This guest post is by Barb.
It boggles my mind how often I hear negative things about birth moms. And the things I hear make me mad.
An acquaintance mentioned to me that even though he wanted me to fulfill my dream of adopting, he would question the mental state of a birth mom.
He said he would be really cautious with anyone willing to “give up their own child.”
This comment bothered me on so many levels.
What if I were in a situation in which I wanted to place my child for adoption?
I believe that this comment came from the idea that mothers love their children unconditionally, and he was confused about how a birth mom could say goodbye to her child.
Another comment that really bothered me was something I read on Instagram recently.
A woman created an account to chronicle her journey from pregnancy to making an open adoption plan for her baby.
She posts beautiful updates about the adoptive family and she is doing great things with her life such as continuing her post-secondary education.
She gave her daughter the future she could not provide at the time. She posted about a message she received from another woman who basically berated her for placing her child.
It’s almost worse when women make these comments because, as women, we should support one another and stick together.
Many people have said that birth moms must be awful people for giving up their children.
Let’s get one thing straight: birth moms NEVER give up their children. They PLACE their children for adoption.
There is a massive difference.
There are so many reasons why a birth mom would choose adoption but unless you’ve been in her shoes, you shouldn’t judge.
Generally speaking, birth moms love their children unconditionally and want the very best for them.
When a woman with an unplanned pregnancy, for whatever reason, can’t provide that for her child, she makes the toughest decision of her life to place her child with a family that can provide everything the child needs.
Sure, it would be easier for a birth mom to not part with a piece of her heart but she knows that this is not in the best interest of her child.
So, a birth mom, acting completely selflessly, puts her needs aside and places the needs of her child first. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.
It’s important to keep in mind that placing a child for adoption is not an easy decision. A birth mom must feel so many different emotions before and after placement.
She is most likely wondering if she is making the right decision, grieving a loss, and feeling heartbreak and guilt.
Instead of being blamed or bashed, she needs support during this time. But sadly, sometimes she lacks the backing of family or loved ones.
Luckily, an adoption counsellor can help her navigate this difficult journey. The birth mom might be making the right decision but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one to make.
Most waiting adoptive parents, at least those pursuing a private domestic adoption, understand the benefits of an open adoption.
But loved ones should keep in mind that criticizing a birth mom is not only disrespectful to hopeful adoptive parents. Hopeful adoptive parents could view it as a sign that their loved ones are not supportive of their decision.
How can someone expect a birth mom to place her child with waiting parents like us but at the very same time criticize her decision?
I wish people understood that we will become parents because a birth mom decided to place her child with us. She will be the reason for our happiness.
She will be giving us an amazing gift. How can you not love someone for doing that? How can you not be eternally grateful to her?
If we are lucky enough to be chosen one day, our child’s birth mom will become part of our family.
It’s alright to have questions about birthmothers and their decisions. My only advice is this: be open-minded. Do your research and allow yourself the opportunity to learn and to grow.
Embrace the birth mom and appreciate the sacrifice she is making. After all, one day she could be part of your family or the reason that your loved ones become parents.
Barb lives in Toronto.
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