The decision to place your baby for adoption is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It can feel lonely and confusing. As you navigate the journey through adoption and deal with the real loss following the birth, it is important for you to have a community of support around you. In addition to your family and friends, a counselor is an important part of your community of support. When you are in the midst of having to make a lot of life changing decisions, it is helpful to have someone who is dedicated to walking alongside you as you find healing.
It is not always easy to reach out for help and finding a counselor can be daunting. Here are a few tips for choosing an adoption counselor that is right for you.
- Find A Counselor that Fits Your Needs
Don’t choose just any counselor. Not all counselors are the right counselor for you and what you need. Ask for help from your attorney or agency in finding a counselor that is familiar with adoption, grief and loss. Alternatively, you can find counselors on websites like: http://therapist.psychologytoday.com/. When you call a counselor, make sure to ask if they are familiar with adoption, grief and loss.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Try A Few Different Counselors
Sometimes you may meet with a counselor and feel that they do not understand you or what you are going through. That is okay. Like other relationships in life, there are some counselors that you do not relate to. Don’t be afraid to find another counselor. The most important thing is your healing. If one person is not helping, there is someone else out there who can.
- Check with your Insurance
Counselors do not accept all types of insurance. When you call a counselor, ask them what insurance they accept. Alternatively, you can call your insurance company to ask for a list of approved counselors or therapists. Be sure to look up the counselors that they offer and make sure that they are someone that you want to see. If a counselor does not accept your insurance, ask your insurance company what your policy covers in terms of payment and treatment for out-of-network counselors and therapists.
- Ask About a Sliding Scale
If a counselor does not accept your insurance, you can ask if he/she offers a sliding scale. A sliding scale is when a counselor offers you a lower fee based on your financial situation.
- Consider a Support Group
In addition to counseling, post-adoption support groups are a great opportunity to find people who will be with you on this journey. See our list of recommended post-placement resources and support groups around the country.
- Know Your Rights
Throughout the adoption process, before and after the birth of your child you are entitled to counseling.