed up the process that birthparents have to go through  with their agency. Once I understood all the paper work, I then had to  choose a family. After looking through the profiles I chose a Caucasian  couple from another state that could not have children. A telephone  conference with the adoptive parents that I had chosen was scheduled.  While speaking with them, I realized I was not comfortable with them  because their reaction to the news seemed as if they were not overjoyed.  During the conversation the husband did not allow the wife to answer  many questions. That concerned me because I would not want my child to  grow up in a family where she could not think for herself as I thought  the husband was preventing his wife from doing. Another problem that I  encountered was with some of their responses to my questions. When  asking about their religious background and any association with African  Americans, their answers consisted of them not having an established  religion and not having association with any African Americans. Those  two questions were important to me because I wanted a couple with an  established Christian background and I wanted them to have at least a  couple of African Americans that they were associated with. When  realizing that they did not have the qualities that I wanted in adoptive  parents for my child, I decided not to be matched with that couple.   Then I was then back at square one.

Second Adoption Attempt is Golden

My mother then found an attorney who deals with adoptions, and we  scheduled an appointment to talk with her.  Together, my mother and I  examined profiles of couples wanting to adopt that the attorney gave us.  While looking through these profiles, I instantly connected with one  couple’s picture. Opening it up and reading about them I felt in my  heart that they were the right couple. Still not making them my final  choice, I looked through a couple of other families’ profiles.  But I  kept coming back to the original couple’s picture that I felt at ease  with. I finally made my decision that they were the parents that I  wanted for my daughter. With them being my final choice, I asked my  mother how she felt about them. My mother agreed with me that she felt  an instant connection with their profile as well. So once my decision  was final, the attorney called all the necessary people to get in  contact with John and Mary, the couple I chose.

Connecting with the Adoptive Family

Within 30 minutes they were on the phone sounding as if they had heard  the greatest news of their lives. When trying to speak with them on the  phone they both were speechless and very emotional. Once they were  relaxed, my mother and I engaged in questions that we felt were  important to us. For instance, we asked them about their religious  background and found out they were active in their church, which was a  plus because we wanted a couple who practiced their beliefs regularly.  Some of the other questions we asked were about their college plans for  the baby and and their social life interactions with African American  couples or couples who may have adopted African American children. Their  responses were perfect! They told us they would start an early college  fund as she was born.  And they have both African American friends and  are friends with other Caucasians who have adopted African American  children. Once the hour-long conversation ended, I felt more comfortable  with them and was ready to meet them in person.
Meeting the Adoptive Family
After having Baby Cynthia late Wednesday night, the next morning I was  greeted by John and Mary with great big hugs. They had flown in that  morning.  All that day, we sat around learning more about each other and  establishing a connection between us and the baby. It was great.  They  were so happy.  I know I made the right choice.

Final Decision Time

The next day was the day of my discharge from the hospital and the  signing of papers to terminate my parental rights. On this day, all my  emotions ruptured and I cried. The whole day I spent with my daughter  telling her how much I loved her and wanted the best for her. During  this time, I made it clear to her that I felt that adoption would be the  best for the both of us. I also told her that her adoptive parents were  grateful and loved her just as much as I did. At 5 p.m. was when I  planned to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. Everyone  involved in witnessing the adoption signing ceremony, the attorney and  two witnesses, entered my room one by one. One of the first things they  did once they were in the room was to explain to me what was going to  happen. The attorney said she would first read the Consent for Adoption  out loud, and while doing that, I would have the opportunity to ask any  questions and to make sure all the information in the document was true  to my knowledge. And once she was done, I would make the final decision  to either sign my parental rights away or to choose to parent.

Second Thoughts

After reading the consent document, it was then my turn to make the  decision. When signing the document there were so many thoughts that  went through my head, “Will she hate me? Will I want her back?” With all  these thoughts, I still decided to be strong because I knew it was the  right thing to do. Before I completed signing my last name, I stopped to  think one last time about what I was doing. At this point in time, I  still felt that adoption was the best decision.  My mother was right  there in the room with me the whole time.  I knew she would agree with  whichever decision I made and she would support me. After signing my  last name, my rights were forever terminated.

Giving My Baby to the Adoptive Parents

Before leaving the hospital, the new parents, John and Mary, and Baby  Cynthia joined me in my hospital room so I could say my final good-byes.  During this time the couple was telling me how much they appreciate,  admire, and respect me for choosing them to raise my daughter and how  they are going to always tell her about me as well as teach her about  her African American background. Once the gathering was over I placed  Cynthia in their arms and ensured them that they were going to be great  parents.

Some Final Thoughts

Going through this process, an unknown author of “A Child’s Story” felt  the same way that I did about adoption. She knew that she was not ready  for a baby and recognized that there was someone else who was. Adoption  also took a lot of strength from her as well as it did for me. Being in  this position, the mother has to be strong and confident with her  decisions. And both the author of that story and I were definite with  the choice that we were making. In the end, the most important fact is  that I did not allow my selfishness to get in the way of doing the right  thing. I could have thought about myself and had an abortion, killing  an innocent child, but instead I chose life for my baby.

The Race Thing

In the beginning of the adoption process, I wanted African American  parents for my child, but when looking through different couple’s  profiles, I learned I wanted to look past race. Experiencing this event  has changed my mind about interracial adoptions for the simple fact that  it is not about what is on the outside of a person but what is on the  inside. I learned that a Caucasian couple could love and care for my  child unconditionally just as an African American couple could.

My Gift

This is a memory that cannot be forgotten because I brought life into  the world and that is something that I took for granted before. This has  taught me how to be thankful for all the small things because I could  have been in a position where I could not conceive children.  And even  though conceiving her was unexpected, a great thing came out of it: Me  blessing a couple who could not have children.
*The names in this story have been changed to ensure confidentiality.
The author of this story started college within a few weeks after giving  birth to Baby Cynthia.

Hopes and Dreams

On February 24, 2011,  I stood on the Causeway of Cape Canaveral waiting with thousands of people to witness an historic event. The space shuttle Discovery was about to lift off for the last time. For Decades, thousands, maybe millions of people have traveled to the Florida coast to hear the countdown over the loudspeakers and witness that shuttle soar into the sky.
Why are so many drawn here? I think it's because of the hopes and dreams that are realized...venturing to new places and learning so much more about our world...as they say...the sky's the limit!
As I think about that shuttle going into space, I think about you, your unplanned pregnancy and the difficult decisions you are having to make. You may feel like you would like to soar into space and leave your troubles behind!
Your unborn child's hopes and dreams depend on you making a plan that is best for him or her. The sky's the limit for them too, if you will only give them the chance. Perhaps you are not ready to be a parent at this time in your life. There is a family, a forever family, who is just waiting to love your child, to nurture them, and raise them to be somebody great and do great things in this world.
Who knows? Perhaps your child will discover the cure for cancer! Maybe they will be the President of the United States someday! You have so much to do in your life too and you also can make a difference in this world!
The sky is the limit and your baby's hopes and dreams depend on you taking this journey! The Astronauts work very hard to prepare for their space experience...there are fears and unknowns, but they take the risk; they walk that path in order to gain more knowledge, more power, more confidence, and they are greater because of it.
You, too, have a path to take, a journey of your own. Walk through it. Push past the fears and the unknowns in order to gain a greater awareness of just how very strong you are. You may not climb into space strapped in a Space Shuttle, but you will soar in your spirit as you discover the inner strength you have to make the hard but loving choices necessary for your future and for the future of your baby.
Debbie Santora works with Adoption Attorney, Linda Barnby, in Orlando, Florida. Linda Barnby practices exclusively in the area of Adoptions and we welcome your call. We are private, confidential and caring. We are here to listen. If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville or anywhere in the United States, we would love to hear from you. If you decide that adoption is right for you, you can pick one of our wonderful waiting families, meet them, get letters and pictures after birth and for a lifetime!

Happy New Year!

It's such a common phrase...everyone says it without even thinking. Is it Happy for you? Are you glad that 2010 is over? Maybe it was an awful year and you are looking forward to 2011 and all the good things you hope that it holds. But maybe you are not looking forward to this year. Maybe you just found out that you are pregnant and it wasn't planned...and you have a very long and difficult path to walk this year...many hard decisions to be made.
Please do not take that journey alone. Please call us and let us help you. We care and we would love to talk with you about your options and how to make 2011 a wonderful year for you, your baby and someone special who you have not met yet. You could be the one to totally change many lives by one brave decision.

We are waiting to help. Call 877-874-3715.

Happy New Year!

Unplanned Pregnancy at Christmastime...a difficult Duo.

The holidays come with its share of joys, peace and trouble. Some people go around with a song on their lips, and their feet walk a a little lighter..other folks are kinder than usual. Christmas often brings out the best in even the meanest person!  But, so many people are out of work...so many just trying to keep their heads above water and some food on the table. Though Christmas is a time for love and joy, often it is anything but that. Finding out that you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy might just rip away any of the little bit of joy that you might have had.

 If you are pregnant and this is not a good time, there are choices you can make that will brighten your holidays and your spirits. Placing your baby for adoption is probably the best gift you could ever give someone and maybe the best gift you could give yourself!  If you would take a minute to call us, we would love to talk with you about adoption. Linda Barnby, an adoption attorney in Orlando, Florida experienced that gift over 20 years ago when she adopted her oldest daughter. Call us at 407-383-4942 to talk.

Take yourself to another dimension for a moment and consider that you WANT to have a baby and you CAN'T...each year goes by and Christmas comes and goes and you do not have the child you so desperately want. There is someone right now who feels like that. They are helpless to make their dreams a reality. But you, YOU have an opportunity to bring love and joy and peace to someone who has empty arms. Now that is POWER! You might think, "so I give my baby up for adoption to this couple and it's happy happy joy joy for them and what about me?" That's legitimate.

