Am I a Bad Person If I Put My Baby Up For Adoption?

by | Apr 21, 2024 | Birth Parent Blog

Decisions and Emotions

“Am I a bad person if I put my baby up for adoption?”

This question is one that many birth mothers ask themselves over and over again when they look into adoption. This question would keep me up at night when I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. And to be honest, years later, this question can still sneak into my thoughts from time to time.

However, as I have seen the beauty out of my child’s adoption and the life his parents have given him, I know I made the best decision for both of us.

Birth mothers feel a wide range of emotions as they walk through the steps of choosing what is best for their child. If you’re considering adoption, you already know that. You’re weighing your options and what that will mean for your life and the life of your unborn child. You find important questions filling every moment of your thoughts, and it can all start to feel overwhelming. 

Hannah’s Story

many women wonder "am I a bad person if I put my baby up for adoption?"

I was 19 years old when I discovered I was pregnant. I had chosen to take a year off between graduating high school and starting college and was beginning to dream about my future and what I wanted to do. And then, in a moment, everything changed when I found out I was pregnant. I knew I wasn’t ready to be a mom. I didn’t have the support or means to raise a child, and quite honestly, I couldn’t imagine myself as a mom…just yet.

I was in denial and wanted to wish the situation away. But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t change what was going on. I was, indeed, now a mom, whether I planned to be one or not. There was life growing inside of me, and although I knew I couldn’t give my child everything I wanted, I knew someone out there could.


And so

Exploring Adoption

I began to take what felt like small steps of courage to look into adoption. My fears went away when I realized all of the options that I had and the options for my child. I discovered something called open adoption, as well. Meaning I could choose the adoptive parents who would raise my child, and what life they could offer him. And as I did this, I realized I was not a bad person…at all. I was simply doing what I knew to be best for both my child and myself.

If you find yourself in a similar situation to mine, please remember that dealing with an unplanned pregnancy takes courage. It wasn’t easy to put my emotions and fears aside and really think of what was best for my baby, even if I had a hard time accepting it. 

Many outsiders view the act of putting a child into a loving home to be one of strength and bravery. However, mothers often feel guilt and despair when they start to take steps into their decision.

A Gift of Love

I learned that I wasn’t “giving my child up.” I was helping another family that was yearning to have a child of their own. I was choosing a life for my child that I knew I couldn’t provide for him. I was able to look over families and see who I thought would be the best fit to adopt my baby. I suddenly saw the limitless potential for my child and knew he could have a beautiful life ahead of him. And so could I.

Secondly, I remind myself that I chose life for my child. The very essence of that decision did not make me a bad person… at all. If I’m honest, when I have moments of wondering, “am I a bad person?” I remind myself that I chose life. And that’s a beautiful thing.  

Although I knew I was not ready for motherhood, I still honored the life that was created and growing inside of me. I chose to protect my child and the story his life would tell, even if I wasn’t the one walking that journey with him. I took a challenging experience, one that was plagued with guilt and shame at the moment, and it is now one that I am proud of.

Birth mother Hannah enjoys an open adoption visit with her son

It’s Ok to Not Feel Ok

Finally, I realized that it’s okay to not always feel okay. That does not mean that I regret my decision. But it does mean that this situation forever changed me. I will always be a mom to my son. I was the one that protected him for those nine months and gave birth to him. You never forget something like that. 

However, choosing adoption and seeing the life my child now has and how much his parents love him has allowed so much healing to take place in my own life. I have walked my own healing journey when I thought I could never move on. And I have been able to see so much beauty come out of such a difficult decision and experience. 

Some days are harder than others, but I hold on to the truth that my son is loved and living a beautiful life, and I made the very best decision that I could for him.

Open Adoption

With open adoption, I can see the life my child has as he grows up. Seeing this shows me that this was the best decision. 

So, am I a bad person if I put my baby up for adoption? Absolutely not. Choosing life and what I believed to be best for my child was not a selfish decision, it was a selfless one. Even if I am not raising my child, I know with all I am that he is in the loving arms of another family.

Whether you’ve just found out you’re pregnant or have been thinking about adoption for a while, you’re not alone. ⁣

Take time to consider your pregnancy choices so you’ll make the best plan for you, your child, and your situation.⁣
You can call us anytime at 1-800-923-6784 to speak with a professional adoption coordinator.⁣ 




Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President 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.

Read more about Heather Featherston

Get the latest adoption news, tips, and guidance straight to your inbox!


You may also like…

Healthy Foods for Pregnant Women That Are Easy to Make

Healthy Foods for Pregnant Women That Are Easy to Make

Growing a baby takes a lot out of you! It's no secret that it is tiring work. That’s why keeping your body hydrated and fueled with the right food is very important. These things, combined with plenty of rest, will help keep you energized and feeling ready to face the...

Safe Haven [Baby Box] or Adoption: What You Should Know

Safe Haven [Baby Box] or Adoption: What You Should Know

Safe Haven laws allow a person to give up their unwanted baby secretly at a baby box. This is a location permitted by law. Mothers can drop their baby off at a Safe Haven location so long as it hasn't been abused.   Legislators created Safe Haven laws to protect...

Giving My Baby Up For Adoption: What’s the Process?

Giving My Baby Up For Adoption: What’s the Process?

We often hear from women who are searching the internet for help with "What is the giving baby up for adoption process?". While the decision to make an adoption plan for your baby can feel overwhelming, the actual adoption process doesn't need to be. At Lifetime...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest