Are There Requirements for “Giving a Baby Up” for Adoption?
Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption? 7 Requirements to Know
The first thing you should know: There are no requirements for putting a child up for adoption. You may have been wondering about the legalities of giving a baby up for adoption in your situation. Maybe you’ve asked questions like:
- Can anyone give a child up for adoption, or do you have to meet some sort of qualifications to put a child up for adoption?
- Who can put a baby up for adoption?
- Are there rules of giving your child up for adoption? How does the process work?
- Could you get in trouble for placing your child?
To be very clear, there are no “giving child up for adoption requirements” for you to meet, nor will you ever get in trouble for choosing adoption. You will never be judged or turned away. As long as you work through a licensed adoption professional and the adoption is completed legally and ethically, then you have nothing to worry about.
If you have found yourself in a complex and specific situation, you may be wondering what is required to give a baby up for adoption in your circumstances. You’re not alone. Many pregnant women have worried about the requirements to put a baby up for adoption in tough situations, so they’ve asked the questions below. Here, we’ll answer those questions and help you to understand when adoption is an option for you:
1. Can You Put a Baby Up for Adoption if You’re a Minor?
Yes. Women of all ages can, and do, choose to place children for adoption. If you think that adoption may be the right choice for you and your baby, you’re always able to do so, regardless of your age.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary at any age, but it’s even scarier when you’re underage. Again, remember that you can’t get in trouble for placing a child for adoption. You likely won’t be able to keep your pregnancy or adoption a secret from your family or peers, but you don’t need their permission to make an adoption plan.
Most adoption professionals are able to help with housing, medical care, financial support and more if you decide to pursue adoption. Additionally, there are birth parent scholarships that can help you continue your education, even if your pregnancy has put a temporary hold on your educational goals.
So, if you’re underage and considering adoption, you can reach out to a professional for free information. You’re under no obligation to choose adoption by talking to someone.
2. Can I Give My Baby Up for Adoption if I’m Currently Homeless?
Yes. Housing instability is a serious consideration for you right now — you realistically know that you don’t have a safe, stable place to raise this child.
There are a number of adoption professionals who can help secure affordable housing for you during your pregnancy, and they will work with you to create a plan that allows you to remain in that home for the future. With a little help, a good adoption professional can help you get back on your feet, providing whatever physical, emotional and financial support you need.
Adoption is absolutely an option for you, regardless of your housing situation. Reach out to a professional to learn more.
3. Can a Mother Put a Baby Up for Adoption if She’s Struggling with Addiction?
Yes. Even if your baby has been exposed to drug, smoke, or alcohol abuse, you can still place your child for adoption.
Adoption professionals can help you find adoptive parents who are comfortable with and prepared for an infant who has been exposed to harmful substances. Meanwhile, a social worker can help connect you to whatever resources you need to get healthy, including emotional and physical assistance.
If you’re struggling with addiction or substance abuse, and you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, you can still always choose adoption if you feel that you’re unable to safely raise this baby at this point.
4. Can I Put My Baby Up for Adoption if I’m in Jail?
Yes. Raising a baby while incarcerated isn’t really an option, and you may be worried about the possibility of your baby entering foster care during your sentence. You could temporarily give guardianship of your child to a friend or relative until you’re released from prison — but, while temporary guardianship with the intent to later parent your baby is possible and recommended in some situations, it’s not always the best option.
You’d have no control over what happens to your infant while you’re in prison. Then, when you get out, do you have the resources to care for this child? Can you trust someone you know to take care of your baby while you’re in jail? Will your baby later struggle to bond with you, after never having spent time being raised by you?
These are incredibly tough questions to ask yourself. But if you do feel like adoption is the best option in your difficult situation, it’s always possible to permanently place your baby with a family of your choice, even from jail.
5. Can You Give a Baby Up for Adoption if You’re Not a U.S. Citizen?
Yes. Fear of deportation may have prevented you from considering adoption, or maybe you want your baby to be safe as a U.S. citizen. Whatever the reason, know that you can always choose adoption if you feel that’s what’s best, regardless of your citizenship status.
You’ll never get in trouble for choosing adoption, even if you’re an undocumented immigrant or are here on a visa. You’ll be asked about your citizenship status by your social worker, but that information will never be revealed to immigration authorities. That information is completely confidential.
Most adoption professionals have translators on hand if needed, so you’ll always be informed about your choices. Contact an adoption professional to learn more about the process of placing your child for adoption when you’re not a U.S. citizen.
6. Can I Give Up My Baby if I’m in the Military?
Yes. Whether you’re worried about the possibility of deployment, or you’re concerned about how raising a baby at this point could affect your career, you’re not alone.
A number of active duty women in the military find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and not ready or able to parent the baby. If you’re considering adoption, remember that you’ll face no backlash for this decision.
There are even fellow U.S. military men and women who are waiting to adopt a child, if you want to place your baby with another military family. An adoption professional can walk you through the process of placing your child for adoption if you’re an active duty service member.
7. Can You Put Your Baby Up for Adoption When CPS is Involved?
That depends. If CPS has an open case on the baby you want to place for adoption, then no. If, however, your older children have been (or are currently in) CPS care and you become pregnant, placing this baby for adoption may be the best option for you.
Your CPS social worker will need to know about your pregnancy. They may be able to refer you to an adoption agency, where you can choose the parents who adopt your child and you can choose to share contact with your child and his or her family. You can also choose and contact a private adoption agency on your own and let your CPS worker know that you are making a voluntary adoption plan for the baby. As you know, these options are not available to you if CPS takes custody of your baby.
Many women find that it’s best to make these decisions for themselves rather than reaching the point where CPS will make the decisions for them. So if you’re pregnant and your older children have CPS case files, contact their case worker and talk about voluntarily placing your baby for adoption.
You Can Always Choose Adoption
Was your specific circumstance not covered above? Still unsure if adoption is a possibility for you? The answer will still be the same: You can always choose adoption if that’s what you feel is best.
There are no “giving a child up” for adoption requirements that a pregnant woman must meet. So, can anyone give their child up for adoption? Yes. As long as you feel that’s what’s right for you and your child — always, and at any time.
You’ll always need to work with a licensed adoption professional if you’re considering adoption. They’ll be able to help you handle whatever’s going on in your life, and they’ll walk you through the steps of adoption in your situation. Whether you just want to ask some questions, or you want to move forward with adoption, you can always reach out to an adoption professional for free information with no obligation to place your child.