Placing a Baby for Adoption
Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption? [And Are There Requirements?]
If you’re a prospective birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you’re probably asking yourself:
- Are there requirements for placing my baby for adoption?
- What are the legalities for placing your child for adoption?
- Do I meet qualifications for giving my baby up for adoption?
This article will help answer those questions and better explain the requirements for putting a child up for adoption, how adoption laws can vary from state to state and why professional adoption agencies won’t judge you or turn you away for who you are. Instead, an adoption professional will give you the support you need throughout the adoption process, regardless of your circumstances.
If you’d like to get in touch with an adoption agency professional today, you can get more free information here. In the meantime, read on to learn more about the qualifications to put a child up for adoption.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO PLACE A CHILD FOR ADOPTION?
The term “required” gets misused in reference to placing a child for adoption. The only real “requirement” to put a baby up for adoption is knowing adoption is the right choice for you and your baby. Your circumstances will not prevent you from choosing adoption. Ultimately, the choice is completely yours.
Despite popular stereotypes, anyone can “give a child up” for adoption. In most cases, a pregnant woman isn’t a teenager that’s being forced to give up her baby. Most birth mothers that choose adoption already have children. Some may be homeless, and some may have addiction problems or other complications in their background. This can cause many women to feel as though no one would want their baby, which is simply not true. If you are in similarly challenging circumstances or facing personal issues, please know that there are no “rules” of “giving your child up” for adoption that would prevent you from choosing this option.
Alternatively, some prospective birth mothers worry that they don’t meet the “giving a child up for adoption” requirements because they are in the opposite situation: they may be married or in a relationship, providing for a family already, focusing on their education or career, and more. Just because a woman may be capable of raising a baby, that doesn’t mean she has to. There are no requirements for putting a child up for adoption that state you have to be in a challenging situation to choose this option. Women choose adoption for many different reasons, and it is always a brave, loving and selfless decision, no matter what your circumstances are.
UNDERSTANDING ADOPTION LAWS AND CONSENT
Different states have different laws when it comes to adoption. While you’ll never be turned away for an adoption, there are certain legal hurdles that take place during an adoption. Consent laws regulate when and how a birth mother can officially and legally place her child for adoption. In most cases, a birth mother cannot officially relinquish her parental rights until after the baby is born. Only two states — Alabama and Hawaii — allow the birth mother to consent before the birth of her child; however, the decision to consent must be reaffirmed after the child’s birth. While at the hospital after the delivery of your baby, you will sign the proper documents, giving consent to the adoption.
Your adoption professional will further explain adoption laws, consent and the larger legal process to your adoption.
CIRCUMSTANCES LEAVE YOU FEELING “DISQUALIFIED”
There are hundreds of women “giving up” their child for adoption experiencing circumstances in life that leave them feeling as though adoption isn’t an option or that no one will work with them to find a home for their baby. It’s important to know that adoption agencies have licensed professionals that only care about helping prospective birth mothers find the perfect home for their baby, regardless of your situation and complications.
Remember, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, nearly anyone can “give their baby up” for adoption. This option is always available to you, even in the following circumstances.
If you are a prospective birth mother struggling with substance abuse, please understand this has no effect on your eligibility to put up your child for adoption. It’s encouraged to have a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy; however, there are many waiting adoptive families excited to work with you toward a successful adoption and to build a strong relationship with you moving forward. It’s important to be as open and honest about any substance use or addiction problems in order to make sure your pregnancy and adoption goes smoothly and that the right family is found for your child. There are no disqualifiers for alcohol or drug use when it comes to adoption.
Birth Father Situation
Prospective birth mothers often see complicated relationships with the birth father as a potential roadblock to adoption. Regardless of whether or not the birth father is supportive, unsupportive, completely uninvolved or unknown, you can still proceed with an adoption plan. The support and guidance of an adoption professional can further explain how laws differ from state to state as it relates to the father of your child and how his consent depends on your situation, but there’s nothing to prevent you from starting your adoption journey.
In some cases, a potential birth mother may be unable to find or maintain employment, resulting in homelessness or being without a safe and consistent living space. This can serve as another fear of disqualification for adoption. However, anyone can “give up” a baby for adoption, even if they are experiencing homelessness. When working with an adoption agency, they will ensure that a woman placing her child for adoption has a safe living environment throughout the course of her pregnancy, as well as access to every resource needed to keep herself and her baby healthy.
With about half of the women placing their child up for adoption already having children, the feeling of being unable to care for another child often leads them to adoption. For many mothers, there are potential worries that having children already somehow affects their ability to place a baby for adoption from a legal standpoint. This is not true. In no way would having other children impact your ability to choose adoption, nor would your adoption adversely affect your other children legally. In fact, it’s encouraged to talk to your children about your adoption plan and let them be a part of it.
Falling into a particular age range isn’t a requirement for adoption. Some of the more common concerns when it comes age and adoption are:
- As an older birth mother, should I parent my child?
- Will an adoptive family want a child from an older birth mom?
- If I am a minor, can I still choose adoption for my baby?
While the process may vary slightly depending on your age and circumstances, anyone can place a baby for adoption at any age. When working with an adoption professional, you’ll have the opportunity to search for families that have made it clear that the age of the birth mother isn’t a concern of theirs. If you feel like adoption is right for you, there are hundreds of families waiting to meet you and love your child.
Every situation is different, and this includes the medical history of a prospective birth mother. Is there a history of cancer? Diabetes? Mental illness? These can all be common concerns in whether or not certain illnesses in a family history disqualify a birth mother from placing her child for adoption. Luckily, they do not, and hundreds of adoptive families are eager to work with prospective birth mothers with a complicated medical background.
ADOPTION AGENCIES CAN HELP
It’s very common for prospective birth mothers to wonder about requirements for giving up a child for adoption. The good news is you won’t be turned away for who you are or your complications in life. Adoptive families are hopeful and eager to meet you and love your child regardless of any addiction issues, medical history or age. An adoption professional will ease your concerns about any adoption disqualifiers, guide you through the adoption process and help you find the perfect family for your baby. These are some of the most reputable agencies and resources to consider contacting for your adoption.
- American Adoptions – A national, full-service agency, American Adoptions has offices located across the U.S., as well as a 24/7 hotline for full access to your adoption professionals any time, night or day. Call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information today.
- Adoption Answers, Inc.
- Adopt Help
- Adoption Connect
Are you ready to begin your open adoption journey? Get free information and advice from a trained specialist now. Contact us any time to be connected with a helpful adoption professional.