Here at American Adoptions, we are dedicated to helping birth parents through all steps of their adoption journey — including supporting them post-adoption. Key to this is our commitment to helping birth parents achieve their higher educational goals. That’s why we created our birth parent scholarship.
Every fall and spring semester, we aim to help as many birth parents as possible by providing scholarships to help with some of their educational expenses. To do so, we hold fundraisers every year. As a result, since the inception of our scholarship program, we have provided more than 250 scholarships to birth parents like you.
Take Julia, who became pregnant in 2013 and would graduate less than two years after placing her child for adoption. Today, she’s enrolled in a master’s of public administration program pursuing her education goals.
“I knew my life did not stop after adoption,” Julia says. “[The scholarship] gave me a second chance to pursue my goals and dreams, so that I can be a better version of myself and help people along the way. I wanted to show my daughter that I didn’t give up on myself and, more importantly, her.”
Read more stories from scholarship recipients here.
The deadline for this fall semester’s scholarships is Aug. 1. You can always contact scholarship coordinator (and birth mother herself) Michelle Downard for more information on how to get started with an application.
Below, find some answers to the most common questions asked about this program:
Q: Can anyone apply to the American Adoptions birth parent scholarship?
A: Currently, our scholarship program is only open to birth parents who have worked with American Adoptions.
Q: Can birth fathers apply for the scholarship, too?
A: Yes! All birth parents — mothers and fathers — who have completed an adoption with our agency can apply for our birth parent scholarship.
Q: Can I apply for the birth parent scholarship anytime?
A: Yes. Many of our birth parents take a few months or years after placement before deciding to continue their education. No matter how long it has been since you have placed a child for adoption with our agency, you can apply for our birth parent scholarship.
Q: Do I have to be in a four-year program to apply for a scholarship?
A: No. Our birth parent scholarships can be used for any higher education, whether it’s a program through a trade school or a two- or four-year program. Some of our birth parents even use their scholarships to complete graduate programs.
Q: How do I apply for the scholarship?
A: Birth parents will receive an application for our scholarship 30 days after their child has been born. You can also contact us to have another application sent. Once your application is received, our scholarship committee will review it (and the others received for the semester) and choose the winning applications.
Q: Can I apply more than once?
A: Yes! If you have already received a scholarship, you will be eligible for scholarship renewal for up to eight semesters. If you need to take some time off school, you can always reapply when you start your schooling again. We will send you a reapplication when you are ready. Scholarship coordinator Michelle can explain this process in more detail.
Q: How much money can I receive?
A: The number of scholarships that our agency grants each year depends on several factors, including the size of our birth parent scholarship fund and the number of applications we receive. We aim to help as many birth parents as possible, which is why the number of scholarships and individual awards vary from year to year.
Q: What can I use the scholarship money for?
A: Many of our scholarship recipients use their awarded funds to pay for books, put toward their tuition and help them afford the general costs of a higher education.
Q: What is American Adoptions looking for in a scholarship application?
A: We are excited to help our birth parents achieve their educational goals. In your application, let us know your story and what you would like to achieve with your higher education. Your essays could later be used to help other birth parents going through the same process you once did. To read some example scholarship essays, please click here.