When describing birth mothers placing their newborns for adoption, adjectives like strong, loving, and selfless typically come to mind. But birth mothers often face a tough emotional journey and may need support along the way. If you are pregnant and considering adoption, it is important to know that you are not alone! First and foremost, your case worker is there for you throughout each step of the process. It can also be helpful to speak with others who have placed a child for adoption and discuss your shared experiences in a birth mother support group. There are many resources and support groups available nationwide. You can always talk with your case worker and adoption professional for recommendations. Some important things to consider when choosing a birth parent support group:
How Much Support am I looking to Receive/Give?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how much support are you looking to receive, and how much support are you willing to give? If you feel the need for a fairly active support group, then an in-person, local group may be the best fit. If you may not be able to provide much support to others but have questions you’d like other birth mothers to answer, then perhaps online support groups may be a better fit for you.
How Much Time Can I Devote to a Support Group?
The next step in choosing a group is deciphering how much time you are willing to devote to the group. Your answer to this question is often related to how much support you are looking to get out of the group and how much flexibility your schedule offers. For those birth parents who may not have much time or schedule flexibility, see what services your agency or adoption professional provides. Some adoption professionals provide 24/7 support to birth parents via talk or text hotlines. Other professionals will provide or schedule counseling for birth mothers who would like to receive it.
According to most birth parents, joining a support group can for a number of reasons. First, it creates a space where birth mothers are able to get all of your questions answered by your peers. Second, it allows birth parents to speak openly about their shared experiences and instills the sense that you are not alone in this process and that others share the same feelings.
Birth mother support groups often discuss different preferences in open adoptions, the extent of openness, and the relationship with the adoptive family. These birth parent support groups also discuss positive adoption language and how to encourage family and friends to use terms like, “placing a baby for adoption,” rather than “giving up a baby for adoption.” Making the decision to place one’s child for adoption requires great strength and love. It is important to find a support group that celebrates these amazing qualities and acknowledges the difficulties birth parents experience.
It is significant to note that there are resources for birth mothers going through adoption. US adoption programs, such as AdoptHelp provide assistance for pregnant mothers going through the infant adoption process, and can help financially and with counseling if desired.