How to Get Rid of an Unwanted Baby [3 Safe & Compassionate Solutions]

There are Many Safe Ways to Relinquish an Unwanted Baby or Child

Women choose to give up their children for different reasons. And thankfully, women have safe options for relinquishing their children.

Although the safe options you have to “give up” your child depend on if you have already delivered your baby and the age of your child, you generally have three options:

  • Adoption: You can choose adoption when you’re pregnant and after you’ve given birth
  • Safe Haven: You can choose a safe haven if you’ve recently given birth and have a baby
  • Abortion: You can choose abortion if you have not given birth and are early into your pregnancy

If you feel scared and stressed when you think about how to get rid of an unwanted baby, we urge you to reach out to us for free, unbiased help. But, if you want to read more about how you can safely give up your baby, continue reading.

How to Get Rid of an Unwanted Baby in a Safe, Legal Way

Many women don’t know that they have safe, legal options when they begin to question how to get rid of an unwanted baby or child. Although it’s not uncommon for women to think there is a program to take unwanted babies or wonder, “can I give an unwanted child to child services,” or “can I give an unwanted child for an orphanage,” the best way to handle this situation if you’ve already given birth is through adoption or finding a safe haven location.

Below, you’ll find some more information about each of your safe options for how to get rid of an unwanted baby:

Option 1. Adoption

You can choose adoption if you are pregnant, if you’ve just given birth, or if you gave birth months or years ago. No matter what situation you’re in, it isnever too late to choose this unplanned pregnancy option.

Adoption benefits everyone involved in the process, including you. The following are just some of the benefits you, the hopeful adoptive family, and your child will experience if you choose adoption.

Financial, Legal, and Emotional Assistance

When you choose adoption, you never have to pay for:

  • The adoption: You never have to pay to place your baby or child for adoption.
  • Your medical expenses during and directly after your pregnancy: You never have to pay for medical expenses, including prenatal care and the delivery, when you choose adoption.
  • Your legal adoption fees: You never have to pay any legal fees or advice related to the adoption.
  • Adoption counseling: You have free access to adoption counseling. These licensed counselors are trained to answer all your adoption questions and concerns.

You also often can get financial assistance for other expenses during your pregnancy, including:

  • Rent, mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Maternity clothing
  • Food
  • Cell phone plans
  • Transportation
  • And more

You Help a Hopeful Adoptive Couple (or Person) Become Parents

When you choose adoption, you give the gift of parenthood. Because even though you may worry that others will view your child as unwanted, they won’t.

When you see a hopeful adoptive family’s profile on an agency’s website, you can rest assured knowing that these individuals have been approved to become adoptive parents. This means that every family you see has chosen adoption to grow their families and is excited to give your baby every possible opportunity. 

You Give Your Baby a Bright Future

If you choose to give your baby or child up for adoption, you typically will go through the following steps:

  • Work with an adoption specialist: Your adoption specialist will support you throughout your adoption and after your child is placed with a family.
  • Create an adoption plan: Your adoption specialist will help you create your adoption plan. This plan will contain all the information you want in your adoption and birth plan (if you have not given birth).
  • Determine the type of adoption you want: You can choose an open adoption, a semi-open adoption, or closed adoption. Your adoption choice reflects how open a relationship you want with your child and the adoptive family.
  • Consider post-placement life: Adoption allows your child to live their life with a loving adoptive family. And you can continue your life and fulfill all your life goals.

If you’re concerned that adoption isn’t for you because you’ve already given birth and wonder how to surrender an unwanted child, it’s important to know that you can still choose adoption.

There will always be a family who will want to adopt your baby or child. So, you never have to worry that just because you’re choosing adoption later in your child’s life, hopeful adoptive parents will think you spontaneously decided to drop off your unwanted child at an adoption agency. They know that you care and love your child.

Option 2. Safe Haven

Women also can bring their baby to a safe haven if they fear they can no longer safely care for their already born child.

If you choose to take your newborn baby to a safe haven, we urge you to check your state’s safe haven laws and the rules of leaving your baby at a safe haven location before you proceed.

