For most women, the scariest part of considering adoption isn’t just that they’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, but wondering how they’re going to share the news with everyone in their life. You’re probably thinking, “What is a confidential adoption, and how can I keep my pregnancy a secret?” Read on to learn more about your options, and where you can find agencies that do a confidential adoption.
What are Anonymous Adoption Agencies?
Anonymous adoption agencies provide confidential adoption services for women hoping to keep their pregnancy and/or adoption plan a secret from certain people in their lives.
It’s important to understand that all adoption agencies could be considered confidential, as any information you share with an adoption professional will never be shared with anyone without your permission. It is always up to you to decide what information you want to share with the adoptive family you choose and the other people in your life.
While there are agencies that do provide secret, closed or confidential adoptions, open adoptions have risen in popularity over the past few decades. Today, more and more people understand that choosing adoption is nothing to be ashamed of, and the process is no longer the secretive affair it once was. Instead, more women today are open about their adoption decisions, seeing it as something to be celebrated. Adoption agencies that help you give a child up for adoption and hide your pregnancy are becoming rarer as open adoptions continue to be healthier for everyone involved. Even so, closed adoptions are still an option for you, as an open adoption isn’t always possible for every birth mother.
If I Call a 24-Hour Adoption Hotline, Do I Have to Give My Name?
No; if you call an anonymous adoption hotline, you do not have to share any personal information, including your name. The adoption agency that you call may ask for what state you live in, but this information is only used to serve your needs, as different states have their own adoption laws and regulations.
Calling a child adoption hotline is completely free, and you are under no obligation to stick with your adoption decision after you’ve received free information. You can call a 24/7 hotline at any time in a confidential adoption and still explore your other unplanned pregnancy options.
If you decide to move forward with the adoption process, you will eventually need to share certain personal information with your adoption professional, including details like your name, your medical and social history, and more — but this information is used only to help your adoption specialist complete your adoption process safely and legally. None of this information will be shared with anyone without your permission.
Who Might Choose a Confidential Adoption?
For women facing an unplanned pregnancy, it’s understandable to want to keep it a secret. Many women are worried about the reaction that they’ll face from their friends, family, and in some cases, especially the birth father. Pursuing a closed or secret adoption can help alleviate some of the pressure that you’ve feeling, and it is always up to the prospective birth mother to decide how much information she wants to share with the people in her life.
Pros and Cons of Working with a Secret Adoption Agency
In some cases, you may feel that it’s necessary to work with an anonymous adoption agency to keep your pregnancy and adoption plan secret from certain people in your life. There can be certain benefits of pursuing a confidential adoption, including:
- Pursing a closed adoption means that you may be able to avoid any potential conflict with unsupportive family members or friends.
- If the birth father or other people in your life have a history of toxic behavior or abuse, pursuing a closed or confidential adoption might be the safest option for you and your baby.
- You might feel that by telling your friends and family about your unplanned pregnancy, they will try to pressure you into parenting or even, in some cases, abortion. If you know that adoption is the only option for you, then keeping adoption a secret might be the safest option.
While there are benefits to keeping an adoption secret in some situations, most adoption agencies strongly encourage their prospective birth mothers to confide in at least one close friend or family member about their adoption. There can be significant cons to a completely closed or confidential adoption, including:
- Trying to hide your pregnancy from the birth father can be a challenging ordeal. In some states, you are legally required to tell the birth father about your pregnancy, if you know where he is and if you are able to contact him. Lying about your pregnancy to him and to your family can put a strain on the adoption process.
- If you are living with family or friends, making an adoption plan in secret can be emotionally and physically draining. You won’t have the emotional support of those closest to you, and you may end up processing your feelings of grief and loss on your own. At some point, the truth may come out.
- To prevent friends and family members from finding out about your adoption, you may have to choose a closed adoption with your child and the adoptive family. With no information shared between the adoptive family and the birth parents in a closed adoption, some women never get the opportunity to truly move forward from their experience. In some cases, never knowing how your child is doing can be the worst part about an adoption kept secret.
- Similarly, in a closed adoption, the adoptive family might not be able to answer any of their child’s questions about their background or family history. Your child will never have the opportunity to learn about what makes their family unique, and won’t be able to develop a deep relationship with you, their birth mother.
- Because nearly everyone has at least one social media account, it’s becoming easier to find someone online, even in a closed adoption. If your child wants to reach out you and develop a relationship with your biological family, pursuing a closed adoption does not guarantee that your personal information won’t be discovered.
How Confidential is an Anonymous Adoption?
There are a few different ways to define an anonymous, confidential or secret adoption. One common confidential adoption definition implies not sharing any identifying information with the adoptive family. This includes details like last names, addresses, certain medical records and more. If you choose a closed or confidential adoption, your adoption specialist and adoption agency will prioritize your privacy and confidentiality above all else during the process. Any private information that you’ve shared in confidence with your adoption specialist won’t be shared with anyone else, including the adoptive family.
If you chose to make a closed adoption plan, you still have the option of hand‐picking the adoptive family for your baby. If you’re not comfortable with this, your adoption specialist can choose the family for you.
Agencies that Do a Confidential Adoption
If you are strongly considering a closed adoption, or if you simply want to keep your adoption private from certain people in your life, here are some agencies that can arrange an adoption kept secret: