Placing a Baby with a Friend or Family Member

Should You Let a Friend or Family Member Adopt Your Baby?

My family wants to adopt my baby. How can a person I know adopt my unborn baby? This is called kinship adoption, and it is when a family member, distant or close, adopts the child being placed for adoption. If you are debating whether to adopt your baby in a kinship adoption, there are pros and cons to be considered.

Positive Reasons to Choose Kinship Adoption

Trust has already been established.

If you are thinking, “I want my friend to adopt my baby,” it’s probably because you already trust this person. If you already have a relationship with the person or family who is going to adopt your baby, then you have a leg up on the process. Trusting the person who adopts your baby is crucial, whether you already know them or not. Even if it is a close friend, once trust has already been established, then this will help adoptive parents and a birth mother navigate the relationship in the long-term.

More post-placement contact.

If you find that you are concerned about how frequently you will see your child after choosing adoption, then kinship adoption may be the right decision for you. In some cases, kinship adoption allows for a birth mother to have the potential of enjoying a more open relationship with her child and see that child more often.

Option to parent in the future.

If you are considering adoption, but think that after a few years you may want to parent again, then there is an alternative to kinship adoption that may be the right decision for you: temporary guardianship.

Many women considering kinship adoption ask, “If a family member has adopted, is there a chance to get your child back?” The answer is no. Once a child is placed in a kinship adoption, or with any other adoptive parents, it is a permanent decision. However, with a temporary guardianship, you may be able to place your child with a trusted friend or relative temporarily. Then, when all parties agree that it’s time for the birth mother to start parenting again, that is an option.

Disadvantages to Choosing Kinship Adoption

Role and boundary confusion.

Families may have disagreements from time to time, but kinship adoption can potentially cause some serous role confusion. Boundaries will have to be set between the adopting parties and the birth mother, and if those boundaries are not respected, role confusion may occur and drama may ensue. This can be confusing for the parties arguing, but especially confusing to the child who was placed for adoption. It is crucial to consider whether role assignments and boundaries can be respected.

More post-placement contact.

While this can be an advantage to choosing kinship adoption, more post-placement contact can also be a disadvantage in kinship adoption. A birth mother may feel reminded every time she sees the child that she placed for adoption of all the feelings of grief that she has experienced. This may be too emotional of a situation for a birth mother to handle, which in turn may cause more confusion for the child who was placed for adoption.

Feelings of pressure or judgment.

Adoption is an emotionally complicated process, and it can be even more challenging if you feel pressure about “giving a baby up for adoption” to a family member or friend. There’s a big difference between thinking, “My friend wants to adopt my baby” and “I want my friend to adopt my baby.” A well-meaning friend or family member may encourage you to let them adopt your baby, but it’s important to ensure that you choose your baby’s adoptive parents because they are the best possible fit — not because it’s what someone else thinks is right.

And remember, “giving your child up” for adoption to a family member or friend is not “giving up.” Whether you choose to place your baby with a friend, family member or an unrelated adoptive family, you should never let anyone make you feel like you are “giving up” for making the best possible choice for yourself and your baby.

Be Comfortable with the Potential Adoptive Family Decision

If you are still wondering, “Can I let a family member adopt my baby after delivery?” or if you have additional questions about how to adopt a child out to a friend or relative, contact an adoption professional. They can help you understand more about the pros and cons of letting a friend adopt your baby or completing a kinship adoption.

No matter if you decide to place your child with a friend or family member, or if you decide to have an adoption agency professional find you a family, make sure you know that the fit is right. Remember that you can change your mind throughout the process if you decide that the family you originally chose is not the right fit up to the legal relinquishment.