Will I regret my adoption decision?
I remember asking myself this question before I committed to my adoption decision. I think it would be odd if a birth mother hadn’t wondered this at least once during her adoption process.
While there is no way for me to say if you will personally regret your adoption decision, there are ways you can prepare yourself for few or no regrets before following through with an adoption process. However, if you later find yourself facing feelings of regret, please seek out someone to discuss those feelings with.
When making an adoption decision, it’s important to try to be as honest with yourself as possible to avoid later feelings of regret. However, there are also a few other tips for feeling confident in your adoption decision, before and after the process is complete.
Don’t Rush Your Adoption Process or Healing Process
If you are a woman considering adoption, but you feel like you are being rushed to choose, then please consider this: Adoption is too important of a decision to be made on an impulse. Think through your adoption decision as best as you can. Don’t let anyone pressure you into committing to something you are not ready for; be realistic about what you are ready for. If adoption is truly your own decision, then be comfortable letting your feelings come and go as they please.
Just because we may feel regret later, though, is no reason to postpone or reverse an adoption decision. There are many emotions that birth mothers process, and sometimes regret can be one of them. Whatever you do, remember that this is your process — for not only the adoption but your healing journey, as well.
Make a List of Pros vs. Cons
I know it sounds just too simplistic to be wise advice, but I can promise you that making a pros and cons list for an adoption decision is a good idea. There is something powerful and solidifying about seeing our thoughts on paper in black and white. It’s almost as if it makes it easier for us to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. For all birth mothers who weigh out an adoption decision heavily, this list could help with not only decision-making but also working on a healing process. We can keep this list after placement to remember why adoption was so important to us for our babies in the first place.
What’s Your “Why?”
This is the most important piece of the puzzle in avoiding regret: Know why you are making an adoption decision in the first place. If you can’t identify a solid “why,” then I suggest you think further regarding your adoption decision. I know my “why,” and it has kept me from feeling emotions of regret. I still miss my son at times and struggle with loneliness, but I do not regret my adoption decision. Once you can identify your “why,” hold on to it. It will always remind you of the bravery you faced by choosing adoption — a selfless sacrifice. If feelings of regret come up, you can try combatting them with your “why.”
While I have never truly regretted my adoption decision, I know women who do. My best advice is this: If you are experiencing feelings of regret, please seek out counsel you can trust. No one should have to deal with the difficulty of choosing adoption completely on their own. If you have already made your adoption decision and are feeling regret, please reach out to a therapist, a pastor, or someone else you believe to be trustworthy and wise. Remember that, no matter what happens, the choice is yours and no one else’s. Press on in strength and boldness, cherishing every breath of life, knowing that you made a selfless sacrifice out of love.
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.