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Are You Being Pressured to Put Your Baby Up for Adoption?

Remember - This is YOUR Decision

My parents, friends, and the baby’s father all think I should choose adoption… Do I have to put my baby up for adoption?

No. Just as nobody can force you to “keep” your baby if you decide that adoption is right for you and your child, nobody should ever pressure you into choosing adoption. There is never any reason why a woman “has” to put her baby up for adoption, get an abortion, or parent her child before she is ready — no matter what her family members, friends, or even the baby’s father tell her she should do.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to understand that this is your decision and yours alone. Regardless of what others may think, you are the only person who truly knows what’s best for you and your baby.

If you feel that you are being pressured to put a baby up for adoption, terminate your pregnancy, or parent before you are ready, here are three steps to take to ensure you are making an informed decision that is right for you.

Step 1: Ask for Support, Not Opinions

You are facing a big decision, and it is important to talk to your loved ones for the emotional support you need. Just remember that there is a difference between a family member respecting and supporting your decision, and a family member swaying you to make a choice that you don’t think is right.

If you are being pressured to make a certain decision, let that person know that you appreciate their concern for you and your baby, but that this is a decision you have to make yourself. If you are concerned about your personal safety or wellbeing if you go against their wishes, contact a licensed counselor, attorney or adoption agency right away.

These professionals can help you remove yourself from an abusive situation. If you’re worried that you may lose housing or financial support if you go against their wishes, these professionals may also be able to help you find the support you need while you pursue the decision that you feel is best.

Step 2: Know Your Rights

As a prospective birth mother, you are in control of the adoption process. This means that you can choose your baby’s adoptive parents, determine what kind of relationship you want to have with them and your child, and more.

It also means that you can make changes to your adoption plan or even discontinue the adoption process at any point in your pregnancy if you feel like you are being pressured to put a baby up for adoption.

Because you are in charge of the adoption, you should never feel uncomfortable during the process. If you ever feel that you are making a choice that isn’t right for you, remember that you have the right to make changes. Your adoption decision does not become final until you legally consent to the adoption and your revocation period has ended after your baby’s birth.

In every state, there are consent and revocation laws in place to help protect you and ensure you are making a fully informed, voluntary adoption decision. Even after your revocation period has passed, your parental rights may be reinstated if the court finds that you were lied to, pressured or coerced.

If you ever have questions or concerns about your rights as a birth mother, consult your adoption professional. Never be afraid to ask questions or for more information!

An adoption attorney can walk you through the legal processes of adoption, so you can make fully informed choices with time to be sure and feel confident about your decision.

Step 3: Contact a Professional

When you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, professionals are often the best source for the information and services you need. Ethical professionals, like the licensed counselors at American Adoptions, can provide unbiased information and help you explore all of your options — not just adoption.

We genuinely care about the expectant mothers who contact our agency, and we want to help every woman make the choice that is best for her and her baby. We will never pressure you into making a decision that you are not fully comfortable with.

Remember, while it is important to speak with supportive friends, family members and professionals for the guidance and information you need, you are the only person who can choose parenting, adoption or abortion for your baby. For many women, it comes down to listening to their own gut about what they feel is right for them and their baby’s future.

You can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption counselor to get guidance and support on your adoption journey.

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.

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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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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