Making an adoption plan is a positive, loving, and selfless choice. This decision is made after careful reflection and consideration. A mother chooses adoption because she feels it is in the best interests of her baby. Of course, adoption can also bring up many feelings for the birth mother.
If you are considering adoption, you may be wondering what will happen after your baby is placed with his or her adoptive family and how will I feel.
Many birth mothers feel waves of varying emotions after the paperwork is signed. While there are many steps to help prepare for the birth and adoption, it can be less clear what to expect once baby goes home with the adoptive parents and you go home on your own. Thanks to open adoption – a common type of adoption today – many birth mothers enjoy a long-lasting relationship with their child’s adoptive family and you can know how the baby is doing with his/her new parents.
If you are here, you likely have many questions about life after adoption. For instance, what life will be like once the adoption is completed? You may also be wondering what kind of support you will have post-adoption, and what your child will think of you. Adoptions With Love can help. We are here to guide you through the process every step of the way, including after the adoption placement. At AWL, birth mothers become a part of our family. We stay in touch with birth mothers who placed their baby for adoption just yesterday, and still hear from those that made adoption plans over thirty years ago. Read on, as we break down what you can expect after making an adoption plan.
Feelings of Loss or Grief
Although adoption is a very positive decision, you can expect some very sad and difficult emotions. These feelings are temporary. They do get better as time goes on. The first few weeks and through the first year following birth can be an especially challenging for birth mothers. In addition to the physical and emotional recovery, birth mothers must process all of those “firsts” that they are not experiencing. The first holidays, the first Mother’s Day, and baby’s first birthday can all bring up the feelings of grief that a birth mother copes with in the first year post-adoption. This is totally normal. It does not affect every woman in the same way, but you can be prepared if it does affect you.
Even though birth mothers enjoy many benefits to choosing adoption, and know that adoption is the best choice for their baby, it does not mean that there are no feelings of grief and loss. A birth mother experiences a wide range of emotions in the weeks and months following birth. These feelings can be amplified because of hormonal changes, naturally occurring in the body during pregnancy and after birth. It is completely normal to experience feelings of sadness and sorrow after such a momentous, physiological event. It is a good idea to monitor yourself for any postpartum depression.
A Return to Happiness
Expectant/birth mothers should keep in mind that the feelings of loss and grief, while perfectly normal, are temporary. This, too, shall pass. Someday, you will be able to wake up and smile when you think about how happy and safe your child is with his or her adoptive family. You may feel peace and comfort in your brave decision knowing you chose a wonderful family for your baby. In fact, some birth mothers get to celebrate the happy moments of their child’s life together with the family, because of open adoption.
With open adoption, birth mothers can receive photos, letters, phone calls, texts, and have in-person visits with their child’s adoptive family. This gives many birth mothers peace of mind, knowing that their “goodbye” in the hospital was not a forever goodbye. They can also rejoice in those moments when they see a video of their child taking her first steps, photos of the first day of school, and hearing great stories of the cherished memories made on family vacations. These special moments serve as a reminder for birth mothers that they made a positive choice in making the adoption plan for their child.
Birth mothers can also expect their counseling to continue after the adoption is finalized. At Adoptions With Love, birth mothers can receive free, confidential, ongoing counseling sessions in the months following their delivery, to help cope with emotions. In the many years following adoption, birth mothers may continue to speak with their counselor at AWL. This can be particularly helpful when struggling with an upcoming holiday or special event that brings up some big emotions surrounding the adoption. As always, this service is always free for birth mothers.
A Bright Future Ahead
We mentioned the benefits of making an adoption plan. One of these benefits includes the opportunities that await the birth mother. Once the adoption is complete, you may choose to explore your options and pursue your professional and personal goals.
A student-aged birth mother is more likely to finish school if she chooses adoption. Whether you are a high schooler, a college student, or someone who wanted to pursue a degree or a trade, you may choose to continue your education and make your dreams come true. If college is not a part of the plan, you may still want to consider your career. What are you passionate about, and what are your personal goals?
Life is about much more than work, of course. Birth mothers can also explore their personal interests and find what makes them happy. Take some time after the adoption to find or rediscover whatever makes you happy and focus on that.
As challenging as the pregnancy and idea of adoption can be, life immediately following the adoption can bring a range of emotions. It is normal to experience feelings of loss and grief, but you will also have the many positives that life after adoption can bring. You may also have moments of joy, peace, and comfort in knowing you gave your child a wonderful life. If you would like to learn even more about what to expect after making an adoption plan, be sure to read our free eBook: What Happens After Adoption? A Guide for Expectant/Birth Parents.