Before we get into giving up a baby for adoption pros and cons, let’s discuss the meaning of giving up and why it doesn’t apply to choosing adoption for your baby. Merriam-Webster defines the phrase “give up” as yielding control, surrendering, or abandoning. When a birth mother decides to place her child for adoption, she is not surrendering or abandoning her child. No, she is purposely choosing the parents she wants to raise her child. She is making a hard decision but trying to do the best thing for her child and herself. Instead of saying give up, we should use the phrase “place.” When you place a child for adoption, you decide where and with whom they will be raised. You are placing them into a loving home to be raised by loving parents.

Now, let’s discuss the pros and cons of choosing adoption.

Cons

We will start with the cons because I think it is better to get the negative thoughts and ideas out of the way before discussing the positive. Here are the cons of giving your baby up for adoption, or rather placing your child for adoption.

Missing Firsts

Choosing to place your child for adoption means you will not be the one raising them. Let me restate that instead of considering it as giving up a baby for adoption pros and cons, let’s think about it as placing a child for adoption in a loving family. 

No matter how you think about it, however, it means you will miss their first tooth, the first time they crawl, their first steps, and all of those things that come with raising a baby. It can be hard to give up those experiences, but at the same time, you are giving someone else the gift of having those experiences. Many people who adopt are unable to have a child of their own, and so without your selfless act, they would never experience the joys of raising a child. Still, the choice needs to be yours, and you should know that you will miss out on those firsts.

Of course, not all firsts are good, and you will be missing those bad firsts as well. Things like the first time your child throws up, the first time they say “I hate you,” the first time they break a bone, or the first time their heart breaks. These firsts can be very hard to deal with and are why parenting is a hard job. 

There are so many firsts in a child’s life that come to my mind, both positive and negative. The first time he or she eats solid food, pees in the potty, goes to school, reads a book, drives a car, gets a job, has a crush, or gets hurt. Parenting is a full-time job, and with it comes a lot of milestones. This may be a very hard thing to not experience, or it may be too overwhelming to experience. Only you can know what you can handle.

However, if you choose an open or semi-open adoption, you may hear about or see some of these firsts for yourself. A semi-open or open adoption allows for more flexibility in the type of relationship you can maintain with your child and their adoptive family. In these types of adoptions, you may have visits with your child, receive letters, or speak via video chat.

Different Relationships

When a woman chooses to become pregnant and start a family, she is making a life-long commitment to be a mother. However, when a woman faces an unexpected pregnancy, she didn’t decide to become a mother, and now she must decide what she wants to do. She will have to decide if she is ready for the life-long commitment of being a mother. If she is not ready, then her relationship with her child will be different. Instead of being a full-time mother, she will become a birth mother if she chooses to place her child for adoption. This relationship will be different, but it can still be a meaningful relationship. 

Being a birth mother means you will always be a mother to the child, but it will not be a twenty-four-hour-day, seven-day-week responsibility. 

Father Issues

If you still love the father of your child and want to continue your relationship after the delivery, you will need to decide what you want for your child together. If the father does not want to place his child for adoption, this will cause some issues if you do. The same may be true if you don’t want to place your child and your significant other does. Of course, one or both of you may have wanted to end the pregnancy. Any difference in opinion that cannot be resolved will lead to issues with the father. 

Two people were needed in order to create the baby, and now two people will need to decide what to do together. Granted, I know it is not always possible to make the decision together. Some fathers decide to leave the woman or simply refuse to be involved in deciding what to do after the pregnancy is discovered. This is also a challenging situation to face. That is why I put father issues as both a con and a pro. 

Not deciding together, losing a treasured relationship, or disagreeing about the unexpected pregnancy can all be cons in the father-issue category. These issues may be present when a woman decides to place her child for adoption. That is why father issues made it to the con list.

Pros

Now, I will discuss the pros of giving your baby up for adoption, or rather placing your baby for adoption.

Life Plans

This is one of the most important pros in the giving-up-a-baby-for-adoption-pros-and-cons list, or rather the placing-a-child-for-adoption-pros-and-cons list. Finding yourself unexpectedly pregnant can be a life-altering experience. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and one of those is the changing of your life plans. Whether you are in high school, college, or just starting your career, becoming pregnant changes a woman’s plans. However, choosing adoption means your plans are only delayed or changed temporarily. You can still get back on track with your life plans.

If you are in high school, you will need to decide if you will stay in your current school, go to a different school, or graduate early. Your decisions will be influenced by what year of high school you are in and when you are due. If you are due during the summer, you may be able to continue attending school and deliver during the summer. If not, then you will need to figure out how to finish school because you probably need time to recover after the delivery. I know I needed time to recover after my daughters were born. There are options available to help you finish high school, and the counselors at your school and your parents can help you figure that out.

If you are in college, you will need to decide if you need to take some time off school. This will depend on how your pregnancy goes and when you are scheduled to deliver your baby. If you need to take time off, you will need to contact an academic counselor to ensure you can come back to school easily when you are ready.

If you are working, you will need to notify your boss and ensure that you can take time off to deliver and recover. Notice, in all of these situations, your life plans only need to be altered for the next nine months or so when choosing to place your child for adoption. You will not have to completely change your lifestyle, home, car, or anything else. Choosing adoption is choosing to continue with your other life plans or goals, but with a slight delay. 

That is one of the definite pros of choosing to place your baby for adoption. This is a choice that doesn’t have to alter the way you live your life forever. It will probably change you as a person, but it doesn’t have to change what you want out of life or your ability to achieve your personal goals. Those things can be recovered when you choose to place your child for adoption. 

Finances

Raising a child is expensive. According to this article for adoptive parents, research shows that it costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth to 17. While the baby years may seem like they would be more expensive, the costs of raising a child actually increase with age, and it is over $1,000 more expensive to raise teenagers than infants. 

Infants will need clothes, diapers, wipes, lotion, shampoo, food, car seats, and beds. Yet, teenagers need clothes, entertainment, and school supplies, and everything is more expensive for the older kids. It requires a lot of money to raise a child. Placing your child for adoption means you will not be responsible for your child’s financial needs. 

When a woman cannot financially support her child, adoption is a great way to ensure your child gets all the things you want them to have. Adoption allows the child to grow up in an environment where they can get the things they need and the things they want. If the birth mother wants her child to be able to take piano lessons, learn gymnastics, or experience going to new places, it will be important to choose an adoptive family that can meet those needs. 

Birth mothers want the best for their children, and that is why they place them for adoption. They realize they cannot provide the necessary things for their child at this time, and they want more for their child than they can provide. 

Stable Home

Becoming pregnant unexpectedly can be very stressful. When a woman does not have a stable home environment, then it is even more stressful. That woman may not want to bring a child into the home she is currently living in. She may even want to escape her home environment herself. Or maybe the pregnant woman is still in school and does not have a house or a stable relationship, which is not how she wants to raise a child. 

The dreams of having a husband, house, and then becoming pregnant go out the window when a woman becomes pregnant unexpectedly. Choosing to place your child for adoption means you can place your child in a home that has those things you want for them. To see some examples of family profiles, check out this link. The child can have a two-parent household, a home, their own room, and the opportunities a stable home can provide. You can still give your child what you always wanted for them, even if things didn’t happen in the order you wanted them to. That is a pro of choosing adoption. 

Sleep

Babies require a lot of care, and it is very rare for them to come home from the hospital and sleep all night. Some babies wake up every few hours all day and all night needing food. Other babies are colicky or struggle with sleep. This means that whoever is taking care of a newborn baby does not get a lot of sleep. It can take years before you get a good night’s sleep again, and placing your child for adoption means you will not have to endure those sleepless nights of feeding and caring for a child. 

The sleepless nights begin when the child is a baby and continue well into adulthood. Instead of the child keeping you up at night, as they grow older, it’s worrying about them that keeps you up. Parenting is not great for sleep. 

This is not to say that birth parents don’t care. They care. They cared enough for their child that they wanted to give them more than they could provide. That is why they chose to place their child for adoption.

Support 

Sometimes pregnant women do not get the support they need. When a woman chooses to place her child for adoption, she can do this through adoption agencies like the Gladney Center for Adoption. Doing this means she will receive the support and care she needs throughout her pregnancy and afterward. This is amazing for the women who come from difficult family backgrounds and may not have that support. 

Father Issues

When a birth mother does not like the birth father, choosing adoption for her child can help alleviate further interactions with the father. The couple may have liked each other enough to create a child, but that does not mean they continued liking each other after the pregnancy was announced. 

In the past, the birth father did not have any involvement with the adoption process after impregnating the birth mother. However, times have changed, and now many states require the consent of the birth father in order for the adoptive parents to legally adopt the child. Once that consent is received, the birth mother does not have to have any further interaction or communication with the father. 

Even if the birth father wants an open adoption, the birth mother doesn’t have to continue her relationship with him. Instead, the birth father can communicate with the adoptive family to learn more about his child and see how they are doing over the years. If this is something that appeals to you, then choosing adoption will be good for you. It gives you the separation you need from the birth father. 

Conclusion

This is my pros and cons list for giving up a baby for adoption, or rather for placing your child for adoption. I am sure there are so many other pros and cons that can be put on your list. I hope as you sit down and create your own list, you will consider some of these ideas, add your own ideas, and make the hard decision only you can make. Please know that I am cheering you on and sending you love and support from afar. Finding yourself unexpectedly pregnant and having to decide what to do is so hard. You can do hard things, and my greatest wish is that you feel support and love wherever you are. You and your child are precious and deserve happiness. 

Are you considering adoption and want to give your child the best life possible? Let us help you find an adoptive family that you love. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.

Jennifer Autry has enjoyed the greatest job in the entire world for over 16 years now, being a mother. Becoming a mother was not easy for Jennifer. Although she does not have anywhere near the number of children she wanted, she is grateful for both her daughters and the foster children she has cared for. Jennifer is passionate about writing and helping people. The adoption community is near and dear to her heart as she still holds out hope of adopting someday. You can find out more about Jennifer and her latest projects at jenniferautrycreates.wordpress.com.