The decision to place your baby for adoption is difficult, complicated, and incredibly personal. You are the only one who can know what’s best for your child. Every situation is unique, so there is no right or wrong answer. While circumstances are different, every expectant mother thinking of adoption will have similar things to think about when deciding if adoption is the best option.

Regardless of which way you are leaning, it is important to weigh out both parenting and placing. Make a plan for parenting. Find resources for single parents. Look into financial assistance, make a plan for child care, etc. Make an adoption plan. Learn about the process, and educate yourself about the levels of openness in adoption. Make a list of pros and cons for each. If you don’t explore both options, you won’t be able to know 100% that you’re making the right choice.

Women who place do not love their children more than women who parent, and vice versa.

Think about why you would decide to place, and why you would decide to parent. Would you parent because you feel that you could provide the best life for your child, or would you parent because you feel placing would be irresponsible? Would you place your child for adoption because you truly believe this is the best thing for your child, or because you felt pressured? Note that neither of these statements have anything to do with love. Whether you place or parent is not an indicator of how much you love your child. Women who place do not love their children more than women who parent, and vice versa.

Consider your relationship with the other biological parent. Do you have a healthy relationship with him? Does he have a desire to be involved in the child’s life? If you are not romantically involved, do you have a relationship where you both can be respectful and work out a co-parenting plan? If he does not want to be involved, how will you manage being the only parent?

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Think about your support system. Do you have friends and family that are healthy for your child to be around? Are they willing and able to help with childcare should you choose to parent? Will they be emotionally supportive?

Think about whether you are truly prepared to be a parent. This is a tough one–being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses can be hard to do. Are you in a place where you can be a good role model? Can you provide financial support? Will you be able to give your child the time and attention they deserve? In short, would you be proud of your baby if they turn out just like you?

Thinking about these factors will not necessarily provide a hard and fast ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when you are considering placement. They are simply guidelines–you make the final decision. Whatever that decision is, you are a loving mother making a loving choice for her baby.

Pregnant and considering adoption? You don’t need to do it alone. Click here to connect with a caring, compassionate adoption professional who can help you figure out what’s best for you and your baby. All consultations and counseling are absolutely free.