What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption

For expectant parents considering adoption, the journey ahead may seem daunting and filled with uncertainty. However, understanding the process and knowing what to expect can provide clarity and peace of mind.

Adoption Language:

Before delving into the specifics of the adoption process, it’s essential to address the importance of positive adoption language. Words have the power to shape perceptions and attitudes, and using respectful and inclusive language is crucial in the adoption community. Instead of “giving up” a baby for adoption, we use phrases like “making an adoption plan” or “placing a child for adoption.” This shift in language acknowledges the birth parents’ agency and decision-making process. Similarly, “real parents” is replaced with “birth parents,” recognizing the unique and irreplaceable role they play in their child’s life. Embracing positive adoption language fosters empathy, understanding, and support for all involved parties.

What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption

A – Adoption Agencies:

Adoption agencies play a crucial role in the adoption process by offering support and guidance to birth parents considering adoption. These agencies specialize in facilitating adoptions and providing valuable assistance. They help birth parents navigate the complexities of adoption by offering counseling, education, and resources to help them make informed decisions. When choosing an adoption agency, it’s important for birth parents to look for one that prioritizes their well-being and respects their autonomy. A reputable agency will uphold ethical standards and ensure that birth parents have access to comprehensive support services, both during and after placement. By partnering with a trusted adoption agency, birth parents can find the support and guidance they need to navigate the adoption process with confidence.

The Gladney Center for Adoption stands as a pillar of support and guidance for expectant parents considering adoption. With over a century of experience in the field, Gladney has earned a reputation for its unwavering commitment to the well-being of birth parents, adoptive families, and children. What sets Gladney apart is its personalized approach to adoption, recognizing that every individual and family has unique needs and preferences. Through compassionate counseling, educational resources, and comprehensive services, Gladney empowers expectant parents to make informed decisions and create an adoption plan that aligns with their vision for their child’s future. With a legacy built on compassion, integrity, and excellence, Gladney is a trusted ally for expectant parents embarking on the journey of adoption.

B – Birth Plan:

Creating a birth plan allows expectant parents to outline their preferences for labor and delivery, as well as their wishes regarding the adoption process. For example, a birth plan may include decisions about who will be present during childbirth, whether the adoptive parents will be involved, and any special requests for post-birth arrangements.

Birth Plan Template

Expectant Parent’s Name: [Your Name]

Due Date: [Due Date]

Hospital Preference: [Name of Hospital]

Support Person(s): [Names of Support Persons]

Labor and Delivery Preferences:

Pain Management: Please discuss pain management options with me. I would prefer [describe preferences, such as natural methods or pain medication].

Labor Environment: I would like the labor room to be calm and quiet. Please limit the number of visitors and respect my privacy.

Birth Positions: I prefer to have the freedom to move and change positions during labor. Please support me in finding positions that are comfortable and effective for labor progression.

Medical Interventions: I understand that medical interventions may be necessary for the safety of myself and the baby. Please discuss any proposed interventions with me and obtain my consent before proceeding.

Adoption Plan:

Adoptive Parents: I have chosen [Names of Adoptive Parents] to adopt my baby. Please ensure they are notified when labor begins and provide them with updates throughout the process.

Immediate Post-Birth: After delivery, I would like to spend some time alone with my baby to bond and potentially say goodbye. Please respect my need for privacy and provide me with emotional support during this time.

Hospital Stay: I would like the adoptive parents to have the opportunity to spend time with the baby during the hospital stay. Please coordinate visitation times with me and respect my wishes regarding their involvement.


Feeding Preferences: I have chosen [breastfeeding/formula feeding] for my baby. Please respect my decision and provide appropriate support and resources.

Post-Birth Preferences:

Contact Information: Please provide me with contact information for post-placement support services and resources.

Follow-Up Visits: I would like to schedule follow-up visits with a counselor or social worker to help me process my feelings and emotions after placement.

Communication: I would like to maintain contact with the adoptive parents through letters, emails, or photos. Please facilitate communication and respect any boundaries or preferences I may have.

Additional Preferences or Requests:

[Add any additional preferences or requests you may have, such as music preferences, religious or cultural considerations, or special accommodations.]


[Your Signature] [Date]

C – Choosing Adoptive Parents:

One of the most significant decisions expectant parents will make is selecting the adoptive parents for their child. This process involves reviewing profiles of prospective adoptive families while considering factors such as lifestyle, values, and parenting approach. 

