What about the Emotional Issues involved in Adoption?
Approximately 80-90% of all birth mothers who are considering adoption, do so with some degree of emotional pain and indecision. For some birth mothers the decision to place a child for adoption is reached quickly because it is obvious to her that her emotional, physical, and financial places in life do not allow her to care for the child in the way she would want. For other birth parents the decision is not reached quickly or easily but only after much soul searching and a great deal of emotional pain.
Typically, you will be faced with several realities. You will either have to terminate your pregnancy or carry the baby to term. Then, if you have carried the baby to term, you will have to raise the child yourself, raise the child with the birth father, let family or friends raise the child, place the child in foster care, or place the child for adoption. Any and all of these decisions have a life- long impact on you and on the child. And all of the decisions carry with them significant emotion impact.
It is important to recognize that doubts, concern, and even depression are common feelings accompanying pregnancy, the birth of a child and the adoption process. The professional staff at Adoption Services is available to talk with you and provide help. You can also contact Dr Berger 7-days a week (toll-free 1(800)943-0400). Dr. Berger is the Adoption Services Agency Director and a PhD psychologist with 40 years of experience helping others like you.
What else Can be the Impact of Adoption on Birth Parents?
The most common emotional responses of a birth mother who has placed, or is considering placing, her child for adoption are indecision, a sense of loss, depression, and guilt.
Feelings of loss can actually begin with the pregnancy itself as you come to accept the reality of the pregnancy. The birth and the actual surrendering of the baby may prompt feelings of numbness, shock, and denial, as well as grief. All of these feelings are normal reactions to loss. This particular type of loss is different from a loss through death, however, because there is rarely a public acknowledgment, and friends and family of the birth parents may attempt to ignore the loss by pretending that nothing has happened. In some cases, the secrecy surrounding the pregnancy and adoption may make it difficult for birth parents to seek out and find support as they grieve their loss.
Placing a child for adoption may also cause other feelings of loss... loss of your role as a parent, loss of the relationship with the other birth parent or with family or friends. You may lose your ability to get further education or lose your job as a result of the pregnancy. Many birth parents continue to mourn the loss of their child throughout their lifetime, but with varying intensity.
Often the birth mother and birth father experience guilt and shame for placing their child for adoption and there may be feelings of shame associated with the unplanned pregnancy. All to often, the feelings of shame and guilt are supported by the secrecy surrounding the pregnancy, birth and adoption.
Gaining Control and Resolution. Birth mothers and birth fathers should seek out friends, support groups of other birth parents, or counselors in order to have a safe place to communicate their feelings. Being able to openly share feelings can be helpful in moving through the stages of grief and achieving some resolution.
A psychologist or other counselor should be able to help you replace unrealistic fantasy with reality, to acknowledge what has happened, and to help you heal. It is best if you find a counselors who has experience with adoption. Referrals for counselors may come from friends, birth parent support groups, or from the adoption agency or attorney who helped with the adoption.
The above information has been adapted from the Child Welfare Information Gateway factsheet Impact of Adoption on Birth Parents.
We Can Help a Birth Mother Living in Any State
We are licensed in multiple states and are able to help a birth mother, birth father, and adopting family living in any of the 50 U.S. states and even U.S. citizens (birth parents and families) that are living in other countries.