I'm Pregnant and Not Married - Should I Put My
Baby Up For Adoption?
If you are pregnant and single, people will soon be bullying you.
They will call you names like "unwed" mother or "birthmother".
Instead of congratulating you and calling you "mom" or
inquiring about how you are feeling (morning sickness, aching back)
they will probably ask "Do you plan to keep this baby?"
as if there were some doubt in their minds about whether as a single
parent you have a right to raise your own infant son or daughter.
(This is really a rude question to ask - just imagine the response
they might get if they asked a married woman the same type of question!)
Look up some resources for keeping
Chances are, you're still in school, perhaps starting college or
not yet through college. Maybe you are afraid to tell your parents
you are pregnant. If you are black or Latina, then your family will
probably get upset, but then they will just adjust and absorb your
child into the family. They might even compare adoption to slavery,
not wanting to separate family members or risk it that your child
- their grandchild - will later feel horribly unwanted by his natural
But if you are white and middle-class, your parents may intially
be adamant that you must "face the consequences" and make
your infant son or daughter available so that people who are infertile
can adopt a baby. Adoption is the punishment for middle-class white
women who become pregnant - and this punishment is promoted by the
businesses and institutions that profit in some way from adoption.
Targeting white middle-class parents as a source of babies makes
it possible for people looking for babies to get the healthy intelligent
white baby "of their dreams".
As a single woman who is pregnant, you will probably be approached
by predators looking for babies who will make offers of "open"
adoption and try various other means to rope you into an "adoption
plan". These predators looking for babies may be strangers
or they may even people you know and thought you could trust. They
want you to believe that you have "chosen" adoption before
your son or daughter is even born, before you have a chance to really
think and evaluate your options. But while you are pregnant, it's
best to focus your attention and look for ways to keep your child.
Ask other single parents how they manage. Recognize that although
your parents may treat you very badly to punish you while you are
pregnant, they will probably react a lot differently later after
they hold their grandbaby in their arms. They'll be especially pleased
if you show you are trying to take responsiblity for your child
and for your own future as best you can.
If you are male and your girlfriend is pregnant, do not hesitate
to get a paternity test when the baby is born. But meanwhile, to
protect your paternity look up information on the internet and learn
the laws in your state. Sign the putative fathers registry in advance
of birth, buy a car seat and other items for your child to show
you intend to take responsiblity. Some people say "a child
needs a father". In reality your child needs YOU, his
own father to take responsibility and care for him - whether
you marry his mother or not.
Don't give up hope and put your baby up for adoption. Hospitals
today try to keep mothers and babies together to prevent the harm
that comes from separating them. A newborn knows his mother's voice,
smell and heartbeat. He feels secure and loved in his mother's arms.
A baby needs his mother and no other substitute not even the baby's
father can take the mother's place. Adoptive parents are only a
substitute - your baby will know the difference.
Return to Domestic Infant Adoption Facts.