The Ultimate Gift | A Birth Mother’s Grief|

Placing a child for adoption is the ultimate gift: to the child and to the adopting family. It is also a tremendous loss for the birth mother. So, while the adoption attorneys at Moore Law for Children appreciate that a woman’s decision to place her baby for adoption may be the best option for the birth mother and her child, this nevertheless is a loss she will grieve for the rest of her life.

You are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption. Adoption is a loving choice. Placing a child for adoption is the ultimate gift to a child and the gift of a child to a family. It is a sacrifice for you. It will be a difficult decision and it is impossible for you to know exactly what happens to you after placement until you experience it. At Moore Law for Children, our adoption specialists are often birth mothers themselves, so they know, they understand, and they empathize.

It is important that you are informed about the grief and emotional trauma that will occur post-placement. While it can be discussed and explained, it cannot truly be known until it happens to you. At Moore Law for Children, it is our belief that you should be informed so you are ready to face the grief and be best prepared for it. That will help you work through the emotional grief process.

The grieving process is cyclical and does not always occur in order. The five stages of grief are:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You will probably experience one or more stages of grief at a time. After placement, many women do not have the time to rest and recover for the full amount of time recommended by their doctor. Some women also hide their pregnancies and give themselves no amount of time to rest and heal their bodies. Pregnancy and childbirth are physically challenging. Then the emotional and mental trauma from adoptive placement creates additional layers of stress. We encourage you to acknowledge what you are going through physically, mentally, and emotionally and take care of yourself.

You may feel a pull to delay your grief. Sometimes, life must come first, and we understand that. However, make sure you don’t delay it too long because your grief will not go away. The sooner you face it head-on, the sooner you will learn to cope and coexist with it in a healthy way.

Adoption is a life-changing decision. Finding emotional support is an important part in the process of healing. Having a support system is critical for you. Some women may have family or friends to support them; and even if you do, sometimes you can feel guilty or worried about being a burden to those friends or family members. Whether or not you may have a friend or family member you can confide in and to be a support for you, it is helpful to have a counselor to help you work through these emotions. In California, the law requires the adopting families pay for a minimum of three counseling sessions for you. The adoption lawyers at Moore Law for Children encourage adopting families to pay for as much counseling as is needed. There are also free birth mother support groups where women come together as a community every month to share and support one another.

Being educated about the grieving stages, being prepared for the grief, having a support system in place, and reaching out for help, will help you move forward in your life and find peace after placement.

We know there is great loss in adoption, but there is also great love. The qualified adoption attorneys at Moore Law for Children respect and honor you. We want you to find love and peace and no regret with your loving choice and sacrifice.