Unplanned Pregnancy and Marriage – Is Adoption Still an Option?

You may have a stereotypical idea in your head about the type of woman who chooses adoption, but the truth is that many married couples consider adoption in response to an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.

Unexpected pregnancy can change your life regardless of your situation, including unplanned pregnancy and marriage. Often, married couples experiencing an unplanned pregnancy feel a sense of obligation to parent. But, what if you are married but want to “give the baby up” for adoption?

Adoption is an option for anyone experiencing an unwanted pregnancy, including in situations of unplanned pregnancy and marriage. In fact, many women who choose adoption do so with the support of the spouse.

This may come as a surprise. Adoption is rarely depicted this way in pop culture, like TV shows and movies. However, a married couple “giving up a baby” for adoption is relatively common.

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in marriage and considering adoption, this guide is for you. 

Can Married Women Give Their Baby Up for Adoption?

You may have the belief that, because you are married, unplanned pregnancy has to result in becoming parents. That’s just how this goes, right? The truth is that an unexpected pregnancy doesn’t magically become easier once you’ve tied the knot.

For whatever reason, you might be married and can’t provide for a new baby. Considering adoption is reasonable in this situation, and putting a child up for adoption when married is certainly possible. Adoption agencies (which we will cover in greater detail below) are accustomed to working with both partners in a marriage to create an adoption plan.

You may feel a sense of shame if you are married but want to “give a baby up” for adoption. While expectations from society may make you feel that way, the truth is that adoption is a brave, loving choice. While it’s common to hear and use the phrase “giving up” a baby for adoption, there’s nothing at all about this choice that resembles “giving up.”

Adoption can create a better future for yourself and your baby.  This has been the experience of other women who have decided that “giving a baby up” for adoption while married was the right journey for their life. It could be the best thing for you, too.

Married and Can’t Provide for New Baby — Considering Adoption

There are many different reasons why you might be married but want to “give a baby up” for adoption. As you try to determine if adoption is right for you, it could be helpful to read about some of the most common reasons why a married couple would choose adoption.

You won’t be able to support a child financially: Most married couples struggle with finances, and parenting is expensive. If a new child would create significant financial hardship, then “giving a baby up” for adoption while married could make sense for you.

The timing just isn’t right: Whether it’s a because you are newlyweds and not ready to parent, one or both of you is finishing school, or your careers are taking off; sometimes the timing just isn’t right to start a family. This is a reason that many married couples “give up a baby” for adoption.

Your family is already complete: Did you know that many married couples “giving up a baby” for adoption are already parents? It’s true. While you were ready for babies one and two, a third might push your family beyond what it can handle. If your family is already complete and you experience an unplanned pregnancy, you might want to consider adoption.

Do you resonate with anything here? While only a short sample, these reasons for choosing adoption are relatively common. If you found yourself nodding along, then that could be a strong sign that adoption is worth considering for your unplanned pregnancy in marriage.

Putting a Child Up for Adoption When Married

If adoption is the right step for your family, how do you actually do it? The adoption process can be confusing. You might be worried that it will be different for you because you are a married couple placing a child for adoption.

This process will follow the same steps for you as it would for anyone else. While the details of each process are totally unique, putting a child up for adoption when married will always follow these important steps:

Step 1: Choose Adoption. Obvious, right? It’s important that we start here, because rushing your decision can create problems later in the process. Take your time to be sure that adoption is what you want. Research all of your unplanned pregnancy options and, if it would be helpful, consider reaching out to an adoption professional to talk over your questions.

Step 2: Find an Agency and Create a Plan. This step may be the most important one for any married couple placing a child for adoption. Your adoption agency will provide the services, support and guidance you need in order to complete an adoption. And, the truth is, not all agencies are created equal. Finding the right one can make or break your experience.

With the help of your agency, you’ll create an adoption plan. This is something that both partners can contribute to. Your plan essentially outlines how you would like the most important aspects of your adoption to go.

Step 3: Pick an Adoptive Family. When “giving a baby up” for adoption while married, you get to choose the family you believe will be best for them. This happens by looking through adoptive family profiles, which the agency provides. If you have it narrowed down to two or three families, you can ask to speak with those families before making a choice.

Step 4: Complete Placement. Depending on the level of openness in your adoption, you may get to know the adoptive parents before placement. When the time comes for labor and delivery, your hospital plan will guide how things go. After birth, each birth parent will need to sign their consent to adoption so that the baby can be placed with the adoptive parents.

Step 5: Post-Placement Contact. Putting a child up for adoption when married doesn’t have to end your connection with your child. Most adoptions today are at least semi-open. When you’re a prospective birth parent, you choose the level of openness when you create your adoption plan. This means that you can have a lasting, meaningful relationship with your child and the adoptive family after placement.

These steps are the same for anyone choosing adoption — whether they are single of married but want to “adopt a baby out.”

Find Professionals Services

 None of this can happen without the support of the right adoption professional. For many, this means working with a national adoption agency. This type of agency is fully licensed and works across the country with prospective birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents.

Those facing an unplanned pregnancy and married who are considering adoption could choose a national agency if they value:

If you’d like to speak to a national adoption agency, you could begin by contacting one of the following:

Or, you can contact us today to be connected with an adoption professional.