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Placing Children for Adoption by Age [A Complete Guide]

If you are a prospective birth parent thinking about adoption for your child, you probably have a lot of questions. This process has thousands of little details to learn, and we’ve tried to create guides for as many as possible.

This guide will take a look at one specific issue: How does the adoption process, and your adoption choice, change based on the age of your child?

Is choosing adoption for your unborn baby different than “giving a baby up” for adoption after it’s a week old? What about putting a 5-month-old up for adoption and putting a 3-year-old up for adoption?

From newborn adoption to challenging situations with older children, this guide will help any prospective birth parent understand their options. If you’d like to be connected with an adoption professional to talk about your specific situation, you can contact us today.

You can jump straight to information pertaining to your situation by using the links below.


Choosing adoption is a brave, loving decision made by parents who want what is best for their children.

You may have heard that parents “give their child up” for adoption. While this language is common, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Adoption isn’t “giving up” at all. It’s giving a child the opportunity to grow and thrive in the safe, loving care of adoptive parents.

In an effort to be inclusive of anyone seeking information, you will see “giving up” language here, as it is the most common way to understand adoption. However, you should know that adoption is a courageous decision, not “giving up” or carelessly “giving away” your child.


If you are currently experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, you can create a plan before giving birth and place your baby for adoption as a newborn. This is a route taken by many prospective birth mothers.

In order to create an adoption plan while pregnant, you’ll want to work with an adoption agency. The agency will provide the support and services needed to meet the legal requirements for adoption, help you choose the adoptive parents, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

If you are pregnant, considering adoption and would like to learn more through being connected with a professional, please contact us today.


It can be incredibly difficult to decide whether or not adoption is right for you. Sometimes, the moment of clarity doesn’t come until after birth. Does that describe what you’ve experienced? If so, you most likely have questions about your situation.

Can you “give your baby up” for adoption after 1 month?

Yes, you can choose adoption after 1 month. At this early stage, many private adoption agencies are equipped to provide the necessary services for placement with adoptive parents.

How do I put my 2-month-old up for adoption?

Just like any other adoption process, you are in charge when you are a prospective birth mother. This means you can choose the adoptive parents for your baby, pick a level of openness and receive some adoption financial assistance.

The biggest difference in how to put a 2-month-old baby up for adoption is that things will happen very quickly. Whereas a woman who chooses adoption while pregnant may have months to make these choices, yours will likely happen in a matter of days.

Can you put a child up for adoption after a few months?

Yes, you can put a child up for adoption after a few months. As a child grows older, the decision to place him or her for adoption can become more and more complex.

Why is this? While every adoption decision is difficult, the complex development of children becomes a more significant factor as they age. For example, at 3 months old, your baby is still developing their sense of attachment, and they are starting to differentiate you from other caregivers.

This can make the adoption transition more challenging. But, it is still possible with proper counseling and the services of a good adoption agency.

Should I “give my baby up” for adoption at 6 months?

There are adoption families for babies at 6 months, and many agencies are prepared to help with the placement of a child at this age. Deciding if you “should” choose adoption, however, can be a difficult and personal decision.

The child’s development, mentioned above, is progressing rapidly at this age. A series of neurological pathways that dictate attachment style and early development have already begun to form when a baby is 6 months old. This means that, even though they can’t express it, your child has formed significant attachment to you as a caretaker, and you to them. A disruption to this attachment can present serious challenges for both your baby and yourself.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t choose adoption at 6 months. It could be the best thing for everyone. However, there are new factors to take into account that adoption at earlier ages may not have to consider yet.

Is there adoption for 10-months-olds and adoption for an 11-month-old?

Along with developmental considerations, other social factors in your life could play a part in whether or not adoption for 10-month-olds or adoption for an 11-month-old is possible.

What is the relationship with the father of the baby? His attitude toward adoption and his parental rights need to be taken into account. Additionally, you may face pushback from friends or family about adoption for an 11-month-old.

While these things do not make adoption impossible, they do make it more challenging. For some, additional parenting support through social services and other resources could be an option to consider along with adoption.

With each of these questions, it’s important to know that, despite challenges, adoption is still possible. Would you like to learn more? It could be helpful to speak with a professional. To be connected with a professional, contact us today.


Is it possible to “give your kid up” for adoption after a year old?

This is a question many women ask. The answer: Yes, but it might be complicated. Putting a 1-year-old up for adoption can be done in the right circumstances with the help of a private adoption agency. When you’re considering putting a baby up for adoption at 1 year old, you will have many of the same adoption rights as any other prospective birth parent. You can choose a level of openness in adoption and pick the adoptive family you think will be best.

While it is not too late to choose adoption, it will not be easy. It’s important to be completely sure that parenting is no longer an option. Have you looked into all available counseling and resources? Additionally, it’s important to consider the relationship that has developed in the first year of your child’s life. Even if things are hard, an adoption transition can be especially challenging at this stage of development, for both your child and yourself.

If you have considered these things and are still wondering, “Is it possible to ‘give your kid up’ for adoption after a year old?” then it is time to speak with a professional.

