Five Myths about Birth Mothers
Birth mothers are a unique and amazing group of women. There isn’t a specific way to define them, because they come from many different ways of life. What binds them together, though, is the shared experience in placing a child for adoption.
Unfortunately, this shared experience has made room for untrue judgments surrounding birth mothers and their role in the adoption process. Here are five myths about birth mothers that need to be dismantled immediately.
- Birth mothers place their children for adoption because they don’t love them
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Birth mothers who find themselves navigating an unexpected pregnancy place their children for adoption because they aren’t ready to be mothers. That’s more than fair. If they’re not in position to care for a child with everything that they got, then they shouldn’t be the ones raising them. After all, what does it mean to be a mother? It means to love your child to the best of your ability. That’s what a birth mother does when she places her child with an adoptive family who is more than willing and able to love and parent.
Birth mothers think about their children all the time. For many of them, the aftermath of post placement is a strenuous grieving process. But, above all, they want their child to feel loved and be able to live up to their fullest potential.
- Birth mothers never see their child again after placement
A common myth about birth mothers is that they disappear from their child’s life after he or she is adopted. This is a tired trope and doesn’t reflect the happiness and loving relationships that are often forged between adoptive families.
If a birth mother chooses to have an open or semi-open adoption plan with their child’s adoptive parents, they have the option of maintaining contact and developing a relationship with him or her after the adoption has been finalized. They can be a supportive and loving presence in their child’s life. If the adoptee then has questions later on, where he or she wants to learn more about their birth history, that is something that a birth mother can help them with. For many birth mothers, seeing their child grow up, and knowing that they are safe and loved, can be very healing and reassuring.
- Birth mothers are unstable, teenagers, or struggling with addiction
This is a particularly damaging myth about birth mothers. Birth mothers come from all different ways of life. They are a financially and educationally diverse group. Some birth mothers are unable to care for their child because they are not in a stable place financially. That is true and a valid reason to consider adoption. Adoption Choices of Colorado has resources in place for birth mothers in that situation.
Other birth mothers are not able to care for their child because the care that they have for themselves needs to be the highest priority. That is not a crime. It is important that they recognized that and didn’t attempt to raise a child they couldn’t care for.
Still other birth mothers may be parenting children of their own already. They know the challenges and triumphs that come with it, and they want to place the child with an adoptive family who is equipped to handle that. Reducing them to these stereotypes is demeaning, disrespectful, and unfair. These women deserve to feel validated and celebrated for their strength and life choices.
- Birth mothers have tense relationships with the adoptive family
This is more often than not a false notion. The adoptive family and the birth mother often begin communicating during the early stages of pregnancy. While birth mothers and adoptive parents may struggle with feelings of jealousy and resentment over the adoptee, both entered the adoption process knowing fully what it entails. Birth mothers are also able to learn about who the prospective adoptive families are through profile books that feature letters and pictures. Many adoptive families want to have an open adoption and want to build a relationship with the birth mother. This desire can help facilitate bonds of trust, and possibly friendship. It also helps ensure that their child will be secure in his or her identity. It also doesn’t erase who they are as the adoptive parents. Letters and pictures are traditionally exchanged, and visitation can become normal depending on the will of both parties.
- Birth mothers are alone in their choice of adoption
While you are the driving force behind the decisions that make up the adoption process, you’re never alone in making them. Our adoption agency is able to provide you with an adoption caseworker to help you maneuver through this process. The logistics of everything will be explained, and any questions that you may have will be answered. We want you to be healthy, both mentally and physically, and we will work to ensure that.
It’s important that you make the best decisions possible for the baby and for yourself. If you have doubts in your decisions, we provide a free counseling service for birth mothers and can extend this to your child’s birth father and any immediate family members. Placing your baby for adoption is a tremendous sacrifice that you’re making, so it is important that you unpack all of those tough emotions.
Adoption Choices of Colorado is also partnered with Lifetime Healing, a support group created for birth mothers by birth mothers. Check out the website to see if there is a group that meets in your area. Communicating with other birth mothers can often help the healing process. They know the pain behind your decisions, because they made the same one. Hopefully, this kind of support will help you to help each other.
Birth Mothers are Loving and Courageous Women
A birth mother is a strong woman. A woman who shouldn’t be underestimated or looked down upon. They are mothers, without being parents, and they have done their best for the children that they placed. They deserve our support, our solidarity, and our admiration.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Katherine Burns is a journalism student at Loyola University Maryland with plans to pursue a career in the news and magazine industries. With over three years of experience writing for the Greyhound Newspaper at Loyola, Katherine specializes in Op-eds. However, she has recently branched out to cover a variety of topics, including education and sports journalism. She also has ample experience with travel blogging.
Katherine has conducted a variety of interviews in her time at Loyola and has displayed her stories through differing forms of media. In addition to her studies at Loyola, Katherine spent the fall of 2019 studying communications at the American University of Paris.To learn more about Katherine, be sure to check her out on social media.