close menu

Can a Minor Give a Baby Up for Adoption?

Under 18 and Putting a Baby Up for Adoption

Because it’s rarely part of the plan for a teenager to become pregnant, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Start by calling 1-800-ADOPTION for basic information about your options.

An unplanned pregnancy is a stressful time in your life and when you’re under 18, you may be unsure of what unplanned pregnancy options are available.

You may be thinking:

  • “Do you have to be a certain age to give your baby up for adoption?”
  • “Does a minor have the right to give a baby up for adoption?”
  • “Can a minor give up a child for adoption without parent permission?”

If you are underage, “giving up a baby” for adoption is always an option for you.

Just like an expectant mother of any age, you always have the right to decide what to do about your unplanned pregnancy. You will always be able to choose adoption for your unborn baby if you believe that is what’s best.

In many ways, the differences between an older person and a minor giving baby up for adoption are small. To learn more about this process, call our adoption specialists for free at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to get information.

Until then, read this article and you’ll find important things to know about how to give your baby up for adoption when underage.

Can a Minor Place a Child for Adoption?

Yes, as an expectant mother who is a minor you may place your child for adoption if you feel it is the best decision.

In many cases, the laws are the same as an adult placing a child for adoption. However, depending on your circumstances and your state laws, you may need to involve your parents in this decision.

When most people ask, “Can a minor give a baby up for adoption?” they are thinking about anyone under 18 putting baby up for adoption.

Most teenage birth mothers are in high school, meaning they are at least 15 years old. The majority of state laws regarding minors placing babies for adoption protect these expectant mothers’ rights without interference from their parents.

So, specifically, does a minor need parents’ permission to give a baby up for adoption?

In most cases, the answer is no; many states will allow a teenager to make an adoption plan without her parents’ permission.

For states that do require a minor to give up a child for adoption with parent permission, “minor” usually applies only if you are under the age of 13 or 14. If you are this young, you may need parental permission to place your child for adoption. However, if you are older, you should be able to pursue adoption without legal consent from your parents or guardians.

Because every state’s adoption laws differ, we encourage any minor considering adoption to contact an adoption professional like American Adoptions or a local adoption attorney for more information about laws in their area.

How to Give Your Baby Up for Adoption if You are Underage

Barring any state requirements for parental permission, an expectant mother who is underage giving up a baby for adoption will follow the same steps as an expectant mother who is a legal adult. She will be in charge of her adoption decision and plan from beginning to end and she will always retain the right to change her mind at any time before she signs her consent.

Because many teenagers and minors live with their parents, it’s normal to wonder whether the baby’s grandparents will play a role in the adoption process. The answer is no — not unless the prospective birth mother wants them to.

Your parents cannot force you into a certain unplanned pregnancy option.

However, it may be a good idea for you and your parents to be on the same page about your pregnancy and the path you choose. They can be an immense help during your adoption process because you likely still depend on them — financially and emotionally.

Likewise, if you are considering parenting your child and your parents are not on board with your decision, there are a lot of important questions you’ll need to ask yourself should you choose to go this path alone.

If you think adoption may be the right choice, you are probably wondering how to give a baby up for adoption underage. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

First, you will need to contact American Adoptions.

Our professionals can discuss your preferences and goals to create a perfect adoption plan for you and your baby. Our specialists will provide the support and services you will need throughout your pregnancy and even after.

We can also provide services like:

  • 24/7 counseling and support services: Adoption professionals are always ready to answer your call. With such a life-changing, emotional decision as adoption, counseling services are available pre-and post-placement to ensure you receive any help and support you may need.
  • Legal representation: Working with a trusted adoption attorney ensures all steps are being completed legally and ethically. When you choose American Adoptions, we provide you with the legal representation you need to feel comfortable and confident.
  • Financial assistance: Although adoption is always free for birth mothers, you may also be eligible for financial assistance. Your assistance will vary depending upon where you live and your specific situation, but your adoption professional will be able to explain this process and get you the aid you are entitled to.
  • Countless other benefits.

With over 25 years of experience as one of the nation's largest domestic infant adoption agencies, we have helped thousands of birth mothers place their child for adoption with our agency. We are confident we can help you, too.

Don’t just take it from us — read testimonials and stories from birth mothers who used our services to change their child’s life. If you are ready to learn more or even start your adoption today, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form.

We fully understand that this is one of, if not the most important decision you will have to make. As you are considering adoption as a teenager, you may have a few other questions:

“Can you put a baby up for adoption if the father is underage?”

Birth father rights vary from state to state, so we encourage you to contact an adoption specialist for more information about the legalities of your situation.

In most cases, the age of the father will not impact your ability to place your child for adoption.

“Can a minor choose who adopts their baby?”

Yes! Every prospective birth mother has the right to choose the adoptive family she wants to adopt her baby.

Your adoption specialist will work with you to create a list of your preferences for adoptive parents, including:

  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Location
  • Occupations
  • Post-adoption contact
  • And more

Then, you will be presented with profiles of waiting families and be able to meet them before deciding they are right for your baby.

“Will a minor see her baby again after the adoption?”

The majority of adoptions today include open adoption relationships, meaning birth mothers share a relationship with the adoptive family and her baby after the adoption is complete.

You get to choose what kind of relationship you want after your adoption. It can be anything from pictures and letters to phone calls and emails or even in-person visits.

“If you give your baby up for adoption as a minor, could you get them back?”

Adoption is a permanent process. Once you give your consent to place your child for adoption (according to your state laws), you relinquish your parental rights.

You will be unable to “get your baby back,” which means you should be 100 percent confident in your choice before moving forward.

You do not have to be a certain age to give your baby up for adoption. You can choose to give your child the best life possible with a new adoptive family no matter how old you are.

To learn more about how to give your baby up for adoption underage and how the adoption process might work for you, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to get more information 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.

Request Free Information

View Waiting Families
Want to speak to someone who has chosen adoption?
Meet Michelle — A Proud Birth Mom
Ask an Adoption Question
View More Waiting Familes
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.

Read More

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.

Read More