When Can You “Give a Child Up” for Adoption?

Does Temporary Adoption Exist? [Guide to Your Options]

If you’re asking yourself if temporary adoption is possible, you are not alone.

Many prospective birth parents dealing with an unplanned pregnancy might have conflicting feelings about placing their baby for adoption. You might not feel like you are ready for the responsibilities of parenthood, but you’re not sure if you can cope with “giving your baby up.” So, what are your options?

You might want to place your baby for adoption temporarily, or have a family member care for them until you feel you can provide for your child. These are understandable thoughts to have. You want what’s best for your baby, but you also don’t want to lose them.

You might be wondering about temporary adoption. While this is understandable, legally speaking, there is no such process as temporary adoption. However, there is temporary legal guardianship.

Can I Temporarily Place My Child for Adoption?

The short answer to this question is no. Adoption is always a permanent choice.

When you place your baby for adoption, you will sign a series of documents that legally terminate your parental rights. This decision is permanent to make the process easier for the birth parent, adoptive parents, and the child. If this decision was allowed to be temporary, too much back and forth would be very hard on everyone involved.

While placing your child for adoption is a permanent decision, it doesn’t have to be a permanent goodbye. You get to decide how open you want your adoption to be. Through a post-placement contact arrangement with the adoptive parents, you can maintain some form of contact with your child. This could be in the form of pictures, letters, phone calls and even in-person visits. Open adoptions are typically healthier for the birth parents and the child in the long run.

What is Temporary Legal Guardianship?

Legal guardianship is when someone, typically a family member, takes legal custody of a child when the child’s parent(s) cannot do so at the time. The guardian will care for, protect, oversee education, and more for the child.

Temporary legal guardianship is similar to standard legal guardianship, but is typically in place for a specific amount of time. While this is not technically temporary adoption, it does allow for what you were hoping to achieve. Similarly to adoption, you are able to choose the temporary guardian and set the parameters of the guardianship.

You might be considering temporary guardianship for a variety of reasons. You might need time to become more financially secure so that you can provide for the child. Or maybe you just need time to emotionally prepare for the time commitments you will need to make to be parent.

Who Can Be My Child’s Temporary Legal Guardian?

As previously stated, you get to choose who the temporary legal guardian of your child is. It’s important that whoever you choose, you choose for the right reasons. You want them to be someone you trust, and who is responsible. This person shouldn’t be chosen out of convenience or familiarity. Of course, it’s also important that the person you choose is thoroughly informed on what you expect from this temporary legal guardianship.

While the temporary guardian is not legally considered your child’s parent, they will be taking care of your child through the duration of the guardianship. It’s also very important that your child understand their guardian is not their parent, as to not make things confusing when the guardianship ends.

During a temporary guardianship, you are not completely exempt from all responsibility. You may be required to provide financial assistance to your child while they are in the care of the temporary guardian.

Things to Consider

While temporary legal guardianship might seem like the perfect solution to your conflicting emotions about not wanting to fully commit to adoption, it is not without its challenges.

Placing your child in the care of a temporary legal guardianship might allow you time to get your affairs in order or prepare to care for the child further down the line. It can be difficult to see someone else raise your child, even if you know that person.

Before deciding on temporary legal guardianship, think about whether or not you can handle the following:

  • It may be difficult to see someone else raising your child. You may feel like you are missing out on raising them.
  • You may not agree with how the guardian chooses to raise your child. This can cause discomfort for you, and put a strain on your relationship with the guardian.
  • It may be difficult for your child and the guardian when you resume custody. This is completely natural, and should not be taken personally. Your child and the guardian have likely formed a close bond.
  • You will likely have to provide some form of financial support to your child while they are in the custody of the temporary legal guardian.

If you are prepared to handle the potential difficulties that may arise with a temporary legal guardianship, then this could be a wonderful choice for you and your child.

Who Can Help Me With Temporary Legal Guardianship?

In order to have a legally established temporary guardianship, you should consider contacting an attorney who specializes in family law. They can provide you with the appropriate documents and help you interpret them as well. Working with an attorney will ensure that everything is legitimate and that there are no missed steps.

How Long Can Temporary Legal Guardianship Last?

The answer to this question varies state to state. Each state has its own set of temporary legal guardianship laws. Usually, the temporary guardianship lasts 60 days. While it’s not as common, you can attain a temporary legal guardianship that lasts longer than 60 days if you feel like you need more time to prepare to raise your child.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re faced with unforeseen circumstances that are preventing you from giving your baby the life they deserve, but don’t want to lose your parental rights permanently, temporary legal guardianship might be the right choice for you. You will be able to take the time you need to do whatever you need to do to improve your circumstances, while your baby is in good hands. When you’re ready, you will be able to bring them into a stable and loving home.

If you think you may need a more permanent solution for your child, open adoption can be a wonderful way to provide them with an amazing life while maintaining a relationship with them. To learn more about open adoption or start the process today, get more free information here.

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