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: