“A child born to another woman calls me mom. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” —Jody Landers
This adoption quote pops up all over the internet. Truly, it is one of the best descriptions of the juxtaposition of sadness and happiness that comes with adoption. All adoptive families will do well to remember it.
When choosing an adoption agency, potential adoptive parents need to make sure they are not priority #1. Yes, you read that right. Adoption agencies that focus on “getting you a baby” and less on birth mother care are sketchy. The child is the most important thing. It’s an honor and a privilege to be chosen as parents. Good agencies know that adoption is successful when birth mothers and adoptive families have matched appropriately and birth mothers are thoroughly counseled in their decision. Adoptive parents and children are happier when an adoption involves getting to know the birth mother and inviting her to be part of the rest of their lives. It may be through visits or just phone calls, but if an adoptive family intends to deceive a birth mother just to “get a baby” and never contact her again, it’s heartbreaking.
Adoption involves loss; there’s no way around it. To ease the pain of a birth mother, adoptive families should do all they can to make the tragedy turn into hope. Maintain contact with the birth mom. Meet her family if possible. Show her that you will keep your promises and send all the photos of the child you’ve agreed to send. Keep the relationship healthy so that she can grieve, heal, and have success in her own life going forward. She should be considered family.
I cannot imagine not having an open adoption. I cannot imagine ignoring a text from the woman who gave my son life. Many people ask me why I care so much or why I want her involved in our lives now. It’s hard to understand if you’ve not been through it, but from the minute our son’s birth mom walked in the door at our first meeting, it was love at first sight for me. I didn’t believe in that concept, even with my husband, but truly I have loved her since I first saw her. I feel maternal toward her but also want to be her friend. I feel sad for the pain she went through but try not to let that turn into guilt for me. I want the best for her because of her selfless act. She is beautiful, loving, and strong. She is my son’s birth mother.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.