To Hold Your Baby or Not

by Kim Laube | Posted on May 18th, 2016

Once You’ve Decided to Place Your Baby for Adoption

There have been several women I’ve assisted who determine not to have contact with their child once he or she is born if they have planned a semi-open or closed adoption.  Generally speaking they have two reasons for making that choice.

  • First, and foremost, the women who have considered this tell me they feel it might be easier for them so they do not get attached to the infant.
  • Others tell me they feel like they don’t have the right to do this because they know they will not parent their child and don’t plan to visit them in the future.

YOU do HAVE THE RIGHT!

The second reason is easier to address than the first.  Women who are making an adoption plan for their infant have mother and newbornevery right to see and spend time with their newborns.  Even if adoptive parents are at the hospital caring for the infant, birthmothers have the right to spend time with their babies.  For some, they spend time as a group in the birthmother’s hospital room.  Others, have their own room in the hospital and they just take a break while the birthmother spends time with her newborn.  An Adoption Caseworker can help birthmothers arrange things just as they want them.  A hospital plan can be written out in advance so the adoptive parents, doctors, nurses and social workers know exactly what to expect.

If a birthmother chooses not to see or hold her baby in order to avoid the pain of separation…

she needs to know that the pain is not lessened, but rather delayed.

Does not seeing the baby help birthmother’s cope with the loss of placing their infants for adoption?  In my opinion, it does not.  Having helped many women through the pain and loss of placing their infant for adoption I have observed that the healthiest situations involve a birthmother having some time with her infant.  The old-fashioned notions of a birthmother “forgetting” has long since been proven ridiculous.

baby footprintsSeeing and spending some time with an infant can be helpful because it starts the grieving process for the birthmother.  The realness of that moment, or a memento such as a picture or foot print page can give a grieving birthmother something to focus on when she needs to work on her grief, but it also gives her something to “put away for now” when it is time to move forward.

Just talking to her newborn and telling them they are loved and the reasons why she is making an adoption plan can be very therapeutic for the birthmother.  Writing down those feelings also aids in a birthmother’s healing as well as the infant’s in the future.

In my observation, birthmothers who will spend a bit of time with their newborns are able to stick to their adoption plan more often than those who don’t see or spend time with their baby.