Have you just found out you are pregnant and are not sure you are able to or want to look after your baby? If you do not want or cannot have a termination you may choose to have your baby adopted instead.

Making the decision to have your child adopted can be very difficult and upsetting for you and the other birth parent. 

What is adoption?

If you decide to give up your baby for adoption you will no longer have parental responsibility for them. This will be transferred to your child's adoptive family.

Once adoption is finalised with an adoption order, it is final. It will be as if your child had been born into their adoptive family and they will usually take their surname.

How do I arrange for my baby to be adopted?

Find out as much as you can about the process before making the final decision as this is such a life-changing choice for you and your baby.

You can contact your local authority's children's services or social work department, or a voluntary adoption agency. The hospital where you have your ante-natal appointments may have a social worker who can also advise you. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also advise you on who to contact in your area.

The views of the baby's father on having the baby adopted would usually be sought by the social worker depending on the circumstances, so if there are reasons why you do not want this to happen you should discuss this with your social worker or adoption agency who will be able to provide you with advice on this.

Will I still have contact with my child?

In most cases you will no longer be able to see your child after they have been adopted. You should be able to ask for and receive regular information (usually once a year) about how your child is getting on, if you choose to and if the adopters agree.

Read more about contact in our  Advice Note about contact for birth parents Contact: if your child is being adopted.

When your child reaches 18 years old (16 in Scotland) they have the option of seeing their birth certificate, which will show your name. With this information and more details from the adoption agency they can, if they wish, try to find you and other members of their birth family: this is called "tracing". You can have the option of letting your child know through an intermediary that you would welcome this.

Find out more about the adoption process and what happens.

Many organisations provide support, advice and counselling if you decide to have your baby adopted.

To find out more about the adoption process or what sort of people might adopt your baby read our Advice Notes Pregnant and thinking about adoption and If your child is being adopted (and you agree).