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Birthparents: Coping After the Adoption

pregnancy timelinePregnancy and childbirth can be a difficult time even under in the best of times, but birthparents often have some less than ideal circumstances to deal with during this time in their lives. Even if you feel completely sure that placing your child for adoption is the best choice for both you and the child, you may experience a roller coaster of emotions in the weeks, months, and even years following the placement. Below are some helpful resources you might consider taking advantage of to make this time easier for you.

Pre-arranged Counseling

While it is impossible to know for sure if you will need counseling after the adoption has been completed, in this case it is generally safe to err on the side of caution. Because professional counseling can be an expensive prospect, consider speaking with your adoption agency to see if some sessions post-adoption can have the costs covered by either the agency or the adoptive parents. Get this in your contract if at all possible, and try to schedule the first session as soon as possible after the birth, even if you’re not entirely sure you need the help. If you schedule it ahead of time, you’re much more likely to follow through and will truly benefit from having a professional to speak to.

Support Groups

One of the worst feelings a person can have is believing that they are alone in their situation, or that they are the only person to have felt a certain way. To help avoid this, look into support groups both online and in person. Birthparents are more common than you might expect, and you’re likely to find some kindred spirits there who can help you through the difficult times. These fellow birthparents may not have been in your exact situation, but they have some idea of what you’re going through and can help you know that you are not alone in what you’re feeling.

The Adoptive Family

While it may seem like an odd place to reach out for comfort, take solace in what you know of the adoptive family. Because open adoptions are the norm now, it is not at all out of the ordinary for a birthparent to reach out to the adoptive parents and ask for an update on the child, or photos of them as they grow. Many birthparents find it incredibly gratifying and comforting to see photos or video of the child, happy and thriving with their birthparents, often having the kind of life the birthparent never could have offered. These updates can help solidify your belief that you made the correct choice, which can help you as you work toward moving on in your own life.