help with adoption

The Advantages of Adoption vs. Surrendering Your Baby At The Hospital

Discovering you’re pregnant when you aren’t yet ready for parenthood can be scary. In California, when a woman feels she’s not ready to parents, she can surrender the newborn baby at the hospital.  She may also surrender her newborn to another safe surrender location, such as a fire station.  In a safe surrender, you don’t have to give your name or any identifying information.  The mother has fourteen days to reclaim her baby is she wants.  Safe surrender appeals to some women, but here are 5 reasons why adoption may be the better option.

You choose your child’s parents

When you surrender your newborn at the hospital after giving birth, you may have no control over where the child ends up and the newborn will likely go into the foster care system. On the contrary, choosing adoption allows you to handpick the child’s adopting family and can help ensure the newborn goes home to loving parents. Even if you’re in the late stages of pregnancy or have just given birth, it isn’t too late to choose adoption and many resources are available to guide you through the process.

You can choose an open adoption

With adoption, you and the adopting parents can set the terms including whether it will be an open or closed arrangement. An open adoption means that you can communicate with the adopting parents. You aren’t required to do so if you don’t want to.  You might also decide not to have contact with them until years later.  This allows you to check in on the child’s well-being from time to time and can ease any worries you may have regarding the child’s future. Of course, if you aren’t sure that you can handle the emotions that come with regular contact from the adopting family, a closed adoption may be the better option.  Keep in mind, too, that you can stop communicating with the adoptive family at any time.

You can share medical information

When you choose adoption, you can share medical information with the adoptive parents anonymously.  This could be very helpful to you and your family if you already have children or hope to parent a child one day.  The adoptive family may discover that your child has a genetic medical issue that can be easily treated if caught early.  Such information could be very valuable to you.  You might discover medical information within your family that could be helpful to the adoptive family.  For instance, certain types of cancers have a genetic component, such as breast cancer.  Knowing this risk can help with prevention and early detection. 

Your child can contact you in the future

Children who are surrendered at the hospital after birth often have slim chances of ever discovering the identities of their birth parents. This leads to a lack of proper medical history information and can leave children with many unanswered questions regarding their past. However, with adoption, the child may have the option to contact you in the future.

Your child may develop more self confidence

Some people believe that surrendering a child at the hospital will feel more like an abandonment to the child.  This can possibly lead to psychological harm for the child.  It’s possible that children who are adopted into loving families may gain more future self-confidence than those who are surrendered at the hospital after birth and are placed in the foster care system. There’s no shame in recognizing that you aren’t ready to be a parent and, by choosing adoption, you can give the child the best possible chance at a loving and vibrant future.


If you’re thinking about adoption, I’m here to help.   My services are always free to expectant mothers who need advice or just someone to listen.  I’ve been there, and I’m here to help (read my adoption story.)

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Are you pregnant and thinking about adoption for your baby? I can help. You can send me your questions about adoption or ask me to send you more information. Your communication with me is always confidential, and you’re never under any obligation to do an adoption. I’m here to help, not to pressure you or tell you what to do.


Megan Cohen, Birth Attorney

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