10 Common Reasons for Putting a Child Up for Adoption

Many birth mothers struggle with the idea of creating an adoption plan for their baby. Oftentimes, they wonder if their reasons for placing their child for adoption are good enough or understandable. Will she be judged for carrying a child to term and selecting someone else to raise it? Making the choice to select another family to raise a baby can be incredibly stressful emotionally, as a birth mother struggles through her sorrow, pain, regret, guilt, and all of the other feelings that flood her mind.

Prospective adoptive families and birth mothers alike should know that there is no wrong reason to place a child for adoption. Each circumstance surrounding the birth of a child is completely unique, so the list of potential reasons is infinite. To give everyone a little more insight into some of the more common reasons a birth mother may choose an adoption plan, here is a list of ten common ways a child ends up in an adoptive home:

  • Financial resources are lacking. A birth mother may realize that she doesn’t have the financial means necessary to support another person. Whether she lacks a stable job or the education necessary to obtain a better-paying position, finances are a real consideration when it comes to raising a child.
  • Health isn’t ideal. Health can encompass all of the different aspects of life from mental health to physical health. A woman who struggles with a disability or mental illness may have the awareness that she won’t be capable of caring for a child long-term.
  • Addiction needs to be addressed. Similar to a birth mother who acknowledges her own poor health, some may realize that their addiction is too out of control to be able to raise their baby. Regardless of their specific addiction, this can result in poor finances and health which create a perfect storm that can make birth mothers unable to see any choice but to place their baby for adoption.
  • Future plans are important. A young mother, particularly one still in her teens, may have big dreams and goals for the future. In order to have the best chance at future success, she may opt to place her child for adoption to focus on herself.
  • Single motherhood is hard. There’s no denying that raising a child on your own can be a difficult endeavor. Women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and single may feel the pressure of having to raise that baby all on their own. Because being single is so difficult for women who lack an additional support system, many birth mothers may opt for an adoption plan instead.
  • They need a stable home. If the mother is young, still climbing the corporate ladder, or just isn’t where she envisions herself being at this point in her life, she may decide that her home life is too unstable to bring up a child. The timing of raising a baby is very important, and she may decide to place her child with another established family who offers a more stable home environment.
  • She’s in an abusive relationship. The birth mother may know that the father of the baby struggles with his own issues or is abusive toward her. In an effort to protect her child, she may place her baby for adoption while she works on untangling herself from an unhealthy relationship.
  • Religious beliefs may prohibit it. Some religions frown upon women who have babies outside of a marriage relationship. Women may consider creating an adoption plan for their baby to avoid the shame associated with having a baby out of wedlock or to avoid being excommunicated from their church and family.
  • The baby brings back painful memories. Not all children are conceived within the confines of a loving and mutual relationship. If the mother’s experience is something less than ideal, her ability to care for that child may be a constant reminder of an extremely painful experience. She may feel it is better for the baby to have a fresh start than to be seen through her own hurt.
  • The baby could have special needs. With the rise in our ability to test for genetic issues prior to the birth, a mother may already know that parenting her special needs child is more than she can handle. This gives her an opportunity to find a family that is better equipped to raise a child with a genetic condition that requires more medical care and attention than she can offer.

Of course, that isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list of all the reasons a child may be placed for adoption. There are certainly emotional factors that play into a mother’s decision not to raise her baby on her own. She may be feeling too overwhelmed, fearful, angry, resentful, hurt, or upset to believe that she is capable of taking care of the child.

The reasons a birth mother may consider placing her child for adoption are almost endless, but many cite the same common reasons. Whether it is for her health or to avoid the shame of being a single mother, she is ultimately making the decision to improve the life of her unborn child. The primary reason that a birth mother makes an adoption plan is to offer her baby a life that is better than the one she feels she could provide for the child.

No matter what the exact logic is behind the creation of the adoption plan, it stems from an unselfish decision to do what is best for the long-term interests of the baby. She is ensuring the brightest possible future, full of opportunities, health, and stability, when she begins to think through the details of an adoption. It certainly is not the easiest decision for a birth mother to make, but it is a beautiful and selfless choice that benefits her baby.

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