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Ages & Stages

Choosing Adoption

Fewer unmarried adolescents are choosing to put their babies up for adoption, largely because bearing a child out of wedlock doesn’t carry the same social stigma it once did. Around 1950, roughly one in every twelve premarital births were placed for adoption; that number had fallen to one in every one hundred by century’s end. For teenagers who feel unable to parent a child successfully right now but who do not want to consider abortion, adoption is a very loving option to best meet everyone’s needs.

If your teenager is considering adoption, here is what she needs to know.

First, placing a baby with an adoptive family is a permanent measure. Most states allow the birth mother anywhere from several days to several months after the child is born to change her mind. But once the deadline for withdrawing consent passes, the agreement is legal and binding.

In a public adoption, the child is placed in a home by an agency that is either operated by the state or contracted by the state.

In a private adoption, placement is made by a nonprofit or for-private agency.

An independent adoption may be carried out by any of the following: the birth parents, an attorney, a medical doctor, a member of the clergy, or a licensed or unlicensed facilitator.

Under an independent adoption, the birth parent can decide at the outset whether or not she wishes to personally select the adoptive parents, meet with them, even maintain an ongoing relationship, if she so chooses. That is called an open adoption. In a closed adoption, the names of the birth mother and the adoptive parents are kept secret from each other.

Last Updated
Caring for Your Teenager (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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