Adoption.com’s Parent Profiles program where expectant parents can browse profiles of waiting adoptive families and find the perfect match for their child. Open communication with the adoptive parents can help establish a connection and build mutual trust and respect.

D – Documents Needed:

Different states and agencies may require different documentation. Expectant parents should gather certain documents to facilitate the adoption process. These may include:

  • Identification (driver’s license, passport)
  • Medical records (prenatal care records, health history)
  • Legal documentation (consent forms, relinquishment papers)

What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption

E – Empowerment:

Empowerment is a central theme in the adoption process, as expectant parents exercise their right to make choices that are in the best interest of their child. By taking an active role in creating an adoption plan, expectant parents can shape the trajectory of their child’s future and find empowerment in their decision-making process.

F – Financial Assistance:

Financial considerations are an important aspect of the adoption process for expectant parents. Adoption agencies and organizations may offer financial assistance to help cover expenses such as medical bills, living expenses, and legal fees. Understanding the available resources and eligibility criteria can alleviate financial stress and ensure that expectant parents have the support they need during this time.

G – Grief Counseling:

The adoption process can evoke a range of emotions for expectant parents, including grief, sadness, and uncertainty. Seeking grief counseling or therapy can provide a supportive outlet for processing these feelings and navigating the complexities of adoption. Ask your chosen adoption agency about counseling services. 

H – Home Studies:

Home studies are a standard requirement in the adoption process that ensure  prospective adoptive families provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child. A home study typically covers:

  • Home safety and cleanliness
  • Financial stability
  • Background checks
  • Parenting philosophies and practices

I – Interim Care:

Interim care arrangements may be made for the child between the time of birth and placement with the adoptive family. This temporary care ensures that the child’s needs are met while finalizing the adoption process. Expectant parents can work with their adoption agency to explore interim care options and make arrangements that align with their preferences and wishes.

J – Judgement-free:

Expectant parents should feel empowered to make decisions about adoption without fear of judgment or criticism. Each individual’s circumstances and motivations for choosing adoption are unique, and it’s essential to find judgment-free spaces where expectant parents feel supported and respected. Adoption.com team members strive to express empathy and understanding to foster a culture of acceptance and compassion within the adoption community. 

Speak with an Adoption.com team member at Adoption.com/support to begin making your adoption plan. 

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What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption

K – Kinship Adoption:

Kinship adoption occurs when a relative or close family friend adopts a child. Expectant parents may consider kinship adoption as an option if they wish for their child to be raised within their extended family. Understanding the legal and emotional implications of kinship adoption can help expectant parents make an informed decision that best serves their child’s needs and well-being.

L – Legal Process:

The legal process of adoption involves various steps including parental rights termination, consent, and finalization. Expectant parents will need to work closely with their adoption agency or attorney to navigate the legal requirements and procedures specific to their jurisdiction. Understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law empowers expectant parents to advocate for themselves and their child throughout the adoption process.

M – Mental Health Support:

Mental health support is essential for expectant parents navigating the emotional complexities of adoption. Counseling, therapy, and support groups can provide a safe and nurturing space for processing feelings of grief, loss, and uncertainty. Prioritizing mental health and seeking professional support can help expectant parents build resilience and cope effectively with the challenges of the adoption journey.

N – Naming the Baby:

Expectant parents may have the opportunity to choose a name for their child before placement. This decision holds significant emotional significance and allows expectant parents to honor their child’s identity and heritage. Whether they decide to share the chosen name with the adoptive parents or keep it private, naming the baby is a meaningful and personal expression of love and connection. This is not mandatory, but an option that birth parents can choose if it aligns with their plans. 

O – Open Adoption:

Open adoption involves ongoing communication and contact between birth parents, adoptive parents, and the child. Expectant parents may choose open adoption as a way to maintain a connection with their child and play an active role in their life. Establishing clear boundaries and expectations for communication and visits can help ensure a healthy and supportive open adoption relationship for all involved parties. Open adoptoin is not required to place a baby for adoption. Some birth parents opt for a period of privacy to heal and cope post-placement. Communicate with your caseworker and chosen adoptive family about your needs, preferences, and feelings toward communication. 

