As an adoptive mom, I feel like I have received the best education and insight from birth mothers. These amazing women often have misconceptions about them, and I am on a mission to help debunk some of those because they are some of the best people that I know. Did you know that only 1% of women in unwed pregnancies choose adoption? These are the 1% that I am proud to know and call my friends. This will be an ongoing series of asking questions to real birth moms in order to educate and show the world what is really in their hearts. If you are hoping to adopt I would highly recommend that you get to know and become friends with birth moms. It will be one of the best things you can do for your adoption!

This project will be ongoing throughout the year, so make sure to follow it on adoption.com as well as on Instagram! In this project, we posed some frequently asked questions to a group of birth mothers. Here are the first two.

The common misconception about birth mothers is that they are in their early teens. The truth is that they majority of birth mothers who place are in their twenties.  Another misconception about birth mothers is that they are drug addicts who have their children taken away from them. I asked real birth mothers what were some of the reasons that they chose adoption and this is what they said.

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How old were you when you placed?  What were some of the reasons that you placed your child for adoption?

I was 18. When, after months of deliberating, I finally completely eliminated myself and everyone else but my son from the equation, I had sudden clarity. It became obvious. I told God “Ok, I’m finally ready to listen to whatever you tell me. Forget me, what is best for my son?” And then, I stopped running from the answer and I knew. Like I’ve never known anything. I still know. – Tamra

I was 20 when I placed. I placed because my birth son deserved more than what I could offer at the time.  – Roanne

 I was 18.  I had no way to take care of her. Basically my dad forced me. – Bridget

I was 17 (parented for 2 years before placing). I had an unhealthy lifestyle and couldn’t watch her suffer anymore. She deserved better. – Annette 

I was 20 when I placed. I wanted her to have a family that was whole. A mom and dad that were together, and an example of love for her. I wanted to also provide her with more than I was capable of. – Catarina

I was 19. I wanted my child to have a mother and father. I wanted my child to never want for anything. I didn’t want my child to be raised in daycare. – Katelyn

 I was well into my 30’s when I placed my child. I was married with children and just knew it was the right thing to do. Homelessness. Poverty. Addictions of others. Physical and emotionally I just couldn’t be the very best my child deserved. I wanted more for my child-more than what I could give. - Alysia

I was 27 when I placed. Too many reasons to list, but to sum it up- I felt the baby deserved more than I could offer at that time in my life. – Rachel

I was 26. My first choice was termination. As soon as my parents found out hurtful words, manipulation, and bribery came from my dad – over all guilt. But I decided that giving the chance to my brother and his wife to experience parenthood was more honoring. – Lauren

I was 16. I was in high school, the birth father left, and he wasn’t my miracle to raise. - Makena 

I was 22 and 24.  The first time it was because I was forced & the second time because I wanted her to have everything I couldn’t give her. – Sonya  

I was 21. I believe I big aspect of placing was I wanted her to have a father figure and I didn’t want her father figure to be and uncle or grandfather-she needed a DAD. Two stable parents who loved each other. – Margaret 

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I was 17. I wanted my son to have a father that was actively involved in his life. I wanted him to have some securities that I couldn’t offer. – Shanna

I was 20 and 23. I wanted them to have a mom and a dad. I didn’t want them to be caught up in custody battles. I wanted a safe and stable life for them. I wanted the very best for them and I was not it at that time. I also felt very sad for couples who were ready for babies but couldn’t have them. Here I was not ready and could barely take care of myself, but I produced a baby. It felt selfish of me. – Jeanie 

I was 22.  I was a 21 year old widow with a 3 year old when I discovered I was pregnant. I knew that the only way to give both of my girls what they not only needed, but deserved in life, this was the way. – Melanie

I was 31. I was going through a divorce from an abusive husband and I didn’t want her subjected to that. – Sherri

I was 19. The main reason I placed was I wanted her to have the best life possible and at that time in my life I would have been a single mom. I wanted her to have a stable home and I wanted her to have two parents that loved each other, so that she could see that stability and love and also be financially taken care of. I wanted her to be with a family that had their life figured out, because at that time I was confused and I didn’t want to drag her through me trying to get that figured out.  – Lauren P.

I was 27 when I placed. I chose adoption, because at the time I was not in a place emotionally, and financially where I could raise a child. I didn’t love the birth father, and I wanted my baby to have a mom and a dad who could give him so much more than I could. He deserves the very best and his happiness is what was most important. I wanted a forever family for him, and I was in no way ready to give that to him. – Lindsey 

Stay tuned for more questions to real life birth moms and our continuing projects throughout the year!

Are you a birth mother?  Answer these questions in the comments below!  Let’s all educate the world on REAL birth moms and not stereotypes.

How old were you when you placed?  What were some of the reasons that you placed your child for adoption?

Want to read more?  Click on the links below:

The Real Birth Moms Project | Part Two

The Real Birth Moms Project | Part Three

The Real Birth Moms Project | Part Four