The birth mother who you may pursue an adoption with can come from many different walks of life.
For example, she may be an unwed teen who is not ready to parent, or she may be married with other children. She may have a supportive network of family and friends during her pregnancy, or she may be largely on her own. She may be in her first trimester, or she may be in the delivery room when she reaches out to you. But one thing is certain: as an adoptive family, you can’t continue on your journey without her.
If you are waiting for a match, or even if you are just beginning to consider adoption, you may be wondering what to expect in a birth mother. Although these women come from all walks of life, they also have many things in common.
Birth Mothers are Varied
It’s easy to paint the picture of the unwed, teenaged birth mother and ascribe that idea to every situation. However, birth mothers vary in many different ways, including:
- Age – Birth mothers’ ages range from 16 to 40 years old.
- Marital Status – Many birth mothers are unmarried, but there are some married couples who choose to place a child for adoption.
- Other Children – You may be surprised to learn that a large portion of birth mothers already have children.
- Education – Some birth mothers are in high school or college, while others have goals of furthering their education but their pregnancy put those plans on hold.
- Support system – Some women have lots of people involved in their adoption, while others rely on their adoption specialist to provide support throughout this process.
Reasons Women Consider Adoption
Over the past decades, the adoption conversation has changed drastically. It is no longer treated as a dark secret or a painful last resort, but as a selfless choice and a gift that a birth mother makes for her child. A woman may place a child for adoption because:
- She has a non-ideal living environment – Some birth mothers may currently have undesirable living conditions in which to raise a child.
- She does not have a reliable partner – If a birth mother wants her baby to grow up in a two-parent household but she cannot provide that, then she may consider adoption.
- She does not have the resources – Raising a child is a huge commitment, and an unplanned pregnancy can occur at a time when a woman can’t support a child.
- She is not ready – Some women are simply not at the right place in their lives to have a child; they may want to wait until later or not have children at all.
Her Adoption Plan
Once a birth mother chooses adoption, she can begin the search for the right family. This is a large part of her adoption plan, which outlines the steps she wants to take in the adoption process. Some factors she may consider when choosing a family include:
- Age of parents
- Number of children in the household
- Hobbies and Lifestyle
- Home and community environment
- Extended family
Birth mothers also have access to support during their pregnancies, especially if they work with an adoption agency. This can help them feel even more reassured that they have made the right decision for their child.
Birth Mothers are Mothers
Birth mothers today carry their title with pride, but that does not mean that their decision was easy. They still have all of the feelings of motherhood, and having a relationship with their child is healthy for both the mother and the child. Adoption is a bittersweet journey for birth mothers, but with the prevalence of open and semi-open adoptions today, it doesn’t have to be a goodbye.
When an adoption is open, the birth parents keep in contact with the adoptive family, which can offer them great peace of mind and allow them to move forward with their lives. Furthermore, adopted children have much to gain from knowing their birth parents. Your child may have questions that only a birth mother could answer, and she will be there to explain that the decision she made was one of selflessness and love.
The birth mother of your child, as well as your relationship with her, will be unique to your situation. Whatever role the birth mother plays in your life, though, she will always play a role in the building of your family, and she will always have a love in her heart for your shared child.