Adoptive Families Blog

What If a Birth Mother Changes Her Mind?

Posted by Mardie Caldwell on July 29, 2016

Could we have a failed adoption?Dear Mardie,
We’re matched with a birth mother right now, but I’m worried. What if the birth mother changes her mind about adoption and tries to get the baby back?

Many adoptive parents have anxiety and concern about whether their adoption might fail. But remember this: the risk in adoption is worth taking. It’s the only way you’ll be led to your child.

In reality, it’s an unfortunate misunderstanding that most birth mothers will fight the adoption. When she has been provided all the info and counseling she needs before the adoption is final, your relationship with your birth mother will be based on mutual trust and an agreement that you want the best for the baby.

Every woman has the right to change her mind before it’s too late. It’s impossible for her to fully prepare for what it will be like to place a child for adoption, until that final moment. As hard as it is for you to let go of the dream you created with that child, imagine it from her shoes. It’s possible that fewer women would pursue adoption if they didn’t have the ability to change their minds. Even a birth mother who goes through with an adoption plan feels comforted knowing she could have changed her mind, that it was really her say.

A birth mom rarely, if ever, changes her mind because she feels you are a poor choice for her child. She often has guilt over disappointing you, and she knows that this isn’t what you were hoping for. In the end, she has to make a decision for HER child, and sometimes that means she changes her mind about adoption. Be encouraged, knowing that many birth mothers have been inspired by the kind of parent you were going to become for her child. Through this experience she’s not only decided to raise her baby, but also to make healthy choices for her and her baby.

Keep the big picture in mind: your goal is to adopt a child, but not solely THAT child. This may sound insensitive, but truly, while you became attached to the prospect of that child, you know that you still want to adopt. Grieve the loss as you need, and refocus on your goal. There could be many reasons you, the birth mother, and that child came together, even if for a short time. If you were kind, loving, sincere and honest, and you did everything to show intent to provide for that child the best way you could; but it didn’t move forward, then there is comfort in knowing you could have blessed that mother and child in a way no one else could. You showed openness, listening, and availability…some things that many birth moms may not see in their usual circle. You may become one of the few people praying for these people. That birth mom may also refer a friend to you in the future if you left her with compassion and understanding.

You will adopt, and while you may always remember this time and that baby, you’ll also cherish the journey when you’re holding the child you finally welcome to your family permanently.

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Topics: Birth Mothers, relationship with birth mother, what if a birth mother changes her mind?, reclaim, failed adoption