As a birth mom, how can I cope with adoption?

As a birth mom, how can I cope with adoption?

Best Answers

  • Answer ✓
          It's not easy, but it's doable. I placed my little girl two years ago and it's the hardest, best thing I've ever done. The grief never really goes away, but it does change and become manageable. I wouldn't want the grief to go away- I love her, and because I love her I will miss her. I have accepted and come to terms with it, but it's been hard. There are several things you can do to cope with adoption related grief. 
          One of the most important things you can do is allow yourself to feel. It's common for birth moms to shut down emotionally because the hurt is too much. You might have feelings that are totally irrational, and you will have feelings that make a lot of sense. It doesn't matter- just let yourself feel them or you won't be able to work through them. 
         Another thing that's important is to understand that the grief you are feeling is complex. You're grieving the loss of a person that's still alive. You chose your grief. Some people think this means you're not allowed to have it. However, you can know for sure that you did the right thing and that this is the best possible situation for your child and still be sad about it. 
         Find support. One of the best things for my grief was being a part of a support group for birth parents. Having other girls who understood what I was going through meant the world to me. It also gave me hope- if they could be okay, then I could too. Other good places to find support are friends, family, and a therapist who specializes in adoption. 
         The grief will come and go. Even two years later I sometimes hurt like it happened yesterday. Other days I am angry, or I bargain, or I experience any of the other phases of grief. But most days I'm okay, and I spend longer and longer periods of time in the acceptance phase. Things do get better. 
  • Answer ✓
    Great answer above. I know that every birthmom experiences adoption and grief differently. Grief does come in waves. It's not like you'll be sad in the beginning and slowly get better. It may come and go and come at random/inopportune times. But it is important to feel the feelings rather than push them down and ignore it. Counseling can help, a psychologist or a psychiatrist that specializes in adoption. There are also birthmom support groups, in person or even online. Connecting with other birthmoms on Facebook and Instagram is a good things too. One thing about adoption today that is great is that it's usually open adoption, not closed. With open adoption, you can get updates about the child and even see the child. Some families are so close they have monthly dinners. Some only see each other once a year. It just depends on the relationship you have with the adoptive family. Find someone who shares your values and shares your idea of how much contact you want to have. has some great videos on their youtube channel where birthmoms speak about their experiences. 
  • Answer ✓
    As a Birthmother, I feel your pain! The loss at times can feel insurmountable.  
    I placed my child for adoption 19 years ago. I just watched him graduate from high school. I feel so grateful to have shared that moment with his family.  Initially after I placed him for adoption, the pain was so intense, I coped by writing and journaling my feelings and thoughts. I coped by throwing myself into parenting my first born child.  Some days were better than others but surrounding myself with a support system; other birthmothers, therapists, friends who were supportive of adoption was a great help. Being able to speak about my son was helpful too. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed for the choice you made. As we birthmothers know, we were doing what we felt was the right thing to do at the time.  Stand strong in your decision and know you are not alone. Much peace and love to you. 
  • Answer ✓
    I think it's really important to note a few things about adoption and your options. Now, I don't know if you've already placed your child for adoption. If you have not, it is important to know that you have options. Open adoption is becoming way more popular. While it won't eliminate your loss, it does provide some additional options rather than what we see typically in the media of closed adoptions where you never see the child again. If you want a closed adoption, that is certainly an option. However, you may be able to find an adoptive family for your child who is willing to do things such as updates or even visits.

    As an adoptive mother, I try to do at least two visits a year with my children's birth family. We stay in touch daily on social media. I just feel like it's so much healthier and so important for them to know where they came from. I also don't want their birth mother to feel like she has to stay away. They will be very well aware that they are adopted and also I don't want them to lose that part of themselves. I want them to have a relationship with their birth family. It does no harm to me for them to have that relationship. Just more people to love.

    As you are exploring your options for placement, if you would like an open adoption, speak up. While it is true that many times open adoptions are not legally enforceable, many adoptive families are now realizing the value of open adoptions and maintaining that relationship. I really believe that more often than not they will honor an agreement unless it is hindering the well-being of the child. You can read more about Open adoptions here and explore your options.

    The other posters, especially those who are birth mothers, can give great advice on how to cope emotionally. There's no sort of adoption where you're not going to experience some sense of loss. Anyone who says different is ignorant to the idea. While I'm not a birth mother, I am a mother, and I think that we can all relate on that level in having an idea of the love a person has for their child. That love doesn't change just because you decided to place.

    If you have already placed your child, please take a great look at the advice of the above posters. Take support. Find people to talk to. If you are able to reach out to your agency for support or even to see if you can get some updates, it is one of those situations where it's better to try than not try. You can read about additional ways to understand the grieving process of birth mothers here. My heart hurt deeply for the grief that you might be going through. I hope you find some solace in some of these responses.
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