Because infant adoption is a unique process, many expectant mothers considering this path have questions before starting. Will I ever see my child again? Do I get to choose the family? Is adoption free for me?
One of their most common questions: If I give my baby up for adoption, will it go to foster care?
The answer to this question is always no. Children placed for adoption go straight into the custody of a loving and prepared adoptive family, who will raise them for the rest of their life. When you put a baby up for adoption, it does not go into a foster care home, as long as you take the steps to create an adoption plan and choose a family for your baby.
If you are concerned about your child being placed into foster care, we encourage you to contact an adoption professional straight away. They can answer any questions you have about the adoption process and, when you’re ready, guide you through creating an adoption plan in the best interest of your child’s welfare.
Differences Between Voluntary Placement and Foster Care Placement
It’s normal to have concerns about putting a baby up for adoption and having it end up in foster care. But, the fact is, when you take the time to make an adoption plan with an adoption agency or professional, your child will never be at risk for placement within the state system.
When you choose to give your child up for adoption through private infant adoption, you are in charge of the process the entire time. This means you choose the family you want to adopt your child, as well as any future contact you want with them. You can also decide what your hospital plan looks like, and you will always have the right to change your mind about these decisions any time before signing your adoption consent. When you choose to place your child for adoption with a private adoption agency, it is always a voluntary decision. Even if you change your mind about your adoption, you will keep your child, as long as you can provide a safe home for them. Usually, they will not be placed in foster care, but always talk to your child protective services caseworker (if you have one) to determine whether foster care placement is a possibility for your child.
On the other hand, children that are placed into foster care are under the jurisdiction of the state. Professionals have deemed that their biological parents cannot properly care for them at this time, and the children are removed from their parents’ home and placed in a safer foster home. While biological parents have a right to complete a reunification plan and retain parental rights, they have no say in their child’s placement like those who choose voluntary adoption do.
Questions About Adoption and Foster Care
While we’ve provided a basic explanation of the differences between the private domestic infant adoption and foster care placement process, you probably still have a few questions. Again, we encourage you to contact an adoption professional for more information, but we’ve also answered some of these questions below:
If you give a kid up for adoption, and it doesn’t get adopted, does it go to foster care?
Children and infants who are placed for adoption voluntarily by their parents always have an adoptive home waiting for them. There is never the chance of placing your baby and not having an adoption plan set for them. This is why you work with an adoption professional from day one; they can help you create an adoption plan, which involves finding an adoptive family for your baby.
Because of this step, when you put a baby up for adoption, it does not go into a foster care home — but into a permanent home with a loving adoptive family. Children placed for adoption by their birth parents are never not adopted. The perfect family for your child is out there, and you will always have the right to choose them.
If I don’t have an adoptive family lined up, can my baby go to foster care?
Often, women who choose adoption at the last minute (either late in their pregnancy or after they have given birth) worry about the possibility of foster care placement for their baby. If they don’t have an adoptive family in mind but wish to place their child for adoption, they wonder whether they can still find a safe home for their baby.
No matter where you are at in your pregnancy (or if you have already given birth), you can still find adoptive parents for your baby. There are many hopeful parents who are happy to adopt a child at the last minute, even those who are weeks or months old. However, to find those parents, it’s important that you contact an adoption professional. They can quickly connect you with families who meet your preferences, eliminating the risk of your child being placed into foster care. Even if there is time between you surrendering your parental rights and the adoptive family arriving, your adoption professional will take custody of your child. They will not be placed into foster care.
Can the state force you to place your child for adoption?
Placing a child for adoption is never anyone’s choice but your own, regardless of your personal circumstances. You will never be forced or obligated to choose adoption, even when you contact a professional, but the state may take custody of your child if they deem your situation unsafe for your child. If you are concerned about this possibility, it’s a good idea to contact a family lawyer or child services social worker.
If you worried about putting a baby up for adoption and having it end up in foster care, make sure you understand how the foster care system works. Parents of children placed in foster care have the right to complete reunification plans, and parental rights are never terminated until several attempts at reunification have failed.
However, if you think your child will be placed into foster care, you can always choose to make an adoption plan to provide a safe and stable adoptive family for them — rather than the instability and uncertainty of life in the foster care system.
If you are still asking, “If I give my baby up for adoption, will it go into foster care?” please reach out to an adoption professional for more information about this process and to make sure it’s the right path for you.