Incarcerated and Pregnant: How to Place Your Baby for Adoption
We’ve said it over and over, but life never seems to produce perfect circumstances. In fact, it likes to throw those curve balls right to the face. If you’ve found yourself incarcerated and pregnant, it might feel like the world is crashing down around you. Take some deep breaths. Know that Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for you, and you have options. We work with hundreds of women every year from different walks of life. Pregnancy can throw a wrench in any plan or add fuel to any file, but adoption is a great way to lessen the burden.
Being incarcerated can take away a lot of freedoms and choices, but when it comes to your baby and pregnancy, you still have options. About 3% of women admitted to jails in the U.S. are pregnant. The process is a little different while in prison, but just remember you are not alone, and you have options.
Is Adoption Legal from Prison?
There may be some restrictions depending on your situation, but adoption is always an option. Your baby is still a beautiful gift a potential adoptive family would be endlessly grateful to receive. Choosing adoption while incarcerated could be your baby’s best chance at life and your best chance to turn your life around.
The Adoption Process as an Incarcerated Pregnant Women
The process is a little different from prison, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have choices. The steps are essentially the same as with any adoption journey. Talk with your prison caseworker to see if there are restrictions or additional resources and help you might be entitled to.
- Contacting an Adoption Agency
- Choosing Adoption
Depending on your situation, adoption might be the best option for you and your baby. Talk with your prison caseworker and see what options are available for you. At the end of the day, you’re still a mother, and only you can decide what’s best. Choosing adoption is not giving up. You’re giving your baby the best chance at life and giving yourself potential freedom in the future as well.
- Selecting the Adoptive Family
You still have the right to pick out a perfect family for your baby. Choosing the adoptive family is a big step in feeling more confident in choosing adoption. You probably won’t be able to meet with the family beforehand but talk with your caseworker and counselor to see if you could trade letters or phone calls. Being in prison does not diminish your blessing. Hopeful adoptive parents want to give your baby a warm and loving home where they can grow.
- Giving Birth and Placement
Giving birth while incarcerated is going to look a little different. Typically, you are taken to the hospital that is closest to the prison you are in. There may be some restrictions and limited options, but usually, you can decide to spend some time with your baby and meet the adoptive parents. Be sure to sign any adoption consent forms as soon as possible to ensure the adoption process goes smoothly. Forms and waiting periods will differ by state. After placement, talk with your adoption and/or prison caseworker and see what post placement counseling might be available for you.
- Enjoying Post Placement Updates
Open adoption is not out of the question if you’re incarcerated. Most women in prison can have a partially open adoption if they want, depending on a few variables. You should still be able to trade letters, cards, receive phone calls, and photos. Just because you’re in prison doesn’t mean you don’t get to know how your baby is doing. Being in prison doesn’t have to mean a forced closed adoption. Again, talk with your adoption and prison caseworkers to see what may be available for you and what your adoption agreement can allow for.
Choosing Adoption while Incarcerated and Pregnant
It’s important to remember that being pregnant while incarcerated doesn’t limit your ability to choose adoption for your baby. Only you can decide what is best for you, and adoption might be it. You still have rights as a birth mother. While prison can make a few things more complicated or limit some choices, it’s ultimately up to you to decide the life you want for your baby. Being incarcerated and pregnant can be scary and emotional but remember, you are not alone, and we’re here for you.
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years’ experience as a freelance writer, and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games.
As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”