Guilt is consuming you. Where you once felt sound in your judgement to place your child for adoption, you’re now regretting your decision. You always knew it would be difficult transitioning from expectant mother to birth mother. However, with your child no longer in your arms, you’re beginning to realize that nothing could have prepared you for this sense of loss.
Peaceful sleep is far from memorable, and questions continuously plague your mind. Why is this doubt beginning to creep in when I was so sure before? Am I allowed to change my mind? Why do I feel so empty inside? More and more, you convince yourself that you made the wrong decision.
Adoption Choices of Colorado wants you to know that feelings of regret, no matter the circumstances, are completely normal. Placing your child for adoption was a life-altering decision, and the weight of that choice led you to this unsafe headspace, where you’re drowning in negative emotions. While these feelings are valid, they’re also important to work through. A birth mother’s regret is nothing to take lightly. Let us help!
Remind Yourself of the Why
Everything changed when you left the hospital without your child. Now, you find it hard to conjure up an appetite. Friends and family members keep calling, but you lay in bed ignoring them. Instead, you think of your child and ask yourself the same unfair question: Why didn’t I keep my baby? You’ve sobbed the question over and over, but have you stopped to answer it?
Reminding yourself why you decided to place your child for adoption can help ease your pain. After all, it wasn’t a selfish decision. You wanted the best for your child, and you knew you couldn’t offer him or her what you envisioned. Rehearse both the pros and the cons you considered upon making your decision. Try to recall the reasons you initially thought it was right.
For example, if you set standards for how you wanted your child to be raised, you knew that, in order for those to be met, your child would have to be raised by someone other than you. When dealing with such high emotions, logic can stand as a foundation for healing. Don’t let the why get lost in your grief.
Talk It Out
If you talk with someone openly, whether it be one-on-one or in a group setting, you’ll be well on your way to coping with these feelings of regret and loss. Individuals who are able to listen without giving advice or unhelpful comfort can provide you with a safe space. One where you’ll feel comfortable voicing your deepest thoughts without fear of judgement. Whether you choose to confide in a professional, family member, friend, or other birth mother, having someone you can be candid with will prevent bottled up emotions and promote clearer reasoning.
Express all the positive and negative feelings you have, and make sure your confidante doesn’t emit false hope, for this can emote false rationalizations, anger, and self-punishment within yourself. Having the freedom to be honest about your feelings on adoption will help you understand your own thought processes and figure out what the core causes are for regretting your decision. Once you pinpoint the cause, you can learn to manage it, healing your mind and heart.
Be Gentle Yet Honest with Yourself
Many birth moms wonder if placing their children for adoption was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. In reality, choosing to place was the best way to make those temporary problems not permanent. A birth mother’s regret is the result of a profound act of love. Remind yourself of this as often as you can. Self-sacrifice doesn’t feel good; otherwise, it wouldn’t be true.
Deciding to let your child live everyday life with another family was a sacrifice. Your hormones were all geared up to be a mother, and you quite literally denied your body and mind something that it was physically and mentally prepared to do and be. If you felt happy or indifferent at the loss of your child, that would show you weren’t putting his or her best interests first, like any loving mother would.
If feelings of regret seem all-consuming, remind yourself of the circumstances you were in, not the circumstances you are in now. Where you’re at now may or may not be the same as if you had parented – but you can’t know that. As long as you did the right thing for your baby in the circumstances you were in, you didn’t make the wrong decision.
Birth Mother’s Regret
In Colorado, once an adoption is legally finalized, it becomes irrevocable. When you signed the adoption papers, you terminated your parental rights. The adoptive parents you chose are now your child’s legal parents. As a birth mother, your rights and responsibilities as a mother are no more. But, depending on the openness of your adoption, you can communicate these emotions freely with the adoptive parents. You’d be surprised how many adoptive parents are accepting of the birth mothers’ desire for involvement.
Adoption Choices of Colorado knows that being a birth mother is no easy task. It takes time to figure out how you’re going to embrace this new role and how you’re going to deal with the hard times. Try your best to take care of yourself and think of the well-being of your child. As long as he or she is safe, healthy, and happy, it’s worth it.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Patience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This year, she’s joining Adoption Choices Inc. as an Editorial Intern. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.
When Patience is not exploring Colorado with her husband, she’s drinking coffee, forever figuring out how to tame her hair, growing her library, and trying to break into the publishing career.
Merrill, Annaleece. “What to Do When You Regret Placing Your Child for Adoption.” Adoption.com, 20 Jan. 2018, adoption.com/what-to-do-when-you-regret-placing-your-child-for-adoption.
Olsen, LIndsey. “Do You Ever Regret Your Decision to Place Your Child for Adoption?” Adoption.com, 12 Apr. 2016, adoption.com/do-you-ever-regret-your-decision-to-place-your-child-for-adoption.
“‘What Does Adoption Mean to a Child?”.” American Adoptions – Once You Give a Baby Up for Adoption, Can You Get It Back?, American Adoptions, Inc, www.americanadoptions.com/pregnant/getting_your_baby_back.