Choosing adoption for your baby is brave. It is loving and courageous. Adoption is never easy, but it could be the right thing to do for you.
This journey you are considering — or already in the midst of — will have its challenges. There’s help along the way from professionals like us, American Adoptions. Our specialists have been working with women placing their babies for adoption for more than 25 years, and you should contact us today if you still need assistance.
Of the many emotions this process brings, one feeling can be particularly challenging to cope with — the feeling of jealousy.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling. Most of us were taught from an early age that it’s wrong to be jealous. So, we associate this emotion with nastiness and shame. But, here’s the truth: Most prospective birth mothers will feel jealous of the adoptive parents at several points throughout the process.
There’s no point in denying it, especially since this is a totally natural feeling to experience. Instead, let’s talk about some of the common reasons you may feel jealous and some proactive ways to respond when you do.
Why a Prospective Birth Mother May Feel Jealous During Adoption
You’re likely to feel a full spectrum of emotions during your pregnancy. Add on top of that the ups and downs of the adoption process, and you may be preparing for a challenging journey.
The first reason you may feel jealousy is the natural state of your body during this time. You are going through so much at a physical level. Things are changing and emotions are heightened. Give yourself grace for natural mood swings and unexpected bursts of emotions. It happens to everyone during pregnancy.
A second reason you may begin to feel jealousy is the thought of what the adoptive family will experience that you will not. First steps, first words — you won’t always be there for these milestones in your baby’s life. That’s not easy. It’s okay to be sad about that and natural to feel jealous. Choosing adoption is a sacrifice. That’s what makes your choice so courageous.
There are other reasons for experiencing jealousy as a prospective birth mother. You may desire more frequent communication with the adoptive family, or the chance to be there more often for your child’s future games, dances and events.
Jealousy Is Natural
You’re not alone when you’re feeling any of these complicated emotions, especially jealousy. It is a common experience during this process and after placement.
You shouldn’t feel shame because of jealousy. Like we said, it’s a normal feeling. It’s important to accept this reality, because you won’t be able to cope with your emotions in a healthy way unless you’ve dispelled any sense of shame or embarrassment.
It’s not bad to feel jealous. But it is important that you respond to these emotions appropriately.
Coping with Jealousy as a Prospective Birth Mother
There are several things you can do to respond to these emotions.
The first is speaking with your adoption specialist. Do you have a specialist? If not, you can reach out to 1-800-ADOPTION at any time. Our specialists have worked with prospective birth mothers for more than 25 years, and we can put this experience to use for your benefit.
We also provide a wide array of information online. It may help to research the emotions of pregnancy during adoption. The more you learn, the more you are able to prepare for. It can be helpful to understand these feelings before you experience them; that way, you are less blindsided when it does happen.
Finally, take time to think about the positives. Open adoption makes a long-lasting and meaningful connection with your child much more likely. While you may not be there for everything, you can still be a part of their life.
Additionally, you can be assured in the knowledge that the adoptive parents are providing a wonderful life. You get to choose the adoptive family for your baby, which means you will know ahead of time that these are the best parents for your child.
Roles Only You Can Fill
The grass is always greener on the other side. It’s human nature to focus on what we don’t have or what we can’t do. There’s a good chance you’re looking past important roles that only you can fill in your child’s life.
First, you are bringing them into the world. It’s so obvious, but we should stop to celebrate it. Regardless of anything else that happens, you gave them life. Through your adoption decision, you also gave them a loving family. No one but you could have done that for your baby.
Second, you give them a history. We form our identity based on the stories we tell ourselves. You are the start of their story. Now that most modern adoptions are at least semi-open, there’s even a chance you’ll be able to tell them this part of their story in person. Continued contact with the adoptive family is relatively common.
Finally, you are living proof that they are loved. No matter what circumstances life may bring, your child can always know that their birth mother loved them so much that she made the most difficult decision of her life. Remember, adoption comes from love.
Contact American Adoptions Today
Are you still considering adoption? If you would like more information about going through the journey with our agency, you can request more free information online or contact us at any time by calling 1-800-ADOPTION.