Will I Pass My STI to My Child?

woman curious if she will pass her STD to her child

No one wants to admit the possibility of having a sexually transmitted infection (STI). After all, getting an STI happens to other people, not you. The CDC says 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have an STI, totaling nearly 68 million people. It’s possible to have an STI and not have symptoms, and yes, you could pass it to your unborn child or during childbirth.

How Can I Have an STI and Not Know It?

An infection, or as it is sometimes referred to, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), should have noticeable symptoms, right? Many STIs have no signs or symptoms, which is why people put off getting tested regularly. Even without symptoms, you can pass the infection on to your partner, or they can unknowingly pass it to you.

What Would The Symptoms Be If I Had an STI?

The three most common STIs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. These infections have some similar symptoms you might experience:

  • Painful urination or bowel movements
  • Discharge
  • Itching, irritation, or burning
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Strong vaginal odor

Is an STI Harmful to My Child?

Sexually transmitted infections can pose risks to your child and possibly complicate your pregnancy. According to the CDC, there is a rise in cases of babies born with syphilis. Women can pass syphilis to their babies during pregnancy. Miscarriage, stillbirth, severe lifelong health problems, and even newborn death can result from syphilis infection.

The CDC recommends screening all pregnant women for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C. Pregnant women with chlamydia, gonorrhea, and Hepatitis B risk preterm labor, miscarriage, and low birth weight.

A newborn can become infected during delivery as the baby passes through the birth canal. Exposed newborns can develop eye and lung infections.

What Should I Do?

Many STIs can be easily treated with antibiotics. Whether you are pregnant or not, if you are sexually active, you should be tested regularly for STIs. Pregnant women should be tested early in their pregnancies and again when they get close to delivery. 

If your healthcare provider discovers an STI, you should notify your partner as soon as possible.

Will Potential Adoptive Parents Still Adopt My Child if I Had an STI?

Potential adoptive couples are waiting to adopt your baby regardless of whether you have had an STI or not. At A Gift of Hope Adoptions, we have a wide range of families to choose from. Don’t let an STI or the possibility of an STI stop you from placing your baby for adoption. 

By starting the adoption process early in your pregnancy, you can ensure your access to quality, no-cost prenatal healthcare, which includes testing for STIs. Many doctors screen for STIs, put you on antibiotics, and test you three to four weeks after treatment to see if the infection has cleared up.  

If you are at high risk for certain STIs, doctors should test for infections again before delivery. Adoptive parents want to adopt your child, especially knowing you have had thorough prenatal care and were appropriately treated for STIs. 

Contact A Gift of Hope Adoptions if you are considering placing your child for adoption. We can offer you referrals for services like STI testing and recommendations for several healthcare providers. Fill out our convenient, confidential contact form, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

This blog is for informational purposes only. This is not legal or medical advice. While we try our best to reflect current laws with accuracy at the time of writing, please note the laws can change over time.

What Questions Can We Answer?

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Elizabeth and A Gift of Hope have been a touchstone during our adoption process. Having had issues with a previous agency – Elizabeth was a breath of fresh air! Reassuring, supportive and empathetic. We are so in love with our daughter and thank A Gift of Hope everyday for her!

AGOHA is a great agency that has provided amazing support and guidance though the adoption process. Would highly recommend AGOHA!

Our family has used their services for adoption. It’s wonderful dealing with someone who is looking out for the whole child, not just placing kids.

A Gift of Hope Adoptions is a Godsend for so many expectant young mothers. I completely recommend this organization for anyone interested in providing a wonderful life for their soon-to-be baby. This organization is also a Godsend for those of us who cannot have our own biological children.

I have recommended A Gift of Hope Adoptions to several mother’s considering adoptions for their babies. They have been so happy to feel supported and empowered through their decision.
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“We adopted both of our sons through A Gift of Hope Adoptions. They helped us every step of the way and answered all the questions we had, and we had a lot! We would not be where we are today, with two busy boys in our family, if it wasn’t for A Gift of Hope.”

“We decided to use A Gift of Hope Adoptions because they are very personal and caring. The wait and uncertainty of adoption seemed daunting, but A Gift of Hope helped make the process go smoothly, and we couldn’t be happier with our beautiful child.”