Can I remain anonymous and protect my identity from disclosure?
Adoption is a personal decision, and it is up to you to decide who you want to tell or not tell about your adoption plan. If you feel strongly that you want to keep your pregnancy and adoption a secret, you may choose to remain anonymous before, during and after the adoption.
However, you should also know that adoption is a brave and selfless act, and you have nothing to be ashamed about by choosing adoption for your baby. While it may seem necessary to hide your pregnancy and adoption from certain friends or family members, there are some important considerations to keep in mind before deciding to remain anonymous.
Here, learn more about confidential adoption with FCCA, as well as the factors to consider before choosing secret adoption.
Contact FCCA Confidentially and with No Obligation
If you are pregnant and considering adoption for your baby, you may submit a confidential inquiry or call our toll-free hotline at any time for free adoption information. Your call is confidential and does not obligate you to proceed with an adoption plan.
Decide Who to Tell About Your Adoption Plan
You are in control of your adoption plan, and that includes deciding who you tell and don’t tell about the adoption.* It is generally recommended that you only keep your pregnancy and adoption a secret if you are concerned for your safety or wellbeing. Confiding in even one close friend or family member can help ensure that you have the emotional support you need throughout the adoption process.
However, if you choose to keep your adoption a secret, you should not have to go through the process alone. Your adoption social worker will be there every step of the way to provide the support and guidance you need.
* Exception to confidentiality rule: FCCA social workers are mandated reporters of child abuse and must contact CPS if they become aware of suspected child abuse. We are legally required to give notice of the adoption plan to any presumed or identified alleged father.
Choose a Closed Adoption to Maintain Privacy
You can choose to remain anonymous during and after the adoption process by choosing closed adoption and allowing FCCA to select the adoptive parents on your behalf. FCCA will not disclose your identifying information to them.
However, it is possible that the child could apply to the court at a future date and request that the adoption records be unsealed. It is also possible for laws to change so that adoption records could be opened without a court order. This means that the child could potentially learn your identity and whereabouts.
FCCA encourages you to keep your address and contact information on file with us. That way, if the child contacts us in an attempt to find you, we can contact you confidentially to ask you if you are interested in making contact with the child. We can then confidentially convey your response to the child.
Pros and Cons of Anonymous Adoption
Even when a prospective birth mother feels confident in her adoption decision, it can be difficult to share this news with loved ones. In certain circumstances, keeping the adoption confidential may be advantageous. Here are the benefits of hiding your pregnancy and adoption plan:
- You may be able to avoid some conflict. Confiding in friends and family members about an unplanned pregnancy can be challenging, especially if you believe your loved ones will be unsupportive of your adoption plan. Keeping your pregnancy and adoption secret may allow you to avoid some negative reactions or uncomfortable conversations.
- It could potentially keep you and your baby safe. If you are in an abusive situation, keeping your adoption plan a secret may help protect you and your baby. You are not required to name the father as long as you aren’t married to him, but once you disclose his identifying information to us, we are legally required to give him notice of the adoption plan. If this is the case, speak with your adoption social worker; she or he can help you find the resources you need to remove yourself from that situation and keep yourself and your baby safe and healthy.
In some ways, it may seem easier not to tell friends and family members about your adoption plan — but pregnancy and adoption are difficult secrets to keep. Here are some of the challenges to consider before choosing to remain anonymous throughout the adoption process:
- Hiding a pregnancy is physically challenging. At first, you may be able to hide your pregnancy with baggy clothes, but you may have to take more extreme measures, like relocating, to keep your pregnancy a secret.
- It may be more difficult to access services. During your pregnancy, you will want to receive regular prenatal care, and you may want to attend important meetings with your adoption social worker or prospective adoptive parents. It can be more difficult to access these services if you are trying to keep your situation a secret.
- Lying may legally complicate the process. In some circumstances, lying about your pregnancy, the baby or your adoption plan, especially to the baby’s father, can make the legal adoption process more complicated. It is important to speak honestly with FCCA about your baby’s birth father to ensure your adoption is handled legally.
- You may be missing out on a valuable support system. Adoption and pregnancy are emotionally challenging processes, and having the support of friends and family members can help. When you tell a few trusted friends or family members about your pregnancy and adoption, you may be surprised by their love, support and understanding.
- Adoption is a lifelong process. You will not only be keeping this secret from your friends and family during your pregnancy — if you truly do not want others to know about your adoption, it is a secret you will keep forever. Keeping this part of your life hidden from friends and family can be emotionally exhausting and may make it more difficult to process your feelings of grief and loss after placement.
If you need help talking to your loved ones about your pregnancy and adoption plan, or if you would like more information about FCCA’s confidential adoption services, please contact an adoption social worker at 844-77-ADOPT.