Why Counseling?

When considering any solutions to an unplanned pregnancy, counseling is an important ingredient to finding out more about your options. But it can be particularly important to find a counselor when you are considering adoption. Look for a counselor who is well-versed in adoption and will be able to respond to any questions you have about today’s adoption plans. Such a counselor will also be knowledgeable in each of the other options to unplanned pregnancy: parenting, abortion and marriage. The role of the counselor in this situation is to help you make a decision by providing a safe and unbiased setting for comparing your available options. A counselor can also help you formulate a back-up plan, in the event you change your mind or decide you are unable to complete the option which you originally chose.

Getting counseling can help you prepare for your adoption experience. There are many details involved in creating an adoption plan, and all birth mothers considering adoption can use the assistance of a guide to help them understand exactly what choices are available.

Additionally, a counselor can serve as both a friend and confidante to you. A counselor can also be very helpful if you doubt your decision and need to rethink your options.

Emotions and Adoption

When you elect to create an adoption plan, you will learn that counseling can play an important role, both before and after the birth and placement of your child. A counselor can also help you learn to cope with a broad range of emotions you may or may not experience before the birth of your child or after delivery or separation from your child.

One emotion that can occur before the birth of a child is sometimes called anticipatory grief and may consist of feelings like sadness or loss, anticipation or just anxiety over the future. Getting counseling regarding these feelings and the impending separation can help you come to an understanding that those feelings are very normal and are neither right nor wrong. Nor do these emotions indicate whether or not you have made a good or a bad decision. They are just there, and your counselor can help you learn how to deal with them positively and how to put them into perspective.

A counselor can also be very comforting to you if, after the delivery of her child, you experience a sort of grieving called “post-partum baby blues.” These blues are not exclusive to women who create adoption plans; they are common among all mothers. Baby blues or more intense post-partum depression is a result of hormonal changes which occur in a woman’s body as a result of childbirth. And while some women do not experience these blues at all, those who do may need a counselor to help them understand that it is OK to feel this way and to teach them some ways to cope with the natural feelings at the end of pregnancy.

Just as growing from our experiences is a normal part of our lives, completing your adoption plan is no different. Even though you may know in your heart and mind that your child’s adoption plan was a thoughtfully created act of love, you can always benefit from counseling to help you gain the most from this very important life experience. This is the beginning of your future, and setting off on the right foot is an important thing to do for yourself, if you decide to create an adoption plan for your child.

Looking for a Counselor

If you are thinking about creating an adoption plan, you will need to find an adoption professional. You can also call 1-866-678-6247 for a free referral to qualified counselor and/or adoption professional in your area.

A high school counselor, religious leader or physician can also give referrals for counseling in such situations. The most important thing is that you find a counselor who is knowledgeable about adoption and with whom you feel comfortable.

Birth Mother Support Groups

Another way in which a counselor can be very helpful is in directing young women to support groups in their area. Attending a support group made up of young women working through similar situations can help you gain insight into yourself, while allowing you to make new friends who can support you throughout the decision-making process.

Friendships made in support groups can really help you feel more comfortable about your situation and less alone. In fact, it is not unusual for a woman to find that her old friends (and even relatives) do not understand her need to talk about the feelings she is experiencing. Attending a support group provides her with an outlet where she can discuss these feelings. Most women who have attended support groups report that belonging to such a group was very helpful.

In Closing…

Counselors can also help you find resources to begin receiving prenatal care, help you locate a health care provider, or help you in creating a plan to complete your education. Counselors are also very helpful in assisting women in reaching a decision which they can own, follow through on and feel good about. Once you have reached a decision regarding your pregnancy, you will usually realize that—no matter which option you choose—there will be some sadness, loss or pain. However, counseling helps you to acknowledge and cope with your feelings, allowing you to begin taking the steps necessary to move on with your life.

Lastly, because there are many issues surrounding adoption, it is easy to see how important it is to receive counseling from a professional who can help you carefully weigh your options. Regardless of what others think, you need only select the option which best suits your individual circumstances. By doing so, you can be sure that you are making the right decision for both yourself and your baby.

This information was provided by American Adoptions (www.AmericanAdoptions.com).