Choosing adoption is powerful, and the lifetime impact can be beautiful. As a birth mother, this process also takes time and healing. You can always get support through our 24-hour adoption hotline.

There can be a wide variety of emotions as you encounter physical and hormonal changes, and emotions can continue to change over time. These emotions are a normal part of the adoption process, but preparing yourself for these emotions and continuing to reflect on them is an important part of the process. Here are some things to keep in mind:

It’s OK to Feel However You Feel

When you choose adoption, there are may be times that you feel multiple emotions or conflicting feelings.

For example, there may be part of you that feels adoption is the best thing you can do for your child, and another part of you that is sad that you are not in a place to parent, or maybe you’re questioning whether you would be able to parent.

How to Address Conflicting Feelings

You never have to discuss anything that you don’t want to but, if you’re looking for a safe space to share your emotions, your adoption professional can help. You can share any emotions, even if they are strong, uncomfortable or conflicting.

It may also be helpful to keep a journal or write about your experiences and thought processes. As you continue on your journey, you can reflect back on your thoughts and feelings to gain perspective and remind yourself of how you once felt.

What to Expect at the Hospital

Giving birth is a significant experience that involves your body and mind alike. As your body experiences the physical changes that come from birth and the accompanying hormonal shifts, you may also be meeting the adoptive family for the first time.

You may be focused on sensations like fatigue or hunger, and you may also feel incredible joy and relief as you meet your baby after giving birth.

What to Expect After the Hospital Stay

After the initial experiences of birth, your hormones drop rapidly, and your adoption may feel different. You may feel sadness and exhaustion and wonder if you have made the right decision. You may experience a conflict between your head, your heart and your body. Make sure to keep these things in mind:


You may remember the reasons why you chose adoption and recognize that these factors have not changed. Maybe you feel you are too young to raise a child, or you aren’t financially or emotionally ready for the child. Maybe you love the adoptive family and can picture your child’s life with them. Your mind may be telling you that adoption is best.


At the same time, your body may be feeling the complete opposite.  Pregnancy hormones will decrease, and hormones that increase bonding and help you produce milk can increase, which means you can feel “baby blues” or sadness, and your body may feel like it is ready for you to hold, feed and protect them.


With your body and your mind telling you two different things, your emotions can get stuck in the middle. Your love for your baby may be overwhelming, and you may be surprised at how attached you feel or how much your baby reminds you of other children.

Resources and Strategies

The sensations and feelings of adoption can be difficult and confusing, even if you know it is the best decision.

There is no singular path to healing after adoption, but there are coping strategies and resources that may help you as you move forward after adoption:

  • Talk to a professional—Your adoption professional is available to help you at every step of the way before, during and after your adoption. They can also help you find an adoption-informed counseling professional if you need additional support.
  • Seek out peer support—Although adoption is a very personal experience, there are also many people who have chosen adoption and moved forward. Finding a healthy community of other women who have placed a child for adoption can help you find community and discuss aspects of the adoption process that others may not understand.
  • Find ways to nurture yourself—Leaning into your goals and hobbies, leaning on family and taking time for the things that nourish you can help you move forward.