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Can I Keep My Adoption Plan Secret?

How a Confidential or Secret Adoption is Possible

If you are pregnant and have chosen adoption for your child, the best-case scenario is that you have a solid support system to lean on throughout the adoption process. Hopefully you have family, friends, and even your baby’s father in your corner supporting your decision to pursue adoption for your baby. However, that’s not realistic for everyone, and it’s possible that you have had to separate yourself from people who aren’t supportive of you or your plans for your child.

In fact, some expectant mothers even want their pregnancy and adoption kept secret from certain people in their lives. Adoption is a very personal decision, and you generally have the right to tell or not to tell whomever you feel comfortable with. This is absolutely an option for you, as you are not obligated to consider anyone but yourself and your child. If you know that adoption is in your baby’s best interests, no one should tell you otherwise. But the challenge is keeping your adoption a secret. Can you give a child for adoption anonymously? What does confidential adoption mean, and how could it work for you and your baby?

In this article, learn more about secret adoption and pregnancy before, during and after the process.

What is a Confidential Adoption?

There are a few different ways you could define confidential adoption. In one sense, every adoption is a confidential adoption, because any information you share with your adoption specialist will be kept private. We know that confidentiality in adoption is important to many women, and American Adoptions will not share information about your or your adoption plan without your permission. A woman who is interested in a confidential adoption may simply want to know that her information will be protected throughout the adoption process, and that’s always the case at American Adoptions.

Often, though, the secret, closed or confidential adoption definition refers to an adoption in which the prospective birth mother chooses to keep her identity private and exchange no contact with the adoptive family during or after the adoption process.

If you want to keep your adoption and pregnancy hidden from certain friends or relatives, you may choose a closed or confidential adoption to help maintain your privacy. While most adoptions today are open or semi-open, closed adoption is still an option for you.

However, there are some challenges of closed adoption to consider before choosing this option — and there may be even more challenges if you choose to keep your pregnancy and adoption plan hidden from your friends and family members.

Pros and Cons of Confidential Adoption

Before deciding that closed or confidential adoption is right for you, it’s important to seriously consider the confidential adoption pros and cons.

Pros of a Closed or Confidential Adoption:

In some cases, there may be some advantages to secret or anonymous adoption.

  • Women may be able to avoid some conflict with unsupportive friends or family members.

  • In certain abusive situations, keeping adoption a secret may be necessary to protect the prospective birth mother and her baby.

  • Some women feel that they are a better able to heal in a closed, anonymous adoption (one in which they do not exchange information or have contact with the adoptive family or their child after the adoption).

Cons of a Closed or Confidential Adoption:

However, there are many serious challenges of secret adoption to consider before choosing this option.

  • For women who want to keep their pregnancy and adoption a secret from people in their lives, hiding a pregnancy is physically and practically challenging.

  • Attempting to keep your pregnancy and adoption plan a secret may also make it more difficult for you to receive the services you need, such as prenatal care and adoption counseling.

  • In some cases, lying about your pregnancy or adoption plans, especially to the baby’s father, may legally complicate the adoption process.

  • If your confidential adoption is a closed adoption, this means you will not have any contact with your child after placement. A closed adoption (whether secret or not) can have emotional consequences of its own for both you and your child.

And most importantly, if you choose to keep your adoption a secret, you may be missing out on valuable support from your friends and family members — not only during the adoption process, but also after. Keeping this secret long-term can be emotionally challenging and may make it more difficult to process your feelings of grief and loss after placement.  For these reasons, American Adoptions recommends keeping adoption a secret only if it is necessary for the wellbeing of yourself and your child. In most cases, we also encourage women to consider maintaining an open or semi-open adoption with their child after placement.

While it may seem difficult now, telling a few select friends or family members about your pregnancy and adoption may actually be a comfort to you. You may be surprised to find that instead of being disappointed in you, they are actually supportive of your confidential adoption plan. Your adoption specialist can provide advice and support for how to have these conversations.

However, not all women feel comfortable sharing the news of their pregnancy or adoption. If this describes your situation, contact an adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION (800-236-7846) to learn ways to share the news of your pregnancy or to continue keeping your adoption secret.

How to Have a Secret Adoption

If you decide that a closed or confidential adoption is best for you, your next step is learning how to go about a secret adoption in a way that is legal and safe for you and your baby. Your adoption specialist will respect and support you however she can through the process, and she can help you create a private or secret adoption plan that you’re comfortable with.

In general, though, you will probably take the following steps to keep your adoption secret:

Step 1: Contact our confidential adoption counselors.

When you reach out to American Adoptions, you’ll be connected with your own individual adoption counselor, who will guide you through the rest of your adoption process and provide the support and services you need.

It’s important to always be honest with your adoption specialist so she can help you make the right adoption plan to fit your needs. You will need to share certain details, such as demographic and medical history information, with American Adoptions in order to make an adoption plan. But remember that nothing you share with your adoption specialist will prevent you from pursuing adoption, and everything you share will be kept confidential. Your adoption specialist will not share your information without your permission.

Step 2: Determine that a private, secret adoption is really right for you.

What is confidential adoption to you? As we mentioned above, this might simply mean an adoption in which your personal information is kept private by your adoption professional. For other women, it means keeping the adoption a secret from certain friends or family members. And for others, it could mean a closed adoption in which your identifying information isn’t shared with the adoptive family.

However you define confidential adoption, your adoption specialist will work with you to create a plan that is tailored to your needs and preferences. You are always in charge of your adoption process. You’ll be able to choose your child’s adoptive family, determine how you want your stay in the hospital to go, decide whether or not to tell those closest to you, and more.

Step 3: Consider relocating during your pregnancy to protect your privacy.

If you want to keep your pregnancy hidden during your adoption process, you might wonder, “Where can I have a baby in secret for adoption?” Some women are able to hide their weight gain and growing bellies easier than others. Whether it is by wearing strategic clothing or avoiding certain people whom you don’t want to know the news, keeping your pregnancy secret can be difficult, but it can be done.

In some cases, American Adoptions can even help you relocate to another town for the duration of your pregnancy. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. Some reasons women choose to relocate are to:

  • avoid a physically or verbally abusive situation.

  • seek support from family members or friends in another location.

  • keep their pregnancy and adoption secret from certain family members or friends, for various reasons.

Contact a Secret Adoption Agency with No Obligation

If you are pregnant and considering a secret adoption plan for your baby, you may want to work with an anonymous adoption agency that will respect your privacy and keep your adoption plan confidential while providing all of the services, support and guidance you need.

If you are searching for agencies that do a confidential adoption, look no further than American Adoptions. We can help you create the adoption plan you are most comfortable with and provide the support system you need during this challenging time.

You may contact an adoption specialist at any time by calling our anonymous adoption hotline at 1-800-ADOPTION for free information. Your call is completely confidential and does not obligate you to proceed with an adoption plan. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. 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.

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