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Can You Give Your Baby Up for Adoption at 2 Years Old?

Placing Your Baby for Adoption as a 2-Year-Old

If you have come to this page, you may be asking, “Can you give your baby up for adoption at 2 years old?”

The first thing you should know is that you deserve respect as you try to make this difficult decision. It’s common to hear the phrase “giving a baby up” when people talk about adoption. But a mother who chooses adoption is not giving up. Adoption isn’t throwing in the towel or taking an easy way out. It is a very difficult decision made out of love, and it can benefit both the mother and the child in the right situation.

Placing a 2-year-old for adoption is a big decision. If you are considering adoption for your child, you may feel pushed to the brink in parenting for a variety of reasons and be wondering what options are available to you.

In this guide about how to place your 2-year-old up for adoption, we’ll look at the adoption process, other possible options and resources that may help you. If you would like answers in your specific situation from an adoption specialist, you can request free information at any time. Although our agency mainly specializes in the placement of newborns, we would still be more than happy to explain all of your options for a toddler adoption.

Can My 2-Year-Old Be Adopted?

Yes, you can place a 2-year-old for adoption. This is less common in domestic adoption situations than newborn adoptions, but it is still possible. American Adoptions primarily handles the placement of infants, but our agency has worked with some women who want to put their 2-year-old up for adoption on a case‐by‐case basis.

With that being said, putting a 2-year-old up for adoption comes with a unique set of challenges. Before you make a decision, it’s important to understand these challenges, as you are likely to face them. Adoption for your 2-year-old may be the best option for both of you, but that doesn’t mean it will all be easy. It’s better to step into this process with your eyes wide open, prepared for the difficulties that may come.

Unique Challenges of Placing a 2-Year-Old for Adoption

As you think about how to place your 2-year-old up for adoption, it’s important to be fully aware of the challenges this entails. Any adoption can be difficult — even when it is the best choice possible. So you’re not alone in facing challenges. Some things that may be unique to placing a 2-year-old for adoption are:

  • Your child’s attachment level to you has had two years to develop, making a transition like this much more difficult for them and for you. A bond has been formed, even if that relationship hasn’t been what you had imagined. Speaking to a counselor or other qualified professional about this is highly recommended. 
  • When considering adoption for a 2-year-old, you will have to take factors into account that may not be as present in a newborn adoption. The father of the baby could also have a relationship with the child as well as parental rights. You may also need to consider the child’s health, developmental progress and behavior.
  • There are amazing, loving families looking to adopt a 2-year-old. However, there are fewer of these families than there are families trying to adopt a newborn. This means that there may be fewer options when trying to find the right family.
  • Most private adoption agencies primarily offer services and resources that are geared towards newborns and infants, so it can be challenging to find an agency that has all of the services you’re looking for in an older child adoption.

There is also some additional information that you’ll need to provide when placing a 2‐year‐old for adoption, such as:

  • A copy of your child’s birth certificate
  • Who is listed as the father on your child’s birth certificate
  • Your child’s medical records
  • Documentation of where the child has lived from birth to present
  • Who has had custody or care of the child from birth to present
  • Who has provided financial and emotional support for this child from birth to present
  • Documentation of child support provided by any father

The goal of laying out these challenges isn’t to cause you to feel afraid. Rather, we want you to be prepared for what placing a 2-year-old for adoption may look like, and put you in a position to make the best decision for your life.

Adoption Options for a 2-Year-Old

Now that you have a clear picture of what makes this process challenging, let’s talk about what other options may be available to you. We know you’re trying to make the best choice for yourself and your child, and this decision is coming from a place of love. There are several different options for how to place your 2-year-old up for adoption.

  • Kinship Adoption: If parenting is no longer an option but you still want to maintain a close, personal relationship with your child, you could consider kinship adoption. This is the process of having a family member adopt your child.
  • Temporary Legal Guardianship: Rather than place a 2-year-old for adoption, you could consider temporary legal guardianship. In doing this, you will sign legal guardianship rights to a close friend or family member for a set period of time. This can provide an opportunity to create a better position in life so that, in the future, you can continue to parent your child.
  • Seeking Help from Social Services: There are public resources and services that could be available to you to make parenting easier. If you are unsure about putting your 2-year-old up for adoption, the next best step may be seeking help that will make parenting easier.

Placing a 2-Year-Old for Adoption with American Adoptions

As a full-service, fully-licensed national adoption agency, American Adoptions works with hundreds of women each year who are considering adoption for their children. While most of these women are thinking about adoption for their newborns, we do also work with women who want to put their 2-year-old up for adoption on a case‐by‐case basis.

In this adoption process, you have many of the same choices that any other prospective birth mother would have — such as choosing the adoptive family and deciding on the level of openness in your adoption.  However, placing a 2-year-old for adoption may look different in many ways, too.

The best way to get a clear understanding of what placing your 2-year-old for adoption could look like is to request to speak with an adoption specialist through our free information form. Our specialists will help you understand how to place your 2-year-old up for adoption, as well as what other options could be a great choice for you.



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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