Why Do Women Decide to Give a Baby Up for Adoption?
There are many reasons women decide to choose adoption for their babies. Birthmothers come from every background- they are married, single, very young, middle-aged, and incredibly diverse. Many people assume birthmothers are struggling with financial challenges, mental health issues, or other “problems” that make adoption seem like the only choice they have. This is not true. Let’s look at just some of the reasons women like you might decide to place a baby for adoption.
- “I’m not ready to be a mother”
- Some women choose to give a baby up for adoption because they aren’t ready to become parents. Having information about adoption can be helpful for women who feel unprepared for motherhood because adoption is an option that allows some women to continue pursuing goals in life that are unrelated to parenting a child. With the right kind of planning and professional support, some women who feel unprepared for motherhood may find placing a baby for adoption is the right choice.
- “I can’t afford to raise a baby”
- Most parents facing an unexpected pregnancy experience financial concerns- women considering placing a baby for adoption are not the only ones! While worries about money shouldn’t be the only reason a woman chooses adoption for her baby, adoption is one way a woman can ensure her baby is raised in a financially stable environment.
- “I don’t want another baby”
- You might be surprised to learn that many birthmothers are already parenting other children in healthy, stable families. Just because you are already a mother does not mean you have to raise another child. For some women who feel this way, adoption allows them to choose the kind of family they want their baby to grow up with and to continue to have contact with their child as he or she grows up.
- “I can’t provide what a baby needs”
- Feelings surrounding a lack of resources are not limited to money- some women feel like they don’t have the emotional support, family support or time to raise a baby at this time in their lives. Women who feel this way may choose adoption for their baby because it allows them to choose a family who has the resources they would like to provide to a child, and to having ongoing contact with the child as he or she grows.
- “I am too young to have a baby”
- We help many teen moms considering adoption plans. We encourage teen moms to consider the support systems they have in place that might help them parent a baby before they move forward with making an adoption plan. Some young moms decide that adoption is the right choice because with the right planning and professional support, it allows them to grow into stable adults while pursuing their goals.
- “I’m too old to have a baby”
- You might be surprised to learn that many birth mothers are over the age of 40 when they begin making an adoption plan for their baby. Sometimes, women who find themselves facing challenging pregnancy decisions during middle-age are also dealing with other complex issues like parenting other children, financial constraints and the feelings of “starting over” with a new baby late in life. Adoption might allow women experiencing these feelings to control things like who raises their baby and the kind of contact they have with their child as he or she grows up.
- “I can’t have a baby right now”
- Some women who dream of becoming mothers find themselves thinking about giving a baby up for adoption. Every pregnancy is different, and the circumstances women experience in life influence how they make decisions surrounding adoption. When a woman decides that she isn’t ready to have a baby at a certain point in her life, adoption can empower her to decide who raises her child and what kind of relationship she has with her child as they grow older.
- “I’m afraid my baby is going to wind up in foster care”
- Sometimes, women considering adoption are concerned that certain circumstances in their lives might result in the baby being placed in foster care after he or she is born. This might be due to past involvement with a child welfare system or to a current challenge in her life. For women concerned about this, adoption can prevent the baby from entering foster care.
- “I can’t raise a baby with special needs”
- Some women choose adoption after discovering their baby has special medical, emotional or physical needs she cannot meet. In these special situations, extra care is taken to help the birth mother choose an adoptive family that is capable of meeting whatever needs her baby has now and in the future. There are thousands of families across the region who are waiting to adopt babies with various special needs, and many success stories from women who’ve chosen adoption after experiencing this feeling.
- “I want my baby to be raised by a family that is different than mine”
- Sometimes, a woman chooses adoption because she wants her baby to be raised by a family that is different than hers. Whether this means the adoptive family practices a different religion, is a married couple, is a single parent, lives in a suburb, or more financially stable, there are many reasons a birth mother might feel this way. Adoption allows a woman to choose the family that will raise her baby, and to continue contact with her child as they grow older.
- “I was raped and I don’t want to raise the baby”
- In some cases, a woman who has experienced abuse or sexual assault decides to place a baby for adoption. In these situations, it is critical that she receives sensitive, professional counseling to process the trauma of her assault and to make a decision regarding her pregnancy. While the decision to place a baby for adoption after sexual assault are is never simple, women who make this choice are not alone, and counselors who assist women along the way are trained in being compassionate, professional sources of support.
- “I want my baby to have opportunities I didn’t have”
- Many women who choose adoption for their baby express this feeling. For many birthmothers, being given the opportunity to choose the family that raises their baby can be an empowering experience during an emotional and stressful time. Women who want their child to have opportunities they didn’t experience may find choosing an adoptive family with certain values, educational resources, housing or financial resources is a positive part of the adoption experience.
Remember this: adoption is not giving up.
If you would like more information about making an adoption plan for your baby, contact us whenever you’re ready.