Why do birth mothers choose adoption?


There are so many reasons that birth parents choose to make adoption plans and they aren’t all what you think. Though it is a common assumption that a birth mother is simply too young when they become pregnant and that’s why they choose adoption for their child, the CDC notes a decline in teenagers giving birth and though yes, this is sometimes the case, it isn’t the only reason. In fact, when my husband and I met with birth parents before adopting our daughter, we didn’t meet anyone that was that young. Most of the birth mothers and fathers that we met were close to our age. 


The birth mother or family is facing Instability

Instability can mean so many things to birth parents from not having a stable relationship, support system, home, job, etc. Many birth parents just don’t feel equipped to properly parent based on things in their personal and professional lives that they feel will prohibit them from giving their children the life that they deserve. Additionally, according to the Single Mother Guide, four out of ten children are born to single mothers. Though there is a substantial increase in single-parenting families in the United States (and many single parents who adopt), other barriers could cause a birth mother to choose adoption. 


Financial Hardships are making it difficult to Parent

Time.com notes that 12.4% of people in the United States live in poverty. They further go on to explain that The U.S. poverty level is now $13,590 for individuals and $23,030 for a family of three.” Even though there are resources for parents who need funding and resources for their children, the financial burden that a family is under may be something they don’t feel they can overcome with another child.


The Birth Parents Don’t Feel Ready to Parent 

A birth mother or birth parents may realize once they are expecting a child that this isn’t the right time for them to parent for a myriad of reasons. Whether it be the things aforementioned or just because there are other things in their lives that they feel will prohibit them from parenting, they may choose an adoption plan. 


The Birth Mother was Sexually Assaulted

There is a startling statistic in the United States noting that “an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year” (ajog.org). Of those, around 6% choose an adoption plan. While some may choose to end the pregnancy and others still may go ahead and parent, there are instances where a child born of rape will be adopted by another family. Due to anger, fear, or because this wasn’t how they chose to conceive, an adoption plan may be created for that child. 


There is an issue with Substance Abuse

An adoption plan could be out of a birth mother’s hands due to neglect, abuse, or substance abuse. The American Hospital Association states that 16.5% of Americans suffer from substance abuse. Because this can make it difficult for individuals to care for themselves, they may conclude that parenting isn’t a good fit for them at that time. 

There are likely many other reasons not listed in this article that would be a reason that a birth mother would choose adoption for her child. Not all birth mothers will be comfortable sharing their motives and you may never get the full story, but what you can be assured of is that these are women who love their babies and want to make sure they have the best life possible.