Adoptions With Love Blog

“Putting Baby Up for Adoption” vs. Making an Adoption Plan

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be asking yourself, “Should I put my baby up for adoption?” or even, “How do I give my baby up for adoption?” These are common questions asked by women every day. Choosing adoption is not an easy thing to do, but it is one of the most selfless and positive choices you can make for your baby now. That is why we do not say “put up for adoption” or “give up for adoption” here at Adoptions With Love. Instead, we say “make an adoption plan.”

The term “putting baby up for adoption” dates back to the mid-1800s, when orphaned children were forced onto trains and quite literally “put up” on a platform to be examined by prospective adoptive families. This was, of course, a very dark era in the world of adoption, and the process is completely different today. How has the term “put up for adoption” held on after all these years? Over time, many hospitals adopted the acronym BUFA, to represent “Baby Up for Adoption.” This type of language was and still is  used frequently among hospital staff and, therefore, spread to patients and the outside world.

Choosing adoption, however, is not giving a baby “up for adoption.”  In fact, it is quite the opposite. By choosing adoption, you are choosing to make a thoughtful plan for your baby’s life. Although you did not plan to have this baby, you can certainly plan a bright future for him or her through adoption. This is a responsible and loving decision that requires great consideration and strength. It requires putting your baby’s best interests first. By considering adoption, you are thinking about giving your child a life that you are unable to provide at this time – one with opportunity, love, education, and a lifetime of love. This is brave and thoughtful and the opposite of giving up. As one AWL birth mother explains here:

“Put up for adoption… sounds impersonal and transactional. Like I posted an ad on Craigslist for newborn baby — free to a good home. Babies are not gifts or commodities. They are the most precious parts of ourselves and as birth mothers, we love our children more than I can possibly express. I much prefer saying that I chose adoption, or that I placed my daughter with a family. I think that captures the feeling much better – that I chose her parents, that I was involved the whole way through, that it was a decision I made out of love, that I took my time to make the choice. Most of all, that I took the time to choose the right people – I didn’t just accept whoever came along first.”

It is important to remember, when considering adoption, that this is YOUR decision. No one can pressure you or force you to “put your baby up for adoption.” Only you know what is best for you and your baby. However, there are professionals you can speak with to learn more about your options and the benefits of each. Find an adoption agency that offers free counseling, that is available whenever you need, and that will respect any choice you make.

Adoptions With Love understands that adoption is a very personal and emotional process. It is not a quick or easy decision. It takes time. Here, we give you the opportunity to hand-select an adoptive family that you want to raise your child. You can also make an adoption plan that works for you, with support from us at every step of the way.

Making an adoption plan means making a plan for your baby’s life. As an expectant/birth mother, you have many options when it comes to an adoption plan. You can choose an open adoption, semi-open adoption, or fully closed adoption plan.

Just as no two people are alike, no two adoption plans will look exactly the same. Some expectant/birth mothers take comfort in knowing that adoption does not mean a final “goodbye” forever. Today, 95 percent of adoptions are “open adoption plans.” Open adoption can take on many meanings, but it simply means that you will maintain ongoing communication with your child’s adoptive family through the next 18 years. This might involve email updates, occasional phone calls, or even in-person visits.

Others choose to make a semi-open adoption plan, wherein they meet their chosen adoptive family in person, and receive updates and letters through their adoption agency over the years. However, openness is not right for everyone. If you would like to keep your information private after birth, or are not ready to keep in touch with your child’s family—a closed adoption plan may be right for you. Whatever you decide, Adoptions With Love keeps photos and letters on file, should a birth mother change her mind about her adoption plan down the road.

As you consider making an adoption plan, you should keep in mind that you are certainly not “giving up” or “putting your baby up” in any way. You are making a positive and loving choice, with your child’s best interest at heart. At the end of the day, this is YOUR call, and you are in charge. The skilled professionals at Adoptions With Love have been working with expectant/birth mothers since 1986. We understand the love, care, and commitment that goes into making an adoption plan for a child. We are here to support and guide you through this journey. We can assist you every step of the way, offering emotional and even financial assistance.

To learn more about making an adoption plan with Adoptions With Love, please click here. If you would like to talk about your options on the phone, we are available toll-free 24/7 at 1-800-722-7731. You can also text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.

To learn more about using positive vs. negative adoption language, please visit our blog here.