Putting a child up for adoption can be a trying decision for a mother. However, it can also be a saving grace and help secure a brighter future for the child.
There can be a number of reasons leading to this decision, but once the choice is made, there are certain aspects that the birth mother must take into account. If you’re wondering how to put a child up for adoption, this handy guide can help you through the process.
Can You Give Your Child Away For Adoption?
Yes, you can. Be it an unexpected pregnancy, financial troubles, or maybe you’re just not prepared to care for the child, making the decision of putting your child up for adoption shows that you’re prioritizing the child’s well-being over anything else.
It is not an easy decision and the process can seem exhausting, but there are several adoption agencies and services that can help you through it all. From guidance and counseling to legal work, these agencies are equipped to walk you through the entire process.
When Can You “Give A Child Up” For Adoption?
Usually, adoption agencies will advise you that the adoption process for newborn babies and infants is much easier compared to the process involving an older child. The older the child is, the more complicated it will be to put them up for adoption.
Many adoption agencies draw the line at 4 to 5 years of age as the maximum age of placement, especially if you are looking to work with a private agency.
However, if your child is older than 5 years of age, social services can be a reliable option that can help guide you.
How To Put A Child Up For Adoption: 7 Easy Steps
#1. Preparing For Adoption
The first step is to be completely sure of your decision as it will affect you, your child, and their adoptive parents for your entire lives. You need to know that this choice is yours and yours alone.
You can seek help from a counselor or even talk to adoption agencies to explore all possibilities and address any questions you may have.
#2. Evaluating Various Options In Your Country
Now that you have decided that adoption is the right step forward, it’s time to look into the options available in your home country.
In most western countries, adoption is completely free of charge. A birth mother also has the authority to choose and review prospective adoptive parents.
There are also three main types of adoption arrangements that the birth mother and the adoptive parents can decide on.
a. Open adoption will allow the birth mother and the adoptive parents to be in regular contact. This is a fairly vague form of adoption as both parties can decide what they want the “open adoption” to be, such as sharing pictures and updates about the child.
b. A semi-open adoption allows the birth mother to be kept in the loop about the child’s progress without having their identities revealed. The sharing of information is usually handled by the adoption agency.
c. A closed adoption terminated all contact and/or communication between the birth mother and the adoptive parents and the child. It is one of the most relied upon forms of adoption and is considered to be the most beneficial for both parties involved.
#3. Consulting An Expert
Your adoption expert is there to guide you through the process and counsel you on the best course of action. They will help you draw up an adoption plan that will draw outline your specific requests such as the ideal adoptive family or the type of adoption you want. This adoption plan is personalized to provide a roadmap for the entire process.
Apart from the adoption plan, the expert will also guide you on financial support and help prepare you for your hospital stay.
#4. Contacting Prospective Agencies
Depending on the country you live in, there are usually three options — an adoption agency, independent or private process, and intercountry adoption.
An agency adoption is either a government or private adoption agency with regional offices available in every state.
Independent or private adoption involves no agency and will typically put the birth mother completely in charge of how things will proceed. As no external parties are involved, the birth mother and adoptive parents will have to recruit the services of an adoption attorney, counselor, and home study provider.
The last, and probably the most complicated type of adoption, is intercountry or international adoption. Adoptive parents likely have to visit the birth mother’s origin country and will also need to look into immigration laws.
#5. Making Arrangements For The Adoption
Finalizing the arrangements would entail several steps in your birth plan. The most important step is to meet and get to know the prospective adoptive families. This is when you can discuss your expectations and plan for the future accordingly.
#6. Giving Your Consent To The Adoption
To move on with the adoption process would require both of the child’s birth parents to give consent and relinquish their parental rights to the child.
If you are giving away an unborn child, all fees are usually covered by the adoptive parents. It will customarily take 48 to 72 hours to complete all paperwork and legal documentation needed to finalize the process.
#7. Finalizing The Adoption
Depending on the laws of your state or country, the same adoption agent, together with an adoption lawyer, will walk the birth mother through the whole legal process and preparation of every legal document.
They will ensure that the birth mother understands her rights and is comfortable with her decisions. Once the documents are signed, the birth mother signs away her rights to her child over to the adoptive parents.
Alternatives To Adoption
Putting up your child for adoption is not for everyone. If you’re not sure you want someone else to parent your child, you can look for adoptive parents with a more flexible view on open or semi-open adoptions.
Apart from that, you can also look into having a family host or fund your child, foster care services, or shared care with immediate or extended family.