If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and are looking into your options, you might be wondering, “what the most common reasons for putting a child up for adoption?” It can be helpful to understand why women before you have chosen adoption.
Women who face an unplanned pregnancy come from all walks of life and cover a range of religions, ethnicities, and ages. The reasons for turning to adoption are as diverse as they are. There is no right or wrong reason for making this difficult choice. Only you can decide what is best for you and your baby.
Here the top 12 of the most common reasons for putting a child up for adoption:
1. I’m not ready to be a mother.
For some women, an unplanned pregnancy has the potential to take their life completely off-course. They may not be able to picture being a mom at this point in their life, and maybe never considered having children at all. It is not wrong or selfish to factor in your future plans when considering reasons for putting a child up for adoption.
2. I can’t afford to raise a child.
Any parent will tell you that children are expensive. First, there are the essentials like food, clothes, and health care. Then you have to consider additional costs like child care, activities, and education expenses. At the end of the day, raising a child to the age of 17 could cost over $200,000. After looking at their money situation, some women choose adoption so they can give their child a life they couldn’t provide otherwise.
3. I’m too young to be a mother.
Many young women, especially teenagers, realize they don’t yet have the maturity to be effective parents. Neuroscientists have discovered that a person’s brain doesn’t fully mature until their mid-20s. This impacts judgment, decision-making, and impulse control – all important tools for being a parent.
4. I can’t raise another child.
You might be surprised to learn that many women who choose adoption are already parenting other children. They may not have the time, energy, or resources to devote to a baby while also doing what’s best for their other children.
5. I’m afraid my baby will end up in foster care.
Some women know that their current home situation is not suitable for raising children. If child protective services get involved, your child could be placed in foster care, and this system can be unpredictable.
Depending on the circumstances, you may have little to no choice about where your child ends up. When you make an open adoption plan, you get to choose the perfect family to raise your child. You won’t have to wonder if your child is safe and cared for.
6. I can’t give my child the life I wish for her.
Finances, physical health, mental health, drug addiction, and incarceration are all personal challenges that could prevent a woman from providing the life she wishes for her child. One of the most common reasons for putting a child up for adoption is to provide them with the path toward a more hopeful future.
7. I don’t have the resources to support my child’s special needs.
Finding out that your baby has special needs is a difficult situation for any mother. There may be medical expenses, therapy, counseling, and lifestyle changes necessary to accommodate your child’s needs. For women who don’t have the resources to support those needs, adoption may be the answer. There are hopeful adoptive parents out there who are not only prepared for this but also feel called to care for a child with special needs.
8. I want my baby to have two parents.
It’s not easy being a single parent, and some women can’t imagine raising a child on their own. If the baby’s father is unwilling or unable to be a part of his child’s life, a woman may turn to adoption so she can offer her child the stability and support of a two-parent home.
9. I don’t have the support I will need to be a good parent.
Parenthood is exhausting. There is a reason it takes a village to raise a child. Not only do moms need help with child care, but they also need the support, validation, and feeling of community from their close circle. If your family and friends won’t support you or help you with your child, parenthood is going to be difficult. By choosing adoption, a woman can provide her child the supportive community she wishes she had.
10. I have religious reasons for choosing adoption over abortion.
Abortion is a permanent decision that could lead to a lifetime of regret. Some women will not even consider this option because of their religious beliefs. They find that adoption is the best solution for an unplanned pregnancy.
11. I want to turn my difficult situation into a blessing for someone else.
There are so many hopeful adoptive couples who dream of becoming parents. They are just waiting for a birth mother to choose them. Some birth mothers express that they made the sacrifice of placing their child for adoption to bless an infertile couple; it leads to a joyful future for an entire family.
12. I want what’s best for my baby.
Whatever your circumstances may be, adoption is a loving choice that gives your baby a hopeful future. The one reason most birth mothers have in common is the selfless desire to put their child’s needs first.
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.