How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption [Complete Guide]
Six Steps for Putting a Child Up for Adoption
Putting your baby up for adoption can give them a loving family, a safe home and a bright future. You can start your adoption process today when you call 1-800-ADOPTION. We are here to help.
Choosing adoption for your child is a decision based on love and the desire to give him or her the best possible life. It’s heroic.
Your adoption plan is created with the goal of addressing your adoption needs, the type of family you want for your child and ensuring your adoption experience is safe and smooth.
Our experienced adoption specialists will explain how to put a baby up for adoption through our agency and guide you through every step of the process.
Whether you're experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or home with your baby and considering adoption, you are likely asking questions like, “How do I put my child up for adoption?” or, “What are the steps to give a baby up for adoption?”
Adoption is always an option for you, no matter your circumstances. There are many reasons why a pregnant woman decides adoption is the best choice for her child. Whatever your reason is, you can give your child an amazing life with an adoptive family.
Many of our adoption professionals are adoptees, adoptive parents or birth parents. Our unique, first-hand experience with adoption gives us a personal understanding of the adoption process and how adoption can be life-changing.
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.
This guide will explain how putting a baby up for adoption works and why adoption creates a better future for everyone involved.
If you’re ready to start the adoption process with our agency or want more information on how to put a child up for adoption, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION, or visit our online contact forms for prospective birth mothers and prospective adoptive parents.
How to Put Your Baby Up for Adoption [6 Steps]
One of the many benefits of working with our agency is the personal level of support from our adoption specialists. Your adoption experience is important to us, and in creating your adoption plan, every need, want and expectation is taken into account. Once you’ve started your adoption journey with a plan, you can begin viewing available family profiles.
Your adoption specialist will guide you through each of the steps for placing your child for adoption.
Step 1: Determine if Adoption is Right for You and Your Child
Before even starting the process of “giving a baby up” for adoption, the most important step you can take for yourself and your baby is learning about the benefits of adoption to see how it could give your baby a better life.
The benefits of adoption for your baby are things like:
A loving family who will always cherish them.
The ability to stay connected with you through open adoption.
The ability to grow up and become the person they are meant to be.
Before worrying any more about the details of how to “give a baby up” for adoption, ask yourself: Are these things I want for my baby, and is adoption the best way to get them?
Every woman’s situation is different, and only you know what’s right for your baby — not the father, your parents, your sister or your best friend.
To help you decide if adoption is right for you, our adoption specialists have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about adoption:
Is adoption free? Yes — adoption is always 100% free for prospective birth mothers.
How do I choose an adoptive family? You always have the opportunity to review adoptive family profiles and pick the family that is perfect for your baby. Your adoption specialist can help you decide what you’re looking for in adoptive parents and send you profiles that may be a good fit.
Can I have an open adoption with the family and my child? Absolutely. All of American Adoptions families are committed to an open adoption with you.
Does the father of the baby have to be involved in the adoption? The birth father’s involvement can vary depending on your situation, but you always have the right to explore your adoption options. Call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more about your options.
Our team can answer your questions, explain the benefits of adoption, and help you understand the type of assistance you can receive during the process. We are available 24/7 to answer all of your adoption questions. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION, or get more free information online.
Step 2: Decide How to Put Your Baby Up for Adoption with an Adoption Plan
At American Adoptions, you are in charge of the adoption process. You get to decide how to go about putting your baby up for adoption in a way that you are comfortable with.
Our team has helped women through this process for the past 30 years. We know how to make sure putting your baby up for adoption is as smooth as possible.
Your adoption specialist is your partner, counselor and friend throughout this process, and she will work closely with you to understand, and most importantly, fulfill, all of your wishes for this adoption. She will ask you about your ideal adoptive family, the type of contact you wish to share with the family, the type of contact you wish to share with your child, how you envision the hospital stay, and much more.
Your answers to each of these questions will develop your “adoption plan," which will help us find the best adoption situation tailored specifically to your hopes.
Your adoption plan will guide you and your adoption specialist through the remaining steps for “giving your baby up” for adoption, so you can ensure this process goes exactly how you want it to.
Step 3: Choose the Perfect Adoptive Family for Your Child
You can find an adoptive family who will love, protect, support and cherish your child for their entire life.
We know how much you love your baby. This is why it’s so important to us that you find the perfect adoptive family.
American Adoptions has helped countless pregnant mothers through the delicate process of finding the perfect adoptive parents. Because we have hundreds of waiting adoptive families, you are sure to find the family who will provide your baby with the best life possible.
