close menu

Can You Give Your Baby Up for Adoption if You are 17? [Yes. Here's How]

How You Can Give Your Baby the Best Possible Life

Becoming unexpectedly pregnant at 17 can send you into a tailspin trying to figure out what to do. We're here to explain all your options. If you're considering adoption, call 1-800-ADOPTION now to get basic information.

  • If you are pregnant at 17 years old, it’s probably the last situation that you imagined yourself in as a young woman.
  • You may be panicked and scared about your unplanned teenage pregnancy, and you may not be sure of the first step to take when you are pregnant at 17.
  • You may be adamant that abortion is not right for you, but becoming a parent at your age certainly doesn’t line up with your educational and career goals.

If this is the case, you may have one question echoing in your head: 

Can you give your baby up for adoption if you are 17? 

Yes. Adoption is always an option for you if you are pregnant at 17 years old. It can provide a beautiful new start to your life — and your baby’s, too. 

You can start your adoption journey or simply get more free information by calling 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with one of our adoption specialists today. You can also get free information online. Prospective adoptive families can get free information on how to adopt by calling or visiting us online

Let’s take a look at your options for your pregnancy at 17 years old. 

I’m 17 and Pregnant — What Should I Do? 

It’s normal to panic when you find out that you are unexpectedly pregnant at 17 years old. However, it’s important to take a deep breath and think hard about your options moving forward. 

The first thing you should do is find a trusted adult figure to confide in. While you may want to keep this pregnancy a secret, you should have someone who can support you through the challenges ahead.

The financial, emotional and practical support that an adult can provide can be invaluable, whether you need assistance attending prenatal appointments or transportation to your abortion procedure.

If you cannot tell your parents about your unplanned pregnancy, consider reaching out to someone you do trust, like an aunt or uncle or a friend’s parent. 

Keep in mind: To terminate your pregnancy in some states, you will need parental permission to obtain the procedure, depending on your age. 

The next thing you should do if you are 17 and pregnant and wondering, “What should I do?” is to contact one of our specialists.

We can help you understand all of your unplanned pregnancy options and help you determine which path may be best for you. You can receive free information and guidance from American Adoptions at any time when you call 1-800-ADOPTION. 

Ultimately, you are the only one who can decide which path is right for you, even if you are currently a minor. You are the one who will carry this pregnancy, so you must do what you feel is best for your situation — not simply what adults may pressure you to do. 

Can You Give Your Baby Up for Adoption if You are 17? 

If you are pregnant at 17, giving your baby up for adoption may seem the best option for you.

You know you’re not ready to become a parent, but you also know that choosing adoption instead of abortion will give your child a chance at life and other people a chance to become the parents they’ve always wanted to be. Adoption is always an option, regardless of your age. 

While you may need your parents’ consent to obtain an abortion at your age (depending upon your state laws), most states in the U.S. allow a young mother like you to place her child for adoption without consent from anyone besides herself and the birth father. While your parents will be your child’s grandparents, you are the one who can ultimately make the best decision for your son or daughter. 

You will also be the only one in charge of your adoption process, meaning you will get to choose:

If you contact our adoption agency when you are pregnant at 17, you will receive the same support and services that any prospective birth mother over the age of 18 does.

Your adoption specialist will be there for you every step of the way to ensure you are comfortable with the choices you are making. They will also help you navigate any complexities with the birth father situation

Most importantly, you will always retain the right to change your mind about your adoption decision at any time. 

Deciding Which Path is Right if You are Pregnant at 17 Years Old 

If you are pregnant at 17, deciding what to do about your unexpected situation can seem like an impossible choice to make. How do you choose a path that will affect the rest of your life when you’re not even considered a legal adult? 

You are always in charge of this decision, regardless of your age or situation.

When you choose adoption, you control every aspect of your journey. Choosing the adoptive family, outlining the hospital plan and so much more are decisions that you get to make. We are here to help guide you and make sure your adoption experience is as safe and smooth as possible. 

We know how rewarding adoption can be. Many of us are adoptees, adoptive parents or birth parents. We’ve experienced the life-changing decision of adoption first-hand.

Now it’s time for us to make sure you get the same rewarding experience filled with love and hope for a better future. 

Take it from Scott Mars, founder of American Adoptions, and an adoptee himself.    

“My mom and dad were a couple who weren’t able to become a mom and dad without adoption. Of all people in this world, my mom and dad deserve to be parents. And without adoption, they would not have been able to share their love, share their life, and give someone the life that I had.        

“Because of adoption, my life was filled with love and opportunity.”  You can watch Scott’s video to see his entire adoption story.      

Do you want to learn more about placing a baby for adoption at 17 years old? Please call us at 1-800-ADOPTION.

We can answer all of your questions about this process and explain all of your unplanned pregnancy options to help you decide which path is right for you.  

You can also talk to Michelle, a birth parent specialist and a birth parent herself, who is ready to answer any questions you have about putting a baby up for adoption at 17.          

“I am available to answer any questions that arise, particularly from birth moms, as I have been in your shoes and know how you are feeling,” Michelle said. “It was most helpful to me when I had someone to talk to who would just listen to me without making any judgments or conclusions about who I was as a person.”         

You can ask Michelle questions about the adoption process online. You can also call us at 1-800-ADOPTION, or get free information with our online contact form for prospective birth mothers considering adoption here. Adoptive families wanting more information on adopting a child can click here to get more information. 

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