Private adoptions — when the birth parents choose adoption and voluntarily relinquish parental rights — can only happen with the assistance of an adoption agency, adoption attorney or, in most cases, both.

While we are not an adoption service provider, we would be happy to connect you with one. Contact us today.


Can you “give your baby up” for adoption at two years old?

In many cases, yes. If you are in a difficult situation and believe that the best option for your family is placing a 2-year-old for adoption, this could be an option. There are several important questions to consider in this decision.

First, have you researched all of your options? Adoption is a massive step, and it can’t be taken back. There’s a chance that adoption for a 2-year-old is right for you. But in order to know for sure, it’s important to seek out alternative options, like counseling and social services.

Second, what is the situation with the baby’s father? Adoption options with a 2-year-old can hinge on the father’s consent. His parental rights and his opinion of adoption can play a big part in whether or not you can “give your baby up” for adoption at 2 years old.

Third, have you researched adoption? The way the process works can be complicated, and it’s important to know what to expect as a prospective birth parent. Beyond the details of the process, there are also the considerable emotional challenges of placing a two-year-old for adoption.

If you’d like to learn more about how to put a 2-year-old up for adoption, you can contact us today to be connected with a knowledgeable adoption professional.


Can I put my 3-year-old up for adoption?

Placing a 3-year-old for adoption can be challenging. While some agencies are able to provide adequate services for this type of adoption placement, options will be limited and the process will be unique.

Before putting a 3-year-old up for adoption, consider the impact this decision will have on your child at such a delicate stage of development. An adoption transition at this time can create confusion and long-lasting attachment challenges. Additionally, this could be very hard on the parents’ emotional health, even when the situation at home feels impossible. With these important considerations in mind, you should know that it is still possible to place a 3-year-old for adoption in some situations.

You might be wondering how to “give a child up” for adoption at 3 years old. In some ways, the process will be the same as it would be for any other prospective birth parent. Your rights will be protected. You will be able to choose a level of openness and pick the adoptive parents.

However, the process will also be different in important ways. While you will be able to pick the adoptive parents, there are less available options for a child who is 3 years old than there are parents looking to adopt a newborn. Additionally, issues like the child’s involvement in the process (this will need to be explained to them in a way that is both honest and age-appropriate) can create unique challenges.

The most important step you can take when considering putting a 3-year-old up for adoption is to connect with a trustworthy adoption professional. If you’d like to be connected with a professional, you can contact us today.


Can you put a 4-year-old up for adoption?

There are some cases where it will be possible to place a 4-year-old child for adoption. There are families looking to adopt a 4-year-old, as well as agencies equipped to handle this type of placement. However, options may be limited, and adoption won’t be possible in every situation.

You’ve come to an incredibly difficult decision: Parenting vs. adoption. We can hardly imagine the pressures in your life that have led you to ask how to put a child up for adoption at 4 years old. You should know that creating an adoption plan for a 4-year-old can be difficult, if not impossible.

Voluntary placement of children for adoption happens with the assistance of private adoption agencies. Most agencies specialize in the placement of newborn babies, and potentially children a couple years old. There are only a handful of agencies equipped to meet the unique needs that adoption of a 4-year-old presents.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that the foster care system is not an option if you are wondering, “How do I put my 4-year-old up for adoption?” Foster care is not the right system for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.

What does all of this mean? Can you put a 4-year-old up for adoption? It’s not impossible, but it is very difficult. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider other options, such as parental counseling, support from social services, or legal guardianship. The best professionals to speak with would be local social workers and family law attorneys.


Can you put a baby up for adoption at the age of 5?

Anyone considering adoption for their 5-year-old is in a difficult and complicated situation. Something like this will always be handled on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, it is very difficult — if not impossible — to place a 5-year-old for adoption.

This may be disappointing to hear if you are searching for steps to putting a child up for adoption at age 5. Unfortunately, the agencies that facilitate voluntary adoption placements are specifically equipped to handle the placement of newborns and young children. By the time a child is 5, there are a whole host of complicating factors that make adoption very challenging.

Clearly, the challenges you are facing are intense. There are no easy solutions when you are looking for steps to putting a child up for adoption at age 5. However, there are resources that could provide relief. If you feel at the breaking point with your child, consider researching these organizations and services.


Searching for how to find an adoptive family for a 6-year-old?

Once a child has reached 6 years old, adoption is most likely not a feasible option. There are several reasons for this. First, private agencies are not equipped to meet the requirements of placing a 6-year-old for adoption. Similarly, the foster care system is not capable of working with voluntary placement of children for adoption.

It’s also worth considering the impact that an adoption transition could have on a child’s development at this time. Such a drastic change could result in long-lasting trauma.

This may be disappointing to read. If you are trying to figure out how to find an adoptive family for a 6-year-old, then you’re in a very hard situation. Continuing to parent may feel impossible. The situation at home could be unhealthy for yourself and your child.

There are options for you. First, there are organizations and resources that can provide relief. If you think your child has to be placed in a different home, you could also speak to a family law attorney about legal guardianship options.

