If I Choose Adoption, Will My Child Hate Me?
“If I choose adoption, will my child hate me?” We hear this a lot from pregnant women who are considering adoption for their babies. If this is a fear you have, you aren’t alone. It’s terrifying to think that this baby you love so much may one day misunderstand your adoption decision and resent you for it.
You may have people in your life who are encouraging this fear. By questioning how you could “give up” your baby for adoption, they may insinuate that adopted kids grow up lonely, confused, and resentful of the biological parents that chose not to raise them. Please know that this is based on an antiquated view of adoption and couldn’t be further from the truth.
In the days when adoptions were traditionally secretive and closed, and when adopted kids didn’t get to know their birth parents, some of those feelings were certainly present. Now, however, it’s a very different story. By choosing to pursue an open adoption with your child’s adoptive family, or an adoption 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:
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.
Work with the adoptive family to determine the type and frequency of the communication you’ll have with your child and the adoptive family. 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.
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 pursuing an 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.
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.
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.
Interested in learning more about how to ensure you share a positive adoptive relationship with your child? Please don’t hesitate to contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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