Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption? [And Are There Requirements?]

Do You Have to Be a Certain Age to “Give Your Baby Up” for Adoption?

Are you a prospective birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy? Are you worried about how your age might affect your chances of placing your child for adoption? You might fall under one of the following categories:

  • You are a younger woman finding her way in adulthood
  • You’re well into your adult life already with young kids and experiencing an unplanned pregnancy
  • You’re an older adult having already raised a family

No matter what your circumstances are, adoption is always an option for you. Whether you’re putting up your baby for adoption in your 20s, placing your child up for adoption in your 30s or even considering placing your baby for adoption in your 40s, there are adoption professionals ready to help you find the perfect adoptive family.


Prospective birth mothers have numerous fears when it comes to placing their baby for adoption. They’ll often question whether their individual circumstances or complicated background “disqualifies” them from choosing adoption. No matter what type of lifestyle, personal medical issues, life challenges or age, adoption can be a great option for you.

These are just some of the many benefits of adoption:

  • Adoption allows the birth mother to continue her life’s pursuits
  • Adoption can alleviate the stress of being a single parent for a birth mother without a partner
  • Adoption provides comfort for the birth mother knowing her child is in a loving and caring home with the perfect adoptive family
  • Adoption can give the birth mother the knowledge and satisfaction that she made an adoptive family’s dream come true
  • “Open” and “semi-open” adoptions allow the birth mother to remain an active figure in her child’s life
  • Financial assistance, counseling and other support services are provided to the prospective birth mother during the adoption process

As with any difficult decision, there are pros and cons to adoption. If you feel as though adoption is right for you, an adoption agency and specialist can help you create an adoption plan and find the perfect family for your baby.


Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager can be stressful and leave a prospective birth mother in fear of what’s next. It’s important to know that you’re not alone, and you’re not the first teenager to experience an unplanned pregnancy. You’re the only one who can decide how to proceed with your pregnancy. Contacting an adoption agency to speak with a professional can help you obtain more information about your options, allowing you to make the best possible choice for you and your baby. There are hundreds of families waiting to adopt a child from a teenage pregnancy.


An unplanned pregnancy at any age is stressful, but for a , it can be completely overwhelming. It’s ok to feel scared and unsure of what to do next. You aren’t alone, and there are adoption options for you to consider. As a 20-something, you likely have a lot happening in your life:

  • School
  • Work
  • Social activities
  • Travel
  • Other goals

An unplanned pregnancy completely turns your world upside down. There can be a sense of shame or guilt, but knowing there are resources and professionals available to help you through this difficult time should help dismiss any of those negative emotions. It’s important to educate yourself on your options, which are parenting, abortion or adoption. As you think about what each of these options mean, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I ready to raise a child? – You might be thinking, “I’m 20, should I keep my baby?” It’s entirely possible the answer is yes, in which case, parenting can be an option for you. However, if you don’t think parenting a child at this point in your life is possible, reaching out to an adoption agency for more information is a great option for you and your baby. You should never have to convince yourself that you’re ready to be a parent if it isn’t realistic for you right now. While you are in total control of your pregnancy decisions, be realistic about your circumstances and current status in life.
  • Can I provide for my child financially? – Raising a child is expensive. Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture have shown that it costs an average of $233,000 or more to provide for a child from age 0-18 — not including college tuition or other luxuries you may want for your child. Many prospective birth mothers in their 20s are still living at home and relying on resources from their parents. They may be paying for college or just starting their careers. If the idea of financially supporting a child seems impossible, adoption can be a great option.
  • Do I have a support system in place? – As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” This is true, especially considering the emotional challenges facing a young parent. The responsibilities of parenthood cannot be overstated, and determining whether or not you have the support around you for raising a child is crucial. Is the birth father a part of your life and willing to help you raise a child? Does your family support your decision? A strong circle of support is needed, particularly for a woman in her 20s and pregnant.
  • What about my goals for the future? – In your 20s, you may be finishing up college and have goals for what you want to accomplish professionally. Are you focused on starting a career? Do you plan to look for employment in another area of the country? Parenting a child takes stability, and if your goals include heading out into the world, raising a child may not be an option for you right now.
  • Is abortion an option for me? – If you are 20, pregnant and don’t want a baby, abortion is an option for an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion is a hot topic in society, and some women are completely against it. If this is something you are considering, knowing your state laws about the procedure is important. If you are unsure if an abortion is right for you but know you don’t want to parent your child, adoption may be the best option. In an adoption, you can choose to have an “open” or “semi-open” relationship with the adoptive family, allowing you to stay connected to your child without the burden of parenthood.


