With 85 percent of all teenage pregnancies unplanned, it is not shocking that we often hear the same question. Do I need my parents’ consent to create an adoption plan if I am under the age of 18? And the short answer is no.
“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,” says Megan Cohen, adoption attorney and birth mother. While a birth mother who is under 18 is encouraged to talk with a parent about adoption, you do not need a parent’s consent to create an adoption plan.
“States overwhelmingly consider minors who are parents to be capable of making critical decisions affecting the health and welfare of their children without their own parents’ knowledge or consent,” explains the Guttmacher Institute. However, there are a few exceptions. Rhode Island, Michigan, Minnesota, and Louisiana DO require a minor to get her parents’ consent.
Creating an Adoption Plan
“Being pregnant as a teen is scary and hard,” says Annaleece Merrill, birth mother and open adoption advocate. “It forces you to grow up too fast, to make decisions no kid should have to make.”
So, it is important to create a strong support network to help you along the way. This can include parents, friends, or even an “adoption agency worker/counselor,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C. An unplanned pregnancy can be scary, which is why it is important to talk to through your options. “Counseling is provided because birth mothers can feel overwhelmed with the choices and decisions associated with adoption,” says Dr. Kirschner. “Counseling may help a birth mother/birth father understand the various options associated with choices of parenting or creating an adoption plan.”
Adoption Makes Family is a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland founded to meet the needs of birth parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal. If you would like more information about adoption or just need to talk, please give us a call any time. Our staff is here to listen – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.
24-Hour Hotline 410-683-2100
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.