close menu

5 Big Questions to Ask Yourself Before Considering Adoption

If you think you might need to place an older child for adoption, this guide will help you decide if adoption is the right path and provide you with options. Call 1-800-ADOPTION now if you need immediate information.

No one ever thinks that parenting will be an easy job. But for some women, the stress that has built up day after day can make it feel almost impossible to imagine things will get better. And in some cases, it can cause them to wonder if adoption is a better option.  

If you’ve found yourself at a crossroads between parenting and adoption, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. There are many reasons why you might think “I love my child, and I want the best for them, but what if I can’t provide that right now?” 

In some situations, adoption might be the right answer for you. But, if you’re in an emotional state where you feel like you don’t want your child anymore, it’s important to find out what underlying issues could be going on. 

If you keep having thoughts of not wanting your child, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a specialist.

As you consider your options, here are five questions to ask yourself about whether or not adoption is really the best option.

1. Do you often find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed? 

There are many women who experience the “baby blues,” which typically go away shortly after giving birth. But, if you’re still not feeling like yourself lately and you have recurring thoughts of not wanting your baby, there could be something deeper going on. 

When you’re starting to feel irritable, fatigued or despondent, it may be time to consider that you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.  

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 5% of women reported experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression for up to three years after giving birth. While signs that you might be experiencing post-partum can vary, here are some symptoms to look out for: 

  • Lack of sleep 
  • Excessing crying  
  • Severe mood swings 
  • Depressed mood 
  • Feeling overwhelmed and anxious 
  • Difficulty concentrating  
  • Frequent irritability  
  • Loss of appetite 

If any of these symptoms persist, then it’s time to speak with your doctor to get the help and support you need.

If your feelings of depression become overwhelming, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your child, seek help immediately. You can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or use their form to chat online.  

2. Do you think that you might just need time to get back on your feet? 

It’s normal for many parents to need a break from the stress of parenting. Before you consider making an adoption plan, consider looking at some helpful parenting resources first.

If you know that you don’t want the permanency of adoption, but you’re still looking for help, you still have a few options:

  • One is to consider a temporary guardianship. This way, you can still keep your parental rights while giving your child a safe and stable environment to stay. It will also give you some time to get back on your feet.  
  • Another option is to consider a kinship adoption if you’re sure that you want to terminate your parental rights. Right now, you may have a close friend or trusted family member in mind who could provide a better life for your child at this time. With this type of identified adoption, you might have a better time adjusting when you know you’ll be able to see them more often. 
  • You could also reach out to your local WIC for support and resources that may help you continue to parent your child.

If you’re having thoughts of not wanting your baby, those feelings might only be for a season. Adoption, however, is a permanent life-changing decision.

For many women, it’s the best option in a difficult situation. But, that doesn’t change the fact that they and their child(ren) were forever impacted by their decision. 

You will always have the right to change your mind about adoption at any point before placement. But once you sign your adoption paperwork, your parental rights are officially terminated. At this point, you won’t be able to get your baby back.  

Before you decide on adoption, please think long and hard to make sure that this is the right decision for you. Please don’t forget that you can always call our 24/7 hotline to speak with one of our specialists if you’re having trouble deciding. There, they’ll help you work through your emotions to decide the best option for you and your baby.  

3. Have you thought about the benefits of adoption for your baby?

When you choose adoption, you’re setting your child up to have an incredible future. Many women rest easier knowing their child will grow up with:

  • A loving, supportive family who will cherish them
  • The chance to fulfill any and all of their dreams
  • A lifetime of opportunities

For them, all the above truly makes it all worth it. When Lindsey found out about her second unplanned pregnancy, she knew that adoption was going to be the best thing for both of her children:

“I said to myself, ‘You know what? Adoption is going to be the best thing for Trinity, because she needs my full attention — and it’s going to be the best thing for Charlotte, too.’”

When Sara found out about her unplanned pregnancy at 41, she knew that parenting as a single mother again wouldn’t be possible. But that didn’t make her decision any easier: 

“I was scared to do it again on my own at that age, having two boys that were already grown,” Sara remembered. “It was comforting to know that there were options out there and that adoption was available to me.” 

But, ultimately, Sara knew that adoption was going to give her child the life she always wanted for them:

“When you have the choice to give life and to make that life the best that it could be, I can’t imagine it any other way,” she said.

You could experience something similar to what Lindsey and Sara feel about choosing adoption for their babies. If you truly believe in the benefits of adoption, then that could be a sign that this is the right decision for you.

Whatever decision you make for your baby, we want you to know that we are here to support you every step of the way. You are the only one who can decide if an older child adoption is right for you.

4. Are you ready for your relationship to change? 

Placing an older child up for adoption won’t just be jarring for you. It will be difficult for the child to understand, as well.

Once you place your child up for adoption, you won’t be the primary adult in their life anymore. While you’ll always be their biological mom, you’ll have to become used to the adoptive family making all of the important decisions for your child.

Choosing an open adoption can make things easier for yourself and your child. But, this continued contact does not mean you will continue to have a parental role in their life.

Once you choose adoption, the adoptive family will assume that role. The family you choose will love, cherish and protect your child, giving them a wonderful life.

Still, it’s a big decision to make that will certainly change your relationship in many ways. 

5. Have you talked to a professional? 

If you are considering adoption because you have thoughts of not wanting your baby, the best place to start is by talking with a professional. When you call 1-800-ADOPTION, you’ll be able to talk with a compassionate adoption specialist about how you’re feeling to determine if adoption is the best option for you.

American Adoptions has more than three decades of experience providing services to women in similar situations to yours. If your child is 4 years old or younger, we may be able to provide adoption support for you.

No matter how you’re feeling, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We know that you’re going through a lot right now, which is why our specialists are always here to listen if you’re considering adoption for your older child. If you’d like to speak with them, you can give us a call at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

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