It is legal to relinquish your parental rights at any time. It’s not uncommon for a woman to choose adoption after parenting her baby awhile, if she believes it is the best option.

You Didn’t Fail

Making this choice does not make you a failure as a mother. Mothers put their children first, and, at times, that means adoption. Your circumstances are what make placing your baby the best option, not who you are as a person.

Know What to Expect

Adoption, especially adoption after parenting, is a decision that should be made carefully. Unlike temporary foster care, when you choose adoption there is no chance of going back. You will have permanently relinquished all legal rights to parent your child.

How to Go About It

If you do decide that adoption is the best option for your child, it will be almost the same legally as placing an infant. Search for an ethical agency or adoption attorney. They will walk you through the process of choosing a hopeful adoptive family and signing adoption paperwork.

In talking with the hopeful adoptive parents before placement, come to an agreement on openness. Just as you would with a domestic infant adoption, you can have an open adoption with photos, updates, and visits, if that is something you and the adoptive family agree on. They have the final say, so if an open adoption is what you desire, make sure you choose a couple you trust to keep their word .

Adoption after Parenting Is Your Decision

Placing your baby for adoption after parenting is a decision that you alone can make. You are the only one who can know if this is best for your child. If you do choose to place your child, find support from other birth mothers or a from therapist who specializes in adoption. No matter what you choose, you are a good mother for keeping your child’s best interests in mind.

Watch a real mother’s story of placing her child for adoption after parenting.

Considering adoption? Choose a family to adopt your child. Visit Parent Profiles on or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. 

Annaleece Merrill is a birth mother to the cutest little girl on earth. She loves being an advocate for open adoption by writing, mentoring, and speaking at adoption panels. She attends Utah State University in Logan, Utah.