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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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5 Reasons Choosing Adoption Doesn't Make You a "Bad" Mother

We hear it all the time: Does choosing adoption make me a bad mother? This idea could not be more inaccurate. Choosing adoption is such an amazing, selfless choice for your baby, and you couldn’t be further from being a “bad” mother.

There’s nothing laughable, though, about what you’re feeling. And it’s completely understandable. For many women, a sense of guilt accompanies adoption. This is normal, and it’s actually a part of the grieving process. But please know that, should you choose adoption for your baby, it can be the best thing that ever happens to your child. The amount of love and self-sacrifice that goes into this decision actually makes you the best mother you could possibly be. How? These five facts about adoption explain how you are the exact opposite of a “bad” mother for choosing adoption for your baby.

1. Your adoption decision is the opposite of selfish.

Some women tend to feel guilty about placing their babies for adoption. It’s a normal part of the grieving process, but that doesn’t mean that you actually have a legitimate reason for feeling guilty. You aren’t being selfish by placing a child for adoption. Instead, you’re recognizing that this is the best possible choice for your child, and you’re doing whatever is necessary to make sure they have all of the opportunities they deserve.

2. This sacrifice is not going to be easy for you.

Choosing adoption as a birth mother is no walk in the park. It’s going to be extremely difficult for you. While your child is gaining access to a loving family that is well-equipped to provide for them and love them, you are losing a part of yourself. There will be a serious grieving process. Adoption is certainly not taking the easy way out, because any birth mother will tell you that no part of placing her child for adoption was easy. Good mothers place their children’s needs above their own, and that’s exactly what you would be doing by choosing adoption for your baby.

3. Your baby will grow up in a home that was financially for them.

Raising a child isn’t cheap. The USDA estimated in 2015 that the average family will spend $233,610 raising a child until the age of 17, and that’s a number that doesn’t include secondary education. It will also only continue to rise as time passes. If you aren’t prepared for that and choose to parent, that may mean subjecting your child to serious financial struggles for his or her entire life. As a good parent who wants what’s best for your baby, you may decide to place your child with a family who is financially prepared to raise him or her, and there’s absolutely no shame in making that decision.

4. An adopted child is more likely to pursue higher education and extracurricular activities.

One serious benefit to being raised in a home that was prepared for them is that adopted children are more likely to pursue opportunities like college than other kids. By choosing adoption for your child, you are not only ensuring that he or she has access to all of their basic needs, but you are furthering the likelihood that they will go on to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue goals like college and other opportunities. It takes a great parent to think about their baby’s future and set him or her up for a lifetime of opportunity.

5. You can still have a relationship with your baby and his or her adoptive family.

Adoption is no longer treated as the shameful, secretive affair it once was. By choosing an open adoption, you can remain in your baby’s life and know that they are doing well, growing up happy and healthy, and thriving because you chose adoption for them. You can explain your adoption decision to them in your own words and make sure they understand just how much love for them it took for you to make this decision.

By recognizing that you can’t provide the life your child deserves right now, you’re doing him or her the greatest service imaginable. Admitting that you aren’t ready to be a parent isn’t easy, and it’s not often a decision that happens quickly, either. But we promise you, this fear of being a “bad mother” to your baby will evaporate when you see how happy and healthy they are growing up in a home that has been preparing for them.

To learn more about the adoption process and how it benefits the children involved, please don’t hesitate to contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

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Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

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