Here's a question that Lifetime's Adoption Experts received during a recent Facebook Live video: "What do birth mothers like to know about adoptive families? And, how can we support them better?"
Keep reading to see Lifetime's answer!
Once you match and begin a relationship with your birth mother, she will probably be pretty eager to share with you what her needs are. Often, she may even share more with you than she shared with her Adoption Coordinator because she feels more connected to you.
One of the things that Lifetime offers any woman considering adoption is counseling. There’s no cost to her, and we have licensed third-party counseling. So, women are able to get specific independent help on whether or not adoption is the right choice for their baby.
Lifetime also offers her peer counseling, which is wonderful because she can speak with a woman who’s walked through adoption before. Many of the women we work with want peer counseling. They want to talk to somebody who’s "been there, done that" in the last couple of years and answer questions she has.
Once you're talking with a birth mother, we encourage you to make sure you're really listening to what she’s saying and what she’s asking for. You might be having a conversation with her, and she's actually asking you for something, but you really have to listen for it. For example, if she’s telling you she needs you to be there at the hospital on time, that’s a way that you can support her and help her. Make sure that you’re able to provide and be there for that emotional support that she might need.
Remember, this is an emotional time for everyone: for your birth mother, for you, for your spouse. Things can change moment-to-moment during the match. The biggest thing the Lifetime encourages all who are involved in adoption is to stay flexible. Try to understand that everyone around you is experiencing emotions and probably facing issues they have never faced before.
Have some grace with yourself, with your spouse, with your child's birth mother, with the hospital staff, with the attorney, and any others involved. The best thing families can do while adopting is to stay flexible because things will be resolved. If you’re a "Type A" person, they may not be resolved in your preferred timeframe, but they will happen.
For a short period of time during your adoption match, it may feel like things are chaotic, and like you don’t have control of what happens. But remember to just stay flexible and be present in that moment.
Enjoy it! These are the moments that are building your family. Staying in the moment will alleviate the possibility that in the future you’ll say "I wish we would’ve done this" or "I wish I would’ve stayed a little longer." Be attentive and be present!