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Mental health struggle leaves single mom wanting to put toddler up for adoption. UPDATED

Mental health struggle leaves single mom wanting to put toddler up for adoption. UPDATED


"Needing to place my 2 year old toddler up for adoption. Has anyone have any experience with this?"


I came to the realization that I need to place my almost 2 year old, daughter up for adoption. I'm a single mom with no family support and no support from the birth father. I came from a broken abusive family, my mom wasn't well (I actually was in foster care from the age of 12 until I aged out). I struggled from PTSD, depression and very dark thoughts for my whole adulthood.

I'm 30 years old. I never wanted to be a parent so when I was pregnant, I wanted to put my baby up for adoption but my mom and family pressured me into keeping the baby, they promised me they would help me but the only one who really helped me, was my mother (even though, she wasn't dependable because of her addiction).

All my family live out state and my mom passed from an OD in January 2021 so now I'm all alone. I actually, have a good job and I'm able to financial support my daughter but my mental health is so bad.

6 months after giving birth, I was involuntarily hospitalized for self harming (I had a bad case of PPD, maybe I still do, idk). All I know, I'm in therapy and my mental health is not getting better...

I had a healthy pregnancy, no substances, not even tobacco. I didn't even drink coffee. My daughter is very healthy, loving, well adjusted and hitting all her milestones. She loves her stuffed animals, she calls them her "Friendies". She loves affection and cuddling. She loves music and dancing, if you say "happy feet," she will shuffle her feet really fast! She's really the cutest thing in this world.

Unfortunately, my mental has made it difficult to care for her (especially after losing my mother bc I have no support), sometimes I leave her crying in the crib because I just can't handle it.

I love her but I just feel so disconnected from her. It's not healthy for her and I want her to have a better life then what I had. I know, she is attached to me but I believe, she's young enough to make an adjusted transition.

I guess this is a long story, I just don't want people judging me. I'm just looking for any advice or peoples experiences with placing a toddler up for adoption. I'm hoping to go with a private agency, but not sure if they take toddlers?

Even though, I was in foster care - I'm not sure how state/foster adoption agencies work (can I choose the parents and am I able to have an open adoption?)... I know with private agencies, I can choose the parents and I am able to have an open adoption.

Ideally, I prefer a same-sex couple (I was sexual abuse by multiple men as child and I really, don't trust any hetero men her). I just don't want my daughter to go through what I have been through, I want her to have a good family. Any non-judging advice would be great. Thank you.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


I wish I could give you a big hug. I’m so sorry things are so rough, and I can tell you genuinely care about your daughter. Reach out to a local family agency. In our town that would be United Way, but it may be different for you.


Hi. I’m really sorry you are struggling through this alone . It sounds like you are saying you are struggling to connect with your daughter bc of PPD which you had in the hospital, and that you don’t have any support to help you. That you are struggling with your mental health and dealing with your own trauma. That’s a lot for anyone to handle. You said your daughter is 2 and that she’ll adjust.

You yourself went through the system and know what it’s like; I can’t imagine you would want your daughter placed in it unless you felt truly desperate and alone. As an adoptee, I feel for you and I feel for your daughter.

Does your daughter have a pediatrician? They often work with agencies , and might be able to put you in touch with a social worker . If you want an open adoption, it would seem a private agency would be what you are looking for. Be wary of what you are told and do your research w/ agencies.

Social Services would also have information; you would not have control over where your daughter would be placed if she were to go into their care. Your therapist might also have some suggestions, to provide you with recourses as well. I hope this was helpful. I wish you and your daughter the best.


I think speaking to a social worker is going to be your first step. They may have options that you’re unaware of like temporary foster care while you work on your mental health, or if you’re truly set on adoption they will have information on standards, best practices and resources where you live.

Where I live it is very much encouraged that all adoptions are open adoptions, even through CPS unless the child requires a restraining order from their bio parents. It isn’t like that everywhere, and if not you may be better off perusing an agency.

I just want to wish you the best. I’m also a single mother and I know that the love you have for your child is what is driving this decision, but it must be heartbreaking. I just want to wish you the best. I’m also a single mother and I know that the love you have for your child is what is driving this decision, but it must be heartbreaking.


I don't know where you a from so my advice might not be applicable but I felt the need to offer it just in case it is. From your post I find it hard to tell if you a considering to place your daughter for adoption because you want to/think it's the best option for both of you, or if you find your current situation unbearable and don't see another option.

If it's the former I have no intention to shame you/disencourage you or make you feel bad about that choice. However, I do not have a lot of advice because I'm not too familiar with the processes and institutions you would have to deal with. I see other comments have that covered!

If it's the latter than their might be options for you to get support so that you have more space for yourself and can get treatment for your mental health if you so wish. I know in my country social services and some private charities have people that can come to or even live with you for a couple of months, sometimes a year to support you in raising your daughter.

