If you’re considering adoption for your child, it’s likely that you have questions concerning the emotions involved. What’s it like putting your baby up for adoption? How does it feel giving a child up for adoption? Is it easy to put a baby up for adoption? Is it hard to put a baby up for adoption? How will I feel?

The truth is that, emotionally, it’s not an easy process. Placing your child for adoption will change both your life and theirs, and it’s probably going to be one of the most challenging experiences you ever go through. Everyone’s adoption journey is different, which makes it difficult to predict exactly how it feels to give a baby up for adoption, but it’s likely that you will experience many of the following emotions when placing a child for adoption:

Doubt

It’s completely normal to doubt your decision throughout the adoption process — and even after the placement of your child. It can be scary; this is such a big choice for your baby, and you don’t want to make the wrong one. However, doubt is healthy and can actually be helpful. In asking yourself questions and exploring why you feel this way, you’ll learn more about yourself and your reasons for choosing adoption. For example, doubt may force you to ask yourself practical questions. Do I have the right home environment for a child? Am I financially prepared to raise a baby? Would becoming a parent stall my educational or professional goals? Is there anything else influencing this choice?

Every unplanned pregnancy comes with three options — parenting, abortion or adoption — and each comes with a very different range of emotions and consequences. It’s normal to wonder whether you’re making the right choice, and confronting this feeling can help you to move forward in your adoption journey.

Denial

It’s possible that during your stay in the hospital and the period of relinquishment, you may feel numb and attempt to deny what is actually happening to you. When you’re feeling this way, it might be tempting to convince yourself that you could change your decision. You could pick up another job, you could try to make it work with your baby’s father, etc. In thinking these things, you’re trying to delay the inevitable painful feelings that are going to come with relinquishing your child, and it’s completely natural. You are experiencing a significant loss, and it’s a feeling that no one welcomes.

Overwhelmed

After you have relinquished your child to his or her adoptive parents, it’s likely that you’ll experience a whirlwind of emotions. The rest of the world moves on, and it may seem outwardly like nothing has changed when in reality, everything is different for you. At first, you may try to pretend that everything is okay. This can lead to a period of overwhelming outburst of crying or anger, and you may begin to feel physically different as well. It isn’t uncommon to have issues with sleeping or eating normally after going through grief of this magnitude.

It’s important to acknowledge and express your emotions so that you can begin to process them correctly. How “easy” it is to give a kid up for adoption will depend upon how well you cope with these overwhelming feelings.

Acceptance

Eventually, it’s important to accept what has happened. You are no longer responsible for your child. It can be tempting to blame others for this decision or to dwell in feelings of anger at yourself or those around you. Before you can appreciate the beautiful life that you gave to your child in choosing adoption, it’s necessary to accept that what’s done is done.

Healing

Once you have completely accepted your adoption decision, it’s time to begin to heal and move forward with your own life. Because of you and your sacrifice, your child is with a loving, stable family who is in a position to provide every possible opportunity to him or her. This is something to feel proud of. You have provided for your baby in the best way available to you at this time, and now it’s important to focus on yourself.

Begin to work on your goals and rebuild your life. You may have confronted things about your situation that you wanted to change when you found you were pregnant, and now is the perfect opportunity to work on your circumstances. Continue to pursue your educational or career goals, to get your finances in order, to build healthy relationships, or improve whatever else you acknowledged about your life when making the decision to choose adoption for your child. Your baby is happy, loved and provided for, and that gives you the freedom to be the best version of you that you can be.

The feelings of giving up your child for adoption are not easy ones, and it’s going to take some time to run the gamut of emotions. If you had questions like, “Is it easy to give a child up for adoption?” or “Is giving your child up for adoption hard?” before reading this article, we hope we’ve adequately expressed just how hard this process can really be on a birth mother. It’s not a decision to make lightly, but it’s one that could change both your life and that of your baby for the better if done for the right reasons.

To learn more about what it’s like to give a child up for adoption, we recommend reaching out to a trusted adoption agency such as: