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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Can You Give a Baby Up for Adoption After a Year Old?

Putting a 1-Year-Old Up for Adoption

There are many reasons you may be considering adoption.

It could be that your financial situation makes raising a child impossible, or lack of support from the child’s father has made things very difficult. Life circumstances may have changed in the first year of your child’s life, making parenting less feasible than you had originally anticipated. Whatever the case is, you may be wondering, “Is it possible to give your kid up for adoption after they’re a year old?”

The answer: yes. It is never too late to consider adoption for your child, but this is a very important decision. It won’t be easy, and there should be a lot of thought put into it. Putting a 1-year-old up for adoption is possible, and there is a chance it’s the best decision for both yourself and your child.

While you’re considering putting a 1-year-old up for adoption, there are several things you should know. This is a life-changing decision, and understanding the facts about putting a baby up for adoption at 1 year old will help you make a better choice. Alongside your personal research, it is highly recommended that you speak with a professional. Not only will they have a more informed perspective on giving a 1-year-old child up for adoption, but they will also be able to help you understand your unique situation and what adoption could look like in your life.

If you would like to speak to a professional, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION and speak with an adoption specialist today. Although our agency mostly handles the placement of newborns, we would be more than happy to go over all of your options for an older infant adoption.

Has Parenting Become Impossible for Me?

Before getting into the process of putting a 1-year-old up for adoption, this is the first question that must be addressed. While every situation is unique, you have most likely formed an attachment with your child over the first year of their life that will be hard to break. Adoption could be the best choice for you and provide your child with the best chance at a wonderful life, but that doesn’t mean the decision will be easy.

As you’re thinking about whether or not you can “give a baby up” for adoption after a year old, it’s important to be completely sure that parenting isn’t an option anymore. If you can speak with a trusted, unbiased professional — like a therapist, pastor, or adoption specialist — about this, you may find that helpful as well.

If you do decide that adoption is the best option for you, it’s important to know that you are not “giving up.” Even though it is common to hear the phrase “giving a baby up for adoption,” this is a difficult, selfless decision. It is not giving up. Whatever your decision is, you deserve respect and support.

Can I Place My Child for Adoption as a 1-Year-Old?

If you know that parenting is not possible going forward, you are probably wondering about the process of putting a 1-year-old up for adoption. There are several options available to complete an adoption of a child who is already 1 year old, and the process will have differences from a newborn adoption. However, there will also be similarities. The level of differences and similarities will depend on who you choose to work with when giving a 1-year-old child up for adoption. While we specialize in newborn adoptions, we do have information on what it’s like to place a 1‐year‐old for adoption below.

Working With American Adoptions While Putting a 1-Year-Old Up for Adoption

While the majority of American Adoptions’ cases are newborn adoptions, we do occasionally work with mothers who need to give a 1-year-old up for adoption, and we work with hopeful parents who would love to welcome a 1-year-old into their family. During the adoption process, you will still have many of the same rights and choices as a mother who is placing her unborn baby for adoption.

Along with all of these practical elements of the adoption process, it’s important for you to know that you will be given the utmost respect by American Adoptions. Any mother choosing adoption, whether she is putting a newborn up for adoption or putting a 1-year-old up for adoption, is making a very difficult choice. We know this choice comes from a place of love, and you will be given the respect you deserve.

There will also be some differences that come with putting a 1-year-old up for adoption. The number of adoptive family profiles you can choose from will most likely be smaller, and there will be unique challenges. We’ll get to that in just a minute.

Other Ways to Give a 1-Year-Old Up for Adoption

While working with a national adoption agency like American Adoptions is a possibility for you, there are also some other paths for and alternatives to putting a 1-year-old up for adoption. You could consider other options such as:

  • Working with social services to gain access to resources that make parenting more possible
  • Completing a kinship adoption that allows you to maintain a very close connection to your child while also giving you the space to focus on your own life
  • Setting up a temporary legal guardianship with a close friend or family member, allowing yourself to get to a better place and then reclaim legal guardianship of your child

Even though these ways of putting a 1-year-old up for adoption are not within American Adoptions’ scope of work, our adoption specialists would still be happy to help you understand these options when you fill out our free information form.

Unique Challenges of Putting a 1-Year-Old Up for Adoption

As we’ve already said: This isn’t an easy choice. Choosing adoption can be difficult for anyone, and giving a 1-year-old child up for adoption will come with some unique challenges. This is not meant to cause fear, but rather to help you have a clear understanding of the decision you are considering. Some difficult factors of choosing to give a one-year-old up for adoption could be:

  • The attachment you have formed with your child, and that your child has formed with you, is likely much more developed than when placing a newborn for adoption. This can make the separation that comes with adoption harder for you and your baby.
  • There are more factors to consider when putting a 1-year-old up for adoption, like the child’s health, behavior, the father of the baby, and more.
  • There are a smaller number of families who work with private domestic adoption agencies who are trying to adopt older infants and children.

There are also a few additional steps you’ll need to take when placing a 1-year-old for adoption. Before you can get far in the adoption process, you will need to work with your adoption specialist to:

  • Obtain a copy of your child’s birth certificate
  • See who is listed as the father on your child’s birth certificate
  • Obtain medical records for your child
  • Provide documentation of where the child has lived from birth to present
  • Assess who has had custody or care of the child from birth to present
  • Determine who has provided financial and emotional support for this child from birth to present
  • Provide information about any father who has provided child support

These challenges don’t necessarily mean that you can’t place your child for adoption. Rather, they are important factors to consider as you make this choice. While these additional steps can be frustrating and time-consuming, keep in mind that these additional requirements must be met in order to place a 1-year-old for adoption.

Next Steps in Putting a 1-Year-Old Up for Adoption

Hopefully this helps bring some answers to your question, “Can I place my child for adoption as a 1-year-old?”

Even after reading this, talking to a professional is highly recommended. Your best next step in giving a 1-year-old child up for adoption is to request more free information or call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist. They will provide guidance based on your specific situation, and present you with all available options.

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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