If you are pregnant and considering adoption as your option, it is likely that you are worried about what feelings might go along with the decision to make an adoption plan.
It is important to be aware of the variety of emotions you will go through as part of the adoption process. Adoption professionals would love to be able to tell you that the emotions you will feel will resolve themselves quickly, but it is simply not the case. Instead, these professionals work hard to provide you with counseling while in the pre-placement stage so that you can be as prepared as possible for the tidal wave of emotions that will occur in the last few weeks of your pregnancy and into your post-placement relationship. Here are a few of the emotions that most birth mothers feel at one point or another:
Grief/loss: This is, understandably, the most prevalent emotion you will feel. You will be parting with a piece of you, and the grieving process is very real. However, with the counseling you will receive before your placement and by choosing to continue with the counseling after your placement, you will be able to find ways to cope with your grief.
Guilt: Many women are overcome with the feeling of guilt because they “gave up their child.” This feeling of guilt can be intensified if you are surrounded by people who either do not understand the choice you made, or do not support your choice. In this situation, it is best to try distancing yourself from those who are speaking negatively about the decision you made. There is no need for you to feel guilty about trying to give your child a better life than you could provide.
Shame: This usually goes hand-in-hand with guilt. You might feel as though you can’t talk about what happened with anyone, because you are afraid of what they might think or say. You might feel as though you gave up on your child, and hearing others say this will only strengthen those feelings. It is so important to remind yourself of the reasons you made this decision in the first place. You should not be ashamed of loving your child enough to imagine he/she could have a better life.
Anger: It is possible that you could find yourself becoming angry with a variety of people. You might be angry with yourself, with the baby’s father, with God, or even with your situation in general. Anger is a natural response when we feel as though our life is spiraling out of control, so don’t be surprised if you feel yourself becoming easily angered.
Doubt: There will probably be times during both the pre-placement and post-placement process that you will wonder if you are making/made the best decision. While this is completely normal, it is important that you try not to dwell on these doubts. Talk about them with your counselor, or with a trusted friend. Bottling them up could lead to some sort of emotional explosion later in the process.