For many birth mothers, placing their child for adoption is the greatest act of love that they could give their children. This decision is not easy, and as a result, many mothers have conflicting emotions long after they make this choice. While all mothers feel a sense of loss, it is important to remember that each case is unique and that this decision affects every mother differently. As a result, this article in no way outlines the process for everyone, but rather, it explains some of the emotions, psychological effects, and healing that occurs after.
Placing your child for adoption has a profound effect on the birth mother. Often the mother experiences a sense of grief as she is feeling the loss of her child. Not only does the birth mother have to deal with a life-altering decision before birth, but after, once the mother decides to pursue adoption, she is physically separated from her child. At this point, the birth parent may question her decision, feel a lack of support from her family and friends, and constantly wonder about whether she will get to see her child again. This could lead to feelings of disassociation, guilt, and sadness, especially if the mother has to keep the adoption a secret. For many birth mothers, they face several emotional responses after the adoption, which is why it is imperative for them to reach out to seek help. It is important to know that you are not alone and that there are resources available to birth mothers going through this process. Adoption Choices of Kansas involvement doesn’t end with the birth of your child, we’re with you through the birth and afterward for all of your emotional needs.
After the adoption, statistics have shown that “75 percent of the women surveyed reported that they had poor emotional health one year after placement.” In addition, many women suffered from depression, guilt, anxiety, low self-esteem, and sleep problems. Placing a child for adoption is a life stressor and because of this, the birth mother is often left with reoccurring feelings about this decision. However, despite some of the long-term issues that may affect birth mothers, many find solace in the positive parts of their decision. Many believe that they are giving their child a better future and a good family. Birth mothers are also able to reach out to other birth mothers. The internet has made a lot of online communities available. which has proved to be very beneficial for these women to share their stories with each other. It is so important for birth mothers to have a post-placement support plan in place.
Despite the difficult process birth mothers may face, there are many things that have helped them move forward. For one, meeting the needs of the birth mothers is important to the healing process. Providing resources like financial services, emotional support, and mental health resources allow these mothers to get the help and care that they deserve. Additionally, it is important for the birth mothers to take the appropriate time that they need to grieve and heal. Often, there are expectations for both how long and how to grieve, but for every mother, the process is different. Embracing your needs is another important step in the healing process. Depending on how open the adoption is, there can be different traditions that can help all parties involved to heal. For example, there may be activities like writing letters on special days each year that allow for the birth mother and child to acknowledge the loss in a positive way.
Finally, participating in interests like writing and music may help some birth mothers to find a way to talk about their pain, which in turn helps them to move forward.
Ultimately, while life after placement offers some difficult choices and emotions for birth mothers, there are many ways to help these mothers cope and heal. It is important that the appropriate resources are provided for these mothers. It is also necessary to understand that the healing process is different for every mother and every situation is different so people must be aware of how to help them best.
Dusza Guerra Leksander, S., Romer, S., & Landino, D. (2018, October 24). What is life like for birth mothers after placement? Retrieved from https://cceok.org/news/what-life-birth-mothers-after-placement.
Effects of adoption on birth mother. (n.d.). Retrieved 2019, from https://adoptionnetwork.com/emotional-and-psychological-effects-of-adoption-on-birth-mother.
Patricelli, K. (n.d.). Long-term issues for birthmothers after adoption. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/long-term-issues-for-birthmothers-after-adoption/.