Anonymous birth

If you are pregnant and can’t live with your child

Giving birth anonymously is free of charge in any Austrian hospital, as well as anonymous antenatal care in any hospital and ambulance transport (emergency number 144). After the birth, the Child Protective Services takes on responsibility for the child and hands it over to the loving care of adoptive parents to be, as soon as possible.

Anonymous birth can be a solution for girls and women in difficult situations. You and your child will receive the best medical care and can also benefit from psychological help. It is perfectly legal and therefore you will not have to worry about legal or criminal prosecution.

You just have to go to the maternity ward of a public hospital of your choice and tell them that you want to have an anonymous birth. You have the right to give birth anonymously.

All children ask about their origins at some point:

An adopted child will want to know about its birth parents and family and to find out about the reasons which prompted its mother to give birth anonymously and give it up for adoption. The experience of Child Protective Services has shown how important it is to provide the child with answers to these questions. Please make sure to leave a personal note for the child, you can send it to the Child Protective Services team. You can also write it at a later point of time.

It could include the following:

  • place of the anonymous birth,
  • date and time of the anonymous birth,
  • why I gave birth to you anonymously,
  • why I gave you up for adoption,
  • my appearance,
  • my age and my occupation,
  • my living situation,
  • what I know about the father,
  • what I know about any hereditary diseases,
  • what I want for you for the future, and
  • anything else I would like to say to you…

How much time do you have to change your mind about giving up the child?
You have 6 months to change your mind. Up to the end of the adoption process and under certain circumstances, you can revoke your decision to give up your child. In order to do so you must give up your anonymity and apply for parental rights for the child at court.

Other options:

  • Open adoption, semi-open adoption, closed adoption (incognito)
  • Foster parents
  • Mother child services
  • keep your child and take advantage of Child Protective Services.

More information about anonymous birth: (in German only)