Adoption Professionals

Can You “Give Up” Your Child to the State?


As a prospective birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or a mother in a situation in which raising your child simply isn’t possible any longer, looking to voluntarily give your child up for adoption and figuring out how and where to start this process can be difficult. 

The idea of voluntarily giving a child up for adoption is an act that comes from a place of caring and love, as you want the best situation for your child’s welfare. Giving a child up to Child Protective Services (CPS) would typically be the first place you might contact, however, those agencies are often overwhelmed with child placements stemming from other family situations making giving a child up to the state difficult. This article provides you with information on alternative options for voluntary adoption.

I Don’t Want My Child Anymore; Can I Give Them Up to the State?

There are various reasons as to why a person would feel like they want to give their child up for adoption. Whether it be an unsafe living environment, a financial issue, a lack of spousal support or you simply don’t want your child any longer, there are different ways you can voluntarily place your child for adoption.

Before taking any steps in the adoption process, it’s important to sit down with any members of your support circle and really consider what an adoption means and the life-changing impact it has on your child’s life as well as your own. In many cases, the feeling of not wanting your child may be fleeting and related more to an outside stressor. Taking some time and giving it more thought may lead to a change of heart. Understanding adoption and the changes that come with it is incredibly important before making any official decisions. There are adoption hotlines that can provide you with counseling and educational information which could impact your decision.

When it comes to giving your child to the state, it would largely depend on your local and state laws regarding voluntary placement, as well as whether or not your state CPS is overwhelmed with child placements. It’s also important to understand that placing your child with the state is actually more in line with foster care, which is very different from a private domestic adoption.

Foster Care vs. Private Adoption

If your first thought is to give your child to the state on a voluntary basis, you would essentially be placing your child into the foster care system. Ultimately, the foster care system would like to reunite the child with the biological parents after a period of time, however, the eventual permanent adoption by the foster family is possible.

An option to consider if you’ve ultimately decided that giving up your child is best, a private domestic adoption could be more in line with what you want long-term for your child.

In some cases, a private domestic adoption is done between a family member, trusted friend or acquaintance. There are still steps which would require the use of a professional such as a lawyer to make an adoption legal. If you are a prospective birth mother wanting to place your unborn baby up for adoption, working with an adoption agency is something worth considering because of the number of in-house services they provide throughout the entire adoption process including:

For mothers wanting to voluntarily place an older child up for adoption, there are agencies that can facilitate a placement with a family. The biggest benefit aside from the services provided by an adoption agency is the opportunity to be in control of what happens with your child. Working with CPS eliminates many of your choices once you’ve chosen to place your child for adoption.

If you’ve ultimately decided that giving up your child is the right decision, consider your options and contact local and national agencies for more information to help decide which type of adoption is the right fit. These are some of the most reputable agencies and resources to consider contacting for your adoption.

Are you ready to begin your open adoption journey? Get free information and advice from a trained specialist now. Contact us any time to be connected with a helpful adoption professional.


Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.

Get Free Info