This page is for those experiencing unplanned or unexpected pregnancies who might consider placing their baby for adoption. If you have received a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome or other special needs and are considering placing your baby for adoption, please visit out Special Needs Adoption page.

There are a lot of misconceptions about adoption so let’s start with a little Q and A.

Question: If I place my baby for adoption, will I ever know what happened to her?

Yes! Years ago, adoptions were ‘closed’ adoptions which meant that pregnant women were hidden away to deliver their babies in secret and then forced to hand them over to complete strangers. Then they were sent home and had to pretend it never happened. Some never even saw their babies! This led to terrible trauma for both the mother and the child.

Thankfully, adoption is very, very different today with much more compassion for all involved!

Today, ‘open adoption’ is common practice. This means, before your baby is even born, you can review ‘profiles’ of potential parents and choose those you like best, then negotiate with them to have future contact with your baby in the form of letters, photos and even visits! You have a lot more say than you think! You also have a right to counselling and support. See below for a list of your rights during the adoption process.

Open adoptions have been shown to offer much healthier, happier outcomes for all involved.


Question: If I place my baby for adoption, will she be placed in foster care?

No! In Canada, very, very few women facing an unplanned pregnancy (less than 2%) will place their babies for adoption. That means there are far more couples desperate to adopt than there are babies available for adoption. In Ontario alone, there are tens of thousands of couples in an adoption database waiting for a baby to adopt! The children in foster care are rarely children voluntarily placed at birth, especially if the adoption is planned while the mom is still pregnant. The foster care situation is very, very different. Your healthy newborn will almost certainly find a home right away.

Question: What will my family/friends/coworkers think?

Your family, friends and co-workers should support you! Any decision you make for your baby – whether to place for adoption, parent or abort, will be very difficult. Now is the time for you to seriously consider what is best for you…and your baby.

If you don’t think you are ready to parent (and you have thoroughly explored all the resources available to help you with this), then adoption is the only other option that will give your baby a chance to live a full and wonderful life.

You may not think right now that you are strong enough to do this. No one wants to place their baby for adoption. But many women have been in your shoes and made that choice and have known deep in their hearts that they did the right thing. You can do this!

Watch Shancelle‘s Story as she shares her experience of placing her baby for adoption:

For more adoption stories, click here.

Question: Will placing my baby for adoption cost me anything?

Placing a child for adoption will not cost you any money. The fees are all covered by the adoptive parents or Ministry involved.

Question: I’ve decided to place my baby for adoption, now what?

This is the first step in a long, but amazing journey! We’re here to help! Let’s walk through the process together.

Step one: Know your rights

  • You have the right to a safe and legal process.
  • You have the right to confidentiality.
  • You have the right to an open adoption (choosing the adoptive parents and negotiating for future contact.)
  • You have the right to counselling by a trained professional.
  • You have the right to change your mind before birth and, possibly for a limited and varying period of time depending on the province, following the birth and placement.

If you want to have future contact with your baby or have more say in the adoption process, then an ‘open adoption’ is what you want. You can make that clear from the start to anyone who is involved in the adoption process of your baby and ensure that your wishes are documented in anything you sign.

Laws vary by province, but even if you decide to have a closed adoption, you may still have the right to access information about your child when they are an adult. For e.g., in Ontario, you can access your child’s information following their 19th birthday

For more information about your rights in your province or territory, visit our Resources page.

Step two: Begin the process

Visit this page for a list of adoption agencies and Ministries near you that can help you through the adoption process. They will be able to advise you on the rules and regulations regarding adoption in your province or territory. Be sure you let all involved know from the beginning what type of adoption you prefer: open or closed.

Step three: Find support

Visit this page to learn about and join our Birth Parent Support Network. Click here to hear adoption stories from other birthparents. Once you join, we will contact you and ask your permission to share your contact information with other birthparents.

For more questions, contact us here.