Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption? [And Are There Requirements?]
Adoption for Teenage Pregnancy [Complete Guide]
If you’re a teenager experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you are probably feeling many confusing emotions, not knowing what to do next. You might be asking yourself questions like:
- Can a minor give up a baby for adoption?
- Does a teenager need a parent’s permission to give up a baby for adoption?
- What are the pros and cons of choosing adoption?
- Why should a teenager give their baby up for adoption?
We are here to help and provide you with the information you need when it comes to choosing adoption. Learn more about your options as a minor wanting to place a baby for adoption, state laws and their impact on your adoption, as well as how to begin your adoption journey.
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.
IS ADOPTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
As a teenager considering putting a baby up for adoption, yes, adoption is an option for you! The laws surrounding adoption depend on your circumstances and state, but are similar to the same laws that adults considering adoption encounter. In some cases, state law may require a minor choosing adoption to involve your parents, but for the most part, state laws protect the rights of minors placing babies for adoption without interference from their parents.
DOES A MINOR NEED PARENTS’ PERMISSION TO ‘GIVE A BABY UP’ FOR ADOPTION?
In most cases, no; many states allow a teenager to make an adoption plan without her parents’ permission. When people think of a “minor,” most people think of anyone under the age of 18. The majority of teenage birth mothers are in high school, meaning they are at least 15 years old. In states that do require a parents’ consent in giving up a child for adoption, that requirement typically applies only to very young expectant mothers, often under the age of 13 or 14.
If you are older than 14, you should be able to create an adoption plan without a parent’s consent; however, it all depends on your state’s adoption laws. It’s encouraged to contact a reputable adoption agency to speak with an adoption professional for more information about your adoption’s options and your state laws. An adoption professional will also help you create an adoption plan and search through families looking to adopt a teenager’s baby. By contacting an agency, you will receive emotional support and counseling through every step of the process.
Your parents cannot force you into a certain pregnancy option. This is your baby and your choice. However, it may be a good idea to be on the same page with your parents about not only the pregnancy, but the plan you choose. If you are underage and “giving up” a baby for adoption, your parents can often be an important source of practical and emotional support throughout this process.
WHY SHOULD A TEENAGER GIVE HER BABY UP FOR ADOPTION?
First, it’s important to know you shouldn’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. If you’re a minor and you’re sure adoption is right for you, there are many reasons to support your decision. Weighing the pros and cons of teenage pregnancy and adoption are a good way to navigate the emotions and complexities of such a decision. Ultimately, though, you’re the only one who can decide what pregnancy option is best for you. If you are considering adoption for your unborn child, you might be wondering why a teenage mom would put a baby up for adoption. These are a few reasons why adoption might be right for you:
- You’re not ready to be a mother
- You have goals such as furthering your education before becoming a parent
- You cannot afford to be a parent
- Abortion is not an option for you
- The birth father doesn’t want to play a role and would be supportive of your adoption plan
- You want a better life for your child, and another family can provide that
- Open adoption allows you to remain an active part of your child’s life
Keep in mind that as a teen considering adoption, you aren’t “giving up” or “giving away” your baby. You are considering making a difficult and emotional decision that’s for the betterment of your child and done with love. As a mom, you want what’s best for your baby, and there are hundreds of waiting adoptive families eager to love and care for your child.
Some potential challenges of a teenage adoption or abortion could include any of the following:
- You may face difficult emotional challenges after your adoption or abortion
- Abortion is only an option typically before 20 weeks pregnant
- An abortion procedure may not be covered by insurance or you don’t have insurance, resulting in a major expense
- You may need parental permission for an abortion
You are in complete control of your unplanned pregnancy. Should you choose adoption, there are professionals ready to assist you with understanding the adoption process and guiding you through it step by step. Depending on the circumstances, choosing adoption at different stages of your teenage years can dictate whether or not adoption is right for you.
GIVING YOUR CHILD UP FOR ADOPTION AT THE AGE OF 14
As a 14-year-old, you have many years of fun and many new experiences and challenges ahead of you. Whether it’s sports, social gatherings, dances or the general shift in educational responsibilities from middle school to high school, it can be overwhelming to think about how a baby would affect those.
At that age, it’s impossible to raise a child on your own, as you won’t be able to work, go to school and maintain a life of extracurricular activities while trying to care for a child all at the same time. Speaking with your parents about the realities of pregnancy and parenting is important, as is knowing whether or not they would support you. If you are 14, adoption and abortion are likely the only two options you are considering. A trusted adult can help you better understand your situation and help you determine the best possible decision to be made. You can also always reach out to an adoption agency to learn more about your unplanned pregnancy options at 14 years old.
PLACING YOUR BABY FOR ADOPTION AT 15
At 15, you are likely just starting to become more comfortable with high school, your social setting and more. An unplanned pregnancy can derail all of that, leaving you with questions like:
- I’m only 15, should I keep my baby?
- Should I terminate my pregnancy?
- Should I place my baby for adoption?
Think about how a baby at 15 will impact your future. Now is the time to be realistic about where you envision yourself after high school. What are your immediate and longterm goals? How does a baby fit into those visions for your future?
