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Birth Mothers Coping After Adoption Placement

woman wearing black and sitting on a couch with her Apple laptop on her lap and her iPhone sitting next to her.“With every adoption and every union, there is also loss, a biological parent being separated from their child,” explains Felicia Curcuru, Huffington Post. Coping with life after adoption can be difficult for many birth mothers. “It still isn’t easy for me — nearly 5 years later,” writes birth mother Jenna Myers. “But I have learned ways to make it easier.” We will explore several of these tactics in this blog.

Coping with Life After Adoption

“It is difficult to generalize about the impact of adoption on all birth parents,” says the  Child Welfare Information Gateway. “Each has faced a unique experience and coped in his or her own way.” So, a tactic that may have helped one birth mother cope may not help another. Try different coping methods until you find what works best for you.

Form a Strong Support Network

“I firmly believe that a birth mom will suffer less if surrounded by positive people who support her and her decision,” writes Heather Mitchell.

Just as your support network is important leading up to adoption, they are just as important after placement. So, find your support system – friends, family, co-workers – and make sure you are surrounded during particularly tough times.

If you do not have strong support from friends and family, “you can see that through an adoption agency worker/counselor,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C, Adoption Makes Family.

Express Yourself

It’s not healthy to bottle everything up inside. Many birth mothers find it useful to keep a journal or blog to put their emotions into words. “This may serve as an outlet for grief or other emotions, and it can also serve to provide some perspective over time,” according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

“On [my son’s] first birthday, I felt a heavy loss,” says Heather Mitchell. “Instead of sulking, I wrote a poem to express my emotion. Don’t ignore, deny, or suppress your feelings. Instead, acknowledge what’s going on inside, work through those feelings, and find a healthy way to express them.”

Celebrate Your Decision

It may sound difficult, but “you did something amazing and truly blessed a deserving family,” says Myers, “and that is something to be proud of, and something to celebrate.” You should celebrate the sacrifice you made to ensure your child is loved and well cared for. Celebrate the life you gave your child. Celebrate the joy you have brought to their family.

This approach can be especially helpful around the anniversary of your adoption.

Coping with Post-Adoption Counseling

If you are struggling to cope after adoption, it can help to talk to someone and begin to work through your emotions.

“Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” write Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse. “Good counseling provides a crucial foundation for birthmothers in dealing with their emotions and moving forward, throughout the process until relinquishment, and after placement as they undertake the necessary work to grieve and to heal.”

In 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law House Bill 563, which has helped numerous pregnant women in the state by allowing adoptive families to help cover certain expenses, including reasonable charge or fee for adoption counseling.

Adoption Counseling Services in Maryland

“Being able to openly share feelings is often helpful in moving through the stages of grief and achieving some resolution,” says the Child Welfare Information Gateway. 

Adoption Makes Family serves as more than just a mediator between you and an adoptive family. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency that aims to foster a genuine connection with you so you feel like you are part of our family. One of the ways we do this is through adoption counseling. Adoption Makes Family will provide you with counseling throughout the adoption process, pre- and post-placement. We are here to help.

Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at dr.kirschner@adoptionmakesfamily.org or use our online contact form.

Sources

  1. “Child Welfare Information Gateway.” Aug. 2013.
  2. Curcuru, Felicia. “How Do Women Feel After Placing Their Baby For Adoption?” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/felicia-curcuru/how-do-women-feel-after-placing-their-baby-for-adoption_b_8287800.html.
  3. Foote, Alysia. “How I Celebrate My Birth Child’s Birthday.” Adoption.com, https://adoption.com/how-i-celebrate-my-birth-childs-birthday.
  4. Merrill, Annaleece. “Confession: I Feel Guilty For Placing My Daughter For Adoption.” Adoption.com, adoption.com/confession-i-feel-guilty-for-placing-my-daughter-for-adoption.
  5. Mitchell, Heather. “How Do Birth Mothers Cope after Placing a Child?” Adoption.com, https://adoption.com/how-birth-mothers-cope-after-placing-child.
  6. Myers, Jenna. “Birthday Advice from a Birth Mother |.” Adoptions Together, 21 Aug. 2015, https://www.adoptionstogether.org/blog/2014/09/25/image-co-www-grandparentscom-so-its-been-a-year-or-2-or-maybe-even-5-not-only-does-that-time-signify-your-child/.
  7. Patricelli, Kathryn. “Long-Term Issues For Birthmothers After Adoption.” Mental Help James Marcia and SelfIdentity Comments, www.mentalhelp.net/articles/long-term-issues-for-birthmothers-after-adoption/.
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