Placing Your Baby for Adoption When You’re a Teen is Made Easier When You Work with an Adoption Agency
Since seeing your pregnancy test’s positive result, you’ve taken time to consider all your unplanned pregnancy options.
And now, after taking some time to reflect on your needs, you’ve decided that teen adoption is the right choice for your situation.
Although you may know a bit about putting a child up for adoption as a teenager because of your research, you most likely don’t quite know how to put a baby up for adoption if you are a teen or how the teen mom adoption process works.
In general, you will go through 5 steps during the teen adoption process:
- Contact an adoption agency
- Work with an adoption specialist
- Create an adoption plan
- Find a hopeful adoptive family
- Enjoy post-placement life
If you already understand the steps involved with teen adoption, you can reach out to us today to get the adoption process started. But, if you still have questions about giving your child up for adoption as a teen, continue reading.
Step 1: Contact an Adoption Agency
Although you’ve determined that you want to choose adoption, you may wonder, “can a teen give a baby up for adoption?” The answer is always yes. But, in some states, you may need to get parental consent if you’re younger than a certain age (typically 13 or 14).
The first step to teen adoption is to reach out to an adoption agency. Although many teens wonder if specific adoption agencies are dedicated to working with teens, it’s important to understand that almost any teenage pregnancy adoption agency can help you put your baby up for adoption.
Local or Regional Adoption Agency
Local and regional adoption agencies help prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive families in your city, state, or region. You typically get to meet your adoption specialist in person.
National Adoption Agency
National adoption agencies serve prospective birth mothers and hopeful adoptive families throughout the United States. These agencies typically have more resources and work with more hopeful adoptive families. This matters because you get to choose the family for your baby, and many women prefer working with a larger agency that gives them more families to consider.
No matter what type of adoption agency you choose to work with, it’s important to note that you never have to pay for the following services:
- Your adoption
- Your medical care during and directly after your pregnancy
- Your baby’s delivery
- Your adoption-related counseling
- Your legal adoption fees
If you’d like to contact an adoption agency today, here are a few places to start:
- American Adoptions
- Beacon House Adoption Services
- Bethany Christian Services
- Connections Adoption Services
- Gladney Center for Adoption
- Lifetime Adoption
Step 2: Work With an Adoption Specialist
Your adoption specialist is the person who will answer all the small questions related to your big question: how to put a baby up for adoption if you are a teen.
Once you decide to work with an adoption agency, you will connect with an adoption specialist who will help you throughout the entire adoption process at no cost to you.
As we noted before, you never have to pay for any service related to your adoption. But, your adoption specialist also knows how to help you get the additional financial assistance that can cover many other living expenses during the adoption process.
You often can get financial assistance for:
- Maternity clothing
- Cell phone plans
- And more
You may not need all of this financial assistance – especially if you live with your parents. But, this additional financial help can help teens who live with unsupportive families or don’t have a stable home.
Never hesitate to tell your adoption specialist about any financial help you could use during your pregnancy. Because when you choose adoption, you can get the financial help you need to get through this time.
Step 3: Create an Adoption Plan
The adoption plan contains all your preferences for your adoption. Although you are a minor, you are still in charge of your body and what happens to your baby. You get to make every adoption decision because you are the only one who knows what’s best for you and your baby.
Most adoption plans include the following information:
- Hopeful adoptive family preferences: You will have the opportunity to tell your adoption specialist all the qualities you’d like your baby’s adoptive family to have.
- The type of adoption you want: You get to dictate the pre-and post-placement contact you want to have with the hopeful adoptive family and your baby (a semi-open adoption or open adoption). You also can choose to have zero contact with the hopeful adoptive family and your baby (closed adoption).
- Financial assistance eligibility: As stated before, prospective adoptive moms can often get substantial amounts of financial assistance for living expenses.
- Your birth plan: Your birth plan will detail where you want to give birth, who you want present during your baby’s delivery, and more.
- And more: Tell your adoption specialist anything else you may need to make your teen mom adoption journey as comfortable as possible.
Step 4: Find a Hopeful Adoptive Family
After finishing your adoption plan, your adoption specialist will gather all your information and use it to send you hopeful adoptive family profiles that meet your preferences.
Most adoptive family profiles are written online profiles that contain photos. But, some adoption agencies also provide prospective birth moms with adoptive family video profiles.
Take as much time as you need to look through all the adoptive family profiles you’d like. Don’t feel rushed during this crucial step! Because your teen adoption specialist is here to make sure you find the hopeful adoptive family that best fits all of your preferences.
One thing you and the hopeful adoptive family you choose need to agree on is the type of adoption contract you want to have. In general, you have three adoption options to choose from:
When you choose to have an open adoption, you and the hopeful adoptive family will exchange each other’s personal information. You and the family also will agree on the type of communication and the frequency of communication you will have going forward.
Common types of regular communication include:
- Photo exchanges
- Video calls
- Phone calls
- In-person meetings
You and the hopeful adoptive family will maintain mediated contact when you choose a semi-open adoption. This means that your adoption specialist will join in on conference calls, collect mail and photos from the adoptive family to give you, and be present during in-person meetings.
Although you will stay in contact, you and the adoptive family will not have each other’s personal information.
When you choose a closed adoption, you and the hopeful adoptive family will have zero contact and will not have each other’s personal information.
Although you should feel comfortable picking the type of adoption that you think is best for you and your baby, most adoptions are at least semi-open. Many adopted children benefit from connecting with their birth parents and learning about their birth family’s history.
You and the hopeful adoptive family must be comfortable with the type of adoption journey you embark on together. And thankfully, your adoption specialist will make it their goal to ensure you and the adoptive family agrees on that relationship.
Step 5: Enjoy Post-Placement Life
Once your baby is placed with the adoptive family, you can start to plan your future. And if you choose to have an open or semi-open adoption, you also can prepare for future visits with your baby.
We hope that choosing adoption for your teenage pregnancy allows you to have the future you’ve always dreamed of while giving you the chance to build a relationship with your child if you choose to.
Because when you choose adoption, your life plans don’t have to go on hold until you raise your baby. You can start planning your future now.
Why Should Teens Give Their Baby Up for Adoption?
If you think that adoption is right for you and your baby, consider reaching out to an adoption specialist today. An adoption professional can quickly and compassionately show you how to put a baby up for adoption if you are a teen.
Adoption can benefit prospective teen moms by:
- Providing additional financial assistance for the adoption and living expenses
- Ensuring you find the perfect hopeful adoptive family for your baby
- Helping you figure out the type of adoption you want
- Ensuring you get to keep your life plans intact
We’re here to answer any questions you may have about the teen adoption process.