There is a strong misconception that women experiencing unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption are in their teens and 20s. In reality, women of all ages choose adoption for their unplanned pregnancies. Experiencing a pregnancy in your 30s can be just as stressful and emotionally challenging as a teenager or young adult. At this point in your life, you might be experiencing:

  • Already having children – Whether you have one child or five, the prospect of adding another member to your family can be overwhelming. The responsibilities of parenting, including finances, caring for an infant, helping with homework and managing social schedules isn’t easy, and it’s ok to decide that you aren’t ready to focus on an additional child right now. In fact, most birth mothers who choose adoption are already raising at least one other child.
  • A busy career with growth potential – If you are career-oriented or in a job that has the potential for growth or even relocation, raising a child might be too difficult and interfere with your professional goals.
  • A complicated relationship with the father of your baby – If the father of your child isn’t supportive of your pregnancy or wishes to be completely uninvolved, this could leave you managing a newborn with no support. A difficult relationship with the father’s baby may only add to the stress and difficulty of having a baby.
  • Financial stress and uncertainty – On average, it costs between $200,000 – $250,000 to provide for a child until the age of 18. With the number of expenses in life such as a mortgage, insurance, bills, etc., the cost of raising a child in addition to your current financial obligations can feel impossible.

These factors and many more can make the idea of raising a child (or another child) seem daunting, if not impossible. If you are feeling guilty about considering adoption, understand that choosing this path means you are making the best decision for you and your child. You might also be considering abortion, in which case understanding your state laws about the procedure is important. Ultimately, you are in charge of your pregnancy and the decisions that need to be made. If you think adoption is right for you, contact an adoption agency or adoption professional for more information.


The assumption that a woman in her 40s wouldn’t consider adoption simply isn’t correct. You don’t frequently hear about women well into their 30s and 40s placing their child for adoption; however, unplanned pregnancies impact women of all ages.

If you’re a woman in your 40s but not sure what to do about an unexpected pregnancy, you aren’t alone. Finding out you’re pregnant later in life doesn’t mean you have to parent. Adoption is an option for you and your baby and may be the right choice for you based on some of these potential circumstances:

  • Your family is complete – At 40 years old, you might have a full and complete family already. You might have had a plan for the number of children you wanted, and by the time you’ve reached middle age, you may have achieved that goal. Your other children might be older or completely grown and out of the house, and you may not want to “start over” with a newborn baby at this time in your life.
  • Professional responsibilities – At this point in your career, you may have achieved a certain amount of status that comes with responsibilities that require your attention. An unplanned pregnancy could impact your ability to stay focused on your career and follow through on the requirements of your employer.
  • You’ve never wanted children – If you’ve never planned on having children or never felt as though motherhood is for you, an unplanned pregnancy at 40 or older may lead you to two options — adoption or abortion. You shouldn’t feel guilty about not having an interest in raising children. There are hundreds of hopeful adoptive families ready to love and care for a child, regardless of the birth mother’s age.


No matter what age you are when you experience an unplanned pregnancy, there are options to consider based on your circumstances. If raising a child isn’t realistic due to finances, a busy career, an already complete family or simply because you don’t want to parent a child, the choice of adoption may not only benefit you and your situation, but give your child a home with an amazing family in a better position to raise a child.

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.

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