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Are you noticing a pattern?

“When will I feel better?” “Is it normal to feel so sad?” “Why am I crying all the time?"

These kinds of questions pop up on a regular basis in the questions at Cafemom. And no, it is not planned for the cynics who might think that. These questions indicate to me that most expectant moms do not understand what to expect before they place children for adoption. If pregnant women were honestly given information about what to expect, they would still experience some feelings of loss and pain. But, I doubt so many birth moms would feel utterly stunned at the depth of their feelings and how long they last.

Skeptics will say, “Too bad, they should have educated themselves.” However, the only counseling or education that many pregnant women receive is through an adoption agency. Is it right to continue to allow most adoption agencies to tell pregnant women things that simply are untrue?

Answer Question

Asked by Southernroots at 2:53 PM on Aug. 3, 2009 in Adoption

Level 16 (2,433 Credits)
Answers (41)
  • You may be right, but I also tend to think there is aboslutely no way to be completely prepared for not having your child.  Even parents whose children are suffering from a terminal illness, who have had months to come to terms with their death, will still be stunned and devastated when the inevitable happens.  And in a way, adoption is like that, because you face perhaps never ever seeing your child again.  The period after adoption is a grieving process, and you just can't fully prepare yourself for that.


    Answer by mamapotter at 2:58 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • What would you recommend? Do you think there is a way to fully inform a potential birth mother for the loss, regret, and guilt she may feel afterward? Is there a hope of fully preparing her? If not, should adoption be banned? Is the alternative to force her to raise a child she does not feel prepared to raise?

    I agree with mamapotter-- I don't think it's possible to fully prepare a birthmother for the sheer scope of her feeling following the placement of her child. I think that's why so many agencies are recommending open adoptions, so that the birthmother can get some reassurance that they made the best decision for the child.

    Answer by Busimommi at 3:16 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • you actually do not have the correct info...

    A birth mother is offered counseling during her pregnancy and following the birth. This counseling is paid for the by the AP but you can go to a counselor of your choice. So NO the only counseling available is NOT through the adoption agency! In fact... the adoption agency I am using doesnt even offer counseling!!

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 4:07 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • I do have correct information......I know many, many moms who either received no counseling or token counseling from an agency that was very partial and biased towards adoption. However, adoption laws vary from state to state. Plus, adoption agencies, facilitators and attorneys have differing practices as well. In many instances, an adoption agency DOES provide counseling. In fact, many of them offer to "help" a pregnant woman make her decision.....look at most agency websites.

    As to how to improve the current situation, I will respond back to that later when I can. But, for now, no, I do not think all adoption should be banned, nor do I think a mom should be forced to parent. I do think, however, that agencies should not be allowed to counsel pregnant women in any way.

    Answer by Southernroots at 4:22 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • When my terminally ill mother died, I expected to feel pain even though I know that it was time and she was suffering and she is in a better place. When she did die, I leaned on friends and was very sad.
    Just because you know something is going to be difficult in advance doesnt make the actual act any easier.

    You are making a leap in assuming that because someone is sad they didnt know they were going to be sad and that it is the Adoption Agencies fault.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:30 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • I get tired of people saying they "know" how you feel; they dont unless they have given birth & had their child adopted out. Nobody can prepare you enough for that. And hearing the person who has your child say they "know" is almost unbearable. They have the good end; you have the bad end.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • I certainly did not want the adoptive family to know the depths of the pain and sorrow that my decision caused me. First and foremost because I feared that they would decide to pull back the avenues of contact that I had through the agency - not because they were bad people but because they might "decide for me" that it was too much and was adding to my pain. And secondly, I did not (and still do not) attribute any part of my pain to them. Why should they, and by extension my daughter, struggle with pain that they did not actively cause?

    The after counseling (birthmom support group) that my adoption agency offered showed the truth about women agonizing years after their decisions - I ran from that group as fast as I could because I didn't want to be like them. Maybe if I had access to that group before I made my decision it would have been a more realistic picture of what was to come?

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:09 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • ANOM4:48 DITTO

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:25 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • The sample size for you statement that "most" birth mothers feel this way is a bit small. The reality is that the moms posting are the ones who are having trouble with living with their decision and are looking for help/support. Certainly very appropriate and I hope they can find that here. However, birth mothers who have accepted their decision are far less likely to post. They have found a way to deal with the loss of the child. Perhaps some of them could offer suggestiosn on ways to cope?

    Also, not all states require adoptive parents to fund post-placement counselling for bmoms. Ours didn't but our agency provided it as part of their services. However, not all moms took advantage of it (I know our b-mom didn't).

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:33 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • I hope that you can understand what I am about to say.

    Regardless of the amount of counseling they received (or rejected) and regardless of the source, when some people make up their minds to do something, they do it. I have seen these teens, such as the one on Dr Phil, who although she made an adoption plan, it was pretty much a choice that the parents gave her. Abortion or adoption, period. Parenting was made to sound as though she were going to party and leech off of them, (and maybe she would have, I don't know her character. But keeping the child was not something that they were willing to help her with. Will they regret it later on, probably so. The 15 y/o made the adoption plan, absolutely REFUSED counseling over & over & over, so when the "chips fall" for her, they will fall HARD. Then she could be on here talking about her pain, and Why didn't anyone warn me? As far as she's concerned, she doesn't need counseling.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 5:34 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

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