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Having a Baby After Placing One for Adoption [Unexpected Emotions]

Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose adoption because they’re not at a place in their life where they are ready or able to raise a child or add another to their family.

Some women experiencing a second unplanned pregnancy may not intend to parent or still aren’t ready to parent, while others go on to have planned pregnancies to start or expand their family when they’re ready.

Whether the new pregnancy was planned or unplanned, having a baby after giving one up for adoption can lead to feelings of guilt. You might feel guilty for placing another child up for adoption or like you’re betraying the child you placed for adoption if you decide to parent your newborn.

Choosing adoption again or choosing to start or expand your family is your choice to make, nobody else’s. If you feel adoption or parenting is what’s best for you and your baby, that’s all that matters. If you’re dealing with complicated emotions because you’re having a baby after giving one up for adoption, reach out to an adoption specialist at any time to get the support you need.

Choosing Adoption for a Second Unplanned Pregnancy

If you’re having a baby and after giving one up for adoption, you’re likely experiencing an array of emotions. You might feel disappointed in yourself or overwhelmed because your situation has not changed enough since the first adoption for you to feel comfortable parenting. While these emotions are valid, there’s no need to feel guilty. You’re only human.

Regardless of whether this is your second, third or fourth unplanned pregnancy, you can always choose adoption. Even if this is your second time placing a child for adoption, this doesn’t detract from the selflessness and love behind your decision. You are choosing to give your child an amazing life that you may not be able to currently provide and giving a hopeful adoptive family the chance to have the family of their dreams.

Parenting a Child After Placing One for Adoption

If you’re having a baby after giving one up for adoption, you likely fall into one of two categories:

  • You’re facing another unplanned pregnancy

  • You’re intentionally starting or expanding your family

Regardless of which situation you identify with, you might be experiencing a lot of conflicting emotions. You might feel excited about starting or adding a member to your family. Or you might feel guilty for choosing to parent this child after placing one for adoption. Both of these emotions are valid, but there is no reason to feel guilty.

You chose adoption because you felt it was what was best for you and your baby at that point in your life. Even though you may hear phrases like “giving your baby up” for adoption, adoption is never giving up. You put your child’s needs first so that they could grow up in a safe and stable home. That is anything but giving up.

Circumstances change, and that’s okay. Especially if they’re for the better. It is not a reflection of your character for wanting to start a family if you’re in a better situation than you were at the time of your unplanned pregnancy. Or if this was an unplanned pregnancy but you are deciding to parent because you are able to or ready to, that’s okay too.  You might have resources or support that you didn’t have before.

You should never feel like you have to sacrifice moving forward with starting a family or keeping a second unplanned pregnancy just because you placed your first child for adoption.

How to Cope with Having a Baby After Giving One Up for Adoption

If you’re experiencing feelings of grief or shame because you’re having a baby after giving one up for adoption, there are resources and coping strategies you can utilize. Even if you’re not pursuing adoption this time around, you can reach out to a 24/7 adoption hotline to speak to a counselor about the emotions you are experiencing.

One of our own birth parent specialists was in a situation like yours. She was faced with an unplanned pregnancy and didn’t have the support she needed. She chose adoption to give her son a better life. Years later, she was married and she and her husband were about to have a child together.

“Being a new mom and parenting this child has brought about a new perspective and appreciation for adoption. I used to tell other birthmothers that I could have raised Ryan and he would have been just fine,” says Michelle.

“As much as I still believe he would have been fine if I had to parent him, I am now reassured more than ever that I made the right decision with choosing adoption for him. He would have had all the love in the world but I could not have done it on my own.  I never realized that I still needed closure for my adoption decision until I had my daughter.”

With the rising popularity of open adoptions, chances are you have some form of post-placement contact with your child and their adoptive family. If they and your child are okay with them having a relationship with their biological sibling, you can use this contact to help the two establish a bond.  Even though you weren’t ready or able to parent your first child, you still have the chance to be a part of their life.

To get the support you need when having a baby after giving one up for adoption, reach out to an adoption specialist today.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions 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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