How Late Can I Give My Child Up for Adoption?

by | Jan 31, 2020 | Birth Parent Blog

Young mom thinking hard about after-delivery adoptionFor many women, placing a child for adoption is one of the most difficult decisions in the world. In fact, some women have no idea what choice they will make until they are going through labor and delivery. Once their baby is born, they may come to a decision to place him or her for adoption.

This leads them to ask an important question: “How late can I give my child up for adoption?”

After-delivery adoption is actually more common than you might think. While many adoptions involve newborns and infants, even older children can be placed with a new family. Learn more in this short video from Julia of Lifetime:

Can I Choose Adoption to Place My Baby for Adoption at the Hospital?

Absolutely! You can choose to place your baby for adoption at any point in the labor and delivery process. You can also choose to parent at this time.

Even if you choose to place your child for adoption at the hospital, you can have an experience that is very similar to the experience of any other birth mother. You may have to speed up your selection of the adoptive parents, but you can still come to the right decision for your child. 

After delivery, you can choose an adoptive family as you are in recovery. You can even talk with them on the phone to get a feel for their personalities. Lifetime already pre-screens the families, so you can feel confident that your baby is going to a safe and loving family.

You can even choose to take your baby home after the hospital and begin parenting. After you have a better understanding of the reality of parenting, you can always change your mind. Whether this happens six days later or six months later, adoption is always an option for you. It’s never too late to choose adoption.

Why Do People Choose After-Delivery Adoption?

Women who decide to place their baby after delivery do so for many reasons, including:

  • Financial struggles
  • Inability to parent another child
  • Health issues and complications
  • Lifestyle incompatible with raising a child
  • Desire to provide their child with more

These are all valid reasons to make a loving and positive choice to place your baby for adoption.

Will an Older Child Face Challenges with Adoption?

Of course, it will take time for an older child to adjust to a new family. Older children need to be placed with a patient and loving adoptive couple who can help them feel safe in their new home.

Struggling parent thinking about placing her child for adoption

Some birth mothers have even chosen to make an adoption plan for more than one child. Adoption professionals, including Lifetime, strive to keep children together so that they can maintain an emotional bond with their siblings. Families may choose to adopt sibling sets for this reason.

That being said, placing an older child for adoption is often the kindest and most effective option. Through adoption, older children can find a loving set of parents who have the resources to care for them.

Are There Challenges for a Parent Placing a Child for Adoption?

If you choose adoption for your child, you must also consider that you may need additional information not required for placing a newborn at the hospital. Older children require a birth certificate with the father’s name listed, medical records, documentation of residency, and any proof of child support.

Additionally, many mothers find themselves facing difficult emotions after they place their child for adoption. Fortunately, peer support groups and therapy are available to help you cope with your emotions. Lifetime Adoption is happy to connect you with both types of counseling, at no cost to you. Just call or text us at 1-800-923-6784 to learn how you can get in touch with a therapist.

What Are My Other Options?

If you have an older child you intend to place, you might be wary about placement with strangers. You may want to consider a temporary agreement through temporary guardianship or kinship adoption instead. Social services can help you make these arrangements for children over the age of seven.

For children ages seven and younger, Lifetime can help you place your child with a loving family. Lifetime allows you to view waiting families online who are open to adopting an older child. 

Is It Ever Too Late to Choose Adoption?

While we have answered the question, “How late can you give your child up for adoption?” it is important to think about the situation carefully. You can choose adoption at any point, though each stage of childhood may come with different challenges.

If you are unsure if adoption is the right decision, you can always speak with an adoption professional before or after delivery. Reaching out to Lifetime for adoption information does not obligate you to place your child. We’re here to talk you through the steps and help you make your own decision. Adoption is a great choice for many women, even if they do not know it until days, weeks, or months later.

Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Written by Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the first adoption professionals on the Internet.

Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.

She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.

Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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