Parenting can be a blessing. But for many mothers, it’s a tremendous struggle every day to take care of both themselves and their child. Maybe you’ve just lost your job, and you’re trying to get back on your feet. Or maybe you don’t have any support from your family or friends, and you’re looking for a couple that can take care of your child in the meantime. These are all perfectly valid reasons to seek out a temporary adoption for your child.
If you’re not sure how to go on with your daily life, you may be considering letting your child stay with a close friend or a family member that you trust for just a little while. If you’re wavering between adoption and parenting, you may be thinking, “I want to give my child away temporarily.”
There is help available for women in your situation. While temporary adoptions aren’t exactly a possibility, there is a different option that you can learn more about.
Do Temporary Adoptions Exist?
Yes and no. When you start thinking about adoption, there are some important aspects that we need to clarify.
Adoption is a permanent solution for your situation. Once you’ve terminated your rights as your child’s birth parent, they’ll be raised by their new family. So placing a baby for adoption temporarily — even if you’re “giving a baby up” for adoption to a family member short-term — isn’t really possible. Whether you choose an adoptive family through an agency or you place your child with your family member, you still won’t have any parental rights to them.
However, while adoption is always a permanent decision, there are other temporary options that you might consider before terminating your parental rights.
Is Foster Care Considered Temporary Adoption?
If you’re inquiring about temporary adoption, you may be wondering how similar it is to foster care. Many struggling parents wonder, “Can I temporarily adopt my baby out without the state getting involved?”
This is a good question to ask, but it may stem from some confusion about adoption vs. foster care. If you choose to place your child for adoption voluntarily, you will work with a private adoption agency and the state won’t be involved. Instead, they’ll be placed straight into the loving arms of a family that is ready for them. You’ll able be able to pick the family that they’re placed with.
But even if you won’t have custody of your child anymore, you’ll still be able to have an open line of communication and even visit them in certain situations. In most modern private adoptions, women choose to have an open adoption with their child. This means that they’ll still be able to watch them thrive in a healthy environment.
On the other hand, if your child is placed for adoption through foster care, it likely means that he or she was removed from your care involuntarily, and you won’t be able to decide the family that he or she ends up with. Before your parental rights are terminated, however, you will likely have the opportunity to complete a reunification plan and regain custody of your child — in this case, your child is not adopted temporarily, but is simply in temporary state custody.
Either way, once your parental rights are terminated and your child is adopted by another family, adoption is permanent; there are no “temporary adoptions,” privately or through foster care. With all that being said, there is an option available if you’re looking for a temporary adoption for your child.
What is a Guardianship?
Unlike adoption, guardianship will provide a temporary solution for your child. Normally, a close family member will provide a safe and loving home for your child temporarily without terminating your parental rights. This means that if you choose to pursue a guardianship for your child, you won’t have to worry about losing custody as you do in an adoption.
Like adoption, temporary guardianships are formed voluntarily. The amount of time that your child is in temporary guardianship is decided by you and the guardian that you pick. This can give you more time to decide where you want to go from here. If you’re a single mother, you may be looking for a better job to take care of both yourself and your child. You might be in a situation where you’re not longer in a safe living environment and you need to find a safe place for your child in the meantime. While it’s not a “temporary adoption,” it is a temporary solution that will give you the time you need to improve your situation before you resume parenting.
Do I Get to Decide Who Takes Care of My Child? Do I Have to Pay Them?
Unlike a foster care placement, a guardianship has more in common with a regular adoption than you would think. You still get to decide who will be the one taking care of your child. So you may consider your parents, a close family friend or relative, or another couple that you trust that can raise your child temporarily in your place. Those that agree to a temporary adoption guardianship can receive financial assistance during this time. So, you won’t necessarily be paying them for taking care of your child, but you may need to continue providing financial support for your child.
It’s important that you and the temporary guardian understand that they will not be your child’s new parent. Even though they may think of it as a temporary adoption, custody of your child still remains with you. You’ll need to make sure that your children completely understand that you are still their parent.
Guardianship isn’t for everyone, but it may be just the thing you need to get back on your feet. If you’re looking for more information about this process, you can reach out to us at any time.