It’s difficult to generalize the impact of an adoption on a birthmother. Every one of these women faced a unique experience and coped in her own way. All in all, there are usually the emotions of guilt, grief, anger, and loss that a birthmother may face after the adoption is finalized; however, you can move forward in a healthy way after the adoption, so take a look at some tips we’ve prepared for you.
Accept Your Feelings
Birthmothers often describe a variety of feelings they experience after adoption, including grief, guilt, shame, identity issues, thinking about the child, and effects on other relationships. As a birthmother, you should be aware that these feelings are normal, so acknowledge them. Don’t try to run away from the fact that you feel bad after the adoption. Hiding your thoughts and feelings is not a healthy way to deal with issues after adoption.
Share Your Feelings
Being able to openly share your feelings often helps to resolve issues after adoption. You’re not alone, so you should talk with your friends, family, counselor, or someone else you trust. If you don’t want to share your feelings with people close to you, you can always seek out support groups of other birthmothers. Sometimes, it’s much easier to share feelings with someone who’s experiencing the same as you are.
Make Goals & Stay Busy
Create a post-adoption plan and write down your plans and goals. It’s always good to stay busy during emotional and stressful times, so write down the things you’ve wanted to do for a long time and try to include as many activities as you can in your schedule.
Have an Entrustment Ceremony
If yours is an open adoption, you can consider asking the adoptive parents if they’d like to participate in an entrustment ceremony as a way to respectfully transfer parental roles. For all involved, this ceremony can be more special and meaningful than the simple signing of legal documents. You can tailor the ceremony to fit your needs and it can take place in a location you are comfortable with. Sometimes, people need a certain type of closure to move forward, and if you feel like you need to do this, don’t be afraid to talk openly with the adoptive parents about it.
Read Other Stories
Nowadays, the topic of putting a baby up for adoption is discussed openly in a number of books, articles, websites, and blogs. Reading personal experiences and stories from other birthmothers can help you to stay positive and motivated after adoption.
When you concentrate on helping others, you can easily forget about your problems and feelings. If you turn your attention to the needs of others, you can redirect your emotions. A great way to achieve this is through volunteering.
Take Advantage of Counseling & Support Services
Many birthmothers benefit from counseling services after adoption as a way to help move forward in an emotionally healthy way. Your adoption professional can help you arrange these services, and some may even help finance it.
Share Your Story
Your story is important, and it may help other birthmothers who are going through the adoption process. At first, you can keep a journal or a blog of your feelings and experiences. There are many birthmothers who are facing the same problems as you are and if you decide to share your story you can create a natural support network.