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Can the Birth Mother Change Her Mind about Adoption?

Close up of woman resting her head on her hand and looking out a window.One of the questions we are asked quite often by both biological and adoptive parents is whether or not birth mothers can change their mind about adoption. And the answer is YES. It is important to remember that an adoption plan is exactly that – a plan. The birth mother is 100 percent in control of her plan throughout the adoption process, and absolutely has the right to change her mind. 

“It is important to note that it is absolutely the right of a birth parent to change their mind regarding placing their child,” says Lita Jordan,

But at what point does this change?

In Maryland, How Long Does a Birth Mother Have to Change Her Mind?

“Consent to adoption is not valid unless the consent is given after the prospective adoptee is born” (Citation: Md. Code, Family Law § 5-3B-21). In Maryland, birth parents have a 30-day revocation period after birth in which they can legally change their mind.

“A parent may revoke consent to adoption at any time within the later of: 30 days after the parent signs the consent or 30 days after the adoption petition is filed, after which consent is irrevocable” (Citation: Md. Code, Family Law § 5-339; Md. Code, Family Law §5-351).

 An adoption decision only becomes permanent when three (3) conditions are met: the baby is born, birth parents sign the legal paperwork consenting to the adoption, AND the legal revocation period passes. Once these conditions are met, there is no way for a birth mother to reclaim her child or her parental rights. 

It is important to note that the revocation period can differ significantly from state to state. “If you are a birth parent, it is crucial that you check the laws in your state,” says Jordan. 

Have Questions about Your Rights or Just Need to Talk?

“It doesn’t make you a bad mother to have conflicted feelings,” says psychologist Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D., A.D.H.D. Adoption is a complex emotional topic. It can help to have someone to talk to. And Adoption Makes Family is here to listen – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100

Adoption Makes Family is a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our experienced professionals will listen to you, answer any questions you may have, and help counsel you so that you make the best decisions for your and your child.

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at or use our online contact form.


  1. “Adoption Consent Laws by State.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies,
  2. “Can I Change My Mind About an Adoption?” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies,
  3. Jordan, Lita. “Can I Change My Mind After Placing My Baby For Adoption?”,
  4. “‘What Does Adoption Mean to a Child?”.” American Adoptions – Transracial Adoption, Interracial Adoption for African American Adoption and More,
  5. “What If I Change My Mind About Placing My Baby During My Pregnancy?” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies,
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