They create free spaces for you but also offer resources tailored to your own parenthood and wellbeing. If this is not an option someone else has suggested hiring a nanny or moving closer to family for support.

Any of those three options would take some weight off your back and might be able to create enough time and space to take care off and get help for your mental health in an at home setting (therapy sessions, maybe medication, rest, meditation, reflection - whatever it is you need to heal.)

If you feel like you need impatient treatment their might be options for you that don't involve placing your daughter permanently. In my country theirs specific treatment facilities for parent-children units.

Otherwise it's possible to make arrangements with social services to place a child into an equivalent of foster care for a limited amount of time - parents can keep in touch by phone, email, letters or visits until their (mental) health crisis is managed to an extent that they can move to at home treatment.

If that's not an option where you are than maybe something similar can be arranged with a friend or family. As it would be a longer visit it might even be okay if they live further away. I wish you the very best for the future and hope you can find something that works for you and offers you time to heal and feel better.


This sounds really hard and difficult to go through. Good for you for acknowledging that you are not able to care for your daughter. That must be hard. It’s a good thing you’re doing though as hard as it is.

You can try talking to your doctor, a social worker, or a therapist. I’m not sure what the adoption process is where you’re at but I think those are all people who can point you in the right direction. Best of luck!

Two full years later, the OP returned with an update.


Just wanted to update this post: Apologies for not responding sooner! My daughter and I are doing much better than before. It wasn't the best experience to get to this good place but it all worked out in the end. We both seems to be in a good place.

Here's a long version if anyone is interested: Back in Feb-March 2022, I went through a bad mental health break. I become very unwell , depressed. I loss over 20 lbs in a week from it (I did have a suicide attempt but I ended calling for help and the EMT took me into the hospital who then 72 me.)

I went into an inpatient hospital called HRI Hospital, it's a private one and it was more of a holding detention then a psychiatric hospital - I did learn a lot from the other patients so the patients were more helpful then the staff.

After that experience, I ended up doing an extra psychiatric program but it was a PHP (Partial Hospital Program) which is an intense outpatient one where I spent 8 hours a day Mon-Fri, doing therapy work...

It was actually more helpful, they focused on teaching about CBT, coping skills, how to reframing negative thoughts patterns... So that was actually more helpful then the inpatient hospital...

(I will say at the time Boston was going through a major mental health crisis, probably most places might be having the same crisis... Around that same time, Boston was "trying" to clear up the homeless camp tents on methadone mile and many homelessness were shuffled to these inpatient hospitals so they were extra overloaded!!!

It took 4 days just to get me a bed so it was in unprecedented circumstances, and actually, around that same time is when Russia started to invade Ukraine bc I found that out while in the hospital, watching the news so my timing really sucked, it just not a good time.)

My daughter's update: Right before all of this, I surrendered custody of my daughter to DCF so she wasn't around me when I had my mental break, back in Feb and never saw any of the stuff, above.

Thankfully, she was placed in a very GOOD foster home while I got my help. I had to go through a lot of treatments and follow DCF recommendations but at the end of Sept 2022, my daughter was able to come back home and our court case was officially dismissed in Dec 2022.

Current update 2023: Definitely not perfect- it's still a transition and some days are better than others... Being a single mother is just going to be hard, at times and I just need to get used to it, people tell me if gets easier when they start regular school so I'm excited for that!!

My daughter is doing well, she def has a slight separation anxiety when I leave or drop her off at daycare but it actually, gotten better since last Sept 2022. DCF is still doing monthly check-ins for the next 6 months.

Her ex foster mom still comes and sees Nevaeh and even takes us on family events so it's been a good transition for her. My daughter is a sweet little girl, she loves affection and hugs and seems to be developing, emotionally well with everything that she went through - except for some minor separation anxiety but that really gotten better too!!!

I just been working on my mental health, reframing negative thought patterns, staying away from toxic peeps... I have also been focused on whole-body wellness so Im doing weight training, some martial arts, eating more cleaner foods, yoga/stretching, pilates.

I gained 50 pounds over the pandemic/lockdown but now, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight (the healthy way! I don't even weigh myself, I just focus on feeling good and getting back into shape).... I like being active and living healthy so that has really helped my mental health struggles.

Also, definitely having better self-esteem, more confidence and self worth - has helped the MOST, honestly! I didn't take any pictures of myself, for two years of the pandemic but I'm starting to take more pics and getting out more and just enjoying Life more.

I'm in a much better headspace and definitely, feel more hopeful about the future. Thank you all - for your help and just for caring and not for judging!!! I really appreciate these caring comments. Thank you 🫂🫂🫂💖💖💖

So, do you think the OP made the right call in the end? If you could say anything to the OP, what would you tell them?

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