The decision to give your baby up for adoption is difficult. But if you determine adoption is right for your child, the choice is very courageous. Giving your baby up for adoption allows you to provide for your child and bring joy to another family, who may not be able to have children on their own. Adoption doesn’t change who you are, you are a mother – now – after the baby is born – and forever. Adoption is the choice to allow someone else to parent your child.

If you choose to make an adoption plan, you get to choose to family and you get to chose how you want to be involved in the life of your baby. This is called an “open adoption.”  Adoption is about your life, your decisions and your future.

“I was scared for the future my baby was going to have. Once I met the adoptive parents I knew I had made the right decision.”

– Myranda, age 18


Read Joy Villa’s Story: Why I chose life over abortion, the incredible journey that began for me at 20

Read Kaedra’s story about why she chose to place for adoption

+What does it mean to give my baby up for adoption?

Whatever you have heard about adoption, put that on hold for a minute. Times have changed, and adoption has changed. Gone are the days of having no information after you deliver your baby. You now have choices and can make your own adoption plan so you can feel confident about your decision.Adoption is the legal transfer of rights and responsibilities from the birth parents to another individual or couple. It is not the same as foster care-it is permanent, and it is also a choice.

Adoption is about you and your baby. It is about sometimes doing what may be best for everyone involved, even if it hurts. Most of all, adoption is about love.

+How does adoption work?

The first step would be to talk to an adoption agency. This does not obligate you to choose adoption. Even if your state does not require relinquishment counseling, take advantage of talking to an adoption counselor who can help you as you are making a decision about your future and your baby’s future. If you decide that adoption is the best choice, you will then move forward with all the aspects of adoption planning.Adoption does not mean someone decides what your pregnancy looks like-you are still in the driver’s seat. You will have lots of plans to make, including choosing adoptive parents, deciding what kind of relationship you want with your child in the future, and making a hospital plan. Most agencies have attorneys that they work with in order to help you with the legal process of the adoption. You will not be asked to sign any relinquishment documents until after the baby is born, and not until you are ready. These specific legal aspects of the adoption process vary for each state, so please contact an adoption agency in the state where you live.

+Why would a woman choose to give her baby up for adoption?

There are many reasons why a woman would choose to make an adoption plan for her child, and everyone’s story is unique. Some reasons may include lack of finances, wanting a two-parent home for their child, not being able to care for a child, not ready to be a mother, wanting more opportunities for their child than they are able to give or just knowing deep down in their heart it is the right choice for their child.

+How much will adoption cost me?

Most states provide adoption services, including legal fees, to expectant parents at no cost. Assistance with medical and living expenses is available through many adoption agencies, and you would need to talk to an agency about your specific circumstances.

+Who will pick the family who adopts my baby?

Adoptive parents go through extensive screening in order to be considered for adoption. Most agencies have adoptive parents ready and waiting to be chosen by a birthmother. Right now, you probably cannot imagine the thought of choosing parents that will raise your child. However, most birthmothers find comfort in their decision after choosing the right family. You have the chance to decide what family characteristics are important to you. You will also have the option to meet the family so you know whether they are the best for your child. Most women end up saying “I just had a feeling about that family, and I was right.”

+What is the difference between an open and a closed adoption?

Open adoption gives you the option to maintain contact with the adoptive family in the form of letters, pictures, or even seeing the child in the future. Giving birth does not have to be the end. Many birthmothers even choose to include the adoptive parents in doctor appointments and the hospital time. However, that is up to you.
Closed adoption is an option if you prefer no contact after the baby is born. Again, that is up to you.

+What will my life look like if I choose adoption?

Yes, adoption is a difficult road to walk down. Despite the roller coaster of emotions, there is a future after adoption. Many women feel confident about their decision and know deep down that they did the best thing for themselves and the baby. There is healing and a chance to move forward with goals and dreams for your life. You don’t have to be left wondering how your child is doing because adoption offers you a chance to stay informed.
There is no ‘candy coating’ it – adoption is a very difficult journey and one that needs to be walked into with awareness, information and support.

+What support is out there for me?

There are tons of resources available, support groups or just women willing to talk about their adoption experiences. Check out some of the links below.

Birthmom Buds
On Your Feet Foundation
Birth Moms Today