What You Need to Know as a Prospective Birth Mother
Many prospective birth mothers wonder if adoption is truly the best decision for their babies. Before they can make this difficult decision, they might start looking into what it feels like to be adopted as a child. Will adoption have any negative effects on their well‐being as they grow up?
If you’re a prospective birth mother, you might also be wondering:
- If I “give my child up” for adoption, will he have a good life?
- Do children like being “given up” for adoption if it means they’ll have a better life?
- If I choose to have a closed adoption instead of an open adoption, how will my child feel?
These are all important questions to ask before making an adoption plan, as it’s only natural to be concerned about how your child will feel after the adoption is finalized. Every child is different, which means that they’ll have their own feelings about their adoption as they grow up. But, by making sure you do your research beforehand, you can take steps toward what you think is best for your child.
To help you learn about how adopted children feel about their placements, we’ve answered some of the most common questions prospective birth mothers ask about the emotional impact of adoption on their birth children.
How Do Adopted Children Feel About Their Birth Parents?
As a woman considering adoption for the first time, you may be afraid that choosing adoption will make your child think that you “gave up” on them, or that you choose adoption because you didn’t love them.
This couldn’t be more untrue. Children that have been adopted understand that their birth parents made this hard, selfless choice out of love for them. They will understand that you gave them everything you could in order to ensure that they’ll have a better life.
As long as their adoption story is celebrated and open, many children love their biological parents for giving them the best chance at life possible — even if it was with other parents.
What Emotions Do Kids “Given Up” for Adoption Feel?
Children can experience a wide range of emotions after learning about their adoption story. Many children today grow up knowing that they’re adopted because of open adoption, in which they have a strong connection to their birth parents. Children who are adopted and maintain a relationship with their birth parents also feel more confident in their identity and understand that their birth parents chose adoption out of love.
Some children, however, don’t have the same opportunity to get to know their birth parents. Many of these children have grown up in closed or semi‐open adoptions and don’t always consider themselves to be happily adopted. Due to their state laws and regulations, they might also have a hard time trying to access their original birth certificate. This extra step makes it even more difficult to find information on their biological parents and to reach out to them later in life — which often affects the way they view their own adoption story, too.
Of course, every adoptee’s experience is different. Even those in open adoptions can deal with feelings of grief and loss as they mourn the life they could have had. But, by being open with your child’s adoptive family from the beginning, you can help to alleviate some of these natural feelings that arise over time.
How Will an Open Adoption Help My Child?
Through an open adoption, your child will feel loved by you (their biological parent) and their adopted parents. In this type of adoption, your child will be able to understand your reasons for their placement and share their open adoption stories with others who ask, “How does it feel to be adopted?”
Choosing an open adoption also means that you’ll have a stronger connection to your child throughout their life. You will be able to get to know them through phone calls, emails, instant messaging services, and more. If your child wants to know about their family history or their heritage, you will always be easy to get ahold of. Through frequent contact, your child will feel a sense of belonging.
Will My Child Be Happily Adopted and Bond With Their Adopted Family?
As a prospective birth mother, you want to make sure that your child not only grows up happy and healthy, but that they also truly feel like they’re a part of their new adoptive family. One of the biggest concerns for a prospective birth mother is if being adopted will truly make her baby feel happy and loved after the adoption is finalized.
The adoptive family that you pick will do everything they can to give your child the life you’ve always wanted to provide for him or her. They will love your child as much as you do and will always put his or her needs first. If you’re considering an open adoption, you’ll also have a connection to the adoptive family, and you’ll be able to see their relationship with your child as he or she grows up.
Want to Learn More About the Experience of Being Adopted?
If you’d like to learn more about the open adoption experience, there are many adoptees that have written “being adopted” essays about their feelings. If you’d like to find more adoption stories from an adoptee’s perspective or speak with an adoption professional, here are some great agencies that you reach out to: