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8 Reasons Why Women "Give a Child Up" for Adoption

Reasons to Make an Adoption Plan

When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you have three options:

  • Parent your child

  • Terminate your pregnancy

  • Place your child for adoption

The decision of what to do will always be up to you — and you alone. However, there are many unplanned pregnancy options counselors available to walk you through each of these processes to help you determine what’s best for you and your pregnancy. We encourage you to speak to one of our trained counselors at 1-800-ADOPTION to discuss your options in more detail.

At American Adoptions, a common question we get is, "What are the reasons to give your child up for adoption?" The answer is different for every woman. Whether you want to give your baby an amazing life with well-prepared adoptive parents, or you want to continue working toward your own goals before becoming a parent, there are many reasons to place a baby for adoption.

Whether you’re a pregnant woman researching your unplanned pregnancy options, or a prospective adoptive parent wanting to learn more about whom exactly birth parents are, we encourage you to consider some of the reasons to place a baby for adoption that other prospective birth mothers have had:

1. You Love Your Baby Unconditionally And Want The Best For Him Or Her.

Most prospective birth mothers have one similar reason for choosing adoption for their baby: unconditional love. As much as it hurts to make this sacrifice, you know that adoption is the best choice for yourself and your baby. It’s your love for your child that motivates you to make this decision — and your desire for your baby to have a happy, healthy life. Take it from Lindsey, a birth mother who placed her daughter, Charlotte, through American Adoptions:

““I knew that what I was doing in placing in Charlotte for adoption was 100 percent out of love,” she said. “I loved her so much that I had to be selfless.”

You can read Lindsey’s story or watch her video here.

 Adopted children know they are loved in their birth mother’s decision, as it’s one of the most selfless things you could choose to do.

2. You Want Your Child to Be Loved Beyond Measure

This is among the most common reasons to “give” your baby up for adoption — to give a baby the best opportunities in life, even if it’s with different parents. You might know you want more for your child than you can currently provide (for example, a two-parent household or eventual higher education), so you’re choosing to give your child those opportunities with other parents. For many babies placed, adoption is the first step toward a brighter future.

Our own founder and adoptee himself had this to say about his experience with adoption:

“The love we share can be no greater than that experienced by biological children and their parents. After adopting, every adoptive family comes to learn this fact. Those who have the luxury of seeing my parents and I interact can see the bond between us.”

Many (but not all) hopeful adoptive families turn to adoption because they cannot have a child on their own due to infertility problems. They have likely tried everything they can to no avail. As wonderful as the adoption process is, it is a costly and time-consuming one for adoptive parents, but many are so driven by the desire to have a family and give a child a loving home that these things become inconsequential.

This is a big part of what makes adoption such a brave and compassionate decision. Even though it can be difficult, you are giving your baby the gift of a loving family that can provide them with opportunities that you may not currently be able to, by no fault of your own. And if you so choose, through open adoption, your baby will be lucky enough to have the love of not only their new adoptive parents but their birth parent(s) as well. What could be better than twice the love?

3. You Want Your Baby To Have Two Awesome Parents.

One of the reasons women give children up for adoption is because they’re not in a stable relationship with their baby’s father or don’t know who their baby’s father is. Instead of raising your baby on your own as a single mother, you know that you want him or her to have a stable, two-parent home full of support. Choosing to raise a child is not just a commitment to becoming a parent; in many cases, it’s also a commitment to a relationship and connection with a baby’s father.

Most of the adoptive families that work with American Adoptions are married couples who have been together for years and have been trying for a child for a long time. They have been preparing to be parents and are ready to give your baby a life full of love and support.

Every family that adopts through American Adoptions must complete a home study. The home study thoroughly assesses their lives and relationship to ensure that the relationship is healthy and stable and that they are committed to working together to raise your child.

Unless you want to and are prepared to be a single mother to your baby, you will need the help of your baby’s father, emotionally, practically or financially. Women who don’t have a good relationship with their baby’s father likely don’t want this permanent connection to keep him in their lives — or even the emotional connection of raising his child. So, instead, you may choose adoption.

4. You Have a Different Vision for Your Own Life and Future

Unplanned pregnancies come at a time when they’re not scheduled in someone’s life. If your plans don’t include raising a baby right now, that is a perfectly good reason to choose adoption — a path that can provide you and your child with a brighter future full of more opportunities.

Some prospective birth mothers have plans like furthering their education, advancing in their careers and even getting married. Raising a child would financially and practically delay many of these future plans, which is why adoption could be the right choice for you.

Adoption was the right choice for Brittnee, a birth mom who had dreams of working in the medical field. Choosing adoption for her daughter gave Brittnee the opportunity to make those dreams a reality.

