Choosing to create an adoption plan is a wonderful gift. However, it is also an incredibly difficult decision and one that can weigh heavily on a birth mother. “With every adoption and every union, there is also loss, a biological parent being separated from their child,” explains Felicia Curcuru, Huffington Post. It is common for birth mothers to feel a wide range of emotions post-adoption, which is why post-adoption counseling is so important.
- “There can be ongoing grief feelings that birthmothers feel over the loss of their child,” explains Kathryn Patricelli, MentalHelp.net. “Even when initial grieving has been completed, grief may re-surface and be felt rather acutely during “anniversary” periods (e.g., the child’s birthday).”
- “Amidst all the happiness there is still a twinge in my gut that reminds me something is off,” says birth mother Annaleece Merrill. “A few days ago, I reached an epiphany: I feel guilty.”
- “You [may] feel anger with yourself, with your child’s adoptive parents, and with others that you encounter,” according to the article “What Birth Parents Should Know After Placement” on Adoption.com. “Anger is not unhealthy, and it doesn’t mean you were wrong to place.”
All of these feelings are completely normal. Still, it is important to properly work through your emotions after placement. “Only support and the respectful acknowledgment of their choices and their emotions can help birth parents grieve in a healthy manner and, with time, allow for their healing and reconciliation of the adoption as a part of their life story,” explain Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council For Adoption, and Kris Faasse, LMSW, ACSW, Director of Adoption Services for Bethany Christian Services.
Post-Adoption Counseling Can Help
According to a national survey conducted by the On Your Feet Foundation, “75 percent of the women surveyed reported that their emotional health was very poor, poor, or neutral in the first year after placement.” Post-adoption counseling can help birth mothers work through these emotions.
“As with any difficult decision, feelings of anxiety, sorrow, and grief are common throughout the adoption process,” explain Johnson and 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.”
This is why your relationship with Adoption Makes Family does not end the day you are discharged from the hospital. We provide you with counseling throughout the adoption process, including post-adoption counseling. You are welcome to meet with your adoption counselor or we will help you to find a counselor in an area close to you.
“Adoption is not just scary, counseling is provided because birth mothers can feel overwhelmed with the choices and decisions associated with adoption,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C.
The Cost of Post-Adoption Counseling is Covered
In 2013 in the state of Maryland, Governor O’Malley signed into law House Bill 563, which has helped numerous pregnant women in Maryland by allowing adoptive families to help cover certain expenses, including reasonable charge or fee for adoption counseling.
“Often, legal and medical expenses are paid AFTER the revocation period expires to prevent families paying for expenses and losing the opportunity to adopt the baby,” says Dr. Kirschner.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form. Adoption Makes Family is a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal. We are here to help.
- “Child Welfare Information Gateway.” Aug. 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
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/.