Is There a Difference between Birth Mothers and Expectant Mothers?
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you might begin to think of how you currently relate to the child you carry. At some point, you may also start thinking about what your relationship with him or her will be after you give birth. Terms such as “birth mother” and “expectant mother” are helpful in defining these relationships, if you are considering adoption or are going through the adoption process. Although these terms may seem similar on the surface, they are not interchangeable.
At Adoption Choices of Kansas, we believe it’s important for you to know the difference between birth mothers and expectant mothers. Understanding how you identify can be empowering as it gives you a sense of clarity in this otherwise uncertain time for you. Knowing whether you’re a birth mother or expectant mother can also prepare you for what you can expect along the way.
Beginning as an Expectant Mother in Kansas
While not all expectant mothers are birth mothers, all birth mothers start out as expectant mothers. An expectant mother is a pregnant woman who may be considering adoption, but she has not officially begun the adoption process. During this time, you might feel as though everything is up in the air, and the future may seem less certain. This is also a time for deep reflection over your wants and needs as well as your child’s best interests. While you may feel overwhelmed at this stage, you can still take control over your situation.
The first step toward taking back control is being willing to accept help from others, and Adoption Choices of Kansas can provide you with the help you need. When you reach out to us, it’s completely okay if you have not made a decision over pursuing adoption. We are here to give you a judgement-free space to carefully consider your options, and thus, everything you share with us is completely confidential. Our adoption counselors are prepared to answer your questions as we have helped hundreds of women with their own unique circumstances. Know that you are under no obligation to move forward with the adoption process just because you have sought out our counseling. However, if you decide that adoption is the right path for you, we are more than happy to give you the support and guidance you need every step of the way.
From Expectant Mother to Birth Mother
If and when you decide to pursue adoption, you go from being an expectant mother to a birth mother. You can change your mind about following through with the adoption at any time before relinquishing your parental rights. Unless you change your mind, you are now, and always will be, a birth mother.
One of the first things you will do as a birth mother is create an adoption plan. This is an important step to take as it serves as the foundation for how the rest of your adoption journey will play out. As part of your adoption plan, you get to choose whether to pursue an open, semi-open, or closed adoption. Each type of adoption entails varying levels of contact you will have with the baby and adoptive family after placement.
Another key component of your adoption plan as a birth mother entails choosing the adoptive parents or parent. Before you go through the selection process, it’s important that you first figure out what characteristics you want to see in an adoptive family. When you are ready, an adoption professional at Adoption Choices of Kansas will provide you with access to several adoption profiles to see if any of the prospective adoptive families are the right fit for you. If you come across a family that you can envision raising the baby, we will contact them and work closely with you to arrange a meeting with them as soon as possible.
After the baby arrives and is placed with the adoptive family you carefully selected for him or her, you don’t stop being a birth mother. You have simply entered into a new phase as a birth mother. Initially, this might be a difficult transition to make in your adoption journey, but you can feel relieved that the baby you carried is with a loving family you trust. As a birth mother, you occupy a special place in the heart of the adoptive family which can lead to the development of a beautiful relationship with them over time.
Envisioning Yourself as an Expectant Mother or Birth Mother in Kansas
By better understanding the difference between birth mothers and expectant mothers, you are able to envision yourself as one or the other. This will make it easier to discern which path is right for you and your baby as well as what goals you want to accomplish along the way. Whether you continue your pregnancy as an expectant mother or decide to embark on an adoption journey as a birth mother, you can rely on Adoption Choices of Kansas to guide and support you every step of the way.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.