Most women wondering how to put a baby up for adoption are facing a challenging situation: an unplanned pregnancy when parenting is not an option.
Women from all walks of life — from young and single to older and married — find themselves considering putting a newborn baby up for adoption. And they all run into the same problem when they find out how complicated and confusing adoption can be.
What happens when you put a baby up for adoption can be overwhelming, and placing a baby for adoption can change your life. There’s so much to learn about unplanned pregnancy options and the adoption process. Our goal is to simplify things so that anyone wondering how to “give a baby up” for adoption can understand the process. That’s why we’ve created this guide.
Read on to get all of the most important facts you need to know about how to “give up” your baby for adoption, including how to get started on your adoption process.
Choosing Adoption Isn’t “Giving Up”
You may have noticed that we keep putting “give up” inside of quotation marks. Why is that?
While “giving up your baby” is a very common way to talk about adoption, there’s actually a harmful misconception embedded in that type of language. You see, there’s nothing about adoption that resembles “giving up.” Rather, it’s a bold, courageous and loving choice.
When we talk about mothers who “give up” their babies, we subconsciously judge their decision and create a sense of shame around adoption. We want to do the opposite of that.
While you may see us refer to “giving baby up” for adoption in this guide, this is only done in an effort to use common language and be accessible to anyone. You’ll also see adoption-positive language in this article like “choose adoption,” “create an adoption plan,” and “place a baby for adoption.”
Considering Your Options
Before we get to the adoption process, it’s important to take the time to understand all of your available unplanned pregnancy options. Putting a newborn up for adoption takes maturity and a 100% commitment to the placement, and a big part of how the adoption process works is making sure that this is the right path for your life.
When you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you have three primary options:
If you’re searching for information on how to “adopt my baby out,” then you most likely already feel that parenting is not an option. However, take time to make sure there’s no way that parenting would work. Some women find that, although difficult, parenting is the path for them.
If parenting won’t be an option for you, then there’s two choices left. One is abortion — which brings an end to your pregnancy through a medical procedure that removes the pregnancy tissue or fetus, depending on how far along you are. Your ability to receive an abortion could depend on your state laws and the accessibility of an abortion service provider.
Placing a baby for adoption can create a better future for yourself, your child and the adoptive family. When parenting isn’t an option, adoption can be a brave and loving way to respond to your unplanned pregnancy.
There’s not a “right” option when it comes to responding to your unplanned pregnancy. It’s all about what is best for your circumstances. Take the time to research each choice before moving forward with adoption.
How to ‘Give a Baby Up’ for Adoption
Once you are sure that adoption is the right choice for you, then you’re ready to step into the adoption process.
How does the adoption process work? While each process is unique based on the individual circumstances of those involved, every adoption follows a series of important steps.
If you have begun to research the adoption process, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Fortunately, you are not alone, and with a little guidance, you can make the decision that’s best for you and your baby.
This following is an outline of the steps you may take if you decide, “I want to put my baby up for adoption.” The process will be different for every woman, and the adoption professional you contact will help you make a more detailed plan that fits your needs and your pregnancy.
Step 1: Visit Your Doctor
If you believe that you are pregnant, you should visit your doctor or OBGYN to confirm that you are pregnant and to learn how your pregnancy is progressing. Whether you ultimately decide to choose adoption, parenting or abortion, you should begin to care for yourself.
The first few months of your pregnancy are very important to your baby’s development and health. As your body undergoes changes and new stressors, it is essential that you begin to take care of yourself as soon as possible. Discontinue any alcohol or drug use immediately. Your physician will be able to give you detailed instructions on how to care for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy.
Step 2: Contact an Adoption Professional
Understanding adoption is the first step in your decision-making process. If you have already decided that putting a baby up for adoption would be best for you, an adoption professional will help you make a plan and discover your needs during your pregnancy. If you have not made your decision, he or she will explain the adoption process to you and give you all the information you need to make a decision.
Step 3: Create a Plan for “Giving a Baby Up” for Adoption
Your chosen professional will explain all of your options to help you determine how you would like your adoption process to continue. They will help you plan your labor and hospital stay, and depending on your financial and social situation, they can direct you to government programs that will assist you with healthcare costs and groceries. They also can help you obtain housing, food and supplies, maternity clothes and other items necessary as you continue with your pregnancy.
They will collect your medical history and the medical history of the father, if he is known. Your adoption professional should also offer to provide counseling, whether through an on-staff counselor or a third-party counselor.
Step 4: Choose a Level of Openness
“Giving a baby away” for adoption doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship with your child. This is thanks to open adoption.
There are three different types of relationships you can have with an adoptive family: open, semi-open and closed.
You are able to decide what type of contact, if any, you would like to have with the adoptive family and the child. Some women choose only to receive pictures and letters once a year, but if you want, you can have more contact and even in-person visits. The level of contact you will have with your child and the adoptive family is up to you when you are putting a newborn baby up for adoption.
Step 5: Choose the Adoptive Family
When you decide that you want to “give your baby up” for adoption, you get to choose the adoptive family that you think will be best for them. This choice helps many prospective birth mothers feel in control of the process and empowered to make a big impact on their child’s future.
The agency you choose will send you information about adoptive families so that you can learn about their interests, careers, parenting styles, and excitement to become parents through adoption.
You can begin searching for potential adoptive parents at any time by viewing waiting families’ adoption profiles online.
Many women find that they form a connection with a family after seeing their profile and discovering similar interests or values. Once you have decided on a family, you can choose to have an in-person meeting or a phone interview with them.
During this conversation, you will be able to get to know the family better and let them know your wishes during the rest of the process. You should feel free to address any questions, thoughts or even concerns you might have during this step of the adoption process.
Step 6: The Hospital Plan and Consent to Adoption
Before the birth of your baby, you will have already gone over your hospital and delivery plan with your adoption professional.
Once you go into labor, immediately notify your adoption professional and they will contact the adoptive family. After delivery, you can spend as much time as you would like with your baby.
Whether you had a natural birth or a C-section, you will most likely be discharged within 72 hours, and depending on the state in which you live, you will sign the birth parent relinquishment papers before you leave the hospital.
Adoption is a lifelong choice, and many moms wanting to “give up” their baby find that they need help after the relinquishment. The adoption professional will be there for you not only during your pregnancy, but also after you have signed the relinquishment papers. They will help you work through your thoughts on the adoption and prepare you for the various emotions you will feel.
Many women find that contact with other moms “giving a baby up” for adoption is helpful. Your adoption professional can put you in contact with other women who have been in your position and can even direct you toward local support groups if you are interested.
Step 7: Post-Placement Life
If you chose an open adoption, you will also have the support of the adoptive family and the comfort of seeing your child. In an open adoption, relinquishment is not a “goodbye,” but the beginning of a unique and beautiful relationship between you, your child and the family you’ve chosen.
For anyone thinking about how to “give a baby up” for adoption, this last step is crucial. Adoption, after all, is not the end of a journey. Rather, it’s the beginning of a new future. Your open adoption relationship could be a big part of that. But, there’s more to consider.
What are your hopes and dreams? How will you use adoption to pursue a future that makes you feel alive and fulfilled? The last step when a woman “gives a baby up” for adoption is the rest of life. Because of adoption, it can be a life of hope and opportunity.
The adoption process is different for every woman, depending on what she needs during her pregnancy and what she wants for her adoption plan. If you are considering adoption for your baby, you may want to speak with a professional to learn more. You can contact us online at any time to be connected with a helpful adoption agency.
You can also begin searching for adoptive parents here. Remember, browsing adoption profiles or requesting more adoption information never obligates you to complete the adoption process.