Let’s face it: most teenagers aren’t trying to become pregnant. But if you just learned that you’re pregnant, you’re not alone. Many teens are in the same boat. You didn’t plan for this, and you might have no idea what you’re going to do next.
Choosing adoption is not easy, and it comes with a lot of emotion. It also comes with a lot of questions. If you’re under 18, you might wonder if you even have the right to place your child with a loving adoptive family.
Do you have to be a certain age to place your baby for adoption? Do you need your parent’s permission to do this? You are not alone in wondering these things. Keep reading to answer these common questions.
Adoption is Always an Option
First things first: even if you are a minor, you have the right to place your baby for adoption. Any expectant mother has the right to make an adoption plan for her child. Adoption is an option in every state.
Of course, this leaves one question. How involved do your parents need to be in the process? The laws differ from state to state, and most states try to leave it to the minor to make the call. That means that teens in most states do not need parental permission.
In some states, you will find that this is not the case for teens below a certain age. For example, some states may require teens under the age of 13 or 14 to obtain parental permission to make a plan for adoption. You can speak with a professional to understand your rights in your state.
Regardless of your age, it is always a good idea to speak with a professional at Lifetime Adoption about making a plan. The laws differ in each state, and you may not need any permission to choose the loving and compassionate choice of adoption.
Steps to Choosing Adoption as a Minor
Even though you’re a minor, you will follow the same steps and have the same rights as any other expectant mother who wants to place her baby. You can sit down with a professional and figure out what you want for your adoption. You can have an open or closed adoption. You can choose to spend time with your baby at the hospital after he or she is born. Nothing changes there.
Just like anybody else, you also have the right to change your mind. If something changes, even after you have selected an adoptive family, you can choose to parent. Simply because you are a minor does not mean that you’re forced to place your baby for adoption. You retain the right to adjust your plan to fit your needs and the needs of your baby. Adoption professionals help you understand your rights and the choices you can make.
Want to Involve Your Parents?
If you don’t want to involve your parents in the adoption process, that is totally fine. However, it’s a really good idea to talk to your parents about adoption. And, it’s always good to get on the same page about pregnancy and the choices available.
Why is it such a good idea to speak with your parents? To start, they will be the ones providing you with emotional support. They help you get through the difficult parts of pregnancy and adoption. They may also be the ones providing you with the financial backing, taking you to doctor’s appointments, and helping you choose adoptive parents for your baby. They love your baby as much as you do, and they may want to be involved in helping you make crucial decisions. This help will be so important in the coming weeks and months.
Once the adoption is finalized, the decision is permanent. Once you choose adoption and place your baby with the adoptive parents, you give up your parental rights. So, you must be totally sure about your decision before the baby is placed. Having your parents on your side is important so that you can discuss your choice and become completely sure about the decision.
What Should You Do Next?
Your next step is to contact an adoption professional to learn more about building an adoption plan and providing other benefits for your baby. Support is available to get you through your pregnancy, regardless of your relationship with your parents. Lifetime Adoption is here to help you through every step on your journey.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.