When Can You “Give a Child Up” for Adoption?

Can I Choose Adoption at the Hospital or After Baby is Born?


Every prospective birth mother chooses adoption in her own time. While some women know right away that adoption is the right decision for them, others will need more time to think about all their options. Naturally, this also means there are women who are unsure of their decision up until the birth and even after they take their baby home.

No matter what point you’re at, we want to reassure you that there’s nothing wrong with taking as much time as you need to come to the right decision. Adoption is a life-changing experience, no matter if it’s early on in your pregnancy or you’re considering putting a baby up for adoption after birth. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to go at your own speed.

If you’re considering “giving your baby up” for adoption at the last minute, we know that you’ve probably got a ton of questions. To help answer them, we’ve created this guide to placing a baby up for adoption at the hospital, after you’ve already taken them home and more.

If you’re ready to start your hospital adoption, or if you need information about giving a baby up for adoption after taking it home right away, we’d be happy to help. Please fill out our free information form to get started.

Can I Place My Baby Once I Get to the Hospital?

I don’t want my baby, but can my friend take it from the hospital after I give birth?

Will an adoptive family be able to adopt my baby at the hospital?

Will I find an adoptive family who is willing to do a last-minute hospital adoption?

The answer to all of these questions is yes. If any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, you’re not alone. In fact, they’re more common than you might think. But we want to assure that you no matter what point you’re at in your pregnancy, there will always be a family ready and waiting to adopt your baby at the hospital. Any adoptive family that you choose will be ready to meet you at a moment’s notice, so you won’t have to worry about waiting to meet your child’s new parents.

Once you are ready to place your child for adoption at the hospital, your adoption professional will walk you through the placement process. Normally, you’ll have to wait between 24 hours to a few days to complete the adoption paperwork and officially place your baby with the adoptive family. We know that legal matters can be confusing, especially in an adoption, so if you have any questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your adoption professional.

What is the Process for ‘Giving a Baby Up’ for Adoption at the Hospital?

Overall, the hospital adoption process isn’t that different from choosing adoption from any other point in your process. Typically, the process will go like this:

  1. Find an adoption professional
  2. Make your adoption plan
  3. Find an adoptive family
  4. Get to know the family
  5. Prepare for placement

The main exception when it comes to “giving a baby up” at the hospital is how quickly you complete these steps. If needed, your adoption professional can help you complete the process within a few days or even a few hours. No matter what speed you’re comfortable with, your adoption professional will make sure you have everything you need to complete your adoption at the hospital.

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to sign the adoption paperwork. How long you’ll have to wait to sign this paperwork will depend on where you live, but it can be anywhere from 24-72 hours. Once you sign it, that will terminate your parental rights. Before you sign your consent to the adoption, please make sure that adoption is exactly what you’re looking for before you “give up a baby” at the hospital.

Can Mothers Still Choose Adoption at the Hospital?

We know that thinking about adoption can be overwhelming. If you’re like most women, you’re probably unsure whether adoption is truly the right option for you. In fact, you might be wavering between adoption and parenting, and you won’t know your final decision until you’re already at the hospital or even after the baby is born.

 This is what leads many prospective birth mothers to ask:

Can you give a baby up for adoption after it’s born?

 I’m thinking about giving baby up for adoption at birth, but are last-minute hospital adoptions possible?

 Is it possible to find someone to adopt my baby at birth?

The answer to all of these questions is yes. Once again, we want to reassure you that it’s never too late to choose adoption for your baby, regardless of if you’ve just arrived at the hospital or if you’ve already delivered.  There’s still plenty of time to make an adoption plan, even if it’s at the “last minute.” Not only that, but you are still entitled to the same adoption experience as any other prospective birth mother. This means that you are completely in control of the adoption plan from beginning to end.

During your hospital adoption, you’ll be able to choose the adoptive parents and decide on how much contact you’re open to before and after delivery. In addition, you’re still entitled to many of the same services, such as 24/7 adoption counseling after your baby is born.

Can I Give My Baby Up for Adoption after Taking them Home?

Choosing adoption at the hospital or after the birth is one thing. But what happens when you’ve already brought your baby home? Can you put a baby up for adoption after you take it home?

The answer to that question is still yes. Whether it’s been a few weeks or months since you’ve brought your baby home, adoption after pregnancy is still a possibility for you. We know that becoming a parent is not easy, and you might be wondering if this path is really the right option for you. Please remember that these feelings are normal, and it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent if you’re considering adoption.