P – Post-Placement Support:

Through their adoption agency, post-placement support services are typically available to expectant parents after their child is placed for adoption. These services may include counseling, support groups, and resource referrals to help expectant parents navigate the emotional aftermath of placement and adjust to life after adoption. Accessing post-placement support can provide comfort, validation, and reassurance during this transition period.

Q – Questions to Ask:

Asking questions is a vital part of the adoption process for expectant parents. Some questions to ask an adoption agency include:

  • What services do you offer for expectant parents?
  • What is the process for selecting adoptive parents?
  • How do you ensure the well-being of the child after placement?

Questions to ask adoptive parents may include:

  • Can you tell me about your family and parenting philosophy?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for your family?
  • How do you envision our relationship moving forward?

R – Rights of Birth Parents:

Understanding the legal rights of birth parents is crucial for expectant parents navigating the adoption process. Birth parents have the right to make decisions about their child’s future, including selecting adoptive parents, creating an adoption plan, and consenting to the adoption. It’s essential for expectant parents to know their rights and advocate for themselves throughout the adoption journey.

S – Support Systems:

Building a strong support system is essential for expectant parents throughout the adoption process. Whether it’s family, friends, counselors, or support groups, having a network of people who offer empathy, encouragement, and guidance can provide comfort and reassurance during this challenging time. Lean on your support system for emotional support, practical assistance, and validation of your choices.

What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption

T – Timeframe:

The timeframe for completing the adoption process can vary depending on various factors, including legal requirements, matching with adoptive parents, and finalizing the adoption. Expectant parents should be prepared for the process to take several months or longer and understand that patience and flexibility are key. Working closely with their adoption agency or attorney can help expectant parents navigate the process efficiently and effectively.

U – Unity in the Adoption Triad:

The adoption triad consists of birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adopted child, each playing a unique and essential role in the adoption process. Birth parents make a loving and selfless decision to create an adoption plan for their child. Adoptive parents provide a stable and nurturing home for the child, filled with love and support. The adopted child brings joy and light into their new family, forming lifelong bonds with both their birth and adoptive families. Unity within the adoption triad involves mutual respect, trust, and collaboration among all parties involved. By recognizing and honoring each other’s perspectives and contributions, unity can be fostered, creating a strong foundation for the child’s well-being and happiness.

V – Visitation:

Visitation arrangements may be established between birth parents and adoptive parents to facilitate ongoing contact and connection after placement. Expectant parents can work with their adoption agency or attorney to negotiate visitation terms that meet their needs and preferences. Clear communication and mutual respect are essential for establishing and maintaining healthy visitation relationships for all involved parties.

W – Writing Letters:

Letter writing is a common practice in open adoption that allows birth parents and adoptive parents to communicate and share updates about the child’s life. Expectant parents may choose to write letters to their child, expressing their love, hopes, and dreams for their future. These letters serve as a tangible expression of the bond between birth parents and their child, providing comfort and reassurance over time.

X – eXpectations:

Managing expectations is an important aspect of the adoption process for expectant parents. While it’s natural to have hopes and dreams for the future, it’s essential to approach adoption with realistic expectations and an open mind. Adoption is a journey filled with uncertainties and challenges, but also opportunities for growth, connection, and love. By embracing flexibility and resilience, expectant parents can navigate the adoption process with grace and confidence.

Y – Your Voice Matters:

Expectant parents’ voices are central to the adoption process, and it’s essential for them to advocate for their needs, preferences, and rights. Whether it’s expressing desires for the adoption plan, voicing concerns about the process, or seeking support from professionals, expectant parents should feel empowered to speak up and assert themselves throughout their adoption journey. Your voice matters, and it deserves to be heard and respected every step of the way.

Z – Zero Obligations:

Finally, expectant parents should understand that they are under no obligation to proceed with adoption if it doesn’t feel right for them. Adoption is a deeply personal decision, and expectant parents have the right to explore their options, ask questions, and take the time they need to make an informed choice. Trusting your instincts and prioritizing your well-being and the well-being of your child is paramount, and you have the freedom to make the decision that is best for you.

What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption

Navigating the adoption process as an expectant parent can be overwhelming, but with knowledge, support, and empowerment, it is also a journey filled with hope, love, and possibility. By taking an active role in the process, expectant parents can create a path forward that honors their values, respects their rights, and prioritizes their child’s well-being. Remember, you are not alone on this journey, and your choices matter.

What You Should Know About Giving a Baby Up For Adoption