In many cases, choosing adoption is in the best interests of both birth mother and child. Birth mothers who choose to place their child in the adoption system are doing a selfless deed that will result in a better situation for all parties involved. Despite this, birth moms still have to deal with a lot of myths and misconceptions about adoption and their role in the process.
In order to lessen the stigma some women feel about adoption, here are three myths about birth mothers we’d like to see dispelled once and for all:
MYTH: Birth mothers don’t love their children
Reality: Some people assume that if a mother can give up her child for adoption, she must not love that child very much. On the contrary, adoptions are how birth mothers can express their ultimate love for their children. In the majority of cases, a birth mother will have to put her child’s needs above her desire to watch him or her grow up. To provide the best life for her child, a birth mom will carefully select — and trust — another family to care for her child. This painful choice allows the child to have the best life possible. It’s the ultimate unselfish act.
MYTH: All birth mothers are unwed teenagers or homeless runaways
Reality: There are all kinds of birth mothers. While some are teens and others struggle with poverty, the majority of parents who place their children up for adoption simply lack the emotional and/or financial resources needed to care for a child. And, in fact, anecdotal evidence would suggest that the majority of birth mothers who choose this path are old enough to recognize that working with an adoption agency is the best possible choice. Younger, inexperienced mothers seem to be more likely to raise their children themselves, as they tend to glamorize motherhood or believe they can handle the financial and emotional strain. Typically, those who choose to work with adoption agencies have thought long and hard about their decision — regardless of background.
MYTH: A birth mother will come back and try to reclaim her child
Reality: Despite what you might have seen in soap operas and made-for-TV movies, most birth mothers understand that once the final decisions about their adoptions have been made, they cannot take them back. Today, more than 90% of adopted children ages five and older associate positive feelings with their adoption; virtually no birth mother is going to negate her selfless act by trying to get her child back after an adoption has already taken place. Even if she wanted to, there are also legal protections in place protecting the adoptive parents.
We know that birth mothers care very much about where and with whom their child is placed. We also understand that being able to make an informed decision about the future of your child — and well as your own — can help make an emotionally difficult decision much easier.
If you are considering adoption, please do not hesitate to reach out to adoption agencies in your area.