It’s unfortunate but misconceptions about birth mothers are part of what can make many individuals second guess adoption. The term “birthmother” makes some people uncomfortable and causes them to visualize young girls giving up their babies carelessly. This perception saddens me because in most cases it could not be farther from the truth.
Let’s take a closer look at 10 myths about birth mothers and replace them with the truth.
Myth #1- They don’t love and care about the children they choose to put up for adoption
Most mothers that choose adoption care so deeply for their child that they struggle with making an adoption plan because they believe it is what is best for the child. They are often in a place in life where they feel a child will have a better life with an adoptive family. In this case, they will often pick out the family themselves that they feel will give their child the best chance at a promising future. They may be a single mother or it may even be a couple that does not feel prepared to raise a child. In our adoptions, it was a decision discussed and decided upon between the birth mother and father.
Myth #2- They come back for their children
The idea that a birth mother will show up at your front door or sue you to try to get the child back is a myth. Most birth mothers spend a lot of time developing an adoption plan and often even going through counseling. This is one reason I am so passionate about using a legitimate adoption agency. A good agency cares deeply for the moms choosing an adoption plan. Because of this, they will work with them to provide counseling and other resources to ensure they are making the decision they truly feel is best for them. By the time these birth moms place their child, they are typically very solid in their decision and do not wish to destroy the family they have helped build. Our birth mother has access to counseling for life if she ever wants it from the agency we used. Whether or not she chooses to use it is her decision. But, I appreciate knowing she has the option.
Myth #3-They are selfish
No, they are not. They are making one of the hardest, if not the hardest, decisions of their lives when they choose adoption. They are doing what they believe is best for their child despite the pain it is causing them. When a birth mother chooses adoption, she is making an extremely selfless decision.
Myth #4- They are drug addicts
Some birth mothers do struggle with substance abuse. So, do some biological parents and every other category of people. Many do not. That has nothing to do with the fact that they are a birth mother.
Myth #5- They are troubled teenagers
Another myth about birth mothers is that most are extremely young. In fact, most are in their 20’s and 30’s. And, many are already raising another child. In this case, they know what is involved in raising a child and have decided that they are unable to provide the best life for another child at this time. This is why they choose adoption. Our children’s birth mother is in her 30’s and has her own daughter.
Myth #6- They are promiscuous
The truth is you have no idea of the circumstances that resulted in a birth mother becoming pregnant. She could be someone you know at work, a church friend’s daughter or the girl next door. The fact that a woman is facing an unplanned pregnancy does not mean that she is promiscuous.
Myth #7- They don’t really care where their child ends up
Birth mothers typically view a lot of adoptive family profiles before choosing a family. In addition, they may meet the family first as well. They spend a lot of time thinking about what they want for their child and choosing the family they believe is the best fit to provide this. Our children’s birth mom viewed a lot of profiles and met us in person before she made her decision.
Myth #8- They are anxious to get rid of their child
In many cases, birth mothers cherish the moments they have with their child before placement. Our children’s birth mom spent time in the hospital with both of our children before they came to us. This was her choice. Part of an adoption plan can include spending time with them before placement.
Myth #9- They move on with their lives as normal after placement
Placing a baby for adoption is a big deal, one that can affect a birth mother for life. The period after placement can involve real grieving for the birth mom. One factor that can help ease that pain is an open adoption. This allows her to know she will be able to see her child again and receive regular updates which are so important to many birth mothers. However, every birth mother has to deal with her decision to place her child with an adoptive family for the rest of her life.
Myth #10- They regret their decision
Although choosing adoption is one of the hardest things a birth mother can decide to do, they didn’t choose adoption lightly. Yes, it hurts. But, that does not change the fact that she did what she believed was best for her child. And, again, open adoption often helps alleviate any regret that they may feel. Being able to receive updates and even visit with their child can provide comfort and bring true healing.
I hope this helped explain and dispel the myths some people believe about birth mothers. The fact is they are strong women making an extremely hard decision in the best interest of their child.
If you are considering adoption but are unsure how to locate a birth mother, you may enjoy this post.