The Realities of Birth Mothers Who Choose Adoption

By Moki Murillo

Adoption is still an unpopular topic in our country. Unfortunately, much of that stigma is levied on birth mothers, who place their biological children into adoption. As such, there have been many negative stereotypes and myths surrounding birth mothers. You may have heard at least some of them. The truth, however, is more complex and nuanced than the stereotypes imply.

Not all birth mothers considering adoption for their children are bad people. Many of the birth mothers that we work with at Adoption Choices of Colorado are quite the opposite. They can be some of the most thoughtful, caring, and brave individuals that you could ever meet. Birth mothers are as varied and diverse a group as any. The reasons why they would seek adoption for their babies are just as varied.

Adoption Choices of Colorado would like to share the truth about our birth mothers, their experiences, and their struggles. If you are not a birth mother, we hope that we can help you empathize with these amazing women. And if you are, we hope to shine a light on your fellow birth mothers’ different and shared experiences.

Good People, but Not in a Good Place to Parent

One prevalent myth about women considering adoption for their biological children is that they don’t love them. This myth is simply untrue for many of the birth mothers we work with. Many birth mothers suddenly have an unplanned pregnancy at the most inopportune time of their lives. Some birth mothers have careers or build careers that don’t afford them the time to raise children. Others may not be financially stable or have a positive home life. Whatever the reason, many birth mothers feel that they can’t raise their babies, not that they don’t want to. 

Conversely, there are people out there who want to raise children, but they can’t have them biologically. Many of the adoptive families we work for are ready for the responsibility. During the adoption process, we allow birth mothers to screen through multiple adoptive families. They can be selective of anything, from their occupation to their racial and cultural background, age, temperament, and more. In our experience, most birth mothers take advantage of this step in the process. To us, this fact proves that most birth mothers do care about their babies. They care enough that they are willing to take time out of their lives to ensure their child’s future.

Even after the adoption process ends, the birth mother can still look after their biological children. In open adoptions, the biological mother can still check on their children and even have opportunities to connect. While there are more restrictive types of adoption, most birth mothers in our Colorado adoption agency choose open adoptions. This is very much in contrast to the popular image of birth mothers as unloving and selfish. Even if they don’t raise the child, they still care.

The Women Who Put Their Babies Up for Adoption

Another myth about birth mothers is that they are either teenagers, drug addicts, or otherwise unstable people. This myth is highly reductive, and it doesn’t reflect how diverse this group is. In fact, an article from Deseret News reports that the number of teen pregnancies has actually fallen in recent years. 

Not all birth mothers considering adoption do so are young, poor, or troubled. Some of the birth mothers we worked with aren’t even single or inexperienced with children. There are birth mothers who already have children, but they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. These birth mothers already know of the joys and challenges of raising children. Unfortunately, the pregnancy came at a time, where they simply can’t afford to raise more children. And so, they came to us to help find a better family for their child.

Birth mothers come in all shapes and circumstances. Reducing them all to irresponsible teens or troubled singles does a disservice to them all. The truth is that there are many reasons and circumstances that lead birth mothers to our door. What all birth mothers all have in common is that they deserve our empathy and compassion. Most of the time, love, not carelessness, is what drives birth mothers to find new families for their babies.

Before and After Adoption

For birth mothers, the story doesn’t end after their baby is adopted. It doesn’t even start when they arrive at our door. The real first step for any birth mother is after a positive pregnancy test. The decision to place their baby through adoption is not as easy as it first appears. Many birth mothers we work with at Adoption Choices of Colorado agonized over this decision for days. After all, birth mothers are giving up a potential life they could have had with their babies. This reason is why many birth mothers utilize our counseling services for support in this difficult yet necessary decision. Even then, feelings of fear, anxiety, and guilt don’t go away for many birth mothers.

In Adoption Choices of Colorado, our support doesn’t end after adoption, and many birth mothers still need it. There are barely any studies about how post-pregnancy issues, such as postpartum depression, affect birth mothers. In our experience, however, birth mothers don’t have it any better, at least. Depression and feelings of regret are common to many birth mothers who seek our counseling after pregnancy. We, however, offer private therapy and support groups to help birth mothers cope with their feelings and decisions. Although the process is rarely painless, most of our birth mothers make it out the other side, thankfully.

Birth Mothers and Adoption: Moving Forward

Being a birth mother is one of the hardest things a woman could ever experience. A good birth mother must be both self-reflective and selfless. They must think about their child’s future but also grapple with the anxiety of what could’ve been. Even after the adoption process is finished, lingering trauma may still exist within the minds of birth mothers. In short, being a birth mother takes an extraordinary amount of love and bravery. Whether they are young, old, poor, rich, married, or single, all birth mothers deserve our respect and empathy. If you are a birth mother, we hope that you made your peace with your difficult but valid choices.

If you are looking to start the adoption process in Colorado, call Adoption Choices today.

Resource:

  • https://www.deseret.com/2023/7/4/23774584/adoption-stigma-study-abortion

 

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