The hospital trip is the most anticipated event of any pregnancy – and often the most emotional. For women who choose adoption, many of those emotions come from knowing that it’s time to say goodbye.
But you aren’t saying goodbye forever. The openness of today’s adoption relationships means that you will be able to see your child grow up and have a relationship with him or her. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to be all smiles after making an adoption decision. It’s completely normal to experience a wide range of emotions, both positive and negative; here’s what to expect if you choose adoption.
Grief and Loss
Adoption is an emotional decision, and you will need time to come to terms with your pregnancy and your adoption decision. Here are some tips for handling the emotional low points of the adoption process:
- Do not make a hasty decision – Coping with an adoption decision begins before the adoption takes place. In the initial shock of an unplanned pregnancy, it can be easy to make a decision before thinking it through completely.
- Address your emotions – Feelings of sadness are completely normal after an adoption, and you should allow yourself to have these feelings without self-judgment.
- Seek support – Family and friends can be a great source of emotional support for women pursuing an adoption plan. Adoption agencies also offer counseling for you during and after the process.
Closure and Acceptance
After you place your child for adoption, it’s time to start looking to the future. If you choose to place your child for adoption, you will not be the one raising him or her, but you will still have a meaningful relationship. Through an open adoption, you will be able to:
- Let the adoptive family know your wishes – Once you choose a family, you will be able to get to know them before the baby arrives. During this time, you can talk to them about the kind of upbringing you want for your child.
- Answer your child’s questions – As your child grows older, you will be present in his or her life to talk about why you chose adoption, and that it was a decision made out of love.
- See your child grow up with the parents you chose – In an open adoption, you will never have to worry about your child or wonder how he or she is doing; you will always know.
Some people believe that an ongoing relationship with the child they placed will make moving on more difficult, but the opposite is true; women in an open adoption have the reassurance of seeing their child grow up in a happy, loving home, and this helps them to achieve closure.
Adoption can occasionally bring with it negative feelings, and it’s important that you address these and make sure that you are ready to handle them. But along with the feelings of grief are also feelings of immense joy and pride for women who choose adoption. Above all, women who choose adoption feel the confidence that they made the best decision for their child.