If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to choose adoptions as a means to secure a better future for your unborn child, you are not alone. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry notes that over 100,000 children are placed in adoptive homes each year in the United States, including those with special needs. You may worry that you are giving up your parental rights by putting your baby up for adoption; however, there are laws in place that give you certain liberties as the birth mother.

As the birth mother of a child, the choice to place your baby up for adoption will, in most cases, be yours alone. You can consider adoption as an option both during and after your pregnancy, and you reserve the right to change your mind regarding your child’s future. You may decide to keep your baby once you hold him or her or you have a change in circumstances that allow you to provide for your child.

When you opt for adoption, you have the right to create your own plan and timeline for the process. While you might have an adoption counselor or attorney to assist you, no agency can force you into choices within its own timeline. From pregnancy to birth and postpartum, you have the right to plan your child’s adoption in a way that makes you comfortable.

Placing your child up for adoption never means you have to sever ties forever. You can choose which family adopts your baby and when and if you have contact with them in the future. Exercising these rights can help ensure you remain in control during what is sure to be an emotionally-charged process.