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Can I Get My Baby Back After Adoption?

What to Know About Adoption Consent Revocation

If you’re wondering, “Can I get my baby back after adoption?” because you’re worried you might change your mind, you’re not alone. Many women considering adoption experience moments of doubt, wondering, “What if I change my mind? Can I give my baby up for adoption and get her back later? If I need to, how can I get my child back after adoption?”

Your adoption decision only becomes permanent when:

  • your baby has been born

  • you sign the legal paperwork consenting to the adoption, AND

  • your revocation period passes

Once that happens, there is no way for you to reclaim your child or your parental rights. If you “give a child up” for adoption, you cannot try to get the child back later, in the best interest of the baby at the center of the adoption. That’s why it’s so important that you do not place your child for adoption until you are ready.

However, you will have opportunities to change your mind and discontinue the adoption process at any other point during your pregnancy.

Your adoption specialist will be by your side through every twist and turn of your adoption process. They will be there to answer your questions and counsel you through any uncertainty you might have so that you can be confident you are making the right decision for you and your baby, whether that be adoption or parenting. If you have any doubts at all, contact your specialist so that you can talk through what you’re feeling.

To get more information about your rights throughout your pregnancy and during the legal document-signing process, you can get connected with an adoption professional here or by calling 1-800-ADOPTION.

If You Decide to Give a Baby Up for Adoption Before It’s Born, Can You Change Your Mind?

Absolutely.

It is important to understand that nothing you do or say during your pregnancy commits you to adoption. You can contact American Adoptions at any time to learn more about your unplanned pregnancy options, even if you are still unsure about adoption. When you call, you can get free information and support to help you better understand the adoption process, so you can decide whether this option is right for you. Then, if you decide you do want to move forward with adoption, our specialists can help you start the process.

Even if, early on, you agree to put a baby up for adoption but change your mind later in your pregnancy or after birth, you can stop your adoption process any time before you complete the adoption paperwork.

Remember, of your adoption plan. This means you get to make all the important decisions, like:

  • Choosing the perfect adoptive family who can provide the life you envision for your baby

  • Deciding what type of relationship you want to have with the adoptive parents and your child after the adoption

  • Determining how you want every step of the process to go

  • And more

Our adoption counselors will make sure you understand all of your choices and will offer you the support you need, whatever you are considering. Your adoption specialist will be available 24/7 to answer your questions, address your concerns and help you make the plan that’s best for you and your child. They want you to be 100% comfortable with your decision, no matter what that is.

“She was there for me when I didn’t have anybody, and she always knew just what to say,” Lindsey said of her time working with her birth parent specialist, Shannon. “I did have a lot of concerns and fears, and she knew how to talk me through them. She’s someone that’s — even now, three months after I’ve had my baby — probably going to check in on me from time to time. She was just amazing, and I’m so glad that she’s in my life.”

Remember, your adoption decision only becomes final when you complete the paperwork after the birth of your baby. Until then, you have every right to change your mind and decide to parent your child. 

Agreed to Put a Baby Up for Adoption But Changed Your Mind After Delivery?

Because choosing adoption is a big decision, many prospective birth mothers ask, “If I give my baby up for adoption, what time frame do I have to change my mind after I give birth?”

You should know that every state has laws regarding when and how a prospective birth mother can complete adoption paperwork. Most states require a minimum waiting period before you can complete this step, ranging from 12 hours to several days after birth.

These waiting periods are designed to give you time to emotionally and physically recover from childbirth, reflect on your adoption decision, and allow any medications that may potentially cloud your judgment to leave your system. This can be an emotionally challenging time for many prospective birth parents, but your adoption specialist will be there to help you through it.

Randi, a birth mother who placed her daughter, Gethey, through American Adoptions, remembers how emotional this time was for her. She took her time before making her decision, using it as an opportunity to spend precious time with her baby.

“I asked to have an hour alone [with her] before I actually signed the papers,” Randi said. “I pretty much just stared at her the whole time... It was heartbreaking, but there was never a time that I didn’t feel like it felt right.”

After your waiting period passes, you may sign the adoption paperwork whenever you are ready. Your adoption specialist or an adoption attorney will ensure you understand the legal consent process when it is time to sign these forms.

During this time, you may have another important question: “How long after you give your child up for adoption do you have to get them back?” Your adoption attorney will answer this, but you can also find some information on this topic below.

How to Get My Child Back After Adoption and Revoke My Consent?

You are considering adoption because you love your baby and want to provide a stable home for him or her. However, some birth mothers experience feelings of doubt or regret after signing. While it is rare, some women even find themselves thinking, “I gave my baby up for adoption, and I want her back. Can you ‘unadopt’ a kid?”

Because adoption is meant to create permanence for children, most state laws limit the rights of birth parents to withdraw their consent. However, in some states, you may have the right to revoke your consent, and the court may reinstate your parental rights under certain conditions or within a certain timeframe. How long you have to get them back after giving your child up for adoption will depend upon your individual state’s laws, so an attorney will always explain this process in detail to you.

But, before revoking your consent, it is important to consider whether you are truly making the best possible choice for yourself and your baby. Remember that feelings of grief, loss and doubt are completely normal and to be expected, especially immediately after placement. Take it from Julia, a birth mother who placed her daughter, Julianna, for adoption. She often speaks to other prospective birth mothers who contact her through her specialist Brighid, offering advice and support as they try to figure out which path is right for them.

“Honestly, just sit down and think about the best interest of your child,” she said. “You’re going to contemplate the decision a hundred times but, at the end of the day, you’re going to know what’s right for you and what’s right for your child.

There may be a specific reason you are interested in revoking your consent. Many times, women wonder, “If the adoptive family breaks an open adoption contract, can I get my child back?” This is a complicated situation.

In some states, an open adoption is legally enforceable with a post-adoption contact agreement. However, other states do not have laws in place to enforce post-placement contact. A court will not let you “adopt your child back” if this kind of situation occurs; they will just work to enforce the terms of your open adoption agreement.

No matter your legal birth mother rights in open adoption, American Adoptions will continue to facilitate your relationship after placement and ensure your child’s adoptive parents are honoring their commitment to you.

If you are considering withdrawing your consent, talk with your adoption specialist or legal counsel. They can help you determine whether you are just experiencing a normal moment of difficulty, or whether adoption truly is not the right choice for you.

To get more information about how to get your child back after adoption, reach out to an adoption professional today or call 1-800-ADOPTION. They can also assist you in exploring your options, and explaining and beginning the legal process to revoke consent, if you decide that is what you need to do.

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.

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