Moving Forward after Giving Your Baby Up for Adoption
The adoption process can be very emotional for birthmothers. Even if they’re sure their decision to give their baby up for adoption was the right choice, they’re still likely to experience intense feelings of grief, doubt, denial, or guilt. Here are a few tips for birthmothers after adoption.
Don’t Be Afraid to Feel
Feeling angry, sad, guilty, or regretful after giving your baby up for adoption is completely normal, and ignoring these feelings will do you more harm than good. For the first few days and weeks after the adoption, take some time to process your feelings. As time goes on, don’t be surprised if those feelings resurface every once in a while, especially during major events like holidays or your child’s birthday. Dealing with your emotions will get easier as time passes and your confidence in your decision grows.
Being able to share your feelings after placing your baby for adoption helps a great deal. Many birthmothers benefit from counseling services after the adoption. You can also lean on your personal support system: talk with your friends, family members, or others you trust. You can also check out support groups for birthmothers; sometimes it’s easier to share your feelings with people who went through the same thing you did. On top of that, our coordinators are always here if you need any extra support.
Consider an Entrustment Ceremony
If you have an open adoption, you may want to talk to your baby’s adoptive family about doing an entrustment ceremony. This is a ceremony that symbolizes the passing of parental responsibilities from one set of parents to another. It can be as formal or informal as you wish. For some birthmothers, it can help ease their minds and provide some closure they may need to move forward.
Make a Plan
One of the best ways to move forward after giving your baby up for adoption is to make a post-adoption plan. Staying busy will help redirect your emotions in a healthy way. Start by compiling a list of goals that you want to accomplish after the adoption, and begin actively working toward them as soon as you can. Maybe you want to go back to school, pursue a new career, or do some volunteering. Find something to fill your schedule that will challenge you and give you something fulfilling to look forward to each day.
Share Your Story
Sharing your story can be very cathartic for a birthmother. Consider starting a blog, creating a video diary, or keeping a journal where you record your feelings before, during, and after giving your baby up for adoption. By sharing your story, you’ll become part of a wider adoption network and help others who are struggling with the same things as you. Each and every birthmother’s story is important and can help other expectant mothers and birthmothers who are going through the adoption process.
To learn more about giving your baby up for adoption, complete our free information request form.