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Can You Put a Toddler up for Adoption?

Everyone considers adoption for different reasons. Because no two adoption journeys are the same, every process is unique.

It’s completely normal for some mothers to discover that, after parenting for some time, they feel that they are not ready. Whether it’s finances, your relationship with the baby’s father or other personal hardships, you are not alone.

You may find yourself wondering how to put a toddler up for adoption. If this is your situation, then please know that putting your toddler up for adoption can be a loving and beneficial choice for your child. It’s a decision made out of love with the child’s best interests at heart.

Can You put a Toddler up for Adoption?

If you’re asking yourself this question, then the short answer is “yes.” Many adoption agencies that specialize in domestic infant adoption can also work with parents who want to place their toddler for adoption, up to a certain age. If you’re looking for information about placing a toddler up for adoption, then you should know that you’ll have the same benefits as anyone else placing their baby for adoption.

Here are some of the things that you’ll experience when placing a toddler for adoption:

Also, if you’ve been researching adoption, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “giving toddler up for adoption.” Most people don’t mean any harm when they say this, but this phrase completely misses the point. You are not “giving up” when you choose adoption. Rather, you are giving your toddler a life full of love and opportunity. It’s an incredibly selfless, loving and brave decision that puts your child’s needs before your own.

How to Place a Toddler up for Adoption

If you are considering adoption for your toddler, then you will follow many of the same steps that any other prospective birth mother would. It’s worth mentioning here that, in most cases, private adoption agencies can only provide services for adoptions where the child is 4 years or younger.

Below are the five steps to placing a toddler up for adoption:

Step 1: Choose to Put Your Toddler up for Adoption

If your child is old enough to process the adoption, then you will need to be certain that this is the best path for both of you. It is crucial to know that this is what you want and that this is the best thing for your child. To speak with an adoption professional about what options are available to you, fill out our online contact form and get free information now.

Step 2: Create Your Adoption Plan with an Adoption Professional

It’s vital that you make an adoption plan that suits your personal needs, especially if you’re placing a toddler for adoption. Because your child is likely old enough to have made meaningful relationships and attachments with certain people and routines, adoption won’t be simple. That’s why it’s crucial to select an adoption agency that understands your circumstances and can help you form a plan that’s perfect for you specifically.

One part of your adoption plan will be your transition plan — which is the time your child becomes a member of their new adoptive family. The transition plan helps a child process what is happening by spending time together — you, your child and the adoptive family — before you say “goodbye.” Your adoption agency can help you create the best transition plan.

Step 3: Select Your Toddler’s Adoptive Family

If you are considering placing a toddler up for adoption, then it’s possible that you already have hopeful adoptive parents in mind. They could be some extended family members or close friends whom your child knows and has a close relationship with. If not, then a trusted, experienced adoption professional can help you find the right adoptive family for your toddler.

Depending on the age of the child, there will be more or less families to consider. For example, there are many families who will be open to adopting a 1-year-old, but not as many families who are prepared to adopt a 4-year-old.

Step 4: Grant your Consent to Your Toddler’s Adoption

This is the step where your transition plan will come into play. Depending on what you think is best, you will help your child understand what is happening and be welcomed into their adoptive family. When that happens, it will be time to sign your adoption paperwork.

According to your state’s adoption laws, you’ll abide by the legal process for terminating your parental rights. When you do so, the adoptive family you’ve chosen will take over all the parental responsibilities. Following this step, the decision is permanent, so you will no longer have any legal rights to them. But, adoption doesn’t have to be “goodbye” with open adoption. It’s simply “see you later.”

Step 5: Adjust to Post-Placement Life

After adoption finalization, you’ll adjust to your new life as an official birth parent. You can maintain as much contact as you’d like with your child and their adoptive parents, depending on the open adoption plan that was agreed upon before placement. You can exchange letters, emails or texts. You can even visit each other in person if you wish. It all depends on what you feel comfortable doing. Also, you can watch your child grow up in a loving home, and you can feel proud of the sacrifice you’ve made as a new birth parent.

Alternatives to Putting Toddler up for Adoption

If you’re having some difficulties parenting your toddler, then reaching out to local resources could be helpful. Before placing your toddler up for adoption, here are a few resources that may benefit you:

  • Social Services: Some state-funded resources could be available to you to make your parenting easier. If you’re concerned about finances, then the state has resources that can help you with healthcare, jobs, affordable housing and more.
  • Temporary guardianship: Instead of permanently granting custody to an adoptive family, you can establish a legal guardianship with either a close friend or family member. This trusted person can temporarily care for your child, and you’ll keep parental rights. As a result, you will have some time to yourself and bring your child back into your home whenever you feel ready.
  • Reach out for temporary help: A great day or two alone can do wonders for you. If you need a brief moment of relaxation, then don’t hesitate to contact a family member or friend to babysit for a bit. You can also research the possibility of respite care.

Only you know what is best for you and your child, so choosing adoption is a personal decision that is specific to your circumstances. Consider your child’s best interests first, and feel free to contact an adoption professional to learn more about placing a toddler up for adoption.