help with adoption

Understanding Teen Pregnancy and Adoption

minor thinking about putting baby up for adoptionCan a minor put a baby up for adoption without the consent of her parents?

The answer is yes.

If you are a teenager and are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you aren’t alone.  In fact, 85% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned, and hundreds of thousands of teens get pregnant each year in the United States.  An unplanned pregnancy can be a very scary experience, and I’m sure you have a lot of questions.  This article focuses on when a minor can put a baby up for adoption.

Scroll to the bottom of the article if you want more information and resources for teen parents, should you decide to keep your baby.

A minor can put a baby up for adoption

In most states, a minor is anyone under the age of 18, though a few states like Colorado and Alabama consider anyone under 19 a minor.  As your baby’s mother, you have the right to make an adoption plan and to put a baby up for adoption regardless of your age.

In just a few states–Rhode Island, Minnesota, Michigan, and Louisiana–a minor must also get her parents’ consent to put a baby up for adoption.  Your child’s father, regardless of his age, also has rights in an adoption and this may include the right to give or withhold his consent.

Can my parents force me to put my baby up for adoption?

The answer is no.

I get this question a lot.  You are the legal parent of your baby, and you have all the rights to make decisions for your child. These rights are protected by each individual state as well as the United States Constitution.

Your parents don’t have the legal right to force you to put your baby up for adoption, but they can certainly assert their influence. Most teenagers don’t have the financial stability to parent a child alone.  If you choose to keep your baby, you will likely need your parents’ support, both financial and emotional.

Teen mothers may still feel “forced” into an adoption because they don’t have family support.  So, while a minor can put a baby up for adoption, her parents can’t do it for her.

Planning for your future

The Centers for Disease Control has made teen pregnancy one of their top 7 priorities.  There are many reasons for this including the significant impact teen parenting has on a teenager’s future.  Consider the following:

  1.  More than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.
  2.  Teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty.
  3.  Teen pregnancies come with high risk of premature labor and low birth weight.


minor consider adoption for babyConsider your goals and support networks as you plan for your future.  Click here to read more about options in an unplanned pregnancy, including resources if you want to parent your baby.

I am an adoption attorney and a birth mother.  I work with expectant mothers all over the United States.  I put my baby up for adoption many years ago and know how it feels to experience an unplanned pregnancy at a young age.  My contact information is below if you have questions, need help, or just want someone to listen.  I’ve been there and know how you must be feeling.  I can explain how a minor can put a baby up for adoption or answer any other questions you have.  I look forward to hearing from you!


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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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