5 Steps for How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption if You are a Teen
Adoption for teenage pregnancy is always an option, and it’s a brave and selfless decision to create a better future for your child when parenting isn’t an option.
- Teen mom adoption is common, and there are hundreds of available adoptive families waiting for the chance to become parents.
- You are in complete control of your teenage pregnancy adoption.
- An adoption agency and professional can provide you with important support and resources for your teen adoption journey.
If you’re thinking about adoption for your teenage pregnancy, you’ve come to the right place. We know how complicated adoption can be, especially when you have so many other things on your mind. Before you get started, you can always reach out to a professional to get more information on adoption for teenage pregnancy.
Because finding the answers to your questions can be challenging, and you might feel all alone as you cope with the reality of your situation, we’ve provided you with this guide on how to put a baby up for adoption if you are a teen.
We understand what you’re feeling — but there is help out there, and you can do this. We believe in you.
Can a Teenager Give a Baby Up for Adoption?
If you’re considering adoption for your unplanned teenage pregnancy, a few questions may be running through your head:
- Do you have to be a certain age to give your baby up for adoption?
- Does a minor have the right to give a baby up for adoption?
- Does a minor need parents’ permission to give a baby up for adoption?
You may be used to having your parents make big decisions for you — but, when it comes to adoption, this decision will be all your own.
So, can a minor give a child up for adoption without parent permission? In most states, Yes.
You will be the child’s legal parent, which means that you will get to decide their future, not your parents.
A minor can choose who adopts their baby, just like they can decide how much post-placement contact they want with the adoptive family and their child.
If adoption for your teenage pregnancy seems like the right decision, remember that you always have the legal right to move forward. This is your decision to make — nobody else’s.
When you choose the right adoption agency, you’ll get connected with free legal representation to guide you through the legal steps for a teenage pregnancy adoption.
You can always reach out to a professional to get more information about the legal process of placing a child for adoption as a teen.
Reasons Why a Teen Mom Would Put a Baby Up for Adoption
Adoption is a big decision, and it’s not one that you can take back later in life. You should seriously consider all the pros and cons of teenage pregnancy adoption before deciding it’s right for you.
Every woman who places a child for adoption does so for a different reason. Your situation is unique; think hard about what’s important to you when deciding between parenting, abortion and adoption in teenage pregnancy.
If you’re considering placing your child, think about these pros of “giving your child up” for adoption while a teenager:
- You can continue to focus on your education without the 24/7 responsibility of being a parent.
- You can work toward long-term goals (like career advancement, traveling and marriage) before becoming a parent.
- You can give your child a life with parents who are prepared and excited for raising a child.
- You can be an active part of your child’s life through open adoption.
Adoption isn’t right for everyone. For many young women facing teenage pregnancy, abortion and adoption are serious possibilities.
As you consider your options, here’s what you should know about abortion:
- It’s only an option in early pregnancy (typically before 20 weeks).
- It will cost a good amount of money, especially if you don’t have insurance or the procedure isn’t covered.
- You may need parental permission for the procedure.
- State laws vary, and there may not be an abortion clinic conveniently located to you.
It’s okay not to be sure which option is right for you. This is a life-changing decision, and you should take as much time as you need to make it. Consider reaching out to an unplanned pregnancy counselor for guidance and advice.
How to Put a Baby Up for Adoption if You are a Teen
Before we get into the details of this how to give your baby up for adoption if you’re underage, there’s one thing we want to address: the phrasing “give up.”
While this is a common way to refer to adoption, it doesn’t tell the whole truth of this process.
Choosing adoption is not “giving up on” or “giving away” your baby; it’s making the mature, brave choice to recognize the reality of your situation and give your child the opportunities they deserve — even if it’s with a different family. The last thing you are doing is “giving up.”
That said, you will see this website use this phrasing. It’s a way to meet people at their prior understanding of adoption and educate them on this journey’s reality.
And what does that journey entail?
Step 1: Contact an Adoption Professional
As a teenage girl who is pregnant and wants to give a baby up for adoption, you will need to search for adoption agencies.
These full-service adoption professionals can guide you through every step of the process for free based on what you desire. They’ll help you create an adoption plan, find a family for your child, receive financial assistance during your pregnancy and more.
Any of the following adoption agencies for teens can answer your questions about adoption, with no obligation to move forward until you’re ready:
- American Adoptions (Its adoption hotline for teens can be accessed at 1-800-ADOPTION.)
- Bethany Christian Services
- Gladney Center for Adoption
Step 2: Create an Adoption Plan.
When you’re a pregnant teen, adoption is in your control. You decide on everything in the process, from the family for your baby to your delivery experience. All of these details will make up your adoption plan.
Your adoption professional will help you put together this document, which they will use to guide you through the steps ahead.
You can also check out this complete guide to creating a personalized adoption plan.
Step 3: Choose an Adoptive Family.
One of the biggest parts of your adoption plan? The family you want to raise your child.