“Ten years later, and I am now going to school to begin my career as a Medical Practice Manager, and I honestly don’t think I would be in this place if it wasn’t for the support I received from American Adoptions,” she said. “Finding them has changed my life, and the life of that 5 lb. 6 oz. little girl I delivered that day.”

You might also feel that your family is already complete and may already have kids of your own. Did you know that most birth mothers are women in their 20s and 30s who are already raising at least one child? Many women who decide to place their children for adoption do so because they become pregnant after they’ve decided that their family is complete.

You may not have the time, energy or resources to meet the needs of a new baby while also providing the best possible opportunities for the children you’re already raising. And that’s okay. Deciding to pursue adoption to give your baby a family, while continuing to care for your other children, is a valid reason to choose adoption.

In other cases, a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy has no desire to be a mother and simply doesn’t see herself ever becoming a parent — and that’s completely OK. This can absolutely be a good reason for placing a child for adoption. In this instance, you might be choosing adoption to give your child a happy life with someone who desperately wants to be a parent.

5. You Could Parent This Baby, But It Would Be A Struggle.

Raising a child is expensive; recent estimates put the average cost to raise a child to age 18 at more than $230,000. To raise a child, a person must be prepared to pay for all the expected costs — like clothing, food and childcare — as well as unexpected costs like medical emergencies. Many women who choose adoption know they would struggle to make financial ends meet and instead place their children with adoptive parents who are more prepared for these costs.

In your case, you might want your baby to have a different kind of home environment than you can currently provide, whether it’s because of complicated family and birth father relationships, financial strain or other reasons. Knowing you can provide your child with a positive environment can be one of the reasons you put your child up for adoption.

The phrase “It takes a village” is certainly accurate when it comes to raising a child. But, if you don’t have the support from friends and family that you deserve while you prepare to raise your child, you likely won’t have that support through your baby’s childhood — making the parenthood journey even more difficult. Knowing that raising your child on your own would be incredibly difficult, you may choose adoption to give your child the supportive family and community you want for them as they grow up.

6. You Want To Feel Empowered and In Control of Your Situation

When you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, it may be at a time in your life when all of the responsibilities of parenthood are simply too much to take on. You may be completing your education or focusing on your career, or you may feel that you are unprepared at this point in your life to offer everything that you want your child to have. Your reason for putting a child up for adoption may be to find a family who is truly prepared to raise a child.

An unexpected pregnancy can make you feel like your life is out of control. You’re facing a challenge you never dreamed you would, and you may not know what to do. You’re probably thinking about a lot of options and wondering why people consider adoption. The adoption process allows you to take control of your situation in a way that your other unplanned pregnancy options may not.

With adoption, you are in charge all the way through — from choosing a family for your baby to deciding what kind of contact you want with them to what your hospital stay will look like. This way, you can shape your own future.

7. You Want To See Your Child Thriving As A Result Of Your Choice.

Many women choose adoption because they want to give their baby the best possible chance at life, and adoption gives them the chance to watch their baby grow up happy and healthy. When you choose adoption, you can choose varying levels of openness in the process, from receiving letters and photos of your child growing up to having a direct, personal relationship with your baby’s adoptive parents.

Angela, a birth mother who worked with American Adoptions, visited with her daughter’s adoptive parents several times throughout her pregnancy and was able to share the delivery experience with them in her hospital room. The relationship she developed with the adoptive parents has continued to grow, and now they all stay in touch with frequent updates. 

”Even to this day, almost a year later, I am still in contact with my [child’s] adoptive parents through e-mail a couple of times a month,” she said. “I still love my baby, but I know that she will always have a better life with someone who can take better care of her than I could have.”

For many women, this ability to see their child grow up and know that they are safe is one of the major reasons to place a baby for adoption. It also prevents the child from having to wonder, “Why do people get given up for adoption?” In an open adoption, you always have the chance to explain your decision to your child.

8. You Want To Be a Hero to an Adoptive Family (And Your Child)

At its core, adoption is incredibly selfless and comes from a place of love and compassion. Whether you realize it or not, you are giving your baby and a hopeful adoptive family an amazing gift. You are giving your baby the best life possible and all of the opportunities that come with it, while also giving a hopeful adoptive couple a family that they may not have been able to have without you.

“I could not have asked for a better experience and I wish I could personally thank everyone involved — not just those involved in my adoption, but all adoptions. What a wonderful gift for everyone! No one loses in adoption as far as I can tell,” said Nicole, a birth mom we had the privilege of working with.

The bond that is formed between adoptive families and the birth parents is a special one. They will be grateful for your sacrifice and will dedicate their lives to giving your baby the life they deserve. If you’re asking, “Should I put my baby up for adoption?” the adoption specialists at American Adoptions are always available to counsel you through this decision. We will help walk you through your reasons to “give a child up” for adoption, offering you guidance and support. To get connected with an adoption professional today, please call 1-800-ADOPTION.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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