If you are exploring your unplanned pregnancy options, chances are you are probably familiar with the term “giving baby up for adoption.”
Maybe you’ve heard of a birth mother “giving up a baby for adoption.” Maybe you’ve come across it in your research, read it in an article or heard it used by a friend or family member. Maybe you’ve even used this phrase yourself — “I’m thinking about giving my baby up for adoption” or “I want to give my baby up for adoption.” Maybe it’s the phrase you searched that brought you to this website.
But, in reality, “giving a baby up” for adoption is the furthest thing from what you’re doing. “Giving up” means quitting. It means that you’ve reached the end, that you’ve stopped trying or that you’ve been defeated.
You are not giving up.
What it Really Means to Give a Baby Up for Adoption
“Giving your baby up” for adoption takes courage. It takes strength. It takes love and sacrifice. Women who give a baby up for adoption are doing anything but giving up — they’re giving life. They are choosing a new and better future for themselves and for their baby.
Adoption is not giving up. It is not a sign of weakness or defeat — in fact, it is just the opposite. Adoption means taking action. Adoption is a choice, one that takes deliberate thought and planning. Women considering adoption take purposeful, proactive steps to create the most positive future possible for themselves and their children. The fact that you are even reading this article shows that you care about your baby and want to give him or her the best life possible.
That is not giving up.
So, where did the negative and inaccurate connotations of “giving up for adoption” come from? And why do we as a society so commonly use language like this to describe this brave and selfless choice?
Where the Words “Give Baby Up for Adoption” Come From
The adoption process has evolved a lot over the past 50 years — but, sadly, the language we use to talk about adoption hasn’t. The concept of “giving up a baby” is an outdated one that doesn’t reflect the realities of modern-day adoptions.
Today, adoption is an empowering choice that women can make when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, but that hasn’t always been the case. Adoptions during the 19th and early 20th centuries were often shrouded in secrecy and shame. Because of the stigma against unwed mothers and their children, many women felt pressured to hide their pregnancies and place their babies with adoptive families.
Often left with no other choice, these women would “give their babies up” to strangers, never to see or hear from them again. This left birth mothers wondering who their children had become, what their lives were like, and whether they were safe and loved. In most cases, these questions went unanswered.
- She is in control of every step of the adoption process, from selecting the perfect adoptive family to determining the type of relationship she wants to have with them.
- She can see firsthand how her child is growing up through open adoption; she never has to wonder how her baby is doing or what his or her life is like.
- She will never be obligated to choose adoption; she can change her mind about her adoption decision at any point in the process.
- Adoption is always an option for her, no matter how far along she is in her pregnancy or what her circumstances are.
- Adoption is entirely free to her, and she may be eligible for financial help with certain adoption-related expenses throughout her pregnancy.
- She is entitled to free, 24/7 emotional support and counseling to help her determine whether adoption is truly the right decision for her.
- Adoption allows her to give her baby a happy life with a family who is prepared for and excited to raise him or her.
- Adoption gives her the opportunity to continue working toward the life goals she has for herself.
When a woman chooses adoption today, she is not giving up — she is giving a gift to herself, to her baby, and to an adoptive family who will be eternally grateful.
Changing the Way We Think About Adoption
Our website has two primary goals: First, to provide reliable adoption information to expectant mothers to help them make educated decisions about their future, and second, to change the way we think about birth mothers and “giving baby up for adoption.”
We believe birth mothers should be commended and respected for their adoption decision — not embarrassed or ashamed of it. We believe no birth mother should ever be made to feel like she is “giving up a baby” or “giving baby away.” Adoption is not an easy decision to make, and it should be a source of pride for the brave and selfless women who pursue it.
That is why we chose this name for our website — not because we believe in the connotations of “giving up your baby for adoption,” but because we want to change them.