Placing a baby for adoption is a difficult topic to discuss and an even more difficult decision to make.
This is a very complex decision that should definitely not be taken lightly. Moreover, it is often emotional for a mother to wonder if they made the right decision for their child when they placed that child for adoption.
It’s one thing to make the decision to place your baby for adoption and an entirely different thing to deal with after the adoption is done. The range of emotions one feels after placing a baby for adoption is natural, but at the same time, knowing how to cope with those feelings is very important.
You’ll likely deal with a roller coaster of emotions and bounce from guilt to relief to other emotions during and after the adoption process. One moment you can feel like you did the best thing for the child and the next minute you can feel lonely and somewhat lost. Despite the mixture of feelings one may have after placing a baby for adoption, the following are tips to keep in mind to help you cope, no matter how you may be feeling:
Acknowledge the Feelings
Simply acknowledging how you feel is a huge first step in the coping process. It’s perfectly natural to feel upset, angry, guilty, confused, lonely, lost, hurt, or whatever else you simply may feel. The choice of placing a baby for adoption is not a small choice and at times may be overwhelming to you emotionally. Acknowledging your feelings allows you to begin to deal and cope with the choice you inevitably had to make for yourself and the child.
Acknowledge the Loss
You may feel as though you lost part of yourself when you placed your child with his new family. This is absolutely understandable. Remember that you did this to give yourself and the child the best future possible; the future you both deserve. It was a selfless act of wanting the best for the child.
Throughout our lives we have to make big decisions and often our ability to cope after that big decision can be expedited with the assistance of a counselor. If your emotions and feelings are so overwhelming that you cannot cope on your own, sometimes family counselors can help you handle the situation. Everyone handles difficult situations differently and sometimes a counselor may be able to help you find the best way for you. We offer post-adoption counseling to help all birth parents forever. No matter how quickly or slowly you deal with the adoption, we are always here to provide support and guidance.
Consider an Ongoing Relationship with the Adopting Family
If you are able to, sometimes considering an ongoing relationship (semi-open or open adoption) with the family that adopted the child can help you still be a part of the child’s life. Whether you meet with the child regularly or just receive photo updates and letters from the parents, knowing how the child is doing on a regular basis can continue to provide peace of mind to you as the birth parent. Determining if this relationship is possible is the first step. Then determining if it’s something you want to pursue is another step. Many children adjust well to knowing that they were adopted and that their birth parents still care about and love them as well.
Working with the adoptive family to determine the level of communication and how the relationship will progress early will set everyone up for a beneficial relationship for all parties. And remember, the ongoing relationship can change and evolve throughout the life of the child.
Remember That It’s About the Child
When all else fails, remember that you made this decision because it was in the best interest of your child. You wanted to give him or her the best life possible. Nothing changes the fact that you made a selfless decision for your child and that you are their birth parent. Knowing you brought new life into this world and gave that child the best opportunity at the future they deserve is what matters the most. Find peace knowing you did this not for yourself but selflessly and lovingly for your child.