Can a Family Member Adopt My Baby?
“My family wants to adopt my baby.” It’s a common situation for many pregnant women.
It’s also common for women who consider adoption for their children to first consider giving the baby up for adoption to a family member. On the surface, this option seems like the best of both worlds. Your relative will be raising the child, but you will still be able to see him or her frequently.
It may sound as simple as that, but there are many things you should consider before letting a family member adopt your baby. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of placing your child with a family member.
- You will already know and trust the adoptive parents to raise your child. You have had many years (maybe even your whole life) to get to know your family members and establish trust, making it easier to picture them raising your child.
- You will be able to see your child more frequently and potentially have a closer bond with him or her. While you can also build a relationship with your child through an open or semi-open adoption, giving your child up for adoption to a family member, especially one that lives nearby, may provide the opportunity for you to see him or her on a regular basis.
- Your family will be happy. If your family is having trouble accepting your decision to place your child for adoption, they may take it better if the child is placed with a family member. However, it is important that you don’t allow your family to push you into an adoption plan that you aren’t happy with.
While there may be some advantages to placing a baby for adoption with a family member, this arrangement is not always the best option. There may still be things you have not considered.
- You may disagree with the way your family member parents and be tempted to step in. Being in such close proximity to your child means you will see many of the parenting choices being made. Any disagreements you have with the adoptive parents can damage your relationship and come as a painful reminder that you no longer have a parent-child relationship with your child.
- Your role in the child’s life can become confusing. If you place your child for adoption with your parents, he or she will be biologically your child, but legally your brother or sister. If your sister adopts your baby, your child will be your niece or nephew. This can become confusing not only for you, but for the child as well. As the child grows and becomes aware of the relationship, it may be difficult to explain the situation without causing the child to question where he or she fits in the family.
- You will be constantly reminded of your loss. Having your child so close to you but not being able to parent him or her or love them as a mother can be incredibly painful. Placing a child for adoption is difficult in any situation, but your proximity to your child may compound your feelings of grief and guilt.
- Your future family may cause your child to feel abandoned. If you decide to later have more children that you will parent, it can be incredibly painful for the child you placed for adoption to see these interactions. He or she may feel abandoned, depressed or angry that you chose to parent those children but not them. Seeing you with your other children so frequently may cause these feelings to intensify.
Many women also think that placing a child for adoption with a family member will allow them to parent later on. However, this is untrue. When you place a child for adoption — even with a family member — you are permanently terminating all parental rights. If you believe you will be able to parent in the future (after you’ve found a safe place to live, have finished schooling, etc.), you may want to consider a temporary guardianship for your child as opposed to an adoption.
It’s important to remember that you are the only one who can decide what is best for you and your baby. Every woman’s situation is different, so what was best for one woman may not be the best for you. Take the time to consider all of your options before making a decision.
If you are more comfortable placing your child with an agency-approved Christian adoptive family of your choice, we can help you through each step of the adoption process. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 1-800-659-7541, or text us at 682-593-1494 for free adoption information.