Getting immediate access to hundreds of adoptive family profiles is one of the ways we always support you.
All of the families we work with:
Have completed a home study and various background checks to ensure they are stable, fully prepared to adopt, and will provide a safe home full of love for an adopted child
Are excited to get to know you through phone calls, emails and more, so you can maintain a relationship with your child to whatever extent you’re comfortable with
Have an adoptive family video profile, so you can see the family “in action” and get to know them better before choosing them
Are fully committed to adoption, so you can feel confident that any family you choose will love your child the way you do
Because of these things, American Adoptions works with a truly amazing group of adoptive parents. Our staff — comprised of adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents — knows better than anyone what makes a great family.
Our thorough screening and experienced staff mean that you can trust us to help you find the perfect family for your baby. The life you hope for them is possible with the right parents.
When you are ready to take the next steps to put a baby up for adoption, your adoption specialist will send you family profiles and video profiles that best match what you are looking for in an adoptive family.
Step 4: Get to Know the Adoptive Family
Over the past few decades, adoption has become increasingly open, in that you have more opportunities than ever to get to know the adoptive family prior to and after placement.
All adoption professionals, especially American Adoptions, believe pre-placement contact is essential to a healthy adoption relationship. It helps you confirm the people you've chosen will provide the life you've always dreamed of for your child.
Because of this, and because of the way American Adoptions supports you during the entire process, you can feel confident and at peace in putting your baby up for adoption.
You may interact with the adoptive family through:
Social media interaction
A meeting in your hometown
Interaction at the hospital
Do you feel a bit nervous, but also excited, about the idea of getting to know the adoptive family? That’s normal. Your adoption specialist will be with you during this important step in the “giving up” baby for adoption process. For more information on getting to know the adoptive family, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with one of our adoption specialists.
Step 5: Give Birth and Complete the Legal Steps for Adoption
Choosing adoption for your baby means your medical costs will be covered and you’ll have 24/7 professional support. When you prepare for labor and delivery, your specialist will help you create a hospital plan.
Much like your adoption plan, you have full control over the hospital stay. You get to decide when and how to put your child up for adoption at the hospital.
For example, you may decide:
How much interaction you have with the adoptive parents.
How much time you want to spend with your baby.
Who is the first to hold your baby?
Whether you want to leave together with the adoptive family.
And much more.
Once your baby is born, you usually must wait at least 48–72 hours before you can complete the adoption paperwork, depending on your state’s laws. Your adoption specialist and an adoption attorney will help prepare you for the legal process of how to give a child up for adoption. They’ll make sure you understand your rights in adoption and that you’re comfortable with your decision before proceeding with the document-signing steps for adoption.
Step 6: Share Contact after the Adoption and Build a Life-Long Bond
Placing your child for adoption is just the beginning. Rather than “goodbye,” an adoption placement is, “We’ll talk soon.”
The steps to putting a baby up for adoption officially end when you sign your adoption paperwork, but that doesn’t mean your adoption journey is over. It is up to you to decide what kind of relationship you want to have with your child and the adoptive family after the adoption. Just as you get to decide how to “give up” your baby for adoption, you get to decide how you want your open adoption to look after placement.
Most women who choose adoption receive updates on their child for at least 18 years.
Many also stay in contact with the adoptive family through emails, phone calls, text messages and social media updates.
Some even plan personal visits once per year, or more.
The way you envision this relationship can become a reality, as long as you choose an adoptive family excited to pursue a similar relationship. The best way to do that is by working with an agency like American Adoptions.
We can help you find that adoption situation — one in which you are as much of a witness or participant in your child's life as you want to be.
Get More Information on Placing Your Child for Adoption
Michelle, a birth parent specialist and a birth parent herself, is ready to answer any questions you have about how to place a baby for adoption.
“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.
You are Never “Giving Up” Your Child
While it is common to hear and use language about the “giving a baby up for adoption” process, you are not “giving up” or “giving your baby away” if you do choose to place your child for adoption. Adoption gives your baby a loving family who will always cherish them. It’s a brave thing to do.
“Adopted children will be loved beyond measure because those families have waited such a long time to be able to give their love to a child,” Kelli Cox, an adoption specialist with American Adoptions, said. “And women like you make that possible.”
Most people say “giving up” for adoption, even though that’s not really what adoption is. We may talk about “giving up” as we explain how to put a baby up for adoption, but that’s only to be relatable and accessible. Please know that a woman who places her child for adoption is making one of the most incredible sacrifices possible for her child.
She is a hero.
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