3 Most Common Fears of Women Considering Placing their Child for Adoption

by Kim Laube | Posted on April 21st, 2016

“What will my child think of me when they are older?  Will they hate me for not being a mother to them?”

I have fielded countless numbers of calls from adult adoptees who are seeking to reconnect with their birth mothers.  I act as an intermediary between the adoptee and the birth parent they are hoping to reunite with.  I always ask them what is the one thing that you need me to tell your birth mother (in case they don’t get the opportunity to do it themselves I always tell the birth mother exactly what they tell me).  Do you know what the most common answer is?  “Tell her thank you and I love her even if she isn’t able to meet me now, I still want her to know that.  I can’t imagine what she went through to give me a chance at life.  It must have been so hard.”

When we train pre-adoptive families one of the items we talk about is how they feel about birth parents who relinquish a child for adoption.  We talk about the strength and selflessness it takes for a woman to make a loving adoption plan for her child and how we can best honor her.  They are trained to understand that the child’s perception of their birth parent (as modeled for them by adoptive families) will affect the child’s own self-worth.

If a birth mother chooses an open relationship with the adoptive family, then the child will know their birth mother throughout their childhood and will have a strong understanding about why a loving adoption plan was made.

adoption baby - aubree_083“Will the adoptive family be hateful to my child or abuse him?”

Adoption agencies go to great lengths to ensure the safety of the children they place.  That process starts through a pre-adoptive investigation, also called a home study.  The home study process is mandated by each state and all topics it must include.  Applicants are fingerprinted for national FBI checks, local criminal checks and child abuse checks in every state they have resided in since turning age 18. Sexual offender registries are checked.  Families must show they have proper financial resources, appropriate housing, personal references, and their health must be approved by a doctor before proceeding.  The strength of the marriage is also assessed.

During the home study process a great deal of education is given to the family about the process o
f adoption including one on one training, DVD’s, on-line education and book assignments.

“Can I actually let them walk away with my baby?  How will I cope with the pain?”

This is likely the most difficult of the fears.  The pain and loss are very real and no matter how a birth mother might try to shut it out by not seeing or holding her baby, the pain is still there.  In my opinion, the birth mothers who are most successful in coping with the loss that adoption brings do the following:adoption baby - Fagan_008

  • See and hold the baby. Tell him or her goodbye and all the reasons you making a loving adoption plan.  Consider writing a letter that can be kept, especially if you do not plan to see the adoptive family in the future.  Allowing yourself this moment and acknowledging the realness of what is happening will begin your grieving process.  It will be emotionally painful, but by beginning the process of grieving you are also beginning the process of healing.
  • Write out your reasons for placing your child for adoption prior to birth and then re-read them in moments of doubt. When you are in the midst of your pain remember that the reasons you did this were for his or her benefit. Ask yourself if anything has changed about what is most beneficial for your child or are you just reacting to your pain and loss?
  • Talk to others. Take advantage of the birth parent counseling that is offered.  Talking to others can help you process and work through your experiences.  If you don’t prefer to see the birth parent counselor who helped you with the placement, see someone else.  The point is, talking about it is important in your healing.  It is especially important to seek professional counseling if you have not told your family or friends about the pregnancy or birth.