Can You Give a Baby Up at the Hospital?

Adoption isn’t a straight and narrow path for every birth mother because not every circumstance is the same.

Some women know right off the bat that adoption is the right choice for them, and don’t hesitate to make an adoption plan. Other women, maybe women like yourself, feel unsure that adoption is the best possible choice for their baby until the day they actually meet their new bundle of joy. If you’re at the hospital right now contemplating your options, you may be wondering, “Can mothers choose adoption at the hospital if they’ve just given birth?”

The answer is yes; even at the very last minute, a hospital adoption is still a possibility. If you have a gut feeling that adoption might be the best choice for your baby’s future, there’s a lot to consider before making this brave and selfless decision.


Yes, you can “give your baby up” for adoption at the hospital. Many prospective birth mothers decide on adoption at the hospital, and this is an option for you, too. But even if you are considering “giving baby up” at the hospital, it’s important to remember that adoption is in no way “giving up” on your baby or “giving your child away.” Adoption is a brave, selfless decision made out of love, and if you want to give up a baby at the hospital, you deserve to feel good about this decision.

The biggest difference between placing your baby for adoption at the hospital and early in your pregnancy is how quickly everything can move. You won’t ever be rushed during your adoption by your adoption professional, but the process can be completed within a matter of hours or days, depending on your comfort level.  They will guide you through every step of how to give baby up for adoption in the hospital and put you in charge of every decision throughout the process.

Here are the steps you should take if you are wondering, “What is the process for giving a baby up for adoption at the hospital?”


First and foremost, the most important step is to contact an adoption agency while you’re at the hospital. Adoption agencies and adoption specialists have plenty of experience with hospital adoptions, so you don’t need to be worried that they won’t know how to handle your situation.

It’s important to make sure that you find a reliable and trusted adoption agency to complete your adoption. As you can imagine, a last-minute hospital adoption will go a bit quicker than a normal adoption. But your adoption agency should still be able to provide the attention and care that every birth mother receives during her adoption.


Once you’ve found an adoption agency that you feel safe and comfortable with, it’s time to start filling out some forms. You’ll be asked to fill out your social and medical history forms when you’re “giving a baby up” at the hospital, which will give your specialist a little bit more information about yourself and your baby. At the same time, you’ll be asked to fill out a list of preferences that you’d like to see in an adoptive family.


Once the forms are completed, your adoption specialist will send you different adoptive family profiles to choose from. There are lots of loving families to choose from, so you may feel overwhelmed at first. But even when you’re at the hospital, you shouldn’t feel rushed to pick an adoptive family.

You want to pick a family that can provide your baby with the same love and attention that you’ve always wanted to. While you’re browsing the adoptive family profiles, you should be thinking about what kind of education you want your child to have, where you want them to grow up, if you want them to be an only child, and so much more. A hospital adoption doesn’t prevent you from taking the time to pick the perfect family for your child.


As soon as you pick the perfect family, you can start getting to know them. For a hospital adoption, you may get to know them over the phone with your adoption specialist as a mediator. If you’re ready and you feel confident in your decision, the adoptive family will fly out to see you — likely on that same day. Once they arrive, spend some time getting to know them. Even during hospital adoptions, you still have plenty of time to get to know the adoptive family.


Even though every hospital adoption has its own unique situation, they all follow similar legal guidelines. Before your child can be placed into the arms of their new family, you’ll need to complete the adoption paperwork. This process is legally binding, so it’s important to make sure that you feel confident in your decision before you sign.

Even at the very last second, no one should be able to choose adoption for you. If at any point you feel that you’re not making the right decision for yourself and your baby, talk to your adoption specialist. Their job is to make sure that you have everything you need to make your experience a success, even if you decide to change your mind. Before you make this life-changing decision, you should consider all the factors involved in a hospital adoption with your specialist.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I give my baby up for adoption at the hospital?

If you have decided that adoption is the right choice for you, there are 5 steps you will want to take to place your baby for adoption at the hospital.

  1. Make the decision. While choosing adoption is a beautiful thing, it is a huge decision that can come with a lot of complicated emotions. You can change your mind about adoption at any point before signing the paperwork.
  2. Contact an adoption professional. Reach out to an adoption agency who can put you in touch with an adoption professional who will answer your questions and facilitate the hospital adoption process for you.
  3. Choose the adoptive parents. Your adoption professional will present you with adoptive family profiles that match what you are looking for. You will be able to choose the perfect family from these profiles to raise your baby.
  4. Finalize the adoption. Once you have chosen the adoptive parents, they will travel to you as soon as possible. If your hospital adoption plan allows for it, you can meet the adoptive parents in-person if you so choose. You will then sign the adoption paperwork that officially places your baby with the adoptive family.
  5. Post-placement. Depending on the openness of the adoption, you will be able to maintain some degree of contact with your baby and their adoptive family. This contact can come in the form of pictures, letters, phone calls, and in-person visits.

You may be struggling with a lot of complicated emotions during this time. This is completely normal, and adoption agencies have counseling available 24/7 to help you cope with these difficult emotions. Reach out to your adoption professional if you need help processing your emotions during this difficult time.

Is it legal to give my baby up for adoption at the hospital?

Yes, as long as the adoption is carried out by an adoption agency or adoption attorney, placing your baby for adoption at the hospital is completely legal.

What do you tell the hospital when you want to put your baby up for adoption?

If you have decided that adoption is the best choice for you and your baby while you’re at the hospital, reach out to an adoption professional. Your adoption professional will inform the hospital staff of the adoption and will coordinate with them to ensure the process happens according to your wishes.

Can I pay a family to adopt my baby at the hospital?

You should never pay a family to adopt your child at the hospital. Not only is adoption 100% free to you, but exchanging money with an adoptive family could be considered child trafficking, and could be extremely dangerous for your baby without the proper screening and checks and balances in place. Always work with an adoption professional when putting your child up for adoption at the hospital.

When working with an adoption agency, adoption comes at no cost to the birth parent.

The adoption agency can assist you financially during your pregnancy and the adoptive family will cover pregnancy-related expenses as well. They will also cover other necessary expenses if needed to ensure you are comfortable and healthy during your pregnancy such as rent, food, utilities, etc. There is no reason to ever pay anyone to adopt your baby, at the hospital or otherwise.

If I don’t want my baby, can my friend take it home from the hospital?

Hospitals will not discharge a newborn to someone who is not a parent or legal guardian.

You can place your child for adoption with a relative or close friend through what is known as a kinship adoption.  To learn more about this type of adoption, reach out to an adoption professional that can help you get started with this hospital adoption process.

What’s Next?

Adoption is a big decision that should never be made hastily. It’s never too late to choose adoption at the hospital. Adoption is always a beautiful decision that comes from a place of love and wanting what’s best for your child, no matter when you make the decision. To get started with your hospital adoption today, reach out to an adoption professional who will be eager to help you.

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