Adoptive Families Blog

Birth Mother Grief – How You Can Help

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on September 9, 2016

grief_post_adoption.jpgAfter an infant adoption, your baby’s birth mother might be experiencing deep depression and grief. Lifetime Adoption wants to share some effective ways that you can help her post adoption blues. It’s in everyone’s best interest to offer support. It’ll enhance your open adoption relationship and allow your child to know where they came from and why their birth mother chose adoption.

After the placement, the intense emotions a birth mother may feel can be surprising to them. In an open adoption, you too may find yourselves in a whirlwind of emotions. You’re probably feeling thrilled, yet overwhelmed, that you’re now parents. It’s important that you’re able to adjust to your new roles as mom and dad, yet remember your child’s birth mother.

A wonderfully effective way to help your child's birth mother during her post adoption blues is to stay in touch with her. Make sure to keep up with your promises of an open adoption. Even if she doesn’t reply to your emails, pictures, and letters, keep sending them. Birth mothers really do appreciate it when the adoptive family shares emails, letters, pictures, and visits. Each contact helps her move through her grief and helps her to become more productive in her life.

The next time that you talk ask her how she’s feeling. Know that there are stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  It’s important to know that her feelings are intricate. Ask her if she’s taken advantage of Lifetime Adoption’s offer of post-adoption counseling. We have licensed third-party counselors available to speak with her. There are also peer counselors who can discuss the feelings of grief that happen after adoption, and what helped them. Talking with another birth mother allows her to realize that she’s not alone: the grief that she’s experiencing right now is normal.

Sometimes, birth mothers feel like they’re overstepping their boundaries if they call or write you. If it’s been weeks or months since you’ve had contact, reach out to her. If you don't feel comfortable reaching out, ask Lifetime to share with your child's birth mother that you're thinking of her.

While your attention will be on your baby, it’s vital to stay in touch with your child’s birth mother. Send her photos, a “thinking of you” note, and share about your baby’s milestones. Doing so can ensure she feels cared about, and gives her reassurance her that her baby is doing well. We’ve had many birth mothers tell us that staying in touch via open adoption helped them through their grieving process. One birth mother shared with us, “I know I made the right decision when I see what a positive life I gave her.”

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Topics: Open Adoption, adoption counseling, Infant adoption, relationship with birth mother