Any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is in a difficult situation. This is especially true if you’re not ready to be a parent, and it’s only made harder when other legal elements, like your citizenship status, are factored into the equation. Of the more than 2 million women who experience unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. each year, many are left wondering about putting a child up for adoption without U.S. citizenship.
It’s a lot to consider. An unplanned pregnancy alone can be a challenge. Adoption seems confusing to many — where do you even start? And then there are the questions about your citizenship. How does it factor into all of this? Can you give up a child for adoption even if you are an immigrant?
The answer, in short, is yes. You can always choose adoption for your baby. As an expectant mother, you should feel empowered to make the choice that is best for you, regardless of your citizenship status.
That short answer, while hopefully reassuring, may not be too helpful. For a better understanding of what your options are when you are pregnant and considering adoption without U.S. citizenship, we’re going to take a look at the most important aspects of adoption. With the right information, you can make an informed decision and move forward with your adoption plan.
Can You Give Up a Child for Adoption Even if You Are an Immigrant?
Yes, any woman experiencing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy can choose adoption. The adoption process is built to respect the autonomy and confidentiality of prospective birth mothers. If you are an immigrant, and even if you are one of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in America, you can choose adoption.
There is one important exception to this: For almost all agencies, your baby must be born in the U.S. in order for him or her to be adopted. If you immigrated to the U.S. with an infant and now want to put a child up for adoption without U.S. citizenship, this may not be possible.
Can You Give Up a Baby for Adoption if You Are on a Travel Visa?
Once again, yes. If you are on a travel visa and experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you can choose adoption for your baby. Your Visa status is private information that should be protected by any adoption agency. Additionally, adoptive families will not be deterred by your Visa status.
How the Adoption Process Works
How do you go about putting a child up for adoption without U.S. citizenship? There are plenty of deep dives into the adoption process that you should check out. Here, we’ll cover the most important steps.
Step 1: Find the right adoption agency.
When you are putting a child up for adoption without U.S. citizenship, you’ll need to work with an adoption agency. There are several different types of agencies to choose from. Take into account which agency will protect your privacy and give you the best opportunity to find the right family for your baby.
Step 2: Create an adoption plan and choose an adoptive family.
Working with the adoption agency you chose, you’ll create an adoption plan that outlines how the process will go. Once your plan is created, your adoption agency will show you adoptive family profiles. In these profiles, you’ll be able to see letters and photos from hopeful adoptive parents and pick the family you think will be best for your baby. Don’t worry; there are plenty of people who want to adopt undocumented kids. Any family you choose will be thrilled by the opportunity.
Step 3: Potentially participate in pre-placement contact.
Most domestic infant adoptions in the U.S. are at least semi-open. Open adoption can be a great opportunity to get to know the adoptive family, and it is an option when you are putting a child up for adoption without U.S. citizenship. If you are concerned about protecting your privacy, a semi-open adoption can be arranged where your adoption agency facilitates conversations, and your personal information is protected.
Step 4: The hospital stay and placement.
When it’s time to give birth, you will go to the hospital and follow your hospital plan that you created with your adoption agency. After birth, you can officially consent to the adoption, and the baby will be placed with the adoptive family. Regardless of your U.S. citizenship status, your baby will be an American citizen upon birth.
Step 5: Post-placement contact.
Putting a child up for adoption without U.S. citizenship does not exclude you from the benefits of post-placement contact in an open adoption. If you would like, you can still have communication with the adoptive family to follow along with how the baby is doing. This communication can typically be facilitated by the adoption agency.
Protecting Your Privacy
If you are concerned about your immigration status and value your confidentiality, this should not stop you from pursuing adoption for your baby. Make sure to ask agencies about how they protect birth mother information before beginning the adoption process with any agency. Any adoption professional worth working with will do everything possible to protect your privacy.
It’s understandable if this all seems overwhelming. The important thing to remember is that you can give up a child for adoption even if you are immigrants. Adoption is an option for you, and it could be the best way to handle your unplanned pregnancy.