Our use of the terms “put up” and “give up” in the headings on this page does not reflect how we feel about adoptive placement. These terms appear here because they remain the most widely used search terms for those who are considering adoption for their baby, and we wish for this page to reach all who seek information about adoptive placement.
Can I Put My Baby Up For Adoption After Birth?
Yes. You can place your child for adoption after you’ve given birth. You can also make an adoption plan at the last minute, even while you are in labor. Read on for more information and some answers to questions you may have about last minute adoption and how it works.
I'm in labor, can I make an adoption plan now?
Yes. If you are in labor and for any reason feel you can’t take care of your baby, you have options.
You can call an adoption provider to make an adoption plan. They can assist you to find a family who will be thrilled to adopt your child and provide an immediate, permanent, loving home for him or her. They may even be able to send you links to view several families' profiles so that you can choose the perfect family for your baby. If you wish, the adoptive parents will come to the hospital as quickly as possible.
I already had my baby, can I make an adoption plan now?
Yes. If you are still in the hospital or even at home with your baby and feel that you cannot take care of him or her, you have options.
Even if your baby is a little older, you can still call an adoption professional for assistance. They will have families interested in adopting an older baby or young child (up to about 2-years old). You will be able to learn about the family, and both you and your child will have the opportunity to meet them to make the transition as easy and smooth as possible.
What if I Choose Foster Care for my Child?
Foster Care placements can be planned prior to birth, but unless the Children’s Services department has determined that it would be a danger for the baby to go home with you, the final decision to place a baby into foster care is made after the baby is born. When this happens the baby is placed into a home suitable to provide foster care, and some sort of long range planning, either reunification with you, or identifying a prospective adoptive home, begins. Some Children’s Services departments are required to first check with extended family members referred to as “concerned relatives” before placing a baby in a foster home outside of the family.
Whether placing your baby into foster care was your decision or not, if this happens, the Children’s Services department should provide you with information about your parental rights, scheduling visitation, and requirements for reunification so that you may take your child home.
Safe Haven is a national program that allows you to place your infant in the hands of a designated "safe haven" location without having to provide your name or sign any papers. State regulations vary in terms of the age of the infant and the time period to return and ask for custody. The infant must be in good physical condition. The baby will be cared for by the local Children’s Services department (foster care). You have a specified period of time to return and ask for custody of the infant. If you do not do so, the local court will terminate your parental rights and locate a permanent adoptive home for your baby.
Why is Private Adoption a Better Option than Foster Care?
Deciding to place your child for adoption is exactly that: it is a decision. A very profound decision. With private adoption it is your decision, not someone else’s decision, to make. With private adoption you are able to select your baby’s adoptive family. Although placing your baby for adoption is not what you envisioned, with private adoption you have the opportunity to make choices and decisions for yourself and your baby that may not be available to you if the adoptive family is selected through foster care.
What about the baby’s father? Does he need to know?
The baby’s father has rights that need to be terminated before any adoption can be finalized, and under certain circumstances, this can be done without his consent. It's important to work with an adoption professional familiar with Birth Fathers' rights that can help to protect you, your baby, the adopting family and the birth father.
What if my family doesn't want me to give up my baby?
While it is always easier to have a support system, this is completely your decision. Your adoption advisor can help you with this, or even speak to your family about your choice.
Can I get help with the hospital bills?
Yes. The adopting family can help with your pregnancy and medical expenses, and your adoption advisor can work with you and the hospital to determine if you are eligible for Medicaid or other insurance benefits.
Call an adoption professional to speak with someone who knows the ins and outs of last minute adoption as well as your other options. They can answer the questions that are specific to you and your situation, and help you figure out the best option for you and your baby, whether it’s adoption or something else. As you know, the most important part of this equation is your child and his or her well being.