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5 Reasons Adoption is a Selfless Decision

If you’re choosing adoption for your baby, you are a great mother because you are giving your baby a chance to have a life full of opportunities and support you might not be able to provide them right now.

We hear it all the time: Does choosing adoption make me a bad mother? The idea that women who choose adoption are bad mothers could not be more inaccurate.

Still, for many women, this common misconception can create a sense of guilt that 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 you ever do for them, for you, and for the rest of your family.

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 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 reason to feel guilty. As one birth mother, Natasha, put it:

“I want to let every birth mother that is giving her child up for adoption know that everything will be okay. It is okay to feel sad, angry or guilty,” she said. “Also, to all the birth mothers who have people telling them that they are doing the wrong thing or that you are selfish, well don’t listen! You are absolutely in no way selfish for what you are doing. A mother's love for her child is like no other love. To be able to put that feeling aside because you want the best for your child is the most unselfish thing I know.”

You aren’t a bad mother for placing a child for adoption. Instead, you’re recognizing that due to your current circumstances, this is the best possible choice for this child and for the rest of your family, and you’re doing whatever is necessary to make sure they have all of the opportunities they deserve.

“Our little boy is so handsome. They are amazing parents, and I know my son has a huge family who loves and cares so much for him. I am forever thankful for that. Jeff and Amanda saved my baby’s life! With having three kids already, I know what I needed to do. They deserve a beautiful family, and I am so happy they trusted me to give them that,” said Candice about her decision to choose adoption.

2. This sacrifice is going to be challenging for you.

If you’re wondering if placing your baby for adoption makes you a “bad” mother, consider the sacrifices you are making to give your baby a better life. Choosing adoption as a birth mother is no walk in the park. It’s going to be extremely difficult for you.

“My eyes just watered as they placed her into Jenn’s arms,” Angelica said about choosing adoption for her baby. “She was no longer mine, but I knew in my heart that everything would be okay. Seeing how happy she made them and their family and seeing how happy their family was just reassured me that I had made the right decision.”

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 — but it was worth it. 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 ready for them.

Raising a child is expensive. 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.

Of course, you may be raising other children and making ends meet just fine, but adding another child to your family isn't always possible. In fact, many women choose adoption because they are raising other children and don't think it would be fair to their kids to take on the expenses of parenting another baby.

If you aren’t prepared for those additional expenses and choose to parent this baby, that could mean subjecting your child to serious financial struggles for his or her entire life. If you have other children that you are raising, it may mean that resources are being taken away from them to provide for another baby, as well. As a good parent who wants what’s best for your children, 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.

“I don’t regret the adoption because I know it’s what was supposed to happen,” Casey said about her decision to place her 2-year-old twins for adoption. “I was supposed to raise them for two years so they could be with their family now. If I didn’t, they would never have had the chance to be with their wonderful family and to have all the opportunities they have in their lives.”

4. An adopted child may have access to more opportunities.

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. (If you are raising other children, it may make it more likely that you will be able to afford these opportunities for them, as well). It takes a great parent to think about their baby’s future and set him or her up for a lifetime of opportunity.

“He plays basketball, baseball, soccer, and even has tried wrestling. He also had had the opportunity to go on a jet ski and go on the boat at his parent’s lake house.  He has all these opportunities because of adoption,” said Michelle about her child’s life with his adoptive family. “If I were to have made the decision to try and raise him, he would not be able to have all these wonderful opportunities that he has been able to experience.  It has been a very successful adoption, and even though I do miss him a lot, I have all the support I could possibly ask for.”

Michelle is a staff member here at American Adoptions who is eager to help you as a prospective birth parent with any questions you have. You can contact her here.

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

If you’re worried placing your infant for adoption makes you a “bad” mother, just know that you can choose open adoption to maintain a relationship with them. 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.

“Knowing that I can be around and be there — I don’t even know how to put it into words… I’m like a cheerleader on the sideline, and that’s more than I could have asked for,” Caitlin said of her open adoption relationship. “He gets this family who can take care of him and do everything I couldn’t, but he can also know that I didn’t just give him away. I had a purpose for him, and it was meant to be.”

By recognizing that you want more for your child than you can provide right now, you’re doing him or her the greatest service imaginable.

Making this brave, selfless, heroic decision 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 get more information about the adoption process and how it benefits the children involved, please don’t hesitate to contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions 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

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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