Can I Give My Baby Up for Adoption at the Hospital? [The Complete Guide]
Adoption can happen in a lot of different ways. Some expectant mothers know right away that parenting isn’t an option, and they create an adoption plan early in their pregnancy. Others may need more time to know what the right course of action is. It’s very possible that right up until birth, the best choice is still unclear.
You may find yourself in this situation. If so, you’re probably wondering, “Can mothers can choose adoption at the hospital?” The answer is yes, you can.
Hospital adoptions happen more often than you might imagine. Adoption agencies have procedures in place for this type of adoption. Even though it may be sped up much more than a typical domestic infant adoption, there is a process for “giving a baby up” for adoption at the hospital.
Thinking about placing your baby for adoption at the hospital can be overwhelming. If you ever need someone to talk to, or if you have more questions about how you can choose to “give your baby up” for adoption at the hospital after giving birth, please fill out our free information form or call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with one of our adoption specialists today.
What is the Process for “Giving a Baby Up” for Adoption at the Hospital?
The first thing to do is call 1-800-ADOPTION and speak to an adoption specialist about how to “give a baby up” for adoption in the hospital. It’s important to find a qualified, trustworthy adoption professional to work with. As a full-service, fully licensed national adoption agency, American Adoptions can be that professional for you. Working with the right professional is the key to a safe, responsible hospital adoption.
The steps in a hospital adoption resemble any other adoption. The biggest difference is the speed of the process — this can happen as quickly as you are comfortable with.
Step 1: Making Sure Adoption Is Right for You
It’s important to take time upfront to make sure adoption is the best option for you and your baby. The hospital stay can be an emotional roller coaster, and this is a life-changing decision. Only you can know what’s best for you, and it is your decision to make. Taking the time to consider all of the factors and outcomes of choosing adoption will help you feel confident in your choice, whatever that may be.
Step 2: Creating an Adoption Plan
Once you know that adoption is right for you, you will create a hospital adoption plan. When you call 1-800-ADOPTION, you can talk to an adoption specialist who can guide you through the process of “giving a baby up” for adoption at the hospital. Creating this plan involves things like:
Selecting a level of openness in adoption
Deciding what type of family you want to adopt your baby
Working out any available adoption financial assistance
When you “give a baby up” for adoption at the hospital, you are in charge of your adoption plan. You call the shots, and your adoption specialist will ensure you’re making the best choices.
Step 3: Finding an Adoptive Family
Your adoption specialist will assemble a group of adoptive family profiles for you to look at. These will be families who match the description of what you are looking for, and each family would be overjoyed at the opportunity to adopt your baby.
This is one of the most important choices in a hospital adoption. You love your baby, and you want the best life possible for them. With American Adoptions’ national network of hopeful adoptive parents, you can be sure you’ll find amazing parents for your baby. Many birth mothers say they “just knew” when they were looking at the right adoptive family profile.
Step 4: Placement of the Child
When you choose a family, your adoption specialist will contact them to let them know about the adoption opportunity. As quickly as possible, they will travel to you. Depending on what you decided in your hospital adoption plan, you may interact with the family when they arrive, or you may not meet them in person.
When the time comes, you can fill out the adoption paperwork, and your baby will be placed with the adoptive family. This can be a difficult time, but you can be confident that you are making a selfless decision that will give your baby an opportunity to have an amazing life. Still, it’s expected that you will feel some challenging emotions during this process. Counseling and support services will be available to you at no cost, if you would like.
Step 5: Post-Placement
When you “give a baby up” for adoption at the hospital, goodbye doesn’t have to be forever. The majority of domestic infant adoptions today are at least semi-open. This means that, depending on the choices you make in your hospital adoption plan, you will have the opportunity to maintain contact with the adoptive family and your baby post-placement. This contact can range from photo and letter updates to in-person visits. It all depends on what you want in your adoption.
