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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption After You Take it Home?

Why Adoption is Always an Option

Becoming a parent is hard. It’s totally normal to second-guess yourself after you have brought your new baby home. But, what if the feelings you have are stemming from something much more serious than simple first-time parent nerves?

If you’re asking, “Can I give my baby up for adoption after taking it home?” know that you are not a bad parent for thinking this. Instead, you are being the best, bravest parent possible in recognizing that you may not be ready for all of the challenges of raising a child.

These thoughts are normal — and not as uncommon as you may think. Some prospective birth parents don’t seriously consider adoption until after they’ve given birth and brought their new child home. Perhaps you have realized that you don’t have the financial resources to care for this baby, you feel that you are unable to devote as much time to their upbringing as you’d like, or you simply feel that you are unable to give your baby the life you want him or her to have.

Whatever your reasons for placing a child for adoption after taking them home, you always have options available to you. Read on to learn how you can put a baby up for adoption after you take it home from the hospital — whether it’s been days, weeks or even months since he or she was born.

Sort Through Feelings of Being Overwhelmed

First, you may need to consider that these could be normal feelings for any new parent. A new baby can bring sleepless nights, stress, or even postpartum depression for some women. If you think these feelings may pass, seek out help and support wherever possible.

However, if you’re constantly wondering, “Can I give a child up for adoption after I have taken him or her home?” these thoughts may indicate that adoption is truly what’s best for you and your baby.

If this is your situation, we can absolutely help you. Adoption isn’t just for unborn babies. Even if your baby is already born and you’ve been caring for him or her at home, you can still choose adoption for your child.

It’s Never Too Late to Choose Adoption

You can still make an adoption plan for older babies and even toddlers, on a case-by-case basis. However, the age of your child will affect how you’ll proceed with your adoption.

To learn what your next steps should be, call us now at 1-800-ADOPTION. You can talk with an adoption specialist about how you can “give a baby up” for adoption after you take it home from the hospital and what’s possible in your individual situation.

Even if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you want to complete your adoption as soon as possible, it’s important that you adhere to these safety rules:

  • Don’t search for an adoptive family online. You must work with a licensed adoption agency or attorney to locate a properly screened and approved adoptive family, or you could be committing the serious crime of child trafficking.
  • Do not abandon your child. Although most states have Safe Haven laws for infants within a certain age range, if you do not abide by those laws precisely, you could be committing child abandonment or endangerment.

It’s important that you complete your adoption legally and safely in order to protect yourself and your baby. American Adoptions provides you with legal representation to ensure that this happens.

How to Give a Baby Up for Adoption After Taking It Home

Now that you know the answer to your question, “Can I give my baby up for adoption after taking it home?” you may be wondering, “How does this process work?”

A lot of the adoption process will remain the same for you as it would for any prospective birth mother, but if your baby is already born and you’ve been raising him or her, there will be a few changes to the standard adoption process. It’s important to note that you’re still in charge of every decision that’s made in your child’s adoption plan. The key difference is that certain steps may be sped up.

Here’s how things usually work if you’re placing a baby for adoption after you’ve taken it home:

Step 1: Contact an adoption professional. You’ll call 1-800-ADOPTION, and an adoption specialist will help you fill out some forms and talk with you about what you’re looking for in an adoptive family.

Step 2: Search for adoptive parents. Your specialist will show you adoption profiles of waiting families who match what you’re looking for. From these profiles, you can select the family you think is the best fit for your child, and get to know them more through phone calls, email or whatever forms of contact you’re most comfortable with.

Step 3: Meet the adoptive family. When you’re sure you’re ready to proceed, the family will travel to you as soon as possible — often within the day, depending on how close they live to you. Depending on the age of your baby, there may be a longer transition period while you and your child get to know the prospective parents.

Step 4: Legally place your baby for adoption. When it is time to officially place your baby with the adoptive family, your adoption attorney will walk you through the adoption consent process, which terminates your legal parental rights and places your child with their adoptive parents.

Step 5: Continue your relationship. You can talk with the family about how open you’d like your adoption to be and how much post-adoption contact you’d like to have with them and with your baby.

Remember that placing a child for adoption does not mean that you’ll never see them again. Nine out of 10 birth parents choose to have an open adoption, so they stay in touch with their child and their parents forever. Many birth families remain close with adoptees and adoptive families.

Potential Challenges and Benefits to Consider

One of the biggest challenges of choosing to “give a child up” for adoption after you’ve taken him or her home is that you’ve had more time to bond with your child, which will make this decision even more difficult. However, if you’re sure that this is what’s best for your baby, we’re here to support you 24/7 and to help you through the complex emotions you may be dealing with. This may be the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make, but remember that you’re not alone.

It can be helpful to read stories from other birth parents who placed a child for adoption after taking them home from the hospital and raising them for several months.

For parents who have asked us, “Can I give my baby up for adoption after taking it home?” there are often complicated stressors in their lives, and raising a baby in the middle of those stressors is just too much. If this sounds like your own situation, placing your baby for adoption, although an incredibly difficult decision, may be the best option for your baby’s wellbeing as well as your own.

If you believe that this might be the best option for you, there is some information that your social worker will ask you to provide if you choose to make an adoption plan, such as:

  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • The name of your child’s father listed on the birth certificate
  • Any and all medical records for the child from birth to present
  • Documentation of everywhere the child has lived from birth to present
  • Assess everyone who has had custody of your child from birth to present
  • Assess who has provided emotional and financial support for your child from birth to present
  • Documentation of child support from any father

Once all the necessary information has been provided, you can choose a waiting adoptive family who is prepared for a baby. If you feel that you aren’t able to give your child the life you want to, adoption can be a benefit to everyone involved.

While it’s never too late to choose adoption, the age of your child will affect the process. Like many private adoption agencies, American Adoptions primarily specializes in the placement of newborns, infants, and very young children, up to 4 years old on a case-by-case basis. If your child is older than 4, we recommend reaching out a local social services department for more information on older child adoptions.

If you returned home from the hospital with your baby days, weeks or even months ago, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information online now to learn more about adoption. Our counselors will be able to talk with you about what’s possible in your situation and help you decide what the best path is for you.


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

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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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