An older child adoption might include a few more steps, but overall, it’s very similar to the process we mentioned earlier in the article. If you’re considering adoption for your baby after you’ve come home from the hospital, here’s what the process will usually look like:

  1. Find an adoption professional: “Giving away a baby after birth” might be stressful, but a good adoption professional will help walk you through the entire process and ease your worries. If you’re just getting started, it might be helpful to work with a larger adoption agency that offers more resources and can connect you to an adoptive family in a short amount of time.
  2. Make an adoption plan: Next, you’ll go through the process of making an adoption plan. Here, you’ll decide what you’re looking for in an adoptive family, how much contact you’re open to before and after the adoption, and more.
  3. Gather the necessary documents: In addition to filling out yours and your child’s social medical history form and listing your preferences in an adoptive family during the planning stage, you will likely need to gather additional documents for an adoption after pregnancy, such as your child’s birth certificate. As always, your adoption professional will walk you through what exactly you need to start this process.
  4. Choose an adoptive family: You can find your child’s adoptive parents from the comfort of your home. When you’re ready, your adoption professional can start sending you adoptive family profiles to look through based on your preferences. When you find the perfect one, it’s time to start getting to know them.
  5. Get to know the family: Just because you’re “giving a baby up” for adoption after birth doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get to know the adoptive family. Initially, this will be through a mediated phone call with your adoption professional. After that, you can start getting to know them through phone calls, emails, and even in-person visits.
  6. Prepare for placement: An older child adoption will look a little different than a newborn or infant adoption. To help get everyone ready for placement, an adoptive family might travel to visit you and your child. You might even have several visits in an effort to get to know each other better and so that your child can start getting comfortable with the adoptive family.
  7. Continue your adoption relationship: Once you’ve placed your baby with the adoptive family, it will be time to continue your relationship with them and your child. For an older child adoption, it’s always recommended to have some degree of closeness either through an open or semi-open adoption. There, you can review updates on how your child and the family is doing through photos, letters, phone-calls, in-person visits, and more. If you have any questions about which level of contact is right for you, please reach out to your adoption professional.

If you have any questions about how to “give a baby up” for adoption after birth, don’t forget that an adoption professional is always happy to help. We know that placing an older child up for adoption can be overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Is Adoption Right for Me if I’ve Already Taken My Baby Home?

We know that you’re going through a lot right now. But before you choose adoption after pregnancy, it’s important to do plenty of research about all of your options — especially if you’ve already taken your baby home.

As you may already know, adoption after parenting can be especially difficult on you and your child. There will naturally be a grieving process as you begin to adjust from being a mother to becoming a birth mother. We know that you’re probably feeling extremely stressed out right now. You might even be asking yourself, “Does considering adoption make me a bad mother?”

Absolutely not. Adoption will always be a brave, loving, selfless decision, no matter when you choose to make it. The only reason that you’re considering “giving a baby up” for adoption after taking it home in the first place is because you want to do what is best for your child, even if that means it’s not with you.

But before you choose an after-delivery adoption, here are a few parenting resources that you might reach out to:

As always, we’re not trying to push you into a decision that doesn’t feel right for you. If you know that “giving a baby up” for adoption after taking it home is the right decision, we will support you along the way. However, it’s important to remember that this is still a permanent, life-changing decision. Once you decide to place your baby for adoption, completed the adoption paperwork, and the revocation period has passed, you won’t be able to change your mind and get your baby back.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that adoption is exactly what you’re looking for. Before you decide to place your baby with an adoptive family, make sure you’ve explored all your parenting options. Make sure to ask yourself if these feelings of not wanting your baby are genuine, or if you’re just having normal parenting doubts, which will eventually pass.

Is Giving Away a Baby After Birth Really Giving Up?

If you’re considering putting an older child up for adoption, then you’re probably worried that this means you’re “giving up” on them or that you’re a “bad mother” for not being able to parent.

None of these things are true. A woman doesn’t “give up” when she chooses adoption, no matter how old their child is or where she’s at in her pregnancy. Instead, what she’s giving them is a life full of love and opportunities. She is putting her child’s needs before her very own, and that can only be considered an act of bravery and selflessness.

We know that this guide covered a lot of information. But whether you were looking for what it’s like to “give a baby up” for adoption at the hospital, how to “give a baby up” for adoption after birth, or “giving a baby up” for adoption after taking it home, we hope you found what you’re looking for. To learn more about this process, please fill out our free information form to be connected to an adoption professional near you.


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