When Can You “Give a Child Up” for Adoption?
Putting a Toddler Up for Adoption
It’s absolutely normal to discover that, after some time parenting your child, you feel you aren’t ready. You may be asking yourself:
Can you give up a toddler for adoption?
How can I put my toddler up for adoption?
No matter what your circumstances are, know that you are not alone. This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life, and we want to help you make the best choice for you and your child.
There is no one right answer. But, to help you reach your right answer, this article will help answer some of your biggest questions about how to place a toddler up for adoption. You can also reach out online and speak with an adoption specialist to learn more and get more information.
Can You Put a Toddler Up for Adoption?
Although this may come as a surprise to many, and despite the fact it is less common, placing a toddler up for adoption is still possible.
Putting your toddler up for adoption may actually be the best path for you and your child, all depending on your circumstances and if it’s in the best interest of your child.
Many adoption agencies that specialize in domestic infant adoption can also work with parents who want to know how to put a toddler up for adoption, up to a certain age.
As you’re researching, you’ve probably heard the phrase “giving a toddler up for adoption.” Although most people don’t mean any harm when they say this, the phrase still misses the point.
When you choose adoption for your child, you are not “giving up.” Instead, you are choosing to give your toddler a life filled with opportunities and love. Adoption is an incredibly selfless, loving, and brave decision that shows you put your child’s needs before your own.
How to Place a Toddler Up for Adoption [5 Simple Steps]
If you’re thinking, “Putting my toddler up for adoption is the best option for me,” then it’s time to begin learning about the adoption process.
Many of the steps in this adoption process are the same for a prospective birth mother placing a newborn infant for adoption. However, it’s important to know that, most of the time, private adoption agencies are your main option for receiving services for adoptions where the child is 4 years or younger.
Here are the five main steps for how to put a toddler up for adoption:
Step 1: Decide if Placing Your Toddler for Adoption is Right for You
If your child is at an age to be able to process the adoption, then it’s important that you are certain this is the best path for both of you. You can speak with an adoption specialist to learn about what options are available to you by contacting us online.
Step 2: Create Your Adoption Plan
Your adoption plan is how you make sure that your adoption goes exactly the way you want, which is why you should make a plan that suits your personal needs.
A big part of your adoption plan for your toddler will be your transition plan, which is when your child becomes part of their new adoptive family. This plan helps the child process what is happening by spending time together with you and their adoptive family before the adoption is finalized.
Adoption won’t be easy, as your child will likely be old enough to have formed attachments with certain people in their lives and built routines that they rely on. By working with an adoption agency that understands your circumstances, they can help you make a plan that works for you specifically.
Step 3: Choose the Adoptive Family for Your Toddler
If you are considering putting your toddler up for adoption, it’s possible you already have adoptive parents in mind. You may be thinking about extended family members, a close friend, or someone your child knows and has a close relationship with.
If you don’t have a future family in mind, working with an experienced adoption professional can help you find the right family for your child. How many families you’ll have to choose from will depend on the age of your child and size and type of adoption agency you work with.
Step 4: Grant Your Consent for Your Toddler’s Adoption
This is the part of the adoption process where your transition plan comes into effect. After you help your child understand all that is happening and be welcomed into their adoptive family, it’s time to sign your adoption paperwork.
It’s important to know and understand your state’s adoption laws so that you abide by the legal process for terminating your parent rights. Once you have signed your consent, the adoptive family you’ve chosen will assume parental responsibilities.
Step 5: Adjust to Post-Placement Life
After your adoption is finalized, you’ll take time to adjust to your new life as a birth parent. However, just because the adoption process is over doesn’t mean you’ll never see your child again.
Another part of your adoption plan was determining what kind of post-adoption relationship you wanted to have with your child and the adoptive family. If you chose open or semi-open adoption, you can maintain as much contact as you’d like.
This contact can be in the form of letters, emails, and in-person visits. It all depends on what you feel most comfortable doing.
But, knowing you still get to watch your child grow up in a safe and loving home can make your adjustment period easier. Choosing to “give up your toddler” for adoption is a brave and selfless choice, but this process is meant to help you feel confident and proud of your decision.
How Putting a Toddler Up for Adoption is the Same as Other Adoptions
As you work through the process for placing a toddler for adoption, you actually have the same rights and choices as any other birth mother who chooses adoption for her newborn baby:
- You get free, 24/7 counseling and support to help you make an informed adoption decision that you feel confident and comfortable with
- You have access to free adoption services, with costs being covered for you
- You have full control of the adoption process
- You get to choose the adoptive family for your child
- You can continue to have a post-placement relationship with your child and the adoptive parents
Whatever circumstances or decisions led you to adoption, you should consider working with an adoption agency that can assist you with putting a toddler up for adoption. Not all adoption agencies do adoptions for older children, so keep that in mind as you find an adoption professional that can help you.
Challenges of Placing a Toddler for Adoption
Although the adoption process is similar, placing a toddler for adoption and placing a newborn child for adoption will present different challenges.
As you consider whether “giving your toddler up” for adoption is the best choice, keep these challenges that you could experience in mind:
- It’s important to know that adjusting to life without your child won’t be an easy, overnight process. It won’t be easy for your child to adjust to living with a new family, either. Look into all of the available counseling and education resources you might need to help make this transition a little easier.
- Oftentimes, toddlers are part of a sibling group when they are placed for adoption. If you are looking to place more than one of your children for adoption, it’s highly recommended to keep siblings together during that time. Keep in mind, though, that it may be more difficult to find adoptive families that want to adopt sibling sets.
- As you are looking into information about how to put a toddler up for adoption, know that it may be harder to find adoptive families for your toddler. Many families that are interested in adopting older children do so through the state or foster care. Look into working with a large, national adoption agency, as they will have many waiting families that can improve your chances of finding the best family for your child.
Other Options for Placing a Toddler Up for Adoption
Parenting is not a simple task, and not everyone is ready to be a parent when they have a child. If you’re having some difficulties parenting your toddler, know that you’re not alone.
There are local and national resources available to you that could be helpful. Before you choose to “give up your toddler” for adoption, look into these resources:
- Social Services: There are state-funded resources that could be available to you to help make your role as a parent easier. There is financial support in the forms of healthcare, jobs, affordable housing, and more.
- Temporary guardianship: Rather than granting permanent custody of your child to an adoptive family, you can choose to establish a legal guardianship with a family member or close friend. While they temporarily care for your child, you’ll still keep your parental rights until you feel ready to bring your child back into your home.
- Reach out for temporary help: Sometimes, all parents need is a good day or two alone and away from their children. That’s not a bad thing; we all need time to ourselves, especially when life gets to be overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a family member or friend to babysit your child for a bit. You could also look into respite care.
You are the only one who can decide and know what is best for you and your child. Choosing to “give up a toddler” for adoption is an incredibly personal decision that is specific to only your life’s circumstances. Remember to consider your child’s best interests first before making a decision.
Take Your Next Steps Today
It’s important to consider all of the facts when putting your toddler up for adoption. These facts are not meant to persuade you one way or another. If you’re unsure of where to turn, you can always reach out for help.
Asking yourself, “Can I put my toddler up for adoption,” is a great place to start, because this is one of the hardest decisions that you’ll ever have to make that only you can make. But, if you think it might be the best option for you, reach out to an adoption specialist to get free information.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.