For assistance with healthcare, food, parenting and more, considering the following:


There are very few guides to for how to put a 7-year-old up for adoption. Why? It’s rarely a possibility. Only in extreme situations can parents voluntarily put a 7-year-old up for adoption.

This may confuse you if you have heard stories of older children being adopted. These stories come from the foster care system, where children are in need of a family after they have been removed from their biological family’s care by judgment of the state. This is different than putting a 7-year-old up for adoption by your own choice. You cannot voluntarily relinquish your child to the care of the state — that would be grounds for abandonment charges.

Your current situation may not be sustainable, and we know you have the best interests of your family at heart. There may be other paths besides adoption that could improve your situation. Consider counseling, social services or reaching out to a family law attorney to explore your options.

You could also consider calling the National Parent Helpline.


Most private adoption agencies are unable to provide the services required for putting a child up for adoption at age 8. At this age, children have complex needs, habits and attachment styles that must be taken into account in any attempted placement. Additionally, factors like stage of development and the involvement of the birth father can make this process difficult.

It’s unlikely you will find an adoption agency for 8-year-olds. This may be disappointing to hear. If you feel hopeless about your current situation, it may be best to turn to other types of professionals for help, rather than continue searching for a family looking to adopt an 8-year-old boy or girl.

Depending on what your situation is like, you could benefit from child and family counseling, Medicaid support or other social resources. Consider the following as a place to start:


Can you “give up” a kid for adoption at 9 years old?

Adoption for a 9-year-old child is not possible in most situations. It is always worth speaking to a family law attorney if you feel that you situation is extreme and requires that someone adopt your child at the age of 9. However, in the vast majority of cases, there are not professionals who will facilitate this adoption.

We know that every parent wants what is best for their child. So, for you to be attempting to find adoptive parents for a 9-year-old boy or girl must mean your situation feels impossible. The weight of whatever you are experiencing cannot be overstated. While there are no easy solutions, there are some things that can help.

For starters, you could look into the list of resources below. There may also be more specific assistance available locally for your situation:

For more timely support, consider calling the National Parent Helpline.


Can I put my 10-year-old up for adoption?

Adoptions in which a parent voluntarily relinquishes their rights are conducted by private agencies. These agencies are built to assist primarily with the adoption of newborn babies. While some younger children may still be placed for adoption through an agency, it is highly unlikely that you can find an agency capable of placing a 10-year-old for adoption.

At this age, other interventions are more likely to be effective and available. This could involve financial support, counseling, big-brother/big-sister programs, Medicaid, or more advanced services like a stay at a behavioral health center.

Seeking immediate support? Call the National Parent Helpline.


Searching for how to put a child up for adoption at 11 years old? You must be facing a difficult situation. For whatever reason — lack of resources, behavioral challenges, special needs — your home life has reached a point where parenting feels impossible.

You will not find many guides for how to put your 11-year-old child up for adoption because adoption at this age is not feasible in nearly every situation.

It’s important to understand that this is not speaking to the situation of 11-year-olds in the foster care system, who could find the love and permanency of a family through adoption. A child in foster care — who is in the care of the state because their life at home was deemed unsafe — is in a different situation that a child who whose parents voluntarily place them for adoption.

In a situation where you might be looking for people that want to adopt a 11-year-old, the better option is to seek out other forms of support. This could mean behavioral services, Medicaid, state assistance with finances, or other local resources.


Can you put up a 12-year-old for adoption?

No, in most cases you cannot place a 12-year-old for adoption. Adoptions in which the parents choose to relinquish their parental rights are often called “private adoptions.” This type of adoption is facilitated by a licensed agency. These agencies specialize in newborn adoption. While some younger children can also be placed through private adoption, by the age of 12 the option is largely off the table.

Where does this leave you? We know that all parents want what is best for your child, and it must be difficult at home if you are searching for families looking to adopt a 12-year-old.

For immediate help, consider calling the National Parent Helpline.

For other forms of assistance, you could look into some of these social services:


Are there people that want to adopt a 13-year-old? What if you want to “give up” a child for adoption that is 14 years old?

Every situation is unique. However, it is usually not possible to place a teenager for adoption through private adoption.

Raising teenagers can be a challenge for anyone. For some, the situation at home could feel overwhelming, even to the point where continuing to parent feels impossible. We can’t imagine how tense the situation in your family is if you are considering “giving your teenager up” for adoption. Although it may be disappointing to hear, it’s important to understand that adoption is most likely not the answer to the problems in your life.

By the time your child is a teenager, other interventions and resources are a better source of relief. If your financial situation is pushing you to consider adoption, you could check in with local social services, such as Medicaid, housing support and food stamps. If behavioral issues have created tension or danger in your home, there are resources like counseling and behavioral health centers to look into.

For more immediate support, you could also consider calling the National Parent Helpline or reaching out to a local family law attorney to discuss your options.


Choosing adoption for your child — no matter the age — can be a difficult and life-changing decision. Depending on how old your child is, adoption may or may not be possible.

It is often helpful to speak with a professional if you’d like to learn more about adoption in your specific situation. While we do not provide child-placing services, we would be happy to connect you with an organization that does. Contact us today to speak (toll free) with a helpful adoption professional.