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How to Give Your Kids Up for Adoption [Keeping Siblings Together]

You are not a bad person if you ever find yourself thinking “I don’t want my children,” or wondering how to give your kids up for adoption.

These questions could be caused by depression or other mental health issues that require you to seek medical attention. They could also be legitimate signs that your current situation is unhealthy or unsafe for your kids.

If you recognize that your current situation is difficult enough that you think your children might be safer somewhere else, this makes you a brave, selfless parent. But that doesn’t mean that “giving kids up” for adoption is an easy choice for parents, or for the children.

When your child has siblings and you choose adoption, it is normal to want your children to stay together during adoption. Many parents choose to place multiple children for adoption only as a last resort because sibling adoption can be a bit more involved than a single child adoption. But, when your situation puts your kids at unnecessary risk, then adoption is always an option and can possibly keep your kids together.

If you ever have questions about placing your children for adoption together, you can contact an adoption professional online at any time.

The Laws about “Giving Kids Up” for Adoption

This article can help answer some of your basic questions about placing multiple children for adoption. Keep in mind, this information is not intended to take the place of legal advice. You can benefit from working with a full-service adoption agency to get the legal advice and resources that you need when you put your children up for adoption.

Placing your children for adoption without an attorney or court approval and the correct legal steps is often considered unethical human trafficking and is illegal. Even advertising that you’re willing to place your children for adoption is illegal in most states.

It is illegal to abandon your children, unless you have surrendered them in accordance with Safe Haven laws, which have very specific requirements. This is why it is so important to contact an adoption agency if you are seriously considering placing your children for adoption.

Why “Giving Up” Children for Adoption is not “Giving Up” on Them

If you’re considering “giving up” children for adoption, you can benefit from contacting an adoption attorney as soon as possible, or even contacting an adoption professional online who can connect you with an adoption attorney. Your attorney will be the expert on filing adoption paperwork that could legally keep your children together during an adoption.

The language that you use around your children and others when talking about adoption can help shed a positive light on the difficult choice of adoption. Here are a few adoption phrases that you can identify and change for the better:

  • You’re not “giving your children up” for adoption. Adoption is a positive choice. You’re giving your children a chance at having their best possible life through adoption. You can say, “I am placing my children for adoption.”
  • Adoption is not a selfish act. An adoption is a selfless act. You have chosen to value your children’s needs above your own. Placing your children for adoption can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. You can say, “I am choosing adoption because I am thinking about what is best for my children.”
  • “I don’t want my children”. Often, this statement is made out of fear. Instead, you can say, “I love my children, but I am not able to raise my children right now.”
  • “I don’t want to keep my kids,” or “someone else can keep my children.” Objects are kept, but children are not objects. In reality, you may not want to parent or raise your children. You can say, “I don’t want to be a parent right now, but through adoption, I can choose the family that I want to raise my children.”

“I Don’t Want My Children Anymore.” [Sorting Through Your Feelings]

Some parents need time to reflect on how they’re feeling about their stressful situation. Many parents still want to continue raising their children, but they feel hopeless about their future, or doubt their ability to continue parenting through obstacles.

Parenting is one of the hardest things that a person can do, but emotions associated with not wanting your children can make you feel guilty. It’s important to understand where these feelings are coming from and to understand whether they might go away.

Are your thoughts of not wanting your children the results of “baby blues” or is this postpartum depression? Some common causes of these feelings can be:

  • Antepartum/Postpartum depression or other clinical forms of depression
  • Anxiety from parenthood or other factors not associated with parenting
  • Stress from parenthood or other life changes
  • Instability within your home, finances or other life events

Consult your doctor to determine if you may be suffering from depression. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional that may be able to provide the assistance you need for your future and your children’s futures as well.

For many parents, the feelings of not wanting your children are temporary. However, if you continue to have these feelings and you believe that “giving up” your kids for adoption may be the best option for your children and for yourself, you can get help with adoption.

What Are My Options for Putting My Kids Up for Adoption?

If you’re in a difficult or unhealthy situation, you may feel that putting your children up for adoption is what’s in their best interests. You can benefit from contacting an adoption professional to understand what’s possible in your specific circumstances.

Your legal options for placing multiple children for adoption will depend on the ages of your children.

Children under the Age of 4

You may be able to put your kids up for adoption through a private adoption agency if they are under the age of 4. Private agencies are almost always able to keep siblings in the same adoptive home, but in most cases, these professionals are only able to place infants and occasionally toddlers.

Keep in mind that adoption means you are relinquishing your parental rights. You can still maintain contact with your children’s adoptive parents and see your children grow up through open adoption. If permanent adoption is not what you’re looking for, then you may be able to choose temporary guardianship for your children. This involves a legal process in which you agree to place your children with a guardian for a set amount of time, but you retain all parental rights to your children.

Children Age 4 or Older

If your oldest child is 4 or older, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to work with an adoption agency. However, you can always contact an adoption professional to learn what they can do to help you place your children for adoption. They may be able to refer you to a professional who can better help you in your situation.

When placing multiple children for adoption who are over the age of 4, you can consider the following options:

  • Kinship adoption in which you would terminate your legal parental rights and permanently place your children with a friend or family member. You will no longer have a legal parental role in your children’s lives, even if you maintain contact.
  • Temporary legal guardianship in which you would place your children in temporary custody with a trusted friend or family member. You would have the option to resume parenting your children whenever you’re ready to do so.
  • Local or state resources and organizations that can help you continue to parent your children so that you can avoid putting your kids up for adoption. They may be able to offer financial help, access to food and necessities, health insurance for your kids, childcare while you work, or even respite care.
  • Local child welfare agency. You may be familiar with Child Protective Services, but typically you cannot voluntarily put your children up for adoption through foster care. CPS serves a different function for the well-being of children who cannot protect themselves from harsh mistreatment.

If your children are not safe at home, CPS may be able to provide them with temporary care. The state tries to keep siblings together, but there’s never a guarantee in this situation. Contact your local Child Protective Services department to learn more — they may be able to direct you to resources that can help you continue to parent your kids.

The Importance of Keeping Siblings Together

In the case of siblings, placing children for adoption together is incredibly important. A person’s relationships with his or her siblings are an important part of who they are. The removal of a child from his or her biological parents is always a challenging event and removing the child from his or her siblings increases the traumatic effects of the transition. Whenever possible, siblings should be adopted together.

If a couple wants to adopt a child but doesn’t want the sibling, will they get separated?

Adoption professionals do try to place siblings together in an effort to maintain sibling relationships whenever possible. Some private adoption agencies are able to promise that siblings will never be separated. However, it’s not always a guarantee.

Unfortunately, groups of siblings generally wait longer to be adopted than individual children. Few adoptive families have the time, space or resources for multiple new children at once. However, that doesn’t mean you should budge on your commitment to keeping your children together through adoption.

Family, Friends and Child Protective Services

The chances that siblings will stay together decrease if they are taken into state custody, despite the best efforts of foster care professionals who always try to keep them together. The ideal way to keep siblings together is to continue raising them within the original family unit. If that’s no longer possible and you want to place your children for adoption, finding an extended family member or close friend who is able to temporarily care for or permanently adopt all of your children, or finding an adoption agency that is committed to maintain sibling groups, can be the next best solution.

Reaching out for help and using all available resources to continue parenting can be a good way to alleviate stress and give you the resources you and your kids need. But, if you feel that adoption is the only solution when you don’t want your children, you can benefit from contacting an adoption professional to discuss your situation and connect you with a trusted adoption attorney.