Tag Archives: Birthmother

An Open Letter to Birthmoms

Birthmother Adoption ServicesAs a kid, I grew up bouncing from one relative’s home to another’s because my parents had their own issues and couldn’t provide for me. It wasn’t long before I realized I was headed down the same road as my mom –toward a destination that definitely wasn’t good! When I became pregnant a few years ago, my heart told me that I should keep my child, but I knew that this baby deserved a better life than the one I had or what I could provide. I would not abort but give her the gift of life through adoption. I saw an ad in our paper, and called the number.   Andie answered in the middle of the night and spent lots of time talking to me and going over my options. I received profiles of waiting families and found the perfect couple to become the parents of my baby. Continue reading

What Is An Open Adoption?

Adoption Plan: Open AdoptionYears ago, most adoptions in the US were considered closed adoptions, which means no identifying information was exchanged between the biological parents and the adoptive family. Only agencies and the courts retained the personal records. Fortunately, over time and especially in the last few years, adoption has evolved and open adoptions are now the norm. These days, in 99% of adoptions through ANA, everyone meets each other; names, phone numbers and email addresses are shared. It is only a closed adoption if this is what the birthmother requests and, again, that is very rare! Continue reading

Are You Asking Yourself the Important Questions?

Are You Asking Yourself the Important Questions? Have you ever had to deal with tons of unsolicited advice and un-asked-for opinions while going through one of the most difficult times in your life? If you are contemplating an adoption plan for your baby, you will probably be subjected to everything from “ that’s an honorable choice” to “it’s a mistake!”   The nurse in your doctor’s office may offer praise for the unselfish decision you are making. A friend in school might tell you that you’ll regret it.   Your own family may promise to help if you “keep it” and the father of the baby may say he’d rather if you just got rid of it! Just what you need – others telling you what to do! YOU are the only person who really understands what lies ahead of you and what you are feeling!

Ask yourself the questions listed below as you think about the options you have for your child:

  • What are your immediate and long-term goals in life? Remember, parenting is a life-long commitment.
  • If still in school, how important is it to finish? Did you ever dream of a new career?
  • How will bringing another child home from the hospital impact your life and, more importantly, the lives of other children that you may already be parenting?
  • Will you be able to rely on family to help or is there daycare available so you can go back to work? How will you pay for that?
  • Will the father of the baby help to support this child – will you continue to have a relationship with him?
  • What is your relationship with your parents, and the parents of the baby’s father?
  • What emotional and financial support can you rely upon?
  • How would you feel if you found an adoptive family who could provide a stable future and solid foundation in life for your child?
  • What kind of family network do they have in place?
  • Is your decision to parent all about how YOU feel?   Or, is your decision based on your baby and his or her future?

Think about these questions as they may help you make up your mind to either parent your child or to make an adoption plan.  If you do choose adoption, you can be sure that those who make an adoption plan in the best interest of their children ARE GOOD MOTHERS! Hold your head up high – you deserve admiration and respect from not just the adoptive family, but also from your own family and friends.

Recommended Reading for Birthparents

  1. The Third Choice: A Woman's Guide to Placing a Child for AdoptionGritter, J.L. (1997). The spirit of open adoption. 
    Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America
    A pioneer in open adoption practice, the author gives a realistic look at the pain, joy and beauty that open adoption holds for all members of the triad.
  2. Roles, P. (1989).  Saying goodbye to a baby.  Volume I: 
    The birthparent’s guide to loss and grief in adoption.

    Washington, DC:  Child Welfare League of America
    Written by a social worker and birthmother, this book covers all of the issues faced by birthparents, including the pregnancy, adoption decision, loss, later issues and reunion.
  3.  Connelly, M. (2002).  Given in love:  For mothers who are choosing an adoption plan.
    Omaha NE: Centering Corporation
    This booklet describes some of the emotions that many birthmother experience when making an adoption plan and addresses such topics as naming the baby, keeping mementos, writing letters, and spiritual grief.

For Birthmoms: (credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.  Available online at 111.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_impact/index.cfm.