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Will My Child Hate Me for Placing Them for Adoption?

[Why Adoption = Love]

You are considering adoption because you love your baby and are placing his or her needs above your own. That is brave, loving, selfless, and heroic.  

When you place a baby for adoption, you are giving them the gift of a family who will love and cherish them for their whole life. Your child will grow up knowing how much thought you put into making an adoption plan for them and how much you sacrificed to ensure they had a life full of opportunities.  

Still, we hear from many pregnant women who wonder, Will my child hate me for placing them for adoption?”  

Any adoptee in a modern-day open adoption will give you the same answer: Absolutely not.  

“I know my birth parents love me, and I know that they wanted the best for me, and this is how they could achieve that,” adoptee Diana said. “And I’m grateful that that’s what they did. It was the hardest choice they probably ever had to make, but it’s a choice that I respect, knowing that they loved me enough to do this for me. 

“They gave my family to me, and that’s never lost on me,” she adds. “That’s never something I take for granted.  

To see how Diana feels about her adoption story and her birth parents, click here. 

At American Adoptions, we know from personal experience how much thought and love birth parents put into their adoption decision, and how special and meaningful that decision is to adoptees. With many birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents on staff, we can relate to the concerns you may be having - and we can also assure you that your child will understand that you are a hero for making this choice. 

You can contact us anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form to get answers to any questions you may have about adoptions and relationships with your baby post-placement.   

You can also continue reading this guide to learn more about the feelings adoptive children have toward their biological parents.  

Questions Birth Mothers Have About Their Children’s Feelings Toward Adoption  

Every adoption story and every adoptee is different. Although it’s impossible to know for sure how your child will respond to their adoption, there are steps you can take to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved. Below you will find some of the most common questions birth mothers have about their baby being adopted.  

Will My Child Hate Me for Placing Them for Adoption?  

American Adoptions specialist Jenna (who is also an adoptee herself) says it’s a concern she often hears from the prospective birth mothers she works with: How is my child going to feel about me and about my adoption decision? Will they hate me for making this choice?  

“A big fear that women have is that their kid’s going to hate them or resent them for placing them for adoption,” she says. “That might be a situation where I tell them I’m adopted, and that I certainly don’t hate my birth parents. I’m so grateful to them.”  

Many adoptees, like Jenna, share this feeling of deep gratitude and respect for their birth parents. One of the best ways to ensure you have the opportunity to explain your adoption decision to your child and avoid any resentment is by staying involved in your child's life after your adoption and placement occur.   

By choosing to pursue an open adoption with your child’s adoptive family, in which you agree to exchange communication as your child grows up, you’ll be able to remain in your baby’s life — and you’ll never have to wonder or worry about your child having any negative feelings toward you.  

In fact, you can begin working on your future relationship with your baby before he or she is even born. Here’s how:  

1. Choose an adoptive family that wants their child to have a relationship with his birth parents. 

By selecting an adoptive family with similar goals for an adoptive relationship, you’re guaranteeing that your baby will be raised by people who respect your wishes and your decision. Ask the adoptive family how they plan to talk about adoption in their home and about what they plan to do to ensure your baby grows up proud of his or her adoption story. 

Make sure they will be supportive of you continuing to have a relationship with your child. You may find peace of mind knowing that when an adoptive family chooses to work with American Adoptions, they do so in the pursuit of open adoption.  

They are excited to have an ongoing relationship with you and for you to remain connected to them and your adopted baby. To find families sharing similar goals as you, you can view adoptive family profiles here! 

2. Work with the adoptive family to determine what your open adoption will look like. 

By setting expectations, you can all agree exactly how to proceed with communication.

  • Do you want to communicate via phone calls, letters, emails, or in-person visits?
  • Should you expect monthly picture updates?
  • Yearly visits?

The relationship you share with your child’s adoptive parents is completely up to you, and your adoption specialist will help you create a communication plan that you feel good about.  

3. Prepare a symbolic gift for your child. 

Maybe it’s a book about adoption, maybe it’s a letter you’ve written, maybe it’s a photo of you. By sending your child home from the hospital with something of yours, you are ensuring that he or she will always have something to remind them how much you love them, no matter where you may be.  

After your child is born, the benefits of open adoption will be immeasurable. These include:  

Telling your child in your own words why you chose to pursue adoption. 

Your child will never have to wonder about your adoption choice or take an adoptive parent’s word for it. You’ll be able to tell them many times as they grow up exactly why you made the decision to place them for adoption — and how difficult this was for you. Of course, these discussions will evolve as your child grows and matures, but you can make sure that they always understand how much love went into this choice.  

“When you decide on adoption, it’s because you love that baby so much,” birthmother Lindsey said. “That’s why I wanted an open adoption; I wanted her to know that, ‘I placed you for adoption because I love you. I want to give you the best chance at life.’” 

Watch Lindsey’s story here. 

Watching your child grow up happy and healthy.

You won’t have to wonder how your child is doing, because you’ll be able to receive regular updates that reassure you they are happy, healthy, loved, and growing up with access to all of the opportunities you wanted for them. They aren’t going to be bitter or confused about their adoption story, because they’ve grown up knowing exactly what you sacrificed for them.  

“I knew that that family could send her to college, take her on vacations, have her join all the sports she wanted to,” Lindsey said. “She would have the best chance at life, and I would be able to have updates on that — get pictures, letters, texts on what she was doing. 

“And since I’ve had Charlotte and I see how well she’s doing and how happy that family is, it just reaffirms that I made the right decision.” 

Watch Lindsey’s story here. 

Letting your child know that you are also healthy and moving forward in pursuit of your own goals. 

In a closed adoption, it’s common for adopted children to worry about their birth parents.

  • Where are they?
  • Are they doing okay?
  • Are they happy?
  • Are they pursuing the goals they had for themselves before unexpectedly becoming pregnant?

Letting your child have access to you is extremely important to ensuring their adoption experience is a positive one.  

I knew my life did not stop after adoption,” birthmother Julia said. “It gave me a second chance to pursue my goals and dreams so that I can be a better version of myself and help people along the way. I wanted to show my daughter that I didn’t give up on myself and, more importantly, her.” 

Will My Child Know That They Were Adopted?  

Oftentimes, prospective birth mothers just beginning to research adoption will ask, “If I choose adoption, will my child will know they were adopted?”  

The answer is almost always yes, and here is why.  

With open adoptions becoming more common, so are discussions between adoptive families, birth parents, and adoptees about being adopted. Children adopted today are told they are adopted the moment they are placed with their adoptive families. A study revealed that 97 percent of adopted kids over the age of 5 know that they were adopted. This ensures that adoption is always part of their lives and is seen and accepted as normal — no secrets.   

Take it from Cole, who is growing up in an open adoption from American Adoptions. When his mom asked him if he remembered finding out about his adoption, his answer was, “Nope!” Because he always knew.  

“It’s just like you’re growing up knowing to spell your name,” he said. “I’m growing up knowing that I was adopted.”   

You can watch more of Cole’s adoption conversation with his mom here. 

Talking to children about adoption early on has been proven to boost their self-confidence and give them a more positive outlook on their adoption story. Secrecy is a thing of the past. Now, children find strength and positivity knowing they are growing up adopted.   

Although there are many different techniques and ideas on how to talk to the child about adoption, it generally works best in stages that match the child’s maturity level as they grow. Being on the same page with the adoptive family also helps ensure the appropriate levels of communication are taking place.  

Each adoption situation will vary on when and how adoption is discussed with the child. If you are a birth mother wanting to be part of these conversations, your best bet to do so is through open adoption.  

Will My Child Understand My Adoption Decision?  

Today, society’s view, education, and level of appreciation for adoption are much more open. With this level of openness comes increased discussion and awareness of adoption, not just throughout the community, but among adoptees as well.

Adopted children grow up knowing how special adoption is and what a beautiful gift they were given by their birth parents. While there are still children who will grow up being adopted in a more closed adoption situation, they understand adoption is a very loving decision that they should be proud to be a part of.  

Educating adoptees about their adoption at a young age helps them develop positive feelings about growing up adopted. Informing them young ensures they are aware of their adoption story and who their biological parents are and that they grow up with adoption being a normal part of life. This avoids any shocking discovery or big reveal of a secret, which can create trust issues for the adopted child.  

For birth mothers, pursuing open adoption is the best opportunity to confirm your child understands your adoption decision. Open adoption allows you to have a continued relationship with your child, even after placement. Through this relationship, you can fully explain your decision to your child and express that the decision was made out of love, with their best interest in mind.  

The importance of being able to discuss with your child the research, thought, and emotions you put into finding the best adoptive family, and the sacrifices you made so that they could live their best life, goes without saying.  Your child will understand your decision was not easy, and that it was based on love. They will appreciate your willingness to continue to pursue a relationship as they grow up.  

Your Next Steps 

If you are still questioning, “Will my child hate me for placing them for adoption?”, maybe hearing firsthand stories from children who were adopted will help ease your fears.  

From the founder of American Adoptions to staff members who were adopted, to children that were placed through our agency, you can read testimonials, watch videos and learn more about their experiences by clicking here. Hearing their stories and the appreciation they have for being placed for adoption speaks volumes about the positive impact adoption can have on your baby. 

You can contact us at any time to get more information on how an open adoption will help you stay involved in your child's life and allow you to explain why you made such a brave, selfless decision. Fill out this online form or give us a call at 1-800-ADOPTION and a professional will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. 

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

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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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