There are many misconceptions and stereotypes when it comes to birth mothers and adoptive mothers, but they are just real women who have goals and dreams very much like yours! Find out more about these amazing women and what they want you to know about adoption.
Real-Life Birth and Adoptive Mothers
Adoption truths from real women.
"One misconception about open adoption is that we are forced into having open adoptions. There are no legal contracts signed. We have open adoptions because we love our birth parents and they are part of our family. I love having someone in my daughter's life who loves her just as much as I do. I can't imagine our life without our daughter--or her birth parents. Open adoption is like a marriage. It requires hard work, acceptance, patience, respect, forgiveness, trust, understanding, and quality time. You stay in it not only for this child, but because you genuinely LOVE each other"
-Terra, Adoptive Mother
"The birth parent misconception some people have is that having more children will replace or fill the void of the child I placed for adoption. The reality is that I am a mom, but I am also a birth mom. Those are two very different titles. My two daughters will never replace my birth daughter--she is always with me, always remembered, and always loved."
- Haley, Birth Mother
"Something that many people have assumed or asked me when it comes to adoption is, 'So, adoption was your last ditch effort to have a kid, huh?' This could not be further from the truth. I think a huge misconception is that adoption is some 'Plan X' if all the other plans don't work out. It's almost looked at like a consolation prize. This couldn't be further from the truth! Many adopt even when they can have biological children! As for me and my husband, it was such an important decision and we didn't make it hastily. Adoption was our PLAN A. It was how we were meant to grow our family. We aren't broken and this is not a consolation prize. Our son came to us the way he was supposed to!"
-Kenna, Adoptive Mother
"The misconception I think people have about birth mothers is simply that we are all disenfranchised young women who have no desire to give our lives to a child. In reality, we are all strong women who realize that what we have is simply not enough and we love SO HARD that we know placement is best for them, even though it hurts so bad."
-Alysia, Birth Mother
"I think a misconception we deal with often is adoption is the easy way out . . . especially in our situation. Technically I could have gotten pregnant again, although I probably would have ended up on a heart transplant list. I think a lot of people thought we adopted so we could 'get our girl' since we had two boys. In reality, we actually opened up all our preferences in the end to include any gender, any ethnicity, etc. We felt like if we were meant to have a daughter, it would happen and we needed to trust in whatever came our way...that was a really hard point to get to, but one of the lessons I know I needed to learn in the process: to trust, to turn over "control". . . NOT easy!
The adoption process is NOT easy . . . it is HARD, it is PAINFUL, it is SCARY, it is GUT-WRENCHING, it is EXHAUSTING, it can be LONG, it can be LONELY. It is an emotional roller coaster. However it can also be AMAZING, HEARTWARMING, SACRED, TESTIMONY-BUILDING, A JOURNEY IN COMPASSION AND SELF DISCOVERY, and HUMBLING.
For all the tears shed in despair and heartache, I know that ten times as many were shed in expressions of pure joy and gratitude. The journey that adoption has taken my family on hasn't been easy, but I wouldn't trade any of it because of the strength that those experiences gave to our family."
-Cydnee, Adoptive Mother
"The misconception that is the worst for me is: 'Birth parents don't want their babies.' It hurt my chest to write that! I have not met this birth mom. I wanted Justin more than ANYTHING I'd EVER wanted! It took me MONTHS to get over myself! The only thing I wanted more than to have his hand always in mine was for him to have all that could be his!
Adoption is rarely a birth mother's plan A. To come to--and through-- this choice, we must break our own hearts, defy our very instinct! NEVER believe that it is anything other than the love of our children that could enable us to do this impossible thing!"
-Tamra, Birth Mother
"I have my own business -- I'm not a stay-at-home mom. I love talking about our adoption -- I don't try to keep it secret. I wasn't trying to be charitable -- I just really wanted to be a mommy. Adoption was our first effort to become parents -- no IVF or other treatments. I have zero desire for a biological child, so please stop telling me I'm going to get pregnant now."
-Christina, Adoptive Mother
"The misconception that bothers me the most is when people find out I am adopted and ask me, "So do you know who your real family is?" or "Do you know your real parents?" Well, yes . . . see, the funny thing is I have lived with my 'real family' and my 'real parents' since I was three days old. They are the ones who got up with me at all hours of the night when I had fevers or a nightmare.
My dad took me on daddy/daughter dates, taught me to drive his car (in a cemetery . . . he told me he figured I couldn't hurt anyone there since they were already dead!), and listened to me cry over broken hearts. He showed me unconditional love. My mom was the one who took me to my piano lessons, took me to my first manicure, taught me about makeup, and even walked me down the aisle at my wedding, since my dad had passed away. She showed me unconditional love.
My first mom gave me the gift of life, she nurtured me in her womb, and gave up her body for ME for 9 months. Every year on my birthday she thought of me and prayed for me. She loved me unconditionally.
In my book, I don't have a "real" family . . . I have a "really" HUGE extended family filled with people that each played pivotal roles in the development of me. I truly couldn't be more blessed!"
-Kristi, Adopted Kid All Grown Up and Hoping to Adopt Her Own Bundle of Happiness!
"A few misconceptions that people have about birth moms are: that we didn't love our children . . . that we didn't want to grow up and accept responsibility, so we gave up our babies . . . that we are taking the easy way out . . . that we are selfish. It breaks my heart to think people think this about birth moms. There was nothing harder than the day of placement, even up to this day. Birth moms are selfless. We put the needs & wants of our babies before our own needs & wants. I truly believe birth moms are the strongest ladies, and I'm so proud to be a part of the Birth Mom Army!"
-Brittany, Birth Mother
"The most common misconception about birth moms that I've encountered thus far is that we didn't want our child and that placing was 'taking the easy way out.' That couldn't be further from the truth! I wasn't thrilled to be single and pregnant, but that never once meant that I didn't want my child. I am very capable of raising a child, but under the circumstances, it wasn't what was best for him. I wasn't in a place to give him everything that he deserves. I wanted so much more for him than I was able to give. I wanted so badly to be able to provide for him and raise him. Not once was he unwanted!
In no way has this been the easy way out. It leaves a gaping hole in your heart, but you push through because you know deep down you did the best thing for your child. You gave them a chance at life and it was done completely out of love.
-Lindsey, Birth Mom
"I wish people didn’t assume we had open adoptions with our children’s birth families because we feel obligated to. We do it for so many reasons: because their birth families deserve to see their children grow up loved and protected, because we get to share the happiest moments with someone who cares about our child as much as we do, and (most of all) because our children will never have to doubt how loved they are.
Open adoption might not be the easiest emotional route for the adults, but the saying is true: the juice is worth the squeeze. I can look my children in the eye someday and tell them that I loved and embraced every ounce of who they are. Their birth parents can look them in the eye someday and tell them that they never “gave up.” They’ll be right there. And so will we.
I want our children to know how proud we are of them, and I believe that starts with us being proud of where they came from -- and their birth families being proud of the results of the toughest choice they’ve ever made."
-Melissa, Adoptive Mother
"My family will grow through the beautiful gift of adoption.
It is grown through agonizing over paperwork; saving every extra penny; scrutinizing and obsessing over our adoptive profile; pleading with the Lord for faith, patience, resolve, and love for those who do not understand ours or others' circumstances; attempting to wade through the uncharted waters of showing love to, communicating with, including, and caring deeply for our childrens' birth families while maintaining safe and healthy boundaries; and through a rock-solid belief in Miracles (with a capital M). It grows through work and tear-stained pillows and gratitude that knows no bounds.
The word 'easy' couldn't be squeezed into the equation, even if we tried. Your path to parenthood isn't easy, and neither is ours. Let's celebrate in the joy and differences in our growing families together. If we could all let go of labeling each other's family plan as 'easy' or 'fair,' then growing our families--- however they come to us-- would be a little easier for all of us, because we could ease each other's burdens, making the load lighter to bear and the joys greater felt."
-Shannon, Adoptive mom
Terra Cooper is a Staff Storyteller at Adoption.com. She is a mother of three-- two boys and one girl who was adopted. She is also a professional wedding photographer, a self-proclaimed foodie, and a TV/movie addict. Visit her website.
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