If you have found yourself unexpectedly pregnant and considering adoption, it’s reasonable to assume you are at a stressful point in your life. An unplanned pregnancy can be a stressor for anyone, especially if you feel that you aren’t ready to give your child the life he or she deserves. Our hope is that, should you find yourself in this situation, you have a strong support system to stand beside you while you pursue adoption for your child. However, that isn’t the case for everyone.

In some cases, women who don’t have that support system may want to pursue a secret adoption, or a confidential adoption. It is entirely up to an expectant mother who she does or doesn’t tell about her pregnancy and adoption plan. However, hiding a pregnancy is not always simple. Continue reading to learn more about the realities of an anonymous adoption.

What is a Confidential Adoption?

A confidential adoption (also known as a secret adoption or an anonymous adoption) refers to a situation in which a pregnant woman keeps her identity private as she goes through the adoption process. She does not have contact with the adoptive family in this type of adoption, either before the adoption to get to know them or after to check in on how her child is doing.

A woman considering an anonymous adoption might do so because she wants to keep her pregnancy and adoption plan hidden from people in her own life. Most modern adoptions are open or semi-open, which means that the birth parents and adoptive parents share at least some degree of communication, but it’s absolutely possible for you to complete a closed adoption if you value keeping your adoption a secret.

Before committing to a closed or confidential adoption, though, it’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

Pros of a Confidential Adoption

It’s undeniable that there aren’t many benefits of an adoption kept secret. However, if for any reason you feel that a secret adoption may be best for you and your child, there are a few advantages to consider:

  • By keeping adoption a secret, you eliminate the possibility of uncomfortable or confrontational conversations with friends and family who may not support your adoption decision. Negativity from those around you can be an unnecessary stressor for both you and your baby, and if those around you can’t get on board with your plan, then it may be best to continue with your adoption kept secret.
  • Some women ultimately end up in a confidential adoption due to safety concerns. If you are in an abusive situation or are at all concerned about your own wellbeing or that of your child, working with an anonymous adoption agency, or an adoption agency that can help you to pursue an anonymous adoption, can help you to move on with your adoption plan while maintaining your safety. If you are in an abusive situation or are afraid of being harmed, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Cons of a Confidential Adoption

There are, however, some considerable disadvantages of keeping adoption secret that should be considered:

  • It’s not necessarily easy to hide a pregnancy. In some cases, baggy clothing and attempting to avoid certain people may not be possible, and you may need to relocate during your pregnancy. This can be extremely stressful, although your adoption professional should be able to help you relocate during your pregnancy if you do wish to pursue a confidential adoption.
  • Keeping adoption a secret may make it more difficult to receive regular prenatal care. You should be visiting your doctor more frequently during your pregnancy, as prenatal care is very important. This may be difficult to explain to those around you.
  • In most cases, lying to your child’s father about your adoption plan is actually illegal. You’ll need to work very closely with your adoption professional to ensure you adhere to your state’s birth father rights and that your child’s adoption is handled legally.
  • While your adoption professional should be a huge source of support, keeping adoption a secret may mean that you aren’t getting much support elsewhere. As adoption is both a physically and emotionally difficult process, going through it alone can be extremely hard.

There are many different reasons a woman might want to pursue a closed or confidential adoption, and if that’s the best option for you, that’s completely okay. In this instance, we would advise that you keep in mind the challenges associated with a secret adoption and work closely with your adoption professional to ensure that all of your needs — as well as your baby’s — are met and that you are handling the birth father’s rights in a legal manner.

Consider contacting one of these adoption agencies for more information: