"When we finally signed on with Adoption Network Law Center, I felt like I had found a life raft of hope in an ocean of desperation...When my faith was waning, their reassurances lifted my spirits."
- Jon & Sal
After the birth, Adoption Network Law Center will follow up with the Birth Mother for as long as she requests our participation. Adoption Network Law Center will provide support to the Birth Mother and Adoptive Parents regarding an ongoing relationship, if this decision is made. Every effort is made to treat the Birth Mother with respect and tenderness.
The young woman who has decided upon an adoption plan for her child is an extraordinary person. She has faced many obstacles along the path to her decision and the most difficult state may be yet to come, the separation and loss of her child and the grieving process she must experience.
She has made a life changing decision, and in many cases, without much experience or support. The decision, or lack of decisions, leading up to the unplanned pregnancy also were critical: the decision to have sex, not to use birth control, or dealing with the fact that birth control failed her, not to terminate the pregnancy, not to marry the Birth Father or not to rear the child within the family.
Autonomy and control are enhanced for the Birth Mother whether she’s ready for it or not. Whether she is 15 or 40, she must rapidly face the responsibility of becoming a mother. Her age, maturity and family situation will determine how much autonomy she will have.
The impact on her family must also be considered. The perception of the Birth Mother may drastically change from one of innocence to a villain. Some families abandon and mistreat her while others cling to the little girl they are losing. Regardless, the situation is a difficult adjustment and there are the fortunate few that have understanding, supportive and realistic parents and extended family. The Birth Mother may have been ostracized by her family and punished. She may face tremendous pressure to keep the baby at all costs and may have been made to feel like a terrible, selfish person to make an adoption plan. No regard may be given to the quality of life for the unborn child or the Birth Mother, just the attitude that “we don’t give our babies away.” Many times Birth Mothers have hidden their growing stomachs and their plans in order to do what they believe is best for the child.
In addition to the changing family situation, many Birth Mothers feel betrayed by the Birth Father's lack of interest or involvement in the pregnancy and adoption.
The Birth Mother's self-image has also been changed. Shame and embarrassment are common and many view themselves as bad. They may receive conflicting messages regarding adoption. Isolation and withdrawal are common even if others are supportive. Many Birth Mothers benefit from therapy when facing issues such as guilt, anger, fear of sex, tenseness and uneasiness around children, a vague fear of discovery, depression, social anxiety, chemical dependency, eating disorders and other anxiety states. She may deal with her anxiety through denial, fantasy or repression.
Obviously, the Birth Mother has faced adversity, made that terrifying first phone call to an adoption placement service and is now about to deliver and give up her child.
Adoption will be an ongoing part of a Birth Mother’s life. By understanding and validating a Birth Mother's feelings, she is that much closer to recovery. Knowing that the baby will be loved and cherished forever is the healing element.
What is grief? Grief is the response brought about by the loss of a loved object or person. Be patient with the Birth Mothers and they will be so with themselves.
Encouraging Birth Mothers to keep themselves occupied, but not hyperactively busy, is standard. Allowing tears and free emotional expression is vital. Ask her how she’s feeling and listen to her answer. Encourage her to eat well, exercise, rest and continue to express her feelings. Encourage her to talk openly about these feelings, even if shame and embarrassment inhibit her.
As time passes, new attitudes and feelings about life begin to develop, and the Birth Mother will again see the positive in the decision she has made. As closure begins, some Birth Mothers may need others to assist them while others prefer to be alone. Most enjoy affection, encouragement to participate in new opportunities and help to see that life is meaningful.
Signs that she is improving include:
Able to speak about loved ones
Able to enjoy life
No longer vents hostility
Begins to look for ways to help others
Express feelings of appreciation with cards, flowers and kind words - whatever she enjoys and is comfortable receiving. Understanding, love, encouragement and support can show her that the new family is aware of what she may be experiencing. The greatest gift Adoptive Parents can give her is to love her child with everything they have in their heart and soul, and most important, show her appreciation.
After having had a comfortable relationship with a Birth Mother, fearing her is foolish. The Birth Mother has great respect for the Adoptive Parents since they’ve taken on the responsibility of a child that the Birth Mother could not. If agreed upon, the Adoptive Parents should see to it that the Birth Mother always gets updated photos and information about the child; this helps her with closure of her wounds and lets her know that she chose the right family for her child.
Adoptive Parents should never lose sight of the incredible gift a Birth Mother has bestowed upon them.
Adopt a Beautiful Baby With Adoption Network Law Center
Call Adoption Network Law Center Today at: 1-800-367-2367
Our Adoption Consultants will be happy to discuss the adoption process with you. After discussing your interest in adoption, we will send you our free Adoption Information Kit. There is no obligation and you will receive.
Our Newsletter with Helpful Articles
An Adoption Brochure
An Adoption Book
A DVD Presentation
An Adoption Questionnaire
An Adoption Application
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