Is It Too Late to Think About Adoption?


Choosing to make an adoption plan is an extremely difficult decision and one that individuals do not take likely. It can be hard to find an adoption professional you’re comfortable with,  adoptive parents that are a fit for you, and to decide if you are able to create an adoption plan when you might still be debating about parenting. Though it may seem that the majority of adoption plans are decided before or directly after giving birth, there is time to think about creating an adoption plan and finding a family to raise your child should you feel that you cannot. Even if you’ve gone home from the hospital with a baby, if you feel that parenting isn’t something you are able to do, there is still time to make an adoption plan and someone that can help you do this.


When Should I Begin Thinking about Making an Adoption Plan? 

You are able to start making an adoption plan at any time in your pregnancy. Though some reach out to an adoption professional early on in their pregnancy, there are still many birth parents who don’t make the final decision until after the baby is born. However, if it is something you’re considering at any stage in your pregnancy, reaching out to an adoption professional to get information about your next steps is helpful. Also, you may be eligible for benefits or  support should you be struggling financially. You can begin these conversations once you find out you’re pregnant, or you can ask to speak to an adoption professional at the hospital.


I met my daughter 24 hours after she was born, after getting a surprise phone call that a birth mother had chosen my husband and I to parent her child the day after she gave birth. We were still able to get to the hospital and in these situations, there is someone that can step in to care for your child.  There will be families for you to choose from and adoption specialists ready to help you should you make this plan later. 

Getting information and feeling comfortable with your decision is the most important part of this process, so requesting counseling or finding someone to talk to as you make this decision is important. 

For more information about considering adoption at various stages of your pregnancy, read this article. 


Is it ever Too Late to make an Adoption Plan? 

It is never too late to make an adoption plan. There are individuals that take a child home to see if they’re able to parent. If it turns out that you need more support, there are services that can help with that, but if you do decide that adoption is the best option, there is still time to make those plans and speak with professionals. 

However, attachment and awareness play a part in trauma for adopted children. Trauma exists in adoption no matter when a child is placed for adoption, likely both for the child and a birth parent, but as a child becomes more aware of their surroundings, it could be increasingly more difficult. According to, “child development research tells us that children need consistency, predictability, and attachment to a caring adult to thrive.” Some research and data also indicates that the older a child is, the harder it is to find a permanent placement for them depending on location, etc. 

 Read more about adoption and trauma here. 


What do I do if I want to make an Adoption Plan? 

If you are considering making an adoption plan, your first course of action is to reach out to an adoption professional like a social worker, professional at an adoption agency, or even an adoption lawyer. They can help you through conversations, counseling, and even help you find resources that you might be lacking during your pregnancy. In most cases, these services are free of charge to you. No matter what stage you are in your pregnancy, adoption is always an option. Reach out to an adoption professional for more help and to begin having discussions and gathering information. 


Why we don’t say “giving a baby up” for adoption.

Though it’s still commonly used in some media and even used by people we know, those of us in the adoption community don’t use this term. Children aren’t “given up” or “given away.” As you’ll note in this article and others, we commonly say that an adoption plan is created. Some trauma and stigma around adoption comes from inappropriate terminology and this is one of them. Children aren’t just given away at random. Birth parents work with individuals and families to make a plan that is in the best interest of the child. It is because children are so loved that these adoption plans are made.