Have you ever done something good for someone else? How did that make you feel? There is something to be said for the acts of kindness we do for others and how it is more blessed to give than to receive, as they say. By giving the greatest gift of all, a human life, you give not only to another couple, but to the child and to yourself as well, a great gift. When I do something for someone else, I am proud inside. Sometimes I may still feel sad, but a part of me is always proud because of what I did.

If an unplanned pregnancy and Christmas have you down, call us and talk...we are here even through the holidays! God Bless you and Merry Christmas!

Adoption Is A BIG Decision For A Teenager

A woman facing a teen pregnancy or an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption for her baby really does need to think about the pros and cons of adoption. Because she is young, she may have difficulty making such a hard decision. Usually, she is having to decide what to wear to school or what to take for her lunch. Parent a child? Release a child? Those are not every day decisions.

When I think about my daughters being teenagers and having children or I imagine that I am a teenager having a child, these are some pros and cons I would consider:

PROS:

I am still a child in many respects myself, and probably have no business being responsible for another human being! For this gal, adoption is a loving option for her and for her child.

I have a long life ahead of me to live and so much to do. How will I be able to accomplish what I need to if I am parenting? You have to think about the long haul...

My baby deserves a good chance at life. He or she needs a mom and a dad to teach and guide her. I can hardly take care of myself right now. Adoption is a loving choice that meets both of your needs.

If someone else raises my child, I will know that they are being loved and are happy and having a wonderful life. Perhaps they will be the next President of the United States, or maybe they will develop the cure for cancer. Whose spouse will they be?

If I release my baby for adoption, they can have a wonderful life and I can continue to do what I need to do in life, knowing that they are happy and healthy.

I will have joy in the knowledge that I made someone's dream to be a parent come true. I will be their angel.

CONS:

I won't be the mommy to my baby.

I won't see them every day, see them take their first steps, say their first words...

I risk being judged or unsupported by my family and friends.

I will go through a pregnancy, labor and delivery but will not have a baby to take home.

Maybe you can think of more pros and cons...make your own list or add to this one. It seems like the cons are more short term issues...the pros are lifelong positive results of a difficult decision, but one that leaves everyone better in the long haul. Whatever you decide, it won't be easy...parenting is not easy; it's hard work. Placing a baby is not easy either; it's hard too. You have to make the best decision for you and your baby.

Linda Barnby, an adoption attorney in Orlando, and an adoptive mother herself, understands and cares. If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in Orlando or in another state, we are waiting to talk with you and help you work through your options to discover what is the best solution for you.

Is Your Child In DCF Custody?

Did you know that if your child is currently in foster care in Orlando and your parental rights have not been terminated by the court, you can make a private adoption placement? What is that you ask?




Florida Statutes Chapter 63.082(6)(a) states: "If a parent executes a consent for placement of a minor with an adoption entity or qualified prospective adoptive parents and the minor child is in the custody of the department, but parental rights have not yet been terminated, the adoption consent is valid, binding, and enforceable by the court."



This means that YOU can choose a family to adopt your child, rather than your child spending years floating from foster home to foster home, or being adopted by someone the Department has chosen for your child. YOU can meet that family and after placement you can get letters and pictures and know how your child is doing. If your child is adopted through the DCF system, you will probably never hear from them again.



You must remember that Adoption is Forever! It's a Permanent placement of your child. If you will not be able to be reunited with your child, this is a great option for you.



Get in touch with us and we can give you more information about your specific case. Linda Barnby is an adoption attorney in Orlando, Florida.
Maybe you don't need this help but someone you know DOES! Please pass on this information to them...after all, Knowledge is POWER!

Every day people like you make big decisions!

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Hear The Words Of A Very Brave Heart Girl!

I Needed Time and Rest to Make a Decision

Written on July 30, 2010 by a birthmother

I placed my baby son for adoption. At the hospital, I was exhausted and got little sleep. The whole time I was pregnant, I knew that I was going to place him for adoption. But even though it was my plan all along, the closer it got to the time to choose a family for him, it got harder.

I called Linda Barnby and her assistant Debbie. They gave me the time to think and make sure of my decision about a family.

They showed me some families when I came to see them — about a week before my due date. I talked on the phone with one of families I liked best. I hit it off right away with the adoptive mom. We talked for about 45 minutes. She answered all my questions. I felt calm and relaxed after talking with her. I started to feel less anxious about my adoption plan.

I went to the hospital 2 days later. I ended up staying at the hospital a little longer than I had planned. I was so tired, I just didn’t want to talk with the adoptive family or make a final decision until I left the hospital and could rest at home.

The attorney was okay with that. She arranged for my baby to stay in a safe home so I could go home and sleep and rest. I came to see my son several times at the lawyer’s office over the next few days. When I was ready, and after I felt better, I was ready to make my decision. I talked to the adoptive mom. I told her to come and meet her new son.

I met her and the dad in the lawyer’s office. It felt awkward at first. But it didn’t take long to start talking and telling each other stories about our lives.

We are going to email each other pictures and stay in touch that way. He’ll grow up knowing about his 2 brothers and me. He’ll always know we love him and did what was best for him.

I know I made the right decision. I know my son is going to have the best life with the family I chose.

Kristie
July 2010





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