Birthmother Feelings: Your feelings Matter.
Thinking of placing a baby for adoption is an emotional process. This article is designed to help you navigate feelings you may have while both contemplating adoption, as well as what you might experience when going through the adoption process itself.
It is normal to feel a wide range of emotions during the planning and the execution of your adoption plan. The following are just a few of what you may experience:
Feeling excited for your date of delivery is natural and does not necessarily mean that you’re feeling excited to place your child for adoption. It could mean that you are excited with your adoption plan that you have chosen the right family for your child, or you are excited for this new chapter in your life. Being excited is a natural feeling. You may be excited to see what the baby looks like, to meet the baby after months of carrying him or her, or to be able to go back to your normal pre-pregnancy routine. Whichever excitement you are feeling is one that you know you have control over.
It is important to remember that you are not giving a baby away. With careful consideration and love, you are placing a child with an adoptive family that you have chosen. You are giving the gift of a child to a parent or parents who may not have been able to become a complete family without your help.
Fear and Anxiety
Placing a child with an adoptive family is a big decision, and you may be fearful that you will experience regret. Keep in mind that when creating an adoption plan, you are not making a legally binding commitment in the beginning. You don’t have to make a final decision until after the baby is born. You have rights and you can create an adoption plan that includes you being a part of your child’s life through an open adoption plan.
There are many unknowns when it comes to being pregnant and what life will look like after the birth of the baby. You may feel anxious or frightened about the unknowns of adoption as well. It is important that you be honest and open when expressing what you want your adoption plan to look like. Adoptive families are very open and so excited to have you as part of their family plan.
Grieving loss is a normal emotion. You have carried your baby for 9 months and have bonded with your baby throughout that time. We all have experienced some sort of loss in our lives. Even though an adoptive family is gaining a new member, for the birthmother, adoption is a time of loss. Sometimes it doesn’t matter that the reasons for adoption are selfless or beautiful. Just remember it is normal to feel sad and there are resources available to receive counseling after the baby is born.
You may feel ashamed about the circumstances of your situation. Try to keep in mind that adoption is a way to turn something that may make you feel shameful into something that makes you feel empowered. You are creating a family, and there is nothing shameful about that.
This is certainly a normal emotion to experience, especially when you feel things are happening that are out of your control. Anger can bring frustration and resentment as well. It is ok to feel anger. Just remember you have control over your adoption plan.
Your feelings matter. It may seem as though most of the feelings on this list are negative. Adoption is a process that can be emotionally complex and dark. It can also be a time of great hope; for those birthmoms choosing an open adoption, you can find hope in the fact that you’ll still be a part of the child’s life. There is hope for all birthmothers in knowing that the baby will be raised in a nourishing, loving and stable environment. Remember you are not losing a child; you are gaining a family.