If you’re considering choosing adoption for your baby, there are a lot of unknown variables that can make the experience seem especially challenging. Many birth mothers might feel shame, fear, or guilt over the decision.
However, there are a lot of myths surrounding how you might feel, what experiences you might have, and what future your baby will have. Knowing these myths and arming yourself with facts and reason can help prepare you for the adoption process.
Myth: After adoption, you’ll have no connection to your child’s life.
As a birth mother, you have the power to make decisions about your child’s future. It’s up to you to decide what kind of connection you want to have with your child in the future.
Some mothers choose closed adoptions with the desire to have no further contact. Some choose this option because they feel it will be too emotionally complex to stay involved. Other desire to allow their baby to fully integrate into the adoptive family.
Open adoptions, on the other hand, allow for greater contact. You could request occasional visits, permission to write letters, or contact after your child has reached a certain age. When you meet with prospective parents, you can discuss your desires to be more involved. Some adoptive families are very open to further contact in the future.
Myth: My child will not be loved the same way as a biological child.
Many adoptive families seek to bring new children into their home because they feel they have more to offer to children in need. They usually have the time, resources, and temperaments to love and accept children from all backgrounds.
If you’re concerned about your child feeling less loved than other children in the home, look for families who have other adopted children or couples who do not yet have a child. Some families save and prepare for years to adopt, and they will give your child every advantage of familial love and opportunity.
Myth: It’ll be hard to find the right parents for my baby.
With the help of an advocate, you can find suitable parents. You don’t have to worry about parents adopting a child for the wrong reason. In the past, children were adopted to help on farms or in other industries, but that history does not reflect adoption today.
Every couple who seeks adoption through an agency like A Child’s Dream goes through extensive background checks. You can choose adoptive families who share your religion and ethnic background. You can even choose families who support hobbies and activities you would like your child to access.
Myth: If I choose adoption, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.
While it is true that adoption will be a time of emotional difficulty, it does not have to be a time of regret that will plague you for the rest of your life. Birth mothers should rely on the mental health counseling available through their adoption agency, and rely on the support of family, friends, and adoption advocates.
Some adoptive families will actually help with this challenge by providing funds for birth mothers to receive counseling.
While every situation is different, birth mothers can experience many benefits from choosing adoption, including:
- Increased chances of finishing high school or university. In fact, only 40 percent of girls who become pregnant in high school graduate with a diploma, and less than 2 percent finish college before the age of 30.
- Improved financial security. Supporting a baby on a single-parent income is a challenge, especially if you have little family support.
- Future stability in romantic relationships. Dating and marriage are inherently more complicated with a baby.
Birth mothers can combat feelings of regret by recognizing that choosing adoption plans for the future of not only their babies, but also themselves. Security comes from the knowledge that you made a good choice for you and for your child.
Myth: My child will resent me for choosing adoption.
It’s natural to fear that your child will feel abandoned. However, you can rest assured that you chose the best possible future for your baby. If you are worried about your child growing up bitter or anger, express your fears to your chosen adoptive family. Ask them questions like:
- How will you help my child to feel included in your family?
- What strategies will you use to help the child understand adoption?
- If my child feels angry about being adopted, how will you handle it?
- How will you respond if the child has low self-esteem because he or she is adopted?
A nurturing environment and access to mental health services can help adopted children understand adoption. Choose families that are willing to have open and honest discussions with your child about who they are and why they are part of an adoptive family.
For more information on your concerns as a birth mother, contact us at A Child’s Dream.