If you discovered that you’re pregnant recently, you might be trying to decide if you’re ready to become a mom. “Can I give my baby up for adoption to a family member?” is a question we get asked often. And it may seem like a sensible choice. This type of adoption is called “kinship adoption.”
An unplanned pregnancy can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not ready to become a parent for the rest of your life. If you’re considering adoption, you might wonder if having a family member raise your baby is the best choice.
As you think about this, know that while giving your baby to a family member to raise may work for some mothers, it isn’t right for everyone. While it may work for some, kinship adoption often causes conflict and blurred lines. While you consider placing your baby for adoption with a family member, take a look at these advantages and disadvantages to kinship adoption:
#1: Different feelings of loss
In our experience, every mother who makes an adoption plan experiences feelings of grief and loss. Placing your baby with a family member to raise may provide greater peace since you already know them well.
#2: Familiarity and trust
If you have a good relationship with the relative who will raise your baby, trust has already been established. So, you’ll likely have fewer concerns about the life that your baby will live with them. Kinship adoption, where one family member places their child with another family member who is ready to take on the role of parent, can allow for familiarity and trust from the beginning.
#3: Easier ongoing contact
Having a family member adopt your baby after delivery could mean that you get more chances to see and interact with your child. You could potentially have more in-person visits, phone calls, holiday gatherings, and more.
There are definitely pros and cons to creating a relationship after you’ve placed your baby for adoption. Keep in mind that as the birth parent, you have legal parental rights. Adoption agencies like Lifetime Adoption can connect you with an adoption attorney and other adoption professionals who can help you as you consider this decision.
Some challenges will come up, even with clearly defined boundaries. Kinship adoptions can be one of the most challenging options because of the relationships that have already been established. The adoptive parents may want a bit more detachment than the birth mother or desire less. Clear boundaries are necessary for success in kinship adoption.
As your child grows up and starts to form connections with those around them, there might be some confusion on roles. As an example, if you place your baby with your parents to raise, the child will be yours biologically, but legally it would be your brother or sister. Unless everyone works hard to establish and maintain roles from the beginning, it could be confusing for your child and all involved.
#3: Changing family dynamics
When you’re thinking about letting a family member adopt your baby, ask yourself if you’re ready for what that will look like. It will change your family dynamic forever. Will it change it positively and healthily, or make it difficult and complicated?
It’s important to really examine what your kinship adoption will be like, not just immediately but in the future as your child gets older and more independent. Consider future holidays, gatherings, and other family events — there will be awkward times.
Lifetime Adoption Agency
Making an adoption plan is a brave and selfless decision. If you’ve decided that you want to begin the adoption process with a family outside of your home, Lifetime Adoption’s experienced team can help.
If you’ve wondered, “Can I give my baby up for adoption to a family member?” you can call and speak with one of our adoption coordinators anytime. She will help you sort through the possible challenges. When you work with one of our experienced adoption coordinators, you will get your questions answered and any concerns resolved.
Lifetime Adoption works with birth mothers of all kinds every day, and we recognize that you want what’s best for both you and your baby. Contact us today to speak with a caring adoption coordinator.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.