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Can People From a Different State Adopt My Baby? [Expanding Your Options]

How People From Another State Can Adopt Your Baby

As a woman considering adoption, you want to find the perfect adoptive family for your baby. But what if, after looking at adoptive family profiles, the one that catches your eye in another state?

If this is your situation, you probably have a few thoughts on your mind:

  • Can you give a child up for adoption in a different state?
  • Can people from another state adopt my baby?
  • I want to give my child up for adoption someplace out of state — is that even possible?

Thankfully, the answers to all these questions are yes. With American Adoptions, you are not limited to hopeful parents in your own state or hometown. As a national agency, one of the best parts about us is that we work with waiting families across all 50 states. This means that you’re certain to find the perfect one for your child — regardless of where they live.

But, we can bet that you’re wondering exactly how these interstate adoptions work. Learn more about the process of how you can put a child up for adoption in a different state here. And if you’re ready to start searching for the perfect family for an out-of-state adoption today, you can start by calling 1-800-ADOPTION to get more information. For adoptive parents who are ready to kick start their adoption journey, we have plenty of resources for you, too.

How Can People From Another State Adopt My Baby?

For expectant mothers, the adoption process is not much different for interstate adoption placements. Regardless of where you and the prospective adoptive parents live, you will still have an opportunity to:

  • Make your own adoption plan
  • Determine your preferences for an adoptive family
  • Review waiting families’ profiles 
  • And, most importantly,  choose the right one for your child

American Adoptions completes interstate adoptions every day, making us the best agency to help you place your baby with the adoptive family, no matter where you live. If you’re ready to learn more, you can always reach out to us at 1-800-ADOPTION.

But in the meantime, here are a few steps involved in “giving a child up” for an out-of-state adoption:

Step 1: Find the perfect adoptive parents. [You always get to choose the adoptive family.]

When you work with American Adoptions, you might end up finding a family from another state. Some women plan to place their child in another state to give themselves distance in their adoption relationship, while others find a family who meets all of their other preferences and happens to live out of state.

As you create your adoption plan, your adoption specialist will help you determine what you wish for in adoptive parents for your child. If you tell her, “I want to give my child up for adoption someplace out of state,” she will only present families that meet this requirement. You can even choose which state you want your baby to grow up in.

Your adoption specialist will present profiles of adoptive families to you, and you will decide which ones you want for your child. You can decide that people from another state can adopt your baby — or you can change your mind and select a local family instead. The choice is always up to you! But no matter what you’re looking for, you will absolutely find the perfect fit.

Step 2: Get to know the family through phone calls, email and more.

No matter how much distance may separate you, you will have the opportunity to grow close with the adoptive parents through phone calls, emails, and more. Your adoption specialist will always mediate the first conversation between you and the adoptive parents, to make sure you are comfortable with the match. From there, you can conduct a direct relationship with the adoptive parents for your out-of-state adoption, if you are comfortable doing so.

Many birth mothers, like Erika, know they’ve found the perfect family after their very first phone call:

“I wanted to form that bond with them, and I wanted them to be a part of the experience as much as possible,” she said. “I wanted to know them so they could know me and be a part of as much as possible.”

If you want to meet the family in person, American Adoptions can even arrange for a visit with them in your hometown, which is a great opportunity. Getting to know them in person can help reassure you that the adoptive family you choose will provide your baby with an incredible life. Many adoptive parents are thrilled at the opportunity to get to know you and where you are from before you give birth, and an in-person meeting can help alleviate some of the unknowns that come from working with a family in a different state.

Sara, one of our birth mothers, and her adoptive family have expressed what a great opportunity it was to meet each other before the baby was born:

“Being able to get to know the family before he was born was just a really beautiful thing.”

If you’re anxious about finding the right family, getting to know them in person can help reassure you that you’ve found a great match.

Step 3: Meet the adoptive family at the hospital.

When your baby is born, the adoptive parents you choose will travel to the hospital for placement. Every adoptive family who works with American Adoptions knows that their baby could be born anywhere, at any time, and they will be willing and ready to travel at a moment’s notice — no matter how far away they may live in an interstate adoption. If you wish to, you can even communicate with the adoptive parents ahead of time to ensure they are there for your estimated due date.

Placing a baby for adoption might be the hardest thing you ever do. But your selfless decision is going to provide your baby with a life full a love and opportunity. There’s no feeling like placing your baby in the arms of the adoptive family and knowing that you’ve just given them the gift of an incredible future. You will forever be this family’s hero in their eyes.

"You are making another family extremely happy and you may not even realize it. I knew it, but it wasn't until I saw the three of them together that next morning that I realized all their dreams had come true and it was thanks to me and my sacrifice for them. Keep that in mind when you make your choice if you can't give the baby the love or life that you wish you could, there is a family here that can." - Lona, American Adoptions Birth Mother

Step 4: Spend time with the adoptive family and your baby.

Before the adoptive family can return to their home state with the baby, they will need to go through a paperwork process to satisfy the Interstate Compact Placement of Children (ICPC). This allows officials in your home state and the family’s home state to review the adoption and ensure your baby is going to a safe home. When you work with American Adoptions, you can be sure that professional adoption specialists will look out for your baby’s safety during every step of this legal process.

During the adoptive family’s ICPC wait, you can spend more time getting to know them and seeing your baby, if you’re comfortable doing so, before they return back to their home state after the interstate adoption. Right now, you should of course be focusing on recuperating from the birth of your baby. But if you’d like, this would be a great opportunity to deepen your relationship. Many members of out-of-state adoption triads find this an invaluable time to build a strong bond.

Step 5: Continue your relationship with post-adoption contact.

Some women ask, “Can people from a different state adopt my baby? And if so, can we stay in contact?” The answer to that question is always yes.

If you choose to have an open adoption, you can stay in touch with your child and the adoptive parents for years to come.

Birth mother Lindsey chose an out-of-state couple to adopt her baby, Charlotte. But she knew that placement wasn't "goodbye." Even though she and the adoptive family live in different states, they stay in contact with phone calls, email, video chat and more.

“They told me, when I had Charlotte, that I’m family. That means a lot to me, because I know that they weren’t going to be given the baby and never talk to me again,” Lindsey said. “Even though Charlotte is now their daughter and they’re Mom and Dad, she is still my daughter, as well.”

No matter the distance in your out-of-state adoption, you have the right to an open adoption that looks the way you want it to, whether it includes photos, emails, texts, phone calls, visits or more.

Know this: You can “give up” a child for adoption in a different state and still maintain the kind of open adoption relationship you want. American Adoptions will always be here to help throughout the interstate adoption process.


Whether you already know hopeful parents across state lines or need help searching the country for an adoptive family, American Adoptions can provide the guidance and services you need to safely place your baby with hopeful parents in any state.

If you are thinking, “I need help with adoption for my baby out of state” and “I want to give my child up for adoption someplace out of state, but where do I start?” please contact an adoption specialist today at 1-800-ADOPTION to get more information. Your call is free, confidential and you’ll learn more about the adoption process when you speak with one of our specialists.


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.

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