Pregnant and Divorcing: Is Adoption an Option for You?
Getting divorced can be one of the most stressful moments in a person’s life. However, if you are getting a divorce while pregnant, you often have several other concerns, as well. What if the baby is your husband’s? What if the baby is not your husband’s? Can you raise a child on your own after your divorce? What should you do next?
You may also be asking: Can you put a baby up for adoption while in a divorce?
Adoption is always an option for an expectant mother, even if you are going through a divorce while pregnant. While there are several aspects to consider during this time, including the possibility of becoming a single parent, what’s most important is the best interest of your unborn baby.
If you decide you want to “give up” your baby for adoption while going through a divorce, you will need to understand your rights and the father’s rights in this process. Because state laws regarding a father’s rights in adoption vary, we encourage you to contact an adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more. Our specialists can explain what the legal requirements are in your situation and, if you decide adoption is right for you and your baby, help you move forward with an adoption plan that is best for you.
Remember, you are never obligated to choose adoption, even if you contact American Adoptions while you are pregnant and going through a divorce. Before you make this life-changing decision, we encourage you to think hard about your situation and what is best for your unborn child.
Should I Keep My Baby While Divorcing?
Often, when a woman is undergoing a divorce while pregnant, she was unaware of her pregnancy when the divorce process began. If she discovers that she is pregnant during the middle of her divorce proceedings, it can add another emotional complication to the already stressful process.
There are many questions she may have at this point:
Should I keep my baby and try to save our marriage?
Should I even tell the father about the baby?
Do I want to forever have a connection to this man by having and raising a baby together — even if our divorce continues?
What if my husband is not the father of the baby?
While you are the only one who can make this decision, we encourage you to think about one important thing — what is best for your baby. A baby should never be used as a pawn in a failing marriage. Just as couples should never get pregnant in an effort to save a relationship, you should not use your pregnancy as a way to get your baby’s father to stay with you. The relationship between the two of you is hard enough already; adding a child to the mix will only complicate things further, and you will forever be bonded with a man with whom you may have previously been comfortable ending things.
If you’re asking, “Should I keep my baby while divorcing?” you should also be thinking about the realities of single parenting. If your husband is the father of your baby, he may be obligated to pay child support after your divorce — but you will still need to consider the financial aspects of raising a child on your own, as well as things like childcare and a support system for you as a single parent. While you are coping with divorce while pregnant, you may see your unborn child as a “replacement” for the loved one you are losing, but remember this — a child should not have the pressure of being there to make you feel better. Your responsibility as their parent will be to make them feel loved and supported, despite your own feelings.
Single parenting is difficult. If this path may not be the answer for you, remember that you have another option: adoption. Yes, you can put a baby up for adoption while in a divorce, even considering the situation with the baby’s birth father. In fact, adoption may offer a life for your baby that you cannot provide, including a stable, two-parent household with parents who are committed to loving and supporting your child forever. Choosing adoption is not “giving away” your baby but giving them the chance at a life you may not be able to provide yourself.
You will have the same rights as any prospective birth mother if you choose adoption while pregnant and divorcing. You have the right to create an adoption plan that is best for you, including choosing adoptive parents for your baby and having an open adoption relationship with them and your child after the adoption. But, because birth father rights in adoption can be especially complicated during a divorce process, you will need to work with an experienced adoption specialist to learn what laws apply in your situation.
Our specialists are always available to talk you through your options if you are going through a divorce while pregnant, including the steps if you want to give a baby up for adoption while going through a divorce, your rights, and the birth father’s rights in this process.
“Giving Up” Your Baby for Adoption to Save Your Marriage — and Vice Versa
If you are pregnant and divorcing your husband, you likely have a complicated history with him, especially if he is your baby’s father. If he knows about your pregnancy, he may have an opinion about whether or not you should place your child for adoption. He may even use this newfound knowledge to manipulate your divorce proceedings and make promises about the future of your marriage.
Remember, a child should never be used as a manipulative tool in a relationship. What’s best for your child may not be what is best for your relationship. Rather than get caught up in promises your husband may or may not be making, think about what you really want for your child. Do you want to sustain your relationship even if you know your marriage won’t provide a welcoming environment for your unborn child? If your husband wants you to place your baby for adoption (against your wishes) in order to have a “fresh start” for your marriage — is he really the right one for you after all?
Whatever your situation, if your husband knows about your pregnancy, you should consider involving him in your adoption decision. Marriage is difficult — especially marriages on the verge of divorce — and so is your conversation about adoption. For you two, an important part of still being married may be coming together to make the best decision for your baby, even if it ends up being adoption.
If you are feeling coerced into a certain pregnancy decision, remember that you always have the right to make the best choice for your baby. For more information about putting a baby up for adoption while in a divorce process or crisis pregnancy center, please call our adoption specialists for free at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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