It can be scary to place your child for adoption with complete strangers. So, if a friend or family member has expressed interest in adopting your child, you may be somewhat relieved — but also potentially nervous.
You may be asking:
- How can a person I know adopt my unborn baby?
- Can I let a friend adopt my baby?
- Can my family adopt my baby?
- How do I know if having family or a friend adopting my baby is the right choice?
We know how difficult this situation can be. That’s why our team of adoption professionals is here to help.
If you’re considering “giving a baby up” for adoption to a friend or family member in South Carolina, make the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson your first call. We can answer of your questions about this process and, when you’re ready, help you move forward by talking with the prospective adoptive family.
Having someone you know adopt your child can be a great relief — but there are also some challenges you should think about first. Keep reading to learn more, or you can contact us anytime for personalized guidance.
Placing a Baby for Adoption to a Friend or Family Member: What to Know
While placing a child with a family member or friend may at first seem beneficial for everyone involved, it does also bring its own unique set of challenges that must first be considered and discussed. You should be aware of all of these aspects before moving forward.
You should also know that placing your child for adoption with a loved one is not “giving up on” or “giving away” your child. It is making the selfless decision to provide him or her a life you may not be able to give. Adoption is a beautiful choice, and it is nothing to ever be ashamed of.
Our team can always talk you through the pros and cons of “giving a child up” for adoption to a friend or family member. Call or text us at 864-680-8038 to get started.
Pros of Placing Your Child for Adoption with a Family Member
First, let’s start with a few of the exciting benefits a relative adoption offers to you and your child:
1. Share a Relationship with Your Child
While open adoption is entirely possible with an adoptive family you don’t yet know, you may only interact with your child periodically throughout the year. With a known adoption, however, you may have more opportunities to spend time with them and their adoptive family, because the adoptive parents are already an active part of your life.
2. Know the People Who are Adopting Your Baby
Many steps are taken to ensure an adoptive family is prepared to raise an adopted child, but some prospective birth parents still struggle with trusting strangers. By “giving your baby up” for adoption to a family member or friend, you will choose people whom you love and trust, and you will have peace of mind from day one who is raising your child.
Cons of Placing Child for Adoption with a Family Member
Relative adoption may initially seem very attractive to you. However, there are also a variety of challenges you should be ready for. Remember, our team is always here to discuss them with you.
Only proceed with a kinship adoption if you have discussed these potential issues:
1. Confusing Family Dynamics
Biologically, your child will always be yours. But, if you place your child with a family member, you could legally be related to him or her in another way. For example, if your parents adopt your child, he or she would legally be your brother or sister; your child would be a brother or sister to your siblings; and, if you have children later in life, this child would legally be an aunt or an uncle to your future son or daughter.
This alone is enough for some women to look into private adoption with an unrelated family.
2. The Dangers of Co-Parenting
Remember, adoption is permanent, both legally and socially. You will not be involved in disciplining your child, making decisions for your child, or signing your child up for school. All of these decisions will be up to the adoptive parent — and some of those may be ones you disagree with. You must be comfortable with that.
If you and the adoptive parent are sharing parenting responsibilities, your child will become confused about who their parents actually are. None of this would be fair to them, and it could result in a variety of emotional and attachment issues.
Therefore, if you do pursue a relative adoption, very clear parental roles and boundaries must be established from the start.
3. Post-Placement Contact Changes
If you are considering this kind of adoption because you want to remain a part of your child’s life, remember that future contact is not legally promised. Relationships may change over time, contact may become less and less frequent, and there is the possibility that one day your child isn’t interested in a personal relationship.
Do not choose a known adoption based solely on future contact promises, as there is just as great of a chance to share this contact with another adoptive couple.
4. Difficulty in Moving On
Most difficult situations must be processed emotionally — and then moved on from. The same is true with adoption.
For some, having a child adopted to a family member is a constant reminder of this difficult time. You feel you are not able to move through the grief and loss process in a healthy manner; your child’s presence may recall negative feelings.
Choosing a family you didn’t previously know may allow you to return to a normal life as quickly as possible.
A Third, Temporary Option – Guardianship
Perhaps you are young and pregnant, or maybe you’ve fallen on hard times financially. It’s always possible that things will change. Maybe you aren’t ready to raise your child now but will be in the future.
If so, you might consider a temporary guardianship. A guardianship grants another person (like a family member or friend) temporary parental rights over your child and preserves your parental rights for whenever you’re ready to be a parent again.
A guardianship allows your child’s guardian to apply for health insurance, enroll for school, purchase an airline ticket, visit a doctor, and more, allowing you the time and space to re-assume your parental responsibilities and rights.
While you can place your baby for adoption to someone you know, you should consider all of these pros and cons first. If you are wavering between your options, our social workers can provide you additional resources and answer any of your questions. We can also help you find an unrelated adoptive family for your child, if you decide to look for different parents than a friend or family member.
Please contact us confidentially and with no obligation to learn more about adoption with a friend or family member.