Mother’s Day is upon us. In the United States, Mother’s Day is dedicated to honoring the mothers (and mother figures) in our lives. Whether you are a parent, an adoptive parent, or have lovingly placed your child for adoption, you deserve to be celebrated. Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all types of moms.
While most Americans know about Mother’s Day, many do not know about Birth Mother’s Day. This meaningful day was created by women who placed their children for adoption. It is celebrated the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year. The first recognition of Birth Mother’s Day was held in Seattle, Washington on May 12, 1990.
This year, Birth Mother’s Day will be May 13, 2023. Mother’s Day is on May 14, 2023.
Creating Birth Mother’s Day was important. To this day, it allows birth mothers to come together to honor and support one another, on a special day of the year. Making an adoption plan requires strength, devotion, and love. It is one of the hardest decisions a mother can make, but also one of the most positive steps she can take to give her child(ren) a wonderful life.
As one birth mother explains, “I believe it’s very important for all moms to celebrate regardless of being a birth mom, adoptive mom, etc. We are all mothers. Many people don’t recognize the sacrifice we make as birth mothers, so I definitely believe we deserve a day for us.”
As the years have passed, Birth Mother’s Day has evolved. Many adoptions today are open, meaning there is a relationship between adoptive families and birth parents. As a result, many adoptive families are now celebrating Birth Mother’s Day. As families forge bonds and relationships with birth mothers, they can recognize that birth mothers and adoptive mothers are each special and important to the family dynamic.
Whether you are an expectant/birth mother, adoptive parent, or hoping to grow your family through adoption, read on. In this short guide, we will highlight the importance of birth mothers in the adoption process, resources for those planning adoption, and the joys and challenges for everyone involved in the adoption journey.
Are You an Expectant/Birth Mother Considering Adoption?
Making an adoption plan for your baby is one of the deepest sacrifices a mother can make. While it is difficult, know that you are a thoughtful and loving mother for considering this choice. Considering adoption means you are thinking of your child’s future and putting their needs before your desires and emotions. You may be feeling overwhelmed by this decision, but there is good news. Adoption is a positive choice that can bring a lifetime of joyful moments. It is also the start of an incredible journey, and there are resources to help you every step of the way.
While making an adoption plan can be complicated, the support you can receive makes a world of difference. An open adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love, can help you plan the adoption, walk you through every step of the process, and even provide you with the financial, legal, and emotional support you need.
Adoption brings many benefits to expectant/birth mothers. One of these benefits includes customization. You can create an adoption plan that meets your needs and makes you feel comfortable with the circumstances. You can also choose the adoptive family. Your adoption counselor can help you find the perfect family and design an adoption plan that works for you.
Open adoption looks different for everyone. In general, it means there is communication between birth parents and adoptive parents, before and/or after the adoption is complete. For example, you may choose to meet the adoptive family, and email or speak with them on the phone as your child grows. The form and frequency of communication will be decided by you, the birth mother, and can change over the years.
In addition to the adoption plans themselves, your adoption counselor can provide you with assistance you need, at no cost to you. In fact, you can get financial support during this challenging time in your life. With the support of an adoption agency, expectant/birth mothers who choose adoption can get the following supportive services:
- Counseling services from compassionate professionals, before and after the adoption is complete.
- Legal support from experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who specialize in adoption.
- Housing assistance. We can cover a deposit and several months of rent.
- Other living expenses, such as utilities, phone bills, food, transportation, and maternity clothes, as needed.
- Ongoing support. Adoption is life changing. We can mediate communication between birth and adoptive families.
As birth mom Camilla once told Adoptions With Love:
“I think the thing that helps me the most is looking at pictures of my daughter. I love seeing her photos and reading the letters her parents have sent me, because it reminds me of the amazing life she has and how much she is loved. It brings me peace to know that she’s a happy, healthy kid in a loving family. That’s exactly what I wanted for her. So even when I miss her, I know that she’s happy.”
Are You Considering Adopting a Child?
Adoption is a wonderful way to grow your family. After all, it is our belief that families are founded on love—not DNA. Adoption is a positive pathway that enables loving individuals to become incredible parents. It also provides children with a permanent place to call home.
When you choose to adopt a child at birth, you may be able to meet the baby and birth mother – if she wishes – at the hospital. Many hospitals give adoptive parents their own room to bond with the baby.
After finalizing an adoption, you may continue to have a relationship with the birth mother (or birth parents) through an open adoption plan. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know more about your child’s family history and background. Connecting with the birth parents can be an incredible extension of your family, and be especially meaningful for your child as he or she grows up and has questions about their adoption story.
Adoptive parents today are encouraged to have open, honest, and age-appropriate conversations with their children about their adoption. Gone are the days of keeping adoption a secret. Today, most adoptions are open. Children benefit from the situation. Most children in open adoptions report having positive feelings about their adoption. They grow up in a safe, stable, and healthy home full of opportunity. They have access to answers about their history, can better build their identity, and know they are loved by two families instead of one.
As one adoptive mother explained about her open adoption: “We wanted as much information as we could, to allow our children to make the decisions that they wanted, when they wanted it… [So] we were open to openness all along, whatever the openness looked like.”
For those who are in an open adoption arrangement, and celebrating this Mother’s Day, we encourage you to think about the birth mother who made your adoption possible. You can honor your child’s birth mother by sending her a handmade card or gift, planting a tree, donating to your adoption agency in her name, or simply wishing her a happy Mother’s Day over the phone or text message. A little gesture can go a long way as she thinks about her journey as a birth mom, and recognizes this day.
Happy Mother’s Day to All
One birth mother at AWL put it perfectly when she said to her fellow birth moms, “No matter what choice you make — whether you raise your child yourself or choose adoption — you still gave birth to them, and that makes you a mother. Being a birth mother doesn’t make you less of a mother than a woman who raises her own child, or less of a mother than a woman who adopts. You are all mothers, and being different kinds of mothers is okay.”
Whether you are an adoptive family or expectant/birth mother, you deserve to celebrate 2023 Mother’s Day. We wish all adoptive families and birth mothers a Happy (and Healthy!) Mother’s Day. If you want to learn more about adoption, please contact us any time of day or week. Call us at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.