Post Placement Feelings as a Birth Mother: Emotions You can Expect after Placing Your Baby up for Adoption
If you’re considering placing your baby up for adoption, you may be worried about how you’ll be feeling post placement. The adoption journey elicits a title wave of emotions at every corner, for better or worse. When the papers are all signed and everything is finalized, you’re left to deal with that mountain of emotions. Everyone’s adoption experience is different, and yours will be unique to you and your situation. It can be scary going into the process knowing what might lie ahead.
Just remember, you’re not alone. Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for you. We offer post placement counseling for birth mothers for emotional support and help navigate life after putting your baby up for adoption. Adoption is not an easy path, but if you’ve decided it is the best option for you and your baby, there are some post placement feelings as a birth mother you can expect to encounter.
Complicated Feelings of Loss and Grief
Putting your baby up for adoption can lead to feelings of grief and loss. These feelings can be made more complicated by the fact that your baby is still here. It’s not the same as grieving for someone who has passed away. This can be extremely tricky in an open adoption when you may be in contact somewhat regularly. Trying to grieve and move forward properly can be extremely difficult.
Any decision, big or small, is going to leave you with lingering feelings of regret. Questions of what-ifs, could-have-been, and should-have-been will most likely lead to a lot of stress and sleepless nights. Feelings of regret can eat away at you if you let them. It can be extremely frustrating when something you plan so thoughtfully doesn’t go exactly right, and sometimes the adoption journey can be less-than-smooth. Trust in yourself and your choices, and know that the only way to move is forward.
Sadness and Anger
Not every emotion has a traceable or pinpointed source. Sometimes we just feel emotions because of the general situation. It’s okay to feel sad and angry post placement. You don’t have to rationalize every emotion you feel to permit yourself to feel them. It can be cathartic and therapeutic to cry and/or scream into a pillow to release all of those pent-up emotions. You can be sad or angry over specific parts of the adoption, but it’s also okay to just be sad or just be angry.
More powerful than the negative and taxing emotions are the positive ones. You need to allow yourself to feel not only the sad and bad feelings, but also the good ones. If you’re having feelings of relief, that’s great! Do not feel guilty for feelings that might be categorized as selfish. Feeling relieved after going through nine months of pregnancy and the adoption process is normal and okay! Pat yourself on the back and take a deep breath.
Relief can also come in the form of knowing your baby is now in the safe hands of a loving adoptive family. Not knowing what will happen to your baby can be terrifying, but when you can confidently place them in the arms of adoptive parents to give them the best life possible that can give you a lot of peace.
Adoption is a very rewarding experience for most birth mothers. You’re giving a hopeful family a beautiful gift, and you should be proud of that. The adoption process is rough and can be emotionally and physically exhausting. You went through a lot and made a lot of hard decisions, and you deserve to feel proud of that.
Dealing with Post Placement Emotions
Adoption is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but it also comes with some sharp thorns. The important thing to remember is you will get through this, and you are not alone. Post placement feelings as a birth mother can run the gamut. No two people experience adoption in the same way. Every journey is unique. So, let yourself feel. When you’re in the thicket of post placement emotions, it can feel like you’ll never make it out. It can be hard to work through the bad feelings and let yourself feel good, but you will gradually replace those feelings of hurt and sadness with feelings of hope, love, and fulfillment in time. Walk away knowing you did the right thing for you and your baby, and there will be happiness and joy moving forward for both of you.
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years’ experience as a freelance writer, and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games.
As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”