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Giving Up a Child for Adoption as a Pregnant Teen

What to Know About This Unplanned Pregnancy Option

An unplanned teenage pregnancy is a lot to handle. If you are considering adoption for teenage pregnancy, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION now to get basic information.

  • You may not be ready to be a mother.
  • You may want to go to college or pursue other goals before becoming a parent.
  • You cannot financially afford to be a parent.
  • You cannot obtain an abortion or do not believe in this option.
  • You know the birth father would not be involved or supportive.
  • You want to give your baby a better life with parents who can provide the opportunities you cannot.

We understand that whatever your reasoning may be, choosing adoption for this baby is a deeply personal decision. And, it’s a decision that only you can make.

You likely have questions, thoughts, and concerns. If you’re a teen who wants to give a baby up for adoption it’s important that you find appropriate, accurate information from another source — an adoption agency.

American Adoptions is here for you. We have helped many young women facing a teenage pregnancy, regardless of their circumstances. For them, adoption was the right choice — and it can be the right choice for you, too.

But first, you’ll need to learn everything you can about adoption for teenage pregnancy and what this journey will look like.

Fortunately, our adoption professionals are here to answer any questions you may have about giving your child up for adoption from a teen pregnancy. Call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to speak to a specialist now.

Whether you are ready to make a teenage pregnancy adoption plan today or wish to learn more about putting a child up for adoption as a teenager, find out more about this unplanned pregnancy option below.

Why Should Teens “Give” Their Baby Up for Adoption?

First things first: A pregnant teenager should not do anything unless they want to and are 100 percent sure it’s the right path for them.

While it can be helpful to look at the pros and cons of giving your child up for adoption due to teen pregnancy, you are the only one who can ultimately decide which unplanned pregnancy option is best for you. There is no right or wrong answer for your decision.

No matter what information you receive, you will always be the one to make the final decision of what to do with your pregnancy. 

If you are considering placing your baby for adoption, remember this: Adoption is not “giving up” or “giving away” your baby. It’s making the mature decision to give him or her the best chance of life with parents who are fully prepared to raise a child at this time.

If you are a pregnant teen, adoption can be a difficult decision to make — but when it’s the right one, it will be a decision that will positively change you and your baby’s lives forever.

How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption if You are a Teen [The 6 Steps of “Giving a Baby Up” for Adoption]

If you are pregnant as a teenager, you may be wondering, “Can a teen give a baby up for adoption?” The answer is yes.

If a teenage girl is pregnant and wants to give a baby up for adoption, she first needs to understand how the adoption process works.

If you are in this situation, there are a few general steps to expect when choosing adoption for your teenage pregnancy. (Don’t worry; your adoption specialist at American Adoptions will be there to guide you every step of the way.)

Step 1: Decide Adoption is Right for You.

When you are facing an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, you have three options:

  • Raise the baby yourself
  • Terminate your pregnancy
  • Place your child for adoption

Even though you may be minor, no one can make this decision for you. You are in charge of how you want your pregnancy to proceed.

With over 25 years of experience as one of the nation’s largest domestic infant adoption agencies, we have helped thousands of birth mothers and adoptive families complete successful adoptions. You can always call our free counselors at 1-800-ADOPTION for objective pregnancy options counseling.

They can answer your questions and give you the information you need to decide which path is best for you. If you choose adoption for teenage pregnancy, they will help you with the next steps. 

You can even speak with adoption professionals who know exactly what you are going through. Michelle Downard, a birth mother herself, has been serving prospective birth mothers for years. She and the rest of our adoption professionals are here to help with any pregnant teenage adoption-related questions you may have.

“We are here to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy in any way by answering their questions and walking them through the adoption process. Whether they ultimately decide to parent or continue with adoption, we want to help women decide what is best for their individual situations," Michelle says.

For more information about deciding if adoption is right for you and to get answers to any questions you may have, fill out our online form. An adoption professional will contact you shortly.

Step 2: Create an Adoption Plan.

If you decide that giving up a child for adoption as a pregnant teen is the right choice for you, your adoption specialist will help you make an adoption plan.

This plan will take into account all of your preferences for your adoption journey, including:

Only you know what is best for you and your baby. You will be in charge of every decision in this plan, even if you are a teenager.

This means you will also have the ability to change your mind about adoption any time before you sign the adoption paperwork after delivery.

Step 3: Find Adoptive Parents.

Finding parents for your child can be one of the most exciting parts of your adoption process.

You can choose everything about your baby’s parents, including their:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Cultural and ethnic background
  • Lifestyle and values
  • Location
  • And more

Adoptive families are excited at the opportunity to get to know a prospective birth mother like you, no matter her situation. Don’t worry; there are plenty of families looking to adopt a teenager’s baby and your adoption specialist will help you find the family that is perfect for you.

Step 4: Prepare for Placement.

Once you have found potential parents for your baby, you will have the opportunity to get to know them before your delivery. This means you can build a relationship with them (even long-distance) and ensure they are the right parents for your baby.

During this time, you will prepare for your hospital stay. Childbirth can be a scary prospect but your adoption specialist will make sure you are prepared. She will help you create a hospital plan that explains what you want to happen and sets expectations for everyone involved, including the hospital staff.

If you are a teenager and giving your baby up for adoption, you may worry about how your pregnancy will impact your daily life. Many young women in your situation can continue to attend high school until their delivery date.

Your adoption specialist can help coordinate with your school regarding any days you’ll need to miss for your delivery. If you wish, you can even find an alternative education program to attend while your pregnancy progresses.

Step 5: Sign Adoption Consent.

You will not be able to give your consent for your pregnant teen adoption until you have given birth to your baby.

Even then, you may have to wait a few days, based on your state’s laws. This will all be explained to you before you enter the hospital and a local adoption attorney will explain the legal process of giving your consent before you sign the necessary teen adoption documents.

Even after the baby is born you have the choice to change your mind about your adoption decision. You will not be forced into adoption and you do not have to sign the adoption paperwork until you are 100 percent confident in your decision. An attorney and a counselor will be there to help you through this difficult time.

Step 6: Begin Post-Adoption Communication.

Once you have given your legal permission, your teen pregnancy adoption process will be complete. You can return to the goals and activities you worked toward before your pregnancy — but with a piece of new knowledge that you’ve changed someone’s life forever.

Your adoption isn’t over, however. Adoption is a lifelong journey.

If you’ve chosen to have an open adoption with the adoptive parents and your child, you can keep in contact with them for years to come. Many teenage birth mothers find that this relationship allows them to watch their birth children grow up happy and healthy.

An unplanned pregnancy can be a lot to handle, but find peace of mind knowing you won't have to do it on your own. If you are wondering, “How does a teenager give a baby up for adoption?” American Adoptions is here to help.

To get free and objective unplanned pregnancy advice, please reach out to our counselors at 1-800-ADOPTION today. We’ll help you create an adoption plan when you’re ready. 

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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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

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