Is Placing Your Infant for Adoption Wrong? [What's Best for You]
How to Make Sure You Make the Best Decision for Yourself and Your Baby
No – it is never "wrong" to choose adoption. If you’re choosing adoption for your baby because you feel that it’s the best way to give your baby an amazing life, you are doing the right thing.
For many women, deciding how to handle an unplanned pregnancy is one of the most emotionally difficult decisions of a lifetime. Expectant mothers often wonder:
- Is putting your infant up for adoption wrong?
- Is it selfish to give my baby up for adoption?
- Is it wrong to give your kids up for adoption if you can’t take care of them?
- How do I know that I’m making the right choice?
If you have asked yourself questions like these, it proves that you are putting a lot of thought into your decision and trying to do what is best for your baby — and that is exactly what good mothers do.
You Are Making a Selfless and Loving Decision
Many women considering adoption have worried, “Is it wrong to put my baby up for adoption?”
Sometimes, friends or family members who don’t support your adoption decision may tell you that it is selfish to “give your baby up” for adoption, or that you are being irresponsible by choosing not to parent your child. Even the language society uses to talk about adoption can make it seem like it is bad to “give your baby up” for adoption — when what you’re doing really isn’t “giving up” at all.
“You’re not giving your babies up,” birth mother Janelle said. “You’re just giving them a better life… it’s unselfish, you know? That’s their lives you’re thinking about — it’s not just your life. You’re giving them the opportunity to live the best life that they can, and the life you know that you can’t give them.”
Let’s look at what you are really doing when you choose adoption for your baby:
You recognize that you want more for your baby than you can currently provide (such as a stable living situation, financial security, a two-parent home or opportunities like college), so you decide that adoption, while difficult, is the best way to provide the life you’d like your baby to have.
You take the time to research your options and learn about adoption so that you can make a well-informed decision.
You carefully choose the perfect family for your child who will provide a lifetime of love and opportunity.
You make sure that your child will be raised by parents who are emotionally, mentally, physically and financially prepared for a baby right now, and who have been waiting and hoping for a child.
You make sure that your child will always know how much he or she is loved by both their birth and adoptive families through open adoption.
Is it wrong to put your baby up for adoption? Absolutely not.
Creating an adoption plan for a baby clearly takes a great amount of thought, love and sacrifice, so the answer to the question, “Is giving your child up for adoption cowardly?” is a strong no.
It is incredibly brave and selfless to “give a child up” for adoption. By choosing to place your child for adoption, you are putting his or her needs before your own.
“I knew that what I was doing in placing Charlotte for adoption was 100 percent out of love,” said birth mother Lindsey. “I loved her so much that I had to be selfless.”
Every woman’s situation is different, and you are the only person who can decide what is best for you and your baby. The question isn’t whether putting a child up for adoption is “wrong” or “right,” but whether it is the right choice for you.
How Do I Know That Adoption is Right for Me?
As you consider your unplanned pregnancy options, it may seem like everyone has an opinion about what’s right, what’s wrong, and what you “should” do. Unsupportive people in your life may try to talk you out of the decision you want to make by listing reasons why putting your baby up for adoption is “bad,” or “selfish,” or “cowardly.”
“You’re going to have to sleep at night with the decision you made,” birth mother Casey said. “So, if someone is trying to persuade you to do it or not do it, you need to ultimately make that decision yourself, and you need to really sit down and think about what’s best for your child.”
With so many different views on adoption, it can be overwhelming to make a decision — and to ensure that your choice truly yours.
Instead of focusing on blame-placing questions like, “Is putting my newborn up for adoption wrong?” ask yourself, “Is putting my baby up for adoption the right option for me?”
One of the best ways to determine that you are making the right choice is to ensure you are choosing adoption for the right reasons. Adoption may be right for you if:
you want to take control of your situation and your baby’s future.
you want to continue pursuing your own goals to build a better life for yourself and your future family.
you want to provide your baby with all of the opportunities life has to offer.
you want to choose the perfect adoptive parents for your baby — a family who has been thoroughly screened and fits all of your hopes and dreams for your child.
you want to ensure that your child is safe, happy, healthy and thriving in a stable home with loving parents.
you want to maintain a relationship with your child and watch him or her grow up.
you love your baby unconditionally and are putting his or her needs before your own.
“I knew my life did not stop after adoption,” birth mother Julia said. “It 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.”
Studies show that adoption is the right choice for many women facing an unplanned pregnancy. When compared to women who chose to parent the child on their own, the women who chose adoption were found to be:
- More likely to finish school
- Less likely to live in poverty
- More likely to be employed
- Less likely to face another unplanned pregnancy
So, knowing all of the benefits, what’s “bad” about “giving kids up” for adoption?
Absolutely nothing. By choosing adoption, countless women have been able to continue their personal, professional and educational goals — all while providing their babies with positive lives full of love and opportunity. So, if you decide that adoption is the best option for you and your baby, no one should ever make you feel like you are wrong for making that decision.
How Do I Know That Adoption is Right for My Baby?
Even if you decide that adoption is right for you, you may worry about the impact your choice will have on your child.
Some women ask, “Is giving my baby up for adoption selfish?" That question implies that you would be the only person benefitting by choosing adoption. Your baby would also benefit, so adoption is far from selfish.
American Adoptions has many staff members who have been through the adoption process as birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees. They have valuable firsthand experience that they can use to give you the informed support you deserve. If you’re not sure if adoption is right for you, our adoption specialists will be by your side every step of the way to ensure that you are aware of all your options.
Studies show that adopted children grow up to be just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as their non-adopted peers. Additionally, the vast majority of adopted children are raised to be proud of their adoption story and to understand their birth parents’ unconditional love.
“It was the hardest choice that [my birth parents] probably ever had to make, but it’s a choice that I respect, knowing that they loved me enough to do this for me,” said Diana, an adoptee and American Adoptions staff member. “They gave my family to me, and that’s never lost on me. That’s never something I take for granted. Out of all the places I could have wound up in the world, this is where I ended up — and I’m so grateful for that.”
You can watch more of Diana’s story here.
Adoption is about putting your child’s needs before your own — and if you are choosing adoption because you believe it is what’s best for you and your baby, you are doing the right thing. Putting your child up for adoption is wrong only if you feel that you are not making the best possible choice for your child.
Get Help Making an Adoption Decision
Is putting your child up for adoption wrong? Absolutely not.
If you feel that your child could have the life you’d like him or her to have with an adoptive family, there is nothing wrong with that. However, making an adoption decision is still never easy.
If you need help exploring your unplanned pregnancy options, you may call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption counselor. Our licensed adoption specialists are available 24/7 to give you the information and guidance you need to make the choice that is right for you and your baby.
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