Teenager with a pregnancy test

What to Know About Adoption When You’re Under 18

If you’re under 18, the last thing you’re thinking about is becoming a mother. But even if you’ve decided that adoption is the best choice for you and your unborn baby, you may be unsure of whether this option is even available to you and what rights you’ll have as a minor in this process. An unexpected pregnancy can make you ask:

You might also be thinking, “I’m pregnant; can I adopt my child if underage?” Like every expectant mother considering her options, you have the option to choose adoption whenever you feel ready. You also have the freedom to change your mind about adoption at any point in the process. Even if you’re underage, adoption will always be your choice.

There is plenty of help available if you’re wondering how to give your baby up for adoption underage. The best place to start is by talking to an adoption specialist about what resources are available for your adoption. Your adoption specialist will have plenty of experience helping women that are underage with their adoption. If you’re ready to start making an adoption plan if you’re underage or a minor, don’t be afraid to reach out to us for help.

Here are a few questions that underage or minor birth mothers frequently ask:

How Do You Give a Baby up for Adoption if You’re a Minor?

It’s not uncommon for a teenager who’s just found out she’s pregnant to start thinking about adoption. Overall, there’s little difference between a minor and an older person giving up their baby for adoption.

You’ll start by calling an adoption specialist at a local or national adoption agency. From there, you’ll make an adoption plan that’s specifically curated to you. If you have any questions at all during the adoption process, you can choose an agency where your specialist will available to answer them 24/7.

You’ll also be entitled to the same services as an older woman considering adoption for her baby. This can include financial assistance, 24/7 access to counseling and educational resources, and more.

Does a Minor Have the Right to Give a Baby Up for Adoption without Her Parents Knowing?

We often get asked, “Does a minor need her parents’ permission to give a baby up for adoption?” Generally, the answer is no. Most states allow a teenager or a minor to make an adoption plan without her parents’ consent. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 10 states require an adult to be involved in the adoption process; however, these laws may only apply to very young teenagers, so it’s always best to talk to an adoption attorney to understand exactly what your rights are. Because each state has their own adoption laws, we highly encourage you to talk to an adoption specialist or an adoption attorney for more information.

It’s scary to tell your family that you’ve just found out that you’re unexpectedly pregnant, especially if you’re a teenage or a minor and you still live at home with your parents or a relative. You may be asking, “How do you give a baby up for adoption if you’re a minor without your parents’ permission?” We know that it’s hard, but the best thing you can do in this situation is talk to your parents, even if you don’t need their legal consent to make an adoption plan. It may take some time for them to accept your decision, but they may just be the support system you need to get through this difficult time. If you feel unsafe talking to your parents about your adoption plan, or if you know that there’s no way that they’ll support your decision, an adoption specialist or an adoption attorney is always available if you need them.

If I’m Underage and Giving Up a Baby for Adoption, Can I Pick the Adoptive Family?

Many minor and teenage birth mothers ask us, “Can a minor choose who adopts their baby?” You absolutely can. Even when you’re a minor, you’ll be able to decide where your child grows up and what kind of life you envision for them.

Your adoption specialist will give you a list of preferences that you can choose from when considering adoptive families for your baby. You can start thinking about their age, gender, occupation, and more. Whatever attributes you believe will create the best future for your baby, you get to pick.

Do I Have to Tell the Birth Father About My Adoption Plan?

If you’re a minor or underage woman, you may be wondering, “Can you put a baby up for adoption if a father is underage?” Typically, the birth father’s age won’t affect the adoption process.  If you know who the birth father is, you may have to tell him about your adoption plan. You can tell him through an email or a letter, but it’s usually best to tell him in person. However, before contacting the birth father, it may be a good idea to talk to your adoption specialist for more information on birth father laws in your state.

If You Give Your Baby Up for Adoption as a Minor, Could You Get them Back?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get your baby back after the adoption is complete. Adoption is a legally binding process. So, once you have terminated your parental rights and any applicable revocation period has passed, your adoption decision will be final. If you’re thinking about adoption as a minor, you need to be 100 percent certain in your choice. If you need help making this difficult choice, adoption specialists are available 24/7.

You can choose adoption at any point in your pregnancy, no matter how old you are or what state you live in. If you’re ready to make an adoption plan, you can contact us whenever you need to.