How to Make Adoption After Parenting Easier — Thoughts from a Birth Mother
Choosing adoption after parenting is a bold decision that offers some very real challenges. However, there are ways to adjust an adoption plan to make it easier for a prospective birth mother to choose adoption after initially choosing to parent.
While a prospective birth mother must start to prepare for life without her child in a custodial capacity, she can also begin preparing for a new life for herself and for her baby. Choosing a better life with different parents is a gift that any birth mother can give to her child, no matter how old that child is.
Adoption after parenting is an option for any woman considering adoption.
Tips for Choosing Adoption After Parenting
A prospective birth mother will work with an adoption professional to create an adoption plan. The adoption plan will lay out a prospective birth mother’s preferences for who will adopt her baby, when she will be ready to transfer custody, and what type of post-placement relationship she desires to have with her child. The adoption plan will help the adoption professional to honor the requests of the prospective birth mother and help the adoption to be successful.
Here are some tips for working with an adoption professional on an adoption plan in this situation:
- Choose an open adoption. After parenting, the thought of going months without seeing my son seemed impossible. I was a breastfeeding mother whose life revolved around her child for the six months I had him as a custodial and legal mother. I knew very early on that the only way I could handle choosing adoption was if I had an open adoption. An open adoption is a post-placement relationship in which a birth mother has direct contact with her child during his or her upbringing. The type of communication that a birth mother has with her child will be decided upon before her baby is placed with his or her adoptive parents. The prospective adoptive parents and the prospective birth mother will agree on how frequent contact will be in a post-placement agreement. With an open adoption, a prospective birth mother who fears not being able to see her child may find a sense of peace knowing that her relationship with her child will continue, only in a different capacity than before.
- Remember your “why.” While creating an adoption plan with your adoption professional, especially when it comes to choosing adoptive parents, remember your “why.” The “why” of choosing adoption will get a prospective birth mother through her adoption plan and the adoption process while keeping her focused on her determination to provide the best for her child. I knew that I was choosing adoption because I wanted my son to have a better life than what I could offer at the time, and I remembered that every time I felt that my adoption plan was proving challenging. My “why” got me through some very tough moments of loneliness and doubt. If a prospective birth mother finds that following through on her adoption plan is proving to be a challenge, perhaps it’s time to more narrowly define her “why.”
- Use your support resources. A woman considering adoption will need to find an adoption professional to work with, whether it be through an adoption agency or another organization. Regardless of where the assistance comes from, make sure that you find out what types of healing, financial, and support resources they offer. For example, in many states, a prospective birth mother’s living expenses can be paid for by her adoption agency to relieve her financial burden during the adoption process. One of the most important resources that I used during my adoption plan was therapy. I had a wonderful private counselor I found, and the prospective adoptive family offered to pay for it through the adoption agency. Be sure to use all the resources available to you, as they will help you to be successful in staying strong and following through with your adoption plan.
I know firsthand how challenging it can be to choose adoption after parenting. I also know how amazing life can be with your child when it comes to choosing adoption after parenting. I love my open adoption with my son and his parents. I used my healing resources, including therapy, during my adoption plan. I still remember my “why” to this day when my emotions begin to overwhelm me at times.
My point is that adoption after initially parenting is an option, and healing is possible for every birth mother who wants it. My tips for choosing adoption after parenting include having an open post-placement relationship, remembering your “why,” and using your support resources. Prospective birth mothers who follow these tips may find adoption after parenting a little easier.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.