Emotions of Adoption
4 Emotions of “Giving Your Child Up” for Adoption [And How to Deal]
- Fact: Placing a child for adoption will give your child a life of love.
- Fact: Couples wanting to adopt have no other way to become parents so, when given the opportunity, the adopted child is the centerpiece of their life.
- Fact: Placing a child for adoption is the most selfless act a person can do.
Even if choosing adoption is a selfless act, and even if it is wonderful for the child, it doesn’t mean the path to this decision is an easy one. There are so many potential emotions of “giving your child up” for adoption that you will experience through this process. Understanding the range of these emotions will benefit you.
Every woman’s experience is different, and every prospective birth mother will experience different emotions during the adoption process. However, most birth mothers do go through an adoption grieving process, and there are a number of common emotions that often along with that. In this article, we will explore some of the most frequent feelings of “giving a baby up” for adoption, so you will be better prepared for how it feels to go through the adoption process.
Below are four emotions you may experience in the adoption process. Learning about these four emotions will help prepare you; it will make navigating the adoption grief process much easier.
You might experience more intense emotions at one stage and fewer emotions at another stage. It is important to understand that is normal. Placing a child for adoption is a challenging process, but the reward will be knowing you made the greatest sacrifice in the world, and one your child will be forever grateful for.
Remember, you don’t have to go through the emotions of “giving a baby up” for adoption on your own. Your adoption professional will be there to provide the emotional support you need every step of the way. There are many wonderful adoption agencies for pregnant mothers that can provide this support. Reach out to one today for free counseling and help navigating the emotions of adoption.
In the meantime, here are a few emotions to be prepared for if you choose to place your baby for adoption.
There are a number of fears prospective birth mothers have throughout the adoption process, like:
- “Will my child hate me for placing them for adoption?”
- “I’m feeling a little uneasy about my unborn baby’s adoption. Is this normal?”
- “Will adoptive parents really love my baby? How do I know the adoptive family is safe?”
- “What if I regret giving my child up for adoption?”
- “How do birth mothers feel after adopting a baby out? How will I react to giving my baby up for adoption?”
From concerns about your child’s future feelings toward you, to worries about the adoptive family’s readiness to adopt, to fears about regret or other psychological effects of “giving up” a child for adoption, it’s common to experience moments of doubt and uncertainty throughout this process.
However, many prospective birth mothers find that these fears start to dissipate when they get to know their baby’s adoptive family. When you choose the perfect adoptive parents for your baby, you will have an opportunity to see what wonderful people they are and what a wonderful life they want to provide for your child.
The child will actually feel appreciation for the life they were given. They will respect the sacrifice you made.
Here are some words from adoptees that might help alleviate some of the fear and guilt associated with a birth mother ”giving her child up” for adoption:
- “I can’t thank my biological parents enough. My mom and dad made me the center of their world. We had the greatest times, camping, fishing, golfing, canoeing, hunting, and playing baseball.”
- “When I finally get to meet my birth mother, I want to hug her for hours and hours and tell her, ‘Without your love and sacrifice, I wouldn’t be here.’”
- “I became the man I am today because of adoption, because of my biological parents’ sacrifice.
- “I was able to follow my dreams, and truthfully, it all started years ago when my birth mother made the incredible decision to put their needs aside and think of me, to give me to an adoptive family, who would love me and give me the confidence and support to follow my dreams.”
- “I couldn’t be more blessed to have you as my birth mother. I am so thankful you gave me life.”
There are a number of challenges throughout the adoption process, and each hurdle may bring with it new fears and concerns. But these fears can be overcome by learning how the process works, choosing the right family, meeting the adoptive family, and working to overcome outside pressures from family members who may not understand the adoption process. It is important to find an adoption agency that provides the support to guide you through this process.
It is not uncommon to try and avoid the reality of an unplanned pregnancy. For some expectant mothers, this denial can last all the way up until birth, forever hoping the pregnancy isn’t real or won’t happen.
When you aren’t ready to be a parent, denial is a common response. It is our minds’ way to try and protect ourselves, even if it isn’t helpful in the long run. The reason we often stay in denial is because fear and guilt are often so high, and it is scary to work through those emotions.
But, in order to process through the loss of a child to adoption, you must first acknowledge that it is a loss for you. The only way to move through the grief of “giving a child up” for adoption is to let yourself experience your feelings fully. Only once you have processed the trauma of “giving up” a baby for adoption can you reach a place of acceptance and move forward with your life in a healthy way.
Allowing yourself to experience and process these feelings can be scary and difficult. It’s extremely important that you don’t try to go it alone; an adoption agency can help you learn how to deal with adoption grief in a healthy, positive way. They may also be able to connect you with support groups or other birth mothers who know how it feels to “give a baby up” for adoption. Many women find that talking about these feelings openly with other women who understand is the best way to overcome feelings of numbness, shock and denial so they can process their grief after “giving up” a child for adoption.
Some women are upset at themselves for getting pregnant. We all have made mistakes in our lives, and it is pretty easy to beat ourselves up. Transitioning from this anger can be a little challenging. It is important to realize you can only control today, and the mistakes of yesterday are out of your control. It is also helpful to focus on the future and the positive steps you can take.
When you “give a baby up” for adoption, the rollercoaster of emotions can sometimes add up to what feels like anger. Often, anger is a defense mechanism used to mask other challenging emotional effects of “giving a child up” for adoption. Sometimes, it is easier to deal with anger than it is to address the underlying feelings, such as grief, sadness or even depression during the adoption process. But it’s important to let go of this anger as much as you can and focus on the positive choices you are making for yourself and your baby.
While adoption is one of the bravest, most selfless and most loving sacrifices a woman can make, it’s not uncommon that mothers feel guilty “giving a baby up” for adoption. Unfortunately, there is still some negative connotation for women who choose adoption — especially when they think of adoption in terms of “giving up” or “giving away” their baby.
In reality, adoption is not “giving up” at all; it’s giving life. It’s important to change the way you think about your adoption decision so you can begin to let go of some of that guilt and shame. Instead of saying you are “giving a baby up” for adoption, start using more positive adoption language, like “choosing adoption,” “making an adoption plan” or “placing a baby” for adoption.
Guilt is best explained through the voices of birth mothers. Below are some of their thoughts and how they worked through any guilty feeling of “giving up” a child for adoption:
- “When I first thought of adoption, I thought, ‘How could I possibly give away my child?’ How could I make such a selfish choice just because I was so young and the birth father had split? I beat myself up pretty badly there for a while.“But then I talked to the adoptive couple, I read about how hard they tried to become parents. My heart broke learning how years and years cruelly drifted by, while they watched friends start having kids with ease. Frustration and sadness would encompass them and they often wondered if they were just destined to grow old alone, unable to share they love with a little one. I found myself crying, thinking my decision to choose adoption wasn’t selfish at all. It was giving my child to an amazing mom and dad.”
- “As a single mother raising a child alone, I knew I didn’t have time or resources to give my child everything she deserved. When I got to know this wonderful couple, I knew in my heart they would be an amazing mom and dad. Parents who had the time and were at a point in their life where a child would be the epicenter of their world “
- “I knew in my heart that I wasn’t at that point. I wasn’t ready to be a mom. And my child deserved a loving father, he deserved a dad who was there as a coach, to help with math, to scoop him up when he fell down. My child deserved this family, and the couple deserved to be a mom and dad. My guilt faded and began to be replaced with hope.”
Guilt is an emotion that will only lessen when you find a family. It will lessen when you discover the decision you are making is one for which you should admire yourself. You should admire yourself for the incredible sacrifice you are making for your child. A sacrifice that is the greatest act of love you could ever give to another person.
How people feel when “giving a baby up” for adoption varies. This is a very personal process, and you may experience a few of these feelings, all of them, or any number of emotions we didn’t mention here. No matter how you are feeling, it is normal. No one can tell you how to deal with your grief or how to process this loss, but know that you don’t have to do it alone. Your adoption agency can be an incredible source of support as you deal with the emotional impact when “giving up” a baby for adoption. Reach out to an agency today to get started.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.