Maintaining contact through open adoption is healthy for you, the adoptive parents and your child. An open adoption can help a child understand that your decision came from a place of love, and that you only did what was best for them. This positive perspective on their adoption story can be invaluable as a child grows and begins to form a sense of identity.
For you as the mother, open adoption creates the opportunity to see your child thrive. You can move forward in your own life while knowing that your baby is being cared for and loved. This helps many birth mothers feel confident in their adoption decision.
What Else Should I Know About Adoption at the Hospital? A Helpful FAQ
Starting an adoption plan at the hospital can be overwhelming. As such, you might have even more questions about how to “give a baby up” for adoption at the hospital. To help answer some of them, here is our guide to everything you should know.
Is it legal to “give a child up” for adoption at the hospital?
Yes. It is safe and legal to place your child up for adoption at the hospital. If you’re thinking of making an adoption plan at the hospital, your hospital social worker or a nurse will help you get the process started. You can also call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to make an adoption plan for your baby.
When you want to “give your baby up” for adoption, what do you tell the hospital?
If you want to place your child up for adoption, and you haven’t made an adoption plan yet, a hospital social worker can help you get started. Simply tell them that you are considering adoption for this baby and need help exploring that option. They will look up a list of nearby or national adoption agencies that will be able to help and reach out to them so that you can make an adoption plan. Once you’re connected with an adoption specialist, they can walk you through the process of finding an adoptive family and creating your adoption plan.
If you prefer, you can also reach an adoption specialist directly by calling 1-800-ADOPTION. Your adoption specialist can take care of everything related to the adoption process and will coordinate with hospital staff to let them know about your wishes and make your adoption plan happen.
I don’t want my baby. Can my friend take it from the hospital after I give birth?
Yes, it is possible to have your friend take your baby from the hospital. You will need to work with a local adoption attorney to arrange for your friend to get custody of your child, whether that is through a legal adoption, a temporary guardianship or another option.
We know that for many women, asking a friend or family member to adopt your baby can seem like the perfect solution. After all, you already know them so well. It’s easy to see why they’d be the perfect fit. But before you do so, it might be helpful to look at a list of pros and cons. And don’t forget — American Adoptions has hundreds of pre-screened families who could also be a good fit.
Do hospitals take babies for adoption?
In most states, the answer is yes — you can surrender your baby to an on-duty staff member at a hospital if he or she is within your state’s Safe Haven age limit. If you leave your baby with a hospital staff member, they’ll start the process to find a safe, loving home for them. This will either be through foster care or they’ll contact a private adoption agency directly. This is referred to as “Baby Safe Haven,” and it is an option for you if you don’t feel ready to parent your baby. However, this is not your only option. In fact, this is not how most adoptions are done.
Instead, most prospective birth mothers contact an adoption agency like American Adoptions to create an adoption plan for their baby. This option has many benefits for you as a potential birth mother that Safe Haven options don’t offer, including:
The ability to choose your baby’s adoptive parents and see where he or she ends up (if you choose)
The opportunity to stay in touch with the adoptive parents and watch your baby grow up in an open adoption, if desired
Access to free counseling and professional support during and after the adoption process
If you are considering this option, just know that it’s never too late to make an adoption plan with American Adoptions. Whether you’ve just given birth or just arrived at the hospital and you're thinking about surrendering your baby, we’d be happy to answer all of your questions. Get the information you need now by calling 1-800-ADOPTION.
Do I pay a family to adopt my baby in the hospital?
No, you do not need to pay an adoptive family to adopt your baby in the hospital. As a woman considering an adoption plan, adoption is always 100% free for you.
Likewise, it is illegal in every state for an adoptive family to pay you in exchange for placing your baby up for adoption. Instead, you are able to receive financial assistance that will cover your hospital and medical bills. To learn more about what financial assistance will look like in your situation, please reach out to an adoption specialist.
You may have more questions about how to “give a baby up” for adoption in the hospital, or you may be ready to begin your hospital adoption today. Either way, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption specialist.
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