Can You Make an Adoption Plan While Pregnant in Jail?

Dealing with unplanned pregnancy in prison can be extremely stressful. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed right now. But, that’s why we’re here to help. The good news is that, even if you are in prison or anticipating going to prison, there are options available to you.

To get more free information now, you can fill out our online contact form at any time. In the meantime, though, we have created this thorough guide that explains what you can do if you are pregnant in jail.

What You Can Do If You Are Pregnant [in Prison]

If you are dealing with unplanned pregnancy in prison, then you can rest assured knowing that you have options. From a general standpoint, there are three unplanned pregnancy options to be mindful of: parenting, abortion and adoption. Because you are incarcerated, parenting and abortion aren’t as accessible. But, you may not have known that adoption is always an option.

Adoption can be a great choice for both you and your baby, and adoption professionals will not judge you for your current circumstances. To help you determine whether this is the right path or not, we have outlined some of the benefits of adoption for prospective birth parents below.

Complete Control over Your Adoption Journey

If you are pregnant in jail, adoption is still an option. One of the key benefits of adoption for prospective birth mothers is 100% control over the adoption process. Because of your prison’s or jail’s policies, your trusted adoption professional may not be able to work with you directly. Still, you get to call all the shots while your adoption professional does all the heavy lifting.

You and your adoption professional will create an adoption plan together. This will detail all your needs and preferences for your adoption journey, and your professional will ensure that the adoption plan matches those preferences as much as possible.

We should mention, though, that factors vary when it comes to adoption in jail. For instance, prisons tend to work with the same adoption agencies, so your caseworker will likely recommend particular professionals. Still, you get to choose which adoption professional is right for you and your needs.

The Right to Choose an Adoptive Family

As is the case for any prospective birth mother, you can choose the right adoptive family for you and your baby. Be mindful that you may not get to meet them beforehand or ask them questions directly. But, your caseworker and adoption professional representative will ensure you find a family that meets your needs. When you are pregnant in jail, adoption can still give you plenty of autonomy.

For example, here are some of the things that you can look for while browsing profiles of hopeful adoptive families:

  • Where the family lives (urban, suburban or rural environment)
  • Their hobbies and interests
  • What their family values and traditions are
  • Whether they already have other children
  • And more

You can go over these profiles alongside your adoption professional representative, and let them know if you stumble upon one that sticks out to you. Remember to trust your gut during this process, too. It will often steer you in the right direction.

The Possibility of Open Adoption

If you are pursuing adoption in jail or prison, then you should know that open adoption might still be possible.

Open adoption is when you stay in touch with your child and the adoptive parents long after placement. Even if you are in prison, you may still be able to receive regular updates and visits from the adoptive parents and your child. Here is how you may be able to communicate:

  • Phone calls
  • Photographs
  • Handwritten letters
  • In-person visits
  • Or whatever you feel comfortable with

Keep in mind, though, that this communication may not be direct. You might need to stay in touch with your caseworker and adoption professional representative so that you can keep receiving updates from your child’s adoptive family.

How Does Adoption Work? [Pregnant in Jail]

With these benefits in mind, let’s look at what the adoption process like for someone who is pregnant in prison.

We will provide a brief look at what your adoption journey will look like below. Remember that you can contact us at any time if you have questions about pursuing adoption in prison.

Is Adoption Is the Right Path for You and Your Baby?

Before you move forward with your adoption journey, you will first need to decide if adoption is the right path for you and your baby.

Keep in mind that this depends on your prison’s policies and regulations, but if you can’t choose adoption, then you may be able to pursue a legal guardianship or kinship adoption.

Once you have decided that adoption in jail is your best option, then you will choose an adoption professional and select an adoptive family, both of which we have outlined above.

After choosing the adoptive family and getting to know them a little bit better, you will then wait to give birth. How does this work if you are incarcerated? You’ll likely be moved to the closest hospital when it’s time for you to deliver the baby. Your adoption professional will arrange your hospital stay and account for all your preferences, such as who you want in the delivery room and who you want to hold the baby first.

You’ll then wait between 48-72 hours before you sign the official paperwork for adoption in jail. This is to ensure that you are in a stable frame of mind before you sign something this permanent. Once you sign these papers, you will officially become a birth parent.


Facing pregnancy in prison can be difficult. Fortunately, there are options at your disposal, and adoption could be the right choice for you and your baby. If you have any more questions about adoption in prison, then be sure to reach out to us and fill out our online contact form. We are here to help you whenever you may need us.

About the Author

Lindsay Arielle has been a proud birth mother since placing her son for adoption in 2011. Her post-placement agreement has always been an open adoption. She loves the time she gets to spend with her son and his parents during visits. Lindsay truly believes that for herself and her family, adoption has been a blessing, and she enjoys writing about spiritual healing for birth mothers.

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