When giving your child up for adoption as a teen, you get to choose exactly who you want to raise your child, including their:
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Education level
- Family makeup (older children, pets, etc.)
You also get to choose exactly how much contact you want with them before and after placement. This is part of your open adoption plan.
You can share:
- Phone calls
- Video chats
- In-person visits
- And more
Curious about the families looking to adopt a teenager’s baby? Check some out here.
Step 4: After Birth, Give Consent for Adoption.
Putting a child up for adoption as a teenager officially happens after delivering your baby. Your adoption professional will help you create a hospital plan, and an adoption attorney will explain your rights before you sign any adoption paperwork.
You may ask, “If you give your baby up for adoption as a minor, could you get them back?” The answer, in most cases, is no. Once you give your consent for your child’s adoption, you will lose parental rights, and the adoption will be final.
That’s why it’s so important to think hard about adoption before pursuing this path. Remember, you will always have the right to change your mind any time before signing your adoption paperwork.
Step 5: Start Post-Placement Contact.
Once your child has been placed with their adoptive parents, you can still maintain contact for years to come.
Many birth mothers find that direct communication with their child’s adoptive family helps relieve some of the grief and loss felt after placement.
You can also reach out to an adoption professional to learn more about getting to know the adoptive family and building a lifelong connection with your child through open adoption.
Adoption for Teenage Pregnancy: A Year-by-Year Guide
If you’re a teen who wants to give a baby up for adoption, you’ll first need to consider your circumstances. Teen mothers who pursue adoption are at different stages in their lives, and your age may play a crucial role in whether adoption is the best choice for you.
As mentioned, consider speaking to an unplanned pregnancy counselor in addition to reading the year-by-year guide below.
Giving Your Child Up for Adoption at the Age of 14
At 14, you’re likely just starting your high school career. You’ve got years of fun ahead of you — school sports, clubs and dances (not to mention challenging education). How will a baby affect those?
It’s impossible to raise a child on your own at your age. You likely won’t be able to work, go to school and care for your child all at the same time. If you are considering parenting, speak with your parents; will they support you through this journey?
If you’re thinking, “Please help me; I don’t want to be pregnant at 14,” reach out to a trusted adult. Adoption and abortion are probably options you want to consider seriously.
Placing Your Baby for Adoption at 15
You’re just getting the hang of high school — and then this unplanned pregnancy came along. You’re probably asking yourself:
- Should I keep my baby? I’m only 15.
- Should I terminate my pregnancy?
- Should I place my child for adoption?
Because you’re so young, think about how each of these options may affect your future. Be realistic; where do you see yourself in five years, and how will a baby impact those personal goals?
Putting a Child Up for Adoption at 16
If you’re 16 and pregnant, adoption may be your best option. Adoption will allow you to continue your education and provide your child with the kind of life you want them to have. Many 16-year-olds have chosen this path, and you can, too.
If you’re asking, “Can I give my baby up for adoption? I’m only 16,” know that this path is always an option for you.
17 and Giving Your Baby Up for Adoption
Can you give your baby up for adoption if you are 17? Of course.
An unwanted pregnancy at 17 can seem like it comes at the exact wrong time. You’re probably getting ready to graduate high school and start your freshman year in college. You’re looking forward to the future, which you didn’t imagine would include a baby.
Placing a child for adoption is not selfish, even if it’s to help you achieve your own goals. If you pursue adoption, your child will be proud of how far you have come when they can truly understand your decision.
Placing Your Baby for Adoption at 18
An unplanned pregnancy at 18 is not uncommon. As you enter college, you find new freedom away from your parents. Everyone makes mistakes during their first few years out of the house; you have nothing to be ashamed of if yours happens to be an unplanned pregnancy.
But it will be your responsibility to decide what to do from here. You’re no longer a minor; you have the right to choose whether to parent, terminate or place your child for adoption.
Think about your financial situation, future goals and more when deciding which unplanned pregnancy option is right for you.
Just as you shouldn’t be ashamed of your pregnancy, there is no need to be ashamed of whichever option you choose. As long as you think your options through and know what’s right for you, you’ll be making a brave choice.
Placing Your Baby for Adoption at 19
An unplanned pregnancy at 19 can turn your life upside down. You may be settling into your first year of college, or you’re starting your career already. Either way, a baby was certainly not in your plans.
Choosing an unplanned pregnancy option may be the hardest thing you’ve done so far in your life.
Do your research and trust in your instincts; at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with your decision.
If you’re feeling pressured one way or another, consider reaching out to an unplanned pregnancy counselor for objective, factual advice and information.
Remember, you can also get more information and guidance by speaking with a trusted and experienced adoption professional. You can get answers to all of your important teenage pregnancy adoption questions by filling out our free online contact form.
You deserve to work with an adoption agency that prioritizes your needs and can provide you with support and adoptions services to ensure you have a safe and smooth experience.