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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Is Placing Your Infant for Adoption Wrong?

How to Make Sure You Make the Best Decision for Yourself and Your Baby

For many women, deciding how to handle an unplanned pregnancy is one of the most emotionally difficult decisions of a lifetime. Expectant mothers often wonder, is putting your infant up for adoption wrong?  Is it selfish to give my baby up for adoption? Is it wrong to give your kids up for adoption if you can’t take care of them? How do I know that I’m making the right choice?

If you have asked yourself questions like these, it proves that you are putting a lot of thought into your decision and trying to do what is best for your baby — and that is exactly what good mothers do.

You Are Not Selfish or a Bad Mother If You Choose Adoption

Many women considering adoption have worried, “Is it wrong to put my baby up for adoption?” Sometimes, friends or family members who don’t support your adoption decision may tell you that it is selfish to “give your baby up” for adoption, or that you are being irresponsible by choosing not to parent your child. Even the language society uses to talk about adoption can make it seem like it is bad to “give your baby up” for adoption — when what you’re doing really isn’t “giving up” at all.

Let’s look at what women who choose adoption for their children are really doing:

  • They recognize that they’re currently unable to give their baby something important that they want to (such as a stable living situation, financial security, a two-parent home or opportunities like college), so they decide that adoption, while difficult, is the best way to provide the life they’d like their baby to have.

  • They take the time to research their options and learn about adoption so that they can make a well-informed decision.

  • They carefully choose a family for their child who has been screened and verified by professionals.

  • When they’re unable to raise their child themselves, they make sure that their child will be raised by parents who are emotionally, mentally, physically and financially prepared for a baby right now, and who have been waiting and hoping for a child.

  • They make sure that their child will always know how much he or she is loved by both their birth and adoptive families through open adoption.

Is it wrong to put your baby up for adoption? Absolutely not. Creating an adoption plan for a baby clearly takes a great amount of thought, love and sacrifice, so the answer to the question, “Is giving your child up for adoption cowardly?” is a strong no. It is incredibly brave and selfless to “give a child up” for adoption. By choosing to place your child for adoption, you are putting his or her needs before your own.

Every woman’s situation is different, and you are the only person who can decide what is best for you and your baby. The question isn’t whether putting a child up for adoption is “wrong” or “right,” but whether it is the right choice for you.

How Do I Know That Adoption is Right for Me?

As you consider your unplanned pregnancy options, it may seem like everyone has an opinion about what’s right, what’s wrong, and what you “should” do. Unsupportive people in your life may try to talk you out of the decision you want to make by listing reasons why putting your baby up for adoption is “bad,” or “selfish,” or “cowardly.” With so many different views on adoption, it can be overwhelming to make a decision — and to ensure that your choice truly yours. Instead of focusing on blame-placing questions like “Is putting my newborn up for adoption wrong?” ask yourself, “Is putting my baby up for adoption the right option for me?”

One of the best ways to determine that you are making the right choice is to ensure you are choosing adoption for the right reasons. Adoption may be right for you if:

  • you want to take control of your situation and your baby’s future.

  • you want to continue pursuing your own goals to build a better life for yourself and your future family.

  • you want to provide your baby with all of the opportunities life has to offer.

  • you want to choose the perfect adoptive parents for your baby — a family who has been thoroughly screened and fits all of your hopes and dreams for your child.

  • you want to ensure that your child is safe, happy, healthy and thriving in a stable home with loving parents.

  • you want to maintain a relationship with your child and watch him or her grow up.

  • you love your baby unconditionally and are putting his or her needs before your own.

Studies show that adoption is the right choice for many women facing an unplanned pregnancy; birth mothers are more likely to finish school, less likely to live in poverty, more likely to be employed and less likely to face another unplanned pregnancy than those who choose to be single parents. So, knowing all of the benefits, what’s “bad” about “giving kids up” for adoption?

By choosing adoption, countless women have been able to continue their personal, professional and educational goals — all while providing their babies with positive lives full of love and opportunity. So, if you decide that adoption is the best option for you and your baby, no one should ever make you feel like you are wrong for making that decision.

How Do I Know That Adoption is Right for My Baby?

Even if you decide that adoption is right for you, you may worry about the impact your choice will have on your child. Some women ask, “Is giving my baby up for adoption selfish? This seems like a good option for me, but how will my child feel?” That question implies that you would be the only person benefitting by choosing adoption. Your baby would also benefit, so adoption is far from selfish.

Studies show that adopted children grow up to be just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as their non-adopted peers. Additionally, the vast majority of adopted children are raised to be proud of their adoption story and to understand their birth parents’ unconditional love.

Adoption is about putting your child’s needs before your own — and if you are choosing adoption because you believe it is what’s best for you and your baby, you are doing the right thing. Putting your child up for adoption is wrong only if you feel that you are not making the best possible choice for your child.

Get Help Making an Adoption Decision

Is putting your child up for adoption wrong? Absolutely not. If you feel that your child could have the life you’d like him or her to have with an adoptive family, there is nothing wrong with that. However, making an adoption decision is still never easy. If you need help exploring your unplanned pregnancy options, you may call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption counselor, for free and with no obligation to proceed with an adoption plan. Our licensed adoption specialists are available 24/7 to provide the information and guidance you need to make the choice that is right for you and your baby.

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.

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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