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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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In My Situation, Am I Still Able to Place My Child for Adoption?

Adoption is Always an Option

Adoption is a choice for anyone.

Everyone is different, and everyone has different, and sometimes challenging, situations. Any stereotypical image of what “type” of mother chooses adoption for her child is just that — a stereotype. Over 25 years of work with expectant mothers and adoptive families, American Adoptions has seen how anyone from any walk of life may need to choose adoption.

If you’re considering adoption today, you don’t have to fit into some sort of mold. You don’t have to look like or have a life like you would imagine a mother choosing adoption would have. Everyone has unique situations. We’re all different, and we all have our own struggles.

Adoption is always your decision. No matter what you may have heard or what culture may have told you, you can choose adoption if it is the best option for you and for your baby.

You may already be a mom. You may be older, or you may have medical issues in your background. Maybe you have a history of drug or alcohol use, and that has led you to think, "Nobody would want to adopt my baby."

This is not true.

We’re going to take a look at a variety of situations you may find yourself in as you consider adoption. If you identify with any of these, we want you to know that adoption is still possible for you. You can make the best choice for yourself and your baby.

Here are some of the varying situations women considering adoption may incorrectly believe "disqualify" them from creating an adoption plan:

Alcohol and Drug Usage

It is much more common than you may imagine for an expectant mother with a history of alcohol or drug use to choose adoption for her baby. If you have used alcohol or drugs in the past, or are currently using either of these, you are not disqualified from choosing adoption. You don’t have to be a perfect mother in order to place your baby for adoption.

While we highly encourage women to live a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, there are many potential 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.

Birth Father Involvement

Many expectant mothers considering adoption for their baby have a complicated relationship with the birth father. For some, the father of the baby may be unknown or completely uninvolved. Alternately, the father may be unsupportive of the adoption plan, but also unwilling to offer substantial assistance. If you find yourself in a situation like this with the birth father, you can still pursue adoption for your baby.

Each state has unique laws concerning birth father rights, and these decisions are usually handled on a case-by-case basis. If you create an adoption plan, you will work with an adoption attorney who will represent you and guide you down the best path possible in your context.

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. Our adoption specialists can talk to you more about your own situation with the birth father, and together we will be able to determine the best course of action.

Previous Children

Did you know that around half of the women who place a baby up for adoption have other children as well? If this describes your situation, please know that in no way does pursuing adoption legally affect your other children. Life can throw a variety of challenging situations your way. Just because you’ve been able to choose to parent in the past doesn’t disqualify you from choosing adoption now. 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. These conversations can be very challenging, but our adoption specialists have worked with many mothers in this situation. It’s possible that adoption could be the best choice for you, your baby and your other children.


Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m too old for adoption.”

It’s a thought plenty of expectant mothers may have, but it’s not true. There are no age restrictions to choose adoption for your baby. Regardless of your age, you can place your baby for adoption and find an adoptive family who will be thrilled at the opportunity to parent your child.

Stage of Pregnancy/Age of Child

Some prospective birth mothers worry that adoption is a decision that must be made on a certain timeline. But the truth is, it is never too late to consider adoption. American Adoptions can help you complete an adoption plan, regardless of whether:

While the majority of American Adoptions’ placements are of newborns and infants less than a year old, our adoption specialists will work with mothers who wish to place an older child for adoption on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of your stage of pregnancy or the age of your child, it is always worth reaching out to American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about your options.

Medical Background

If you have a complicated medical history, you may worry that cancer, diabetes, mental illness or other medical conditions in you background, or your family’s medical background, disqualify you from adoption. This is not the case. American Adoptions has worked with hundreds of waiting families open to working with women of all different medical backgrounds.

There are sure to be other unique situations an expectant mother finds herself in that leave her asking, “Is adoption possible for me?” While we can’t cover all the possible scenarios in this article, the point is this: adoption is always a choice for you. You have the right and the power to make a decision that is best for you and your baby.

If you have more questions, or want to start you adoption plan today, you can contact us today at 1-800-ADOPTION or request more free adoption information.

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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