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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Are There Requirements for Giving a Baby Up for Adoption?

How You Can Choose Adoption Regardless of Your Circumstance

There are no requirements to put a baby up for adoption. Anyone can do it, as long as they feel that adoption is the right choice for their child. You may be worried about whether or not the circumstances of your individual situation might prevent you from choosing adoption, but don’t be!

Everyone is different, and everyone has different, and sometimes challenging, situations. However, that situation often has no effect on your ability to choose adoption. There are no requirements for “giving a baby up” for adoption if that’s what you feel is best for you.

Perhaps you more than anyone else understand that the image of a "birth mother" isn't always the teenager seen on MTV's “Teen Mom.” The women who consider adoption often may already be moms, they may be older, or they may have medical issues or other complicated backgrounds, all of which may lead to feelings of "nobody would want to adopt my baby."

However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

American Adoptions has worked with countless women over our 25 year history, all of whom come from different races and cultures, different age groups and different medical backgrounds. Whatever your situation might be, it would be extremely rare for us to not be able to find an adoptive family who would be thrilled with the opportunity of providing your child with an amazing life. There are no “requirements” to put a child up for adoption and find the perfect family for you; there will always be someone out there honored at the opportunity to raise your baby.

Still not convinced? Here are some of the varying situations women considering adoption may incorrectly believe "disqualify" them from creating an adoption plan, or who worry that they won’t meet some kind of (nonexistent) requirements for putting a child up for adoption. Even if you have one of these existing circumstances, our adoption counselors will be happy to help you.

Alcohol and Drug Usage 

Whether you have used alcohol or drugs in the past or are using them now, please understand that this has no effect on whether or not you have to meet any requirements for giving your child up for adoption. While we highly encourage women to live a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, there are lots of adoptive families who are excited to work with you toward a successful adoption no matter your usage history. We also encourage you to be as open and honest as you can when working with us so that we can help find the right adoptive family for you. There are no requirements for giving a baby up for adoption that would prevent you from placing your child due to drug or alcohol usage.

Birth Father Involvement

Whether the father of your baby is supportive or unsupportive of your adoption, or is uninvolved or unknown, you may still pursue an adoption plan. Every state has its own laws on the birth father. Our Adoption Specialists can talk to you more about your own situation with the birth father, and together we will be able to determine what the best course of action is. Your “putting a child up for adoption” parental requirements as far as the birth father’s consent will always depend upon your personal situation — but complicated circumstances should never prevent you from starting your adoption journey when you’re ready.

Unstable Home Life

While most women placing a child for adoption are fortunate enough to have a stable living situation throughout their pregnancy, sometimes a pregnant woman may find herself struggling with unemployment, homelessness or other situations at home that lead her to consider adoption for her child. If you’re currently in a situation where safe housing isn’t always available to you, adoption is still an option for you and your baby. We can also provide you with a safe place to stay throughout your pregnancy and we’ll make sure that you have access to whatever resources you need to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Previous Children

Did you know that around half of the women who place a baby up for adoption have other children, as well? Women who are already raising children may feel that they’re not ready for another child for various reasons, and they decide that adoption is the best choice for their whole family. If this describes your situation, please know that in no way does pursuing adoption legally affect your other children. Your Adoption Specialist can provide insight on how to talk to your children about your adoption, and how they can be a part of your adoption plan.

Age

There are no age requirements for putting a child up for adoption. Regardless of your age, we can work with you and keep your adoption completely confidential. Some women may feel more pressured to parent a child if they’re older, even if they don’t feel that parenting is the right choice for them right now. Other women have expressed concern that adoptive parents may not want a baby from an older birth mother. But, if you feel that adoption is the right choice for you and your baby, there are hundreds of adoptive families who have been waiting to meet you and love your child. You can choose adoption at any age.

Medical Background

Some women worry that cancer, diabetes, mental illness or other medical conditions in their medical background or their family’s medical background disqualifies them from adoption. We have hundreds of waiting families open to working with women of all different medical backgrounds. There are no health requirements for giving your child up for adoption, and your adoption specialist will always help you find the perfect adoptive family who is prepared to parent a child with a complicated medical background, if need be.

As you can see, for every situation, there is always an adoptive family who is a perfect match. Women who choose to place a child for adoption come from all walks of life. No two birth mothers are alike, so every adoption is unique! If you feel that adoption is the right choice for you and your child, then you shouldn’t worry about anything holding you back from making whatever decision you feel is best — especially worries about any requirements to put a child up for adoption. You can speak with our Adoption Specialists about whatever is going on in your life, and if you’re ready to move forward, we can also work with you to choose the adoptive family that you feel is right for your baby.

Contact us today by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or by contacting us online to receive free adoption information.

Disclaimer
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.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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