What is a Safe Haven?

Dropping off unwanted babies is legal at safe havens. In general, a safe haven location allows a woman – or another adult or other legal guardian – to leave an unharmed baby at a designated “safe” location.

Safe haven laws exist to protect new mothers and their surrendered babies. These laws mandate that a woman will not be charged with a crime if she safely surrenders a child at a safe haven. The hope is if a new mom knows she has this option, she will safely surrender her child rather than leaving her baby unattended at a potentially unsafe location.

Safe Haven Law Considerations

If you’re wondering how to drop off an unwanted baby at a safe haven, it’s important to know your state’s safe haven laws first.

While every state in the country has safe haven laws, each state’s set of laws is different. Every state’s safe haven laws differ in the following ways:

  • Who can surrender the baby: Some states will only allow the mother, father, or adult who has legal custody of the baby to drop them off. Other states do not have laws regarding who can drop the baby off. This is why it’s a good idea to research your state’s specific laws before heading to a safe haven to leave an unwanted baby.
  • How old the baby can be: Eligible baby ages vary by state, but most states generally consider safe haven eligible infants as 72 hours old or younger. Other states accept infants that are up to one month old.
  • Safe haven locations: Every state has different laws concerning what a safe place to drop off unwanted babies is. States generally accept safe haven babies in “safe haven baby box locations,” fire stations, hospitals, and churches. It’s very important to make sure you take your child to a legal safe haven location, or you could be charged with child abandonment.

Option 3. Abortion 

If you haven’t given birth yet and are early into your pregnancy, you can choose to have an abortion if you don’t want to be pregnant. However, after the “abortion deadline” in your state has passed, you will likely have to look for other safe places to drop off unwanted babies.

Abortion is the only safe, legal way to end a pregnancy. In general, when you choose to have an abortion, you’ll complete the following steps:

Determine Abortion is the Right Choice for You

Abortion is a difficult topic for many to consider. Some women know that they are comfortable with having an abortion, and others know they could never have an abortion. In general, there are a few reasons a woman may decide that abortion isn’t the right choice for her unplanned pregnancy:

  • She is too far along in her pregnancy. If you are too far along, remember you can always leave an unwanted baby at a safe haven, or choose adoption.
  • She knows she doesn’t want to have an abortion under any circumstance
  • She follows a religion or holds personal beliefs that prohibit abortion

Check Your State’s Laws

If you’ve started researching how to “get rid” of an unwanted baby, you’ve most likely discovered that some states have stricter abortion restrictions than others. For example, some states prohibit abortion after 15 weeks, and others don’t. And some states may mandate that a mother undergo counseling or go through a waiting period before having the procedure. It’s best to be prepared for ever-changing state regulations before trying to get an abortion.

Find a Clinic

Choose a reputable clinic that has experience performing legal, safe abortions.

Have the Procedure

In general, you have two abortion options:

Medical Abortion

You can choose medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, up to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. This choice typically involves at least two trips to a clinic (and possibly more depending on the state):

  • During the first visit: Have an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy, fill out paperwork, and undergo state-mandated regulations.
  • During the second visit: Take the first pill, which blocks pregnancy-supporting hormones, at the clinic (you will take the second pill, which empties the uterus, at home).
  • During the third visit: In one to two weeks, you will return to the clinic to have an ultrasound to confirm your uterus is empty and that the abortion was successful.

Surgical Abortion

You can choose surgical abortion between 11 and 20 weeks in your pregnancy. This process typically involves at least two visits to the clinic (possibly more):

  • During the first visit: Have an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy, fill out paperwork, and undergo state-mandated regulations.
  • During the second visit: Undergo the procedure and short-recovery in-office. You typically do not have to go to follow-up visits if you don’t develop any side effects from the procedure.

Next Steps

Only you can decide the best and safest option for what to do with an unwanted baby. And depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy – or how long it’s been since you’ve given birth – your options may be limited.

We want to reiterate that you can always choose adoption for your child. The process can be as private or as open as you’d like, and you can get continued support along the way. If you’re ready to choose adoption, you can reach out to us for free today.

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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