“I chose adoption for my baby not because I didn’t want her, but because I love her.” – Sandra, American Adoptions Birth Mother
It is not uncommon when considering adoption to wonder if your child will resent you for choosing adoption. While not uncommon, the thought of your child one day hating you for placing them for adoption is a terrifying one – leaving you to wonder if adoption really is your best option.
It’s almost comical how, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, everyone in your life suddenly becomes an expert, lecturing you about what you should do next. People unsupportive of adoption will tell you just that – that your child will hate you for “giving them up.” Perpetrated by fear of the unknown, of a lack of understanding about the modern adoption process, people often believe that an adopted child grows up lost and lonely, wondering who their birth parents are, never finding a sense of “self.”
However, that image couldn’t be more untrue.
Today’s adopted children are not only given the opportunity to grow up with a loving adoptive family, but they also know their birth parents. These children don’t grow up lost and lonely, rather they grow up secure in the knowledge that not only did their birth parents love them enough to choose adoption, but that they are – and always were – standing behind them, watching them grow and thrive.
Adoption was once a secretive world where children grew up knowing nothing about their birth parents and adoptive families didn’t talk about them. Some children grew up never knowing they had been adopted until they were adults. This secrecy naturally led to feelings of shame, abandonment and resentment by adopted children. Furthermore, adopted children were often blocked by laws and courts when they did attempt to find who their natural parents were, leading to more hurt feelings and unanswered questions.
However, today’s world of adoption is a very open one. Closed adoptions, where the child or adoptive family never knows the birth parents, are very rare. Instead, the majority of adoptions today are open or semi-open. Birth parents see their children grow up firsthand though pictures, letters and even phone calls or visits. They send birthday presents and holiday wishes. Adoptive families not only see this as a positive influence in their children’s lives, but they support it. This constant line of communication not only allows you to see how your child grows, but allows the child to grow up knowing you and how much you love them as well. Instead of growing up wondering where they came from, they know – and they know the truth about why you chose adoption.
“I keep a journal for my son. I write letters to him that I will hopefully be able to share with him one day,” said Michelle, a birth mother who stays in contact with her son through a semi-open adoption. “This not only helps me process my thoughts, but will explain to my son why I felt adoption was best for him.”
Birth parents that choose adoption do so out of love for their children. While this time of your life can be very emotional and confusing, you should instead picture your child laughing, smiling and living the childhood you dream for them – all the while knowing that not only do they have an adoptive family that cherishes them, but birth parents who loved them so greatly they choose this wonderful life for them.
Remember, our agency is here for you to help you through this process. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to speak to someone about your grief or how you may be feeling. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-ADOPTION.