Placing a child in an adoption arrangement is no easy decision. The social stigma of “giving up” your child can be harsh and come with a lifetime of questions and sideways stares. Part of adoption education is understanding the reasons a woman chose adoption placement and realizing that she did not “give up” her child or give up on her child.

Here are some reasons women may choose to place their child with an adoptive family:

Relationship Stability

If a woman is single; in an on-again, off-again relationship; going through a breakup; or just not married to her partner, relationship stability may be a reason for her to choose adoption placement. Often, one of the things a pregnant woman considering adoption is looking for is a stable, healthy, and loving family for her child. While no one can predict the future, a stable relationship may be a very important factor in her choosing adoption.


Whether it’s extreme poverty or just not feeling comfortable providing for another person, financial hardship can be a reason for adoption placement. There are many financial situations that may lead a woman to choosing adoption. They can range from homelessness, job loss, living paycheck to paycheck, or wanting to start a career before having children. Giving a child financial security is important to many parents.


If a woman is in an abusive relationship, was abused by the father who is no longer in the picture, or is living with the assistance of abusive people, she may choose adoption for her child. Protecting a child from harm is a very common reason for making the adoption placement decision.

Not Ready

Whether a woman is a teen or 40 years old, she may not feel ready or capable of caring for a child. An unexpected pregnancy for someone who feels unprepared to parent can be very scary. Over time, she may weigh all her options and, by the end, still feel ill-equipped or unwilling to be a parent. This is another reason for adoption placement.

Lack of Support

Having a support system when you begin a family is important. If a woman lacks support from her partner, friends, and family, being a parent may feel impossible. Choosing an adoptive family with a large support network may be very important to the expecting mother.


There are many types of addiction, and countless people across the world are plagued by it. Whether it is experienced by the mother, her partner, or family she lives with, addiction may run her life, and she may look to adoption to give her child a more stable environment.


It is a terrifying reality that some pregnancies aren’t a result of consensual sex. An expecting mother may consider placing her child with an adoptive family because of trauma and fear. She may find it too difficult to parent a child who is a product of rape, while recognizing the child is innocent.


While there are many other reasons a woman might place her child in an adoptive family, these are some of the most common reasons for adoption placement. If you are unexpectedly pregnant and considering creating an adoption plan, you may be experiencing some of these. Every mother wants her child to have everything he or she deserves. When a woman feels she is unable to provide all the opportunities she wishes her child to have, she may consider adoption placement. Choosing adoption is never giving up on your child, but giving your child more than you can provide.

Click here to learn about an actual birth mother’s decision to place her baby for adoption. You can read more birth mother’s stories and connect through adoption discussions and adoption forums.

For more information on placing a child for adoption, or to learn how to adopt a child, visit

If you are wanting to begin a search to find your birth mother, visit the new search and reunion website at for a comprehensive training course.

Sarah Baker is passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption and is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys, a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. She and her husband were featured on season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about.