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Navigating the Emotional Journey of Adoption

By Tyler Jeremiah

It’s no secret that the adoption journey can be an emotional experience. From relief to sadness, from grief to shame, processing this wide range of emotions can be difficult without the right amount of support. Luckily, adoption agencies such as Adoption Choices of Kansas are here to provide you with all the tools you need to navigate this spectrum of feelings. 

We will be examining some of the potential types of emotions birth parents can expect to feel before, during, and after the adoption process

Every Adoption Experience Is Unique

To begin, it’s important to acknowledge that each birth parent’s experience is going to be unique. Going through the adoption process often brings up deep emotions that challenge the ways one views themself, and everybody responds to these feelings in different ways. 

Before discussing these feelings in more detail, it’s important that we acknowledge that just as each birth parent has a unique adoption process, they also have a unique support system. If you are a birth parent considering adoption, take a moment to think about the people you have in your corner. What kind of support system do you have to help you through this process?

Here at Adoption Choices of Kansas, we want to remind birth parents that, no matter their life situation, they are never alone. We encourage our birth parents to consider joining a birth parent support group or talking to a professional mental health professional. Connecting with others who are also going through the adoption process can help you feel truly seen and understood. Furthermore, discussing your feelings with a therapist and developing a plan to process your emotions in a healthy way can be helpful for many birth parents. 

The Rewarding Feelings of Adoption

Now, without further ado, let’s get into some of the complex emotions you can expect to experience throughout the adoption process. First of all, the adoption process is often an incredibly joyous and exciting time! As a birth parent, you should feel proud to be playing such an important role in creating a beautiful new family. By choosing to give your child a family eager to accept them, you are giving both your child and their adoptive family a lifetime of love.

It is completely normal to feel excited and giddy throughout the adoption process. Adoption agencies in Kansas give birth parents incredible autonomy. You are able to personalize your adoption plan according to your own unique lifestyle, values, and desires for your child. This gives you an enormous sense of control, allowing you to rest assured that your child will be growing up with a family you handpicked. And this is surely something to celebrate!

The Challenging Feelings of Adoption

Now, in the midst of all of these positive emotions, it’s possible that you also feel an array of more complicated feelings. The adoption process can be a triggering experience for many birth parents, particularly if they have past experiences with trauma. In these cases, it’s important to seek professional help in caring for your mental health. Our adoption specialists here at Adoption Choices of Kansas are well-equipped to get you in touch with a professional mental health counselor should you desire it. 

Amongst the array of challenging emotions birth parents can experience are grief and depression. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, we think it’s important to to be able to tell them apart. According to the American Psychology Association (APA), depression is “a negative affective state, ranging from unhappiness and discontent to an extreme feeling of sadness, pessimism, and despondency, that interferes with daily life.” In contrast, they define grief as “the anguish experienced after significant loss,” in this case the placing of one’s child up for adoption. 

Depression and grief are both common experiences for birth parents both during and after the adoption process. Bringing a child into this world and placing it with another family can cause a sense of loss and grief. Furthermore, getting back into a normal, daily routine once your child is officially placed with their adoption family can be a difficult adjustment. As is common with any big transition in life, placing a child up for adoption can cause some people to experience feelings of depression. 

Once again, we encourage anyone struggling with challenging emotions to reach out to their support systems, whether it be family, friends, your adoption specialist, a birth parent support group, or a professional mental health counselor. Just because both depression and grief can play a part in your emotional journey through the adoption process doesn’t mean that they have to interfere with your everyday life. 

Adoption Choices of Kansas Will Help You Navigate This Process

In the end, we here at Adoption Choices of Kansas are always sincere with our birth parents: the adoption process can be a challenging emotional journey for some people. Just as often as you experience the highs of joy and excitement, you may also experience the lows of depression or grief. No matter what, however, know that you are never alone. We are an adoption agency based on the principle of community support, and we are committed to giving our birth parents all of the encouragement and comfort that they deserve. 

If you are a birth parent considering adoption, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our adoption specialists by calling or visiting our website. 

References: 

  • “Apa Dictionary of Psychology.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, dictionary.apa.org/depression. Accessed 18 Feb. 2024.
  • “Apa Dictionary of Psychology.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, dictionary.apa.org/grief. Accessed 18 Feb. 2024.
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