In most cases, birth mothers who contact us are in the very early stages of the adoption process. However, some women have selected an adoptive family for their baby before contacting an adoption agency. Oftentimes, these women inquire, “Can I place my baby with someone I already know? Can my friend adopt my baby?” The answer is yes. Regardless of whether you plan on placing a baby for adoption to a friend, family member, or someone you found through your own efforts, such arrangements are typically known as independent or identified adoption.

Important Things to Consider When Planning an Identified Adoption

It appears to be the perfect scenario: “I want my friend/family member to adopt my baby, and they want to adopt my baby. So, what could go wrong?” Nevertheless, before you proceed with having your friend or family member adopt your baby, it is crucial to consider if this is truly the best decision. There are several questions to consider below.

How Well Do You Know the Adoptive Parents? Are You Close?

Many birth mothers feel more comfortable with identified adoption at first because they already know and trust the adoptive family they have in mind. But how well do you actually know these individuals? Are they genuinely your close friends or just someone you happened to meet through friends or acquaintances? Remember that these hopeful parents most likely have not yet completed a thorough screening process, which all adoptive families must go through.

Why Do You Think This Family Is Ideal for Your Child?

Selecting adoptive parents is an enormous decision. Ensure that you are not choosing your baby’s adoptive family just because it is convenient, because they live nearby or because you already know them. It is important to think about the qualities you want to see in an adoptive family and make sure the parents you choose possess those traits.

Are You Being Pressured by Someone You Know to Choose This Family?

There is a substantial difference between “my friend wants to adopt my baby.” And “I want my friend to adopt my baby.” Before you proceed with an identified adoption, make sure that you selected the adoptive parents for your own reasons, rather than someone else’s opinions.

Are You Ready for Your Relationship With Your Friend to Drastically Change?

An identified adoption means you and your friend will be forever connected as your baby’s birth mother and adoptive parent. It is a special and unique relationship. It is important to understand that there may be new boundaries and other changes in your friendship.

Depending on the relationship you have with your child’s adoptive family, you may see them often, casually or socially after placement. This frequent contact can be a difficult reminder of loss for some birth parents and can make it hard to find closure.

Will You Receive the Help You Need?

As an expectant mother considering adoption, you are granted many free services along with financial assistance throughout your pregnancy. If you decide to place your baby directly with a friend instead of working with an adoption agency, you may find that it is difficult to ask for financial assistance to cover both the adoption and pregnancy-related expenses. You may also potentially be unable to access other benefits offered by an adoption agency, such as emotional support, counseling, adoption planning and more.


If you are an expectant mother thinking about adoption, you genuinely want the best life possible for the child. That isn’t to say that placing your child for adoption with a friend is a bad idea, but it is important to make sure your selected adoptive family is the best option for your baby. If they aren’t the ideal family for your child, adoption agencies are working with hundreds of families from many different types of backgrounds, and they will provide all the services you need to find your perfect match.

You can contact our adoption professionals 24/7 at 865-392-6261. We are happy to answer your questions. And you are never obligated to work with us or place your child for adoption by making this call.


Author: Destiny Adoption Services

Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.