In my opinion, I believe that it is normal for a woman considering adoption to wonder if her child will hate her. I think this is a normal fear for many parents, even those who raising their children. Wondering if our children will love or hate us for the decisions that we make for them is part of what makes us parents. We care so much about our children, and we would never want them to hate us for any decision we make for them, especially if we truly believe it is the best decision for them.
If you’re not sure whether you can parent your baby, you are probably wondering, “Will my child hate me if I place them for adoption?”
There is no way for me to answer this question for you. The truth is that there are so many factors that go into an adoptee’s feelings, and the bulk of them are in how the adoptive parents will raise their baby. Please know that there are many adoptive parents who honor their child’s birth mother and many adoptees who grow up loving their birth parents.
A child’s love for their birth parents is something that cannot be measured on a general basis. Every situation is unique for every child. However, there are some things both birth mothers and adoptive parents can do to help ensure that a child will grow up loving their birth mother.
Consider This When Choosing an Adoptive Family
The first step in making sure that your baby grows up loving you is to pick adoptive parents who love you and will honor you while they are raising their child.
Consider what type of post-placement relationship you desire to have with your child. Many birth mothers today are choosing open adoptions in a woman has direct contact with her child after placement. However, semi-open adoptions are an option, as well. In a semi-open adoption, a birth mother has a relationship with her child through mediation by an adoption agency, which protects the privacy of both the birth mother and the adoptive family.
The third option is to choose a closed adoption, in which there is no contact between the birth mother and the adoptive family after placement. Closed adoptions used to be the norm in society, but with the evolution of society’s view on adoption and research on post-placement relationships, experts in the field now highly recommend open adoptions.
The next thing for a birth mother to consider when choosing an adoptive family is to trust her instincts when it comes to the relationship and communication she has with the potential adoptive couple.
If a woman meets an adoptive couple and feels even slightly uncomfortable with them, she can change her mind regarding placing baby with them up until she signs her adoption consent. Mothers have intuition and instincts about their children, and I highly recommend listening to those instincts. Choose an adoptive family whom you can trust from the start to honor you as a birth mother throughout your child’s upbringing. Of course, no one is perfect, and people make mistakes, but I know that my experience has shown me that once you find your perfect adoptive family, things seem to work out from there.
Finally, don’t be afraid to communicate your fear of your child hating you to your potential adoptive parents.
Perhaps they share similar fears and can relate to you. I can almost guarantee that prospective adoptive parents have considered how they will explain their child’s history and the fact that he or she has been adopted. Talk to your potential adoptive parents about how they will honor adoption with their child, and how they will have their child honor you while he or she is growing up. They will also want you to honor them as parents and show them respect, as well. So, it’s a two-way street. Both the prospective birth mother and the prospective adoptive parents should have an idea for how they will honor each other with the child who is being placed for adoption.
What Does it Mean to “Normalize” Adoption?
I’d like to introduce you to the idea of “normalizing” adoption and give you some personal examples for how I have been able to work towards achieving this in my own life.
First, to “normalize” something is to make whatever it is a normal part of life. Normalizing adoption is an unfortunate necessity in modern society. While we have moved away from closed adoptions, we still have a long way to go when it comes to making adoption a normal relationship in families across the board.
Adoption is still viewed as something that we, as a society, need to treat with sensitivity and compassion. It has not yet reached a point where we can openly discuss adoption with anyone and have them accept it immediately. Therefore, it is still a necessity to normalize adoption, especially within families who are touched by it in any capacity.
I try to take opportunities to normalize adoption in my daily life. This not only includes talking to friends and family but also requires me to communicate openly with all the people in my immediate circle. For example, most of the time when I’m asked about whether I have kids, I include my birth son and my stepchildren. I have found ways to communicate about my son in a few words, and it usually sounds like this:
“I have a son who I placed for adoption eight years ago. I still see him and just saw him recently, actually. I also have stepchildren. My husband and I have four kids total, but none together.”
Sweet and simple. Not only did I answer their question regarding if I have children, but I also just took the opportunity to normalize adoption.
In my home, adoption has been normalized. I think the best example is with my eight-year-old stepson. He and my birth son have met and get along great. My stepson knows that I was pregnant with my son and chose adoption, and that he has different parents.
It’s the coolest thing to normalize adoption, because it opens the door for a future of an open mind. I know that my stepson will never treat anyone poorly or differently for being touched by adoption. That is a great accomplishment. Of course, the conversations continue as he grows older, as well, and we introduce the more difficult concepts, but you get the point.
“Will my child hate me for choosing adoption?” It is a fear that also pops into my mind from time to time. However, I chose adoptive parents whom I trusted, and they have absolutely been trustworthy and honorable for the past eight years. My birth son loves me, and while I don’t know what the future holds for our relationship, I am hopeful it will remain as healthy and positive as we have had it thus far.
So, if you are concerned about how you are being discussed in your child’s home, then talk to your adoptive parents and share your fears. You never know how they may be honoring you as a birth mother, and you might be surprised at what you learn from a simple conversation.
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.