Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption? [And Are There Requirements?]
Can I Choose Adoption in the Military? [Complete Guide]
If you’re in the U.S. Military on active duty experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, you might be asking some of the following questions:
- Can I place my child for adoption while in the military?
- How do I put my baby up for adoption while on active duty military?
- Who can help me with my adoption?
- How can I place my baby for adoption if I’m stationed overseas?
Whether you’re “giving up” your baby for adoption in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, adoption is always an option for you, and the process is the same as it would be for any other prospective birth parent. Here’s what you need to know about adoption as a U.S. Service member.
OPTIONS FOR EXPECTING U.S. MILITARY MEMBERS
As a U.S. Service woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you may feel as though your options are limited or that your active duty or deployment precludes you from choosing adoption, but this is not the case. Ultimately, you have three options for your baby:
If parenting simply isn’t possible, regardless of the reason, adoption can be a highly rewarding choice for your unexpected pregnancy. Your military hospital or clinic should provide you with information about your pregnancy options, but if you are considering adoption, contacting a local or national adoption agency is the first step in your adoption journey.
CHOOSING ADOPTION IN THE MILITARY
Adoption for a U.S. Military member is the same as any other woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The emotions of putting your baby up for adoption while on active military duty can be stressful and confusing, but finding the right adoption agency and professional to help guide you through the process can alleviate many of those difficult emotions and fears.
If you are asking, “How do I put my baby up for adoption if I’m active-duty military?,” these are the steps of the process for military members placing a baby for adoption:
Step 1: Contacting an Adoption Agency
By contacting an adoption agency, you can now work with an adoption professional to begin creating an adoption plan. This process puts you 100 percent in control of your adoption so you can move on to the next steps. If you are ready to contact an adoption agency now, complete our free information form today.
Step 2: Find an Adoptive Family
Part of your adoption plan is pinpointing any specific lifestyle choices, personality traits, age range, hobbies and interests, etc., that you want in the adoptive family you hope to find. You have the option of searching through other available U.S. Military members, as well as civilian families by viewing available profiles. The choice of a family is yours and based purely on your needs and wants.
Step 3: Get To Know the Adoptive Family
One of the best aspects of the adoption process is choosing the perfect family and beginning a life-long relationship with them. It all starts with the initial meeting, which can take place in any of the following ways:
- Phone call
- Video chat
- In-person meeting
Getting to know the adoptive family is the first crucial step to building a strong connection through an open adoption, allowing you to maintain contact with your child after the completion of your adoption. Nine out of ten birth mothers choose either an “open” or “semi-open” adoption and want the ability to have an ongoing relationship with the adoptive family moving forward.
Step 4: Adoption Consent and Finalization
Once your baby is born, your state will require you to wait a specific amount of time before you can sign your consent paperwork. By signing your consent in the presence of an attorney, you’re terminating your legal parental rights and placing your baby with the adoptive parents. When creating your adoption hospital plan, your stay at the hospital, how much time you spend with the baby, any visitation with the adoptive family and whether or not you wish to leave the hospital before they do, will all be arranged with the help of your adoption professional.
Step 5: Post-Placement
When the adoption is complete, the emotions you experience may warrant speaking with a counselor. You may feel as though you need space from the adoptive family, even in an open adoption. This is all perfectly normal and the amount of contact you wish to have post-placement is entirely up to you. You’ll also decide what type of communication you prefer with the adoptive parents. As with any relationship, the amount of contact can change over time. In some cases, birth mothers find that they initially wanted very little communication, only to change their mind. The opposite can also be true, with some birth mothers struggling with too much open communication. The choice is yours and should be made based on what’s best for you.
WHAT IF I’M STATIONED OVERSEAS?
For military members considering “giving a child up” for adoption but stationed overseas, you can create an adoption plan while stationed, but would need to come back to the United States for the birth of your baby. You can learn more about this process by contacting an adoption agency for free information.
OPTIONS FOR ADOPTION WITH AN OLDER CHILD
Putting your child up for adoption while in the military can also be an option for parents raising an older child. If you feel as though you can no longer care for your child, your options may be affected depending on their age. Many agencies specialize in infant and toddler (less than two years old) adoption. If finding an agency that can help with an adoption for an older child is becoming difficult, consider these alternative options:
- Temporary legal guardianship: Placing your child with a trusted friend or family member on a temporary basis to assume the care, protection and education can be a way to avoid the foster care system and adoption, allowing you to tend to the circumstances that have you feeling as though parenting currently isn’t possible
- Family care plan: A family care plan is actually required for all military members when being sent for training or deployment. This is a structured plan for caregivers to have important information about child care, school, medical care and family activities for a child (or children). It’s important to note that this is not the same as an adoption.
WHO DO I CONTACT ABOUT ADOPTION?
If you’re a member of the U.S. Military and you want to place your baby up for adoption, there are several adoption agencies and organizations to contact for more information. Remember, adoption is permanent, so a temporary guardianship during your deployment, or during the time needed to improve your circumstances in order to parent, is worth considering. For an adoption, working with a licensed professional with the resources and support you need is crucial. Here are a few to consider contacting:
- 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.
- Adopt Connect
- Military Spouse
- Postpartum Support International
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.