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

How You Can Give Your Baby the Best Life Possible

If you are pregnant at 17 years old, it’s probably the last situation that you imagined yourself in as a young woman. Yet, here you are, facing the results of your pregnancy test, wondering how two little pink lines can bring so many complicated emotions.

You may be panicked and scared about your unplanned teenage pregnancy, and you may not be sure 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?

Adoption is a selfless choice that you should only make after you fully research all of your options and learn as much as possible. Once you have, know that adoption is always an option for you if you are pregnant at 17 years old. In fact, it can provide a beautiful new start to your life — and your baby’s, too.

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 that you 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, it’s important that you 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: In order 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 an unplanned pregnancy counselor. These counselors 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 counseling 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 it’s important that you 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.

But, if you have a complicated home life, you may think: “I’m 17. Can I put my baby up for adoption without my parents’ consent?”

The answer in most states is yes. 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 beside 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:

  • Exactly what your adoption journey looks like
  • The family you wish to adopt your child
  • The relationship you wish to have with them before and after your adoption
  • The open adoption relationship you want to have with your son or daughter
  • What you want your hospital stay to look like
  • When and where you sign your adoption consent
  • And more

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, what to do about your unexpected situation can seem like an impossible decision 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. Therefore, it’s important that you do diligent research and learn all you can about the pros and cons of each unplanned pregnancy option before deciding which one is right for you.

If you are interested in learning more about placing a baby for adoption at 17 years old, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our adoption counselors at 1-800-ADOPTION. They 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 will never be pressured to choose adoption when you contact our agency; our team just wants to ensure you receive the support you need if you are pregnant at 17 years old and trying to determine what to do next.

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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