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Maturity and Choosing Adoption – Thoughts from a Birth Mother

Our choices matter. There are many factors that go into making choices, including our social environment, how we were raised, our morals, our experience, etc. One of the crucial factors that determines how we make choices is our level of maturity. Immature decision-makers typically make immature decisions, and vice versa. Choosing logic and wisdom over making a snap decision requires a level of maturity. Of all the decisions that essentially require maturity, choosing adoption would be one of the more significant decisions.

What Is Maturity?

Maturity may be defined by a dictionary, but the true measure of maturity comes with watching someone make decisions in their life and what they consider when making those decisions. For example, two people may be facing the same decision. One reacts quickly without regard for consequences due to intense emotions, while the other stops to think about it and considers the effects the decision may have on their life and the lives of those around them. Which person seems to be acting in maturity?
Maturity is not a one-size-fits-all idea. It comes in different forms for different people. While a person may be mature in some aspects of life, they may be more immature in other aspects. Some people are just generally mature, while others just cannot seem to get beyond their immaturity. So how do you determine whether you are making mature decisions? Ultimately, you must be self-aware and assess yourself.

Judgement of Maturity

It is easy to judge others. The flesh promotes judgement, and the society that we live in only encourages that. With individuals comparing themselves to others, the media feeding into it, and social environments circling around social issues, how can we avoid judging someone else’s maturity? The same decision made by two people may show maturity for one, and immaturity for the other. The truth is, you cannot judge whether someone is making a mature decision or not unless you can understand their circumstances.

Is Adoption a Mature Decision?

So, if you cannot assess whether others are making mature decisions, then what is the point of understanding maturity? Assessing your own level of maturity in any situation will only help you on your path in life, and your path in healing. You know yourself and your own situation better than anyone else, and you can assess whether you are making a decision that is mature for yourself. Considering setting aside feelings, not making snap judgements, and looking at how choices may affect others. These are all signs of maturity in the decision-making process.
Choosing adoption is a decision that can be made from a place of maturity or immaturity. Unfortunately, there are situations in which women, especially young girls, are pressured into choosing adoption. It causes a deep sadness in my heart, since those are usually the stories you hear about in which a birth mother regrets her decision. With those cases aside, let’s look at those who are not pressured into choosing adoption.

Adoption is Selfless

There is a terrible stereotype in which birth mothers are considered selfish for choosing adoption. Perhaps, at times, it’s true that a woman who chooses adoption is doing so out of a selfish desire to avoid her responsibilities. However, in my experience, that is just not the typical case. I was immature in general when I became pregnant. I had somewhat of an idea regarding what parenting would take, but no one can really grasp it until they are living in the throes of it. While I was immature in quite a few areas, I did seriously consider my adoption decision, and still believe that I made it from a place of maturity.

Self-Assess Your Maturity

No one can judge another’s level of maturity; however, you can self-assess how maturely you may be handling decision-making within your life. Making a decision like choosing adoption requires a woman to take an honest look at her life. Whether she was mature enough to make the decision before she was facing it seems to become irrelevant when it comes to facing it. I grew up very quickly when I had to face the decision for adoption. I just didn’t have the time or the energy to have anything but maturity guide my decision.
I believe that when facing the decision for how to handle an unplanned pregnancy, and facing the option for adoption, a woman is essentially forced to mature in some capacity. While she may be making poor choices in her life and different aspects of it, an unplanned pregnancy will wake you up rather quickly to the reality of life. Maturing throughout the decision-making process for adoption is almost inevitable.

Post-Placement Maturity

Not only is maturity required for the decision for adoption, but post-placement requires it as well. In post-placement, a birth mother may be dealing with an open adoption in which she communicates with her birth child and his or her adoptive parents. Regardless of whether the adoption is open or closed, a birth mother will still have to engage with friends and family members who may or may not have approved of her adoption decision. Choosing adoption, and dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, will very likely catapult a woman into a level of maturity that her peers may not have grasped yet.
The most important relationship that requires maturity is the relationship that a birth mother has with herself. The choice for adoption ends up giving a woman a second chance in life, as opposed to keeping the baby and struggling. Making mature decisions is something that comes more naturally as one decides to start making them.

Seek Informed Wisdom

Lindsay Rambo Vertical

If you find you are in a situation, whether regarding adoption or something else, in which you need to make a mature decision, but you don’t know how, my suggestion is to seek informed wisdom. Talk to people you trust about your options. Do some self-searching to find out what you honestly desire the outcome of your decision to be. Consider how your decision could affect others.
The bottom line is this: Choosing adoption is generally a highly mature decision to make. It takes a brave soul to choose to sacrifice herself for her child. I applaud all birth mothers and your maturity!
~Lindsay Arielle
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.