Giving a baby up for adoption pros and cons
My name is Megan Cohen and I’m a birth mother. Before you read my thoughts on giving a baby up for adoption pros and cons, I want you to think about why you are considering adoption for your baby. There are many reasons why women choose adoption for their unborn child, or their newborn. If you can be as clear as possible and honest with yourself on why you are researching adoption, these pros and cons of giving a baby up for adoption will feel more relevant to you.
I’m not breaking these down into separate lists because one woman’s pro is another woman’s con, and vice versa. So here are the pros and cons all lumped together.
Adoption puts you in control of who will adopt and raise your baby
When giving a baby up for adoption, you choose who will adopt your baby. This means that you decide what type of parents you want for your child. You decide what qualities and values are most important to you in a parent. Most women say they want a good stable family who will love their baby unconditionally.
If you think child protective services might take your newborn baby into foster care, you can still choose adoptive parents and make a plan. When you make an adoption plan before CPS gets involved, you decide who your child’s parents will be. Your baby won’t be placed with foster parents.
Open and semi-open adoption help reinforce your choice
One of the advantages of modern adoptions is that women can choose open or semi-open adoption. Open adoption means you stay in contact with the adoptive parents and your child after the adoption.
Expectant moms who want to watch their child grow up will see this as a pro. Moms who want to close this chapter of their lives as quickly as possible and move forward, may see this is a con. It’s important to remember that you can change your mind about open, semi-open and closed adoption up until the time you sign paperwork. In some unique situations, you can change your mind about open and closed adoption even after the adoption is complete.
The adoptive parents you choose may become extended family
Many of the women I’ve worked with have developed really strong relationships with the adoptive parents they choose. They’ve been able to build a positive, trusting bond with solid boundaries. One birth mother I worked with asked the adoptive mom to be her maid of honor at her wedding. The relationship you build, or choose not to build, with the adoptive parents is up to you and who you choose as parents.
Most women experience some level of sadness and loss when giving a baby up for adoption
Every woman is different and every adoption is different. In my experience, women who have experienced a lot of trauma and loss tend to feel more sadness when they give a baby up for adoption. Some women don’t feel sadness right away, and some feel really emotional because of shifting hormones. The only positive thing I can say about this, is that the sadness and loss can lead some women to make real change in their lives. Many of the women I’ve worked with feel like I do about when I gave my son up for adoption. It was the hardest thing I ever did but it’s one of the things I’m most proud of. I have come out the other side of it better for the experience.
Explaining to others why you chose adoption can be difficult
If you choose to give your baby up for adoption, at some point you will probably want to tell people about. I always recommend you talk to at least one person you trust before you decide. Some women I work with worry how others will respond. They are afraid of being judged or that they won’t be supported. Talking with others about the adoption will be something you think about the rest of your life. Whether it’s talking to your parents, a spouse or partner, children you are parenting. I’ve written a lot about talking with others about adoption if you’re interested.
Some women have regrets when giving a baby up for adoption
Regret is a tricky word when it comes to giving a baby up for adoption pros and cons. The reason is that many women feel regret for the choices they made that put them in this situation. When you choose the right family and choose adoption for the right reasons, it’s far less likely that you will actually regret choosing adoption.
In my experience, women who have regrets about giving a baby up for adoption are typically women who chose adoption because they were influenced by others. Maybe the birth father pressured her or maybe her parents pressured her. Some women feel pressured by the adoption agency they worked with. I’ve written a lot about deciding for yourself whether adoption is right for you.
Adoptees frequently are curious about their birth parents and may want to meet you in the future
Some women who choose adoption are nervous that their adopted child will find them and be mad at them for choosing adoption. We see these stories in the media. In my experience, the vast majority of adoptees aren’t mad at their biological parents for choosing adoption. The situations where adoptees are mad will typically be when a child is adopted through the foster care system or the child was placed in a closed adoption. If you’re worried your child will be mad at you or hate you, read more about this here.
Giving a baby up for adoption will take you down a new path
I’ve said it before: placing my son for adoption was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it is one of the things I’m most proud of. A lot of women that I’ve worked with over the years feel the same way. For many, the adoption inspired them to go after their goals, going back to school, dedicating themselves to drug and alcohol recovery, mending relationships with their families. Whatever your reasons, adoption will almost certainly change your life and maybe even change you a little bit. Whether or not this is a good thing is entirely up to you! You can read my adoption story and other birth mothers’ stories here.
I hope this giving a baby up for adoption pros and cons list was helpful! If you want to talk about any of these or to ask your own questions, I’m here for you! Use the contact on this page to reach out to me personally, confidentially, and directly.