PLACING YOUR BABY FOR ADOPTION AT 16
Adoption may be the best option for a 16-year-old. At this age, you can continue with your education while also choosing to give your child the best possible life and maintain a connection to them through an open adoption. If you’re wondering, “Can I give up my baby for adoption at 16?” the answer is always yes, and an adoption professional is waiting to help you find the perfect adoptive family.
PUTTING A CHILD UP FOR ADOPTION AT 17
At this point, you’re probably beginning to think about your immediate future. With high school starting to wind down, college may be on the horizon — then an unplanned pregnancy comes along and everything becomes unclear. At 17, placing your child for adoption is likely your best option to provide your baby with amazing life and help you achieve your own goals. It’s also important to understand that the decision to adopt is not a selfish one. There is nothing selfish about wanting what’s best for your child.
18 AND PLACING YOUR CHILD UP FOR ADOPTION
At 18, unplanned pregnancies aren’t uncommon. The end of high school and beginning of college creates a completely different level of freedom in life as you move away from your parents and possibly even your hometown. As you become more social and find your way in the world as an adult, mistakes can be made, but they are nothing to be ashamed of. As you are no longer a minor, it’s up to you to make the right decision for your pregnancy and child. You have the right to parent, terminate or place your child for adoption. At this age, you’re probably asking, “I’m 18; should I keep my baby?” It’s important to weigh things like:
- Desire to parent at 18
- Ability to provide for a child emotionally and financially
- Your future goals
- What’s the best outcome for the child?
Think through your choices and decide what is best for you and your child.
PLACING YOUR BABY UP FOR ADOPTION AT 19
With high school in your rearview mirror, you may be closing out your first year of college or even starting your professional career. With many important moments happening in your life, an unplanned pregnancy can turn all of it upside down. You are in complete control of your pregnancy options, so doing research and making the most informed decision that is best for you and your baby is the ultimate goal. It’s a good idea to consider reaching out to a counselor for help, as they can provide objective and factual information.
How Does a Teenager “Give a Baby Up” for Adoption?
If you are considering “giving up” a child for adoption as a pregnant teen, your next big question is probably how to place a baby for adoption underage. In many ways, a minor “giving a baby up” for adoption will follow the same steps and process as any other prospective birth mother. While every adoption process is different, and the steps you follow may vary slightly based on your circumstances, state laws, and the adoption agency you choose, here are the general steps for how to put a baby up for adoption if you are a teen:
Step 1: Creating an Adoption Plan
If you ultimately decide that “giving up” a child for adoption as a pregnant teen is the right choice for you, an adoption specialist will help you begin to develop your adoption plan. The goal of this plan is to structure your adoption to your specific needs and wants. This can include:
- The type of family you want to adopt your child
- What level of relationship and communication you want with the adoptive parents both pre- and post-adoption?
- Your financial assistance
- What you envision and want for your hospital experience
- And more
Step 2: Finding Adoptive Families
The process of finding an adoptive family for your child is one of the most exciting aspects of your adoption journey. With the help of your adoption professional, you can view hundreds of profiles of hopeful adoptive parents and choose everything about your baby’s parents, which could include:
- Sexual orientation
- Cultural and ethnic background
- Lifestyle preferences and values
- Hobbies and interests
- And more
There are many families looking to adopt a teenager’s baby and provide the love and care the child needs. With so many available adoptive parents, you can find the perfect couple for your child.
Step 3: Complete the Adoption Placement
Once your child is born, you can sign the legal paperwork for your teenage adoption. Based on your state’s laws, you may have to wait a few days to do so, but your adoption will become official once the baby is born and you complete the paperwork. Your adoption professional and a local attorney will explain the legal process of consent before you sign any documentation. It’s important to note that during your pregnancy and after the baby is born, you have the choice to change your mind about your adoption. You will not have to sign your consent forms until you are 100 percent sure of your decision.
Step 4: Share Post-Adoption Contact
One of the truly incredible aspects to having an open adoption for your teenage pregnancy is the ability to build a trusting relationship with the adoptive family during the pregnancy and after completion of the adoption. Both you and the adoptive parents will agree to a level of contact and what types of communication work best, which can include things like:
- Phone calls
- Video chats
- Social media communication
- In-person meetings
- And more
An open adoption allows you to maintain a connection with the adoptive family and your child, receiving pictures, videos and updates on important events and milestones. As a teenager “giving up” your baby for adoption, the adoptive parents will be highly interested in your own successes in life, so keeping lines of communication open and update them on your accomplishments as well.
YOU CONTROL YOUR UNPLANNED TEENAGE PREGNANCY
Let’s review. As a teenager experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering placing your baby up for adoption, you can do so, often with or without the involvement of your parents. Some state laws, along with your specific circumstances, may require permission from your parents; however, in most cases, you have the ability to make the decision which you deem to be best. For help, information and support, contact an adoption agency and work with a licensed adoption professional that can guide you through the adoption process and provide you with every resource you need.
These are some adoption agencies to consider contacting for an unplanned teenage pregnancy.
- 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.
- Gladney Center for Adoption
- Beacon House Adoptions
- A Act of Love
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.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.