One question we often hear is, “Why do mothers ‘give their baby up’ for adoption?”
The answer? It really depends.
Every woman’s situation is different. Because adoption is not a simple or easy decision, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits all answer. In fact, it’s completely normal to have more than one reason to put a baby up for adoption.
Although your reasons for choosing this path may be very different from another woman’s, it can be helpful to know you’re not alone. Consider these common reasons to put a baby up for adoption as you make your decision.
1. She doesn’t want to or isn’t ready to be a mother.
An unexpected pregnancy will change a woman’s life in an instant. If she knows she doesn’t want to be a mom right now, or ever, she might look toward adoption instead.
If this sounds like your reason for “giving a baby up for adoption,” know that not wanting to become a mother is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, you can take pride in giving your child the parents you want them to have — even if that’s not you.
2. She can’t afford to be a parent right now.
Parenting is getting more expensive every year. As of 2016, the average cost of raising a child to adulthood was $233,610. That’s a daunting number, and it can be especially overwhelming for a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy.
As you might expect, a less-than-ideal financial situation is one of the causes for people to “give up their baby” for adoption. Many women choose adoption because they know that, even if they wanted to, they would not be able to afford the life they want to give their child. Instead, they may look to find a family who can give their child the future they envision.
3. She wants a better future for her child.
Some women choose adoption because they know that their personal situation isn’t conducive to raising a child. This reason for why to put a baby up for adoption is more common than you might think.
Maybe a woman is in an unsafe living situation, she’s experiencing financial strain, or she has a tumultuous relationship with the prospective birth father. Knowing that she’s not where she wants to be in life right now can make adoption feel like the best option for her child.
4. She doesn’t have the support of the prospective birth father.
The best-case scenario is for the baby’s father to be supportive of the unplanned pregnancy. But as you may already know, it doesn’t always work that way.
5. She doesn’t have the support of her family.
Having the support of your family can make a world of difference. But when many women find out that they’re pregnant, they’re left feeling more alone than ever.
Another important reason to put your baby up for adoption is because you don’t have a strong support system. If you don’t have the support of your family now, you may not have it when you raise your child, either.
Knowing that she would be raising her child on her own, a woman might consider adoption to give her child the loving family and community she wants to see them thrive in.
6. She wants to focus on her dreams.
There’s nothing wrong or selfish about wanting to place your child for adoption to focus on your personal goals. Even when a woman is in her 20s and 30s, she may consider adoption because she has big plans for the future. Maybe she wants to focus on her career, or she wants to climb the corporate ladder.
Choosing adoption for these reasons isn’t selfish. In fact, it’s actually selfless — giving your child the life they deserve and that you’re unprepared to provide.
7. She’s still in school or believes she’s too young to raise a child.
An unexpected pregnancy can put a woman’s dreams for the future on hold. If she’s still in school, whether that’s high school or college, one of the reasons to “give a baby up” for adoption is because she feels that she’s too young to raise a child herself.
If she chooses adoption, she has the ability to give her child a better future while she focuses on her education. Many adoption agencies provide scholarship opportunities, as well.
8. She’s already raising other children.
An unexpected pregnancy can happen to any woman, even if she already has children. A big reason for why people choose adoption is because their family is already complete, and they don’t have the time, energy, or resources to dedicate to raising another child. A woman might decide to pursue adoption if she wants to give her child the gift of a loving family while she focuses on her own.
9. She changed her mind about parenting.
Parenting is the hardest job out there. It might sound surprising, but many women choose adoption after they have already come home from the hospital. They may have realized that the challenges of parenthood are not something they can handle but still want to give their babies a future they deserve.
10. She wants to raise her baby in a two-person home.
Another reason to choose adoption is because a pregnant woman isn’t ready or doesn’t want to raise her child alone. She might look to adoptive parents who can give her child the gift of a stable, two-person household.
11. Her baby has needs she feels like she can’t meet
It’s painful to admit, but if a woman is raising a child with a special needs or a medical condition, she might feel like she is no longer equipped to raise them. When that happens, she might consider adoption to be a better option.
12. She doesn’t want to choose abortion or parenting.
One of the reasons to give a baby up for adoption is that, for many women, it really feels like the only option. A pregnant woman may not want the finality of abortion or the long-term investment of parenthood. Adoption can give her baby the best future possible, and it may just be the perfect choice.
13. She is going through personal struggles.
If she’s already going through her own struggles, adoption might feel like the best option for herself and her baby.
So, why do birth parents choose adoption? For a number of reasons.
No matter what your reason is for choosing adoption, it likely stems from one dream: to give your baby the best future you possibly can.
By researching adoption, you are doing everything you can to give your child a life full of opportunities, love and happiness. Adoption is never an easy choice, but for many women, it’s the only decision that feels right.
If any of these reasons apply to what you’re through, and you’d like more information, we’d be happy to help. Please fill out our free information form to be connected with an adoption professional.