Post-Adoption Support For Birth Mothers

February 15, 2024 | 6 min read

Adoption can be a difficult and emotionally challenging decision to make for birth mothers. After the adoption process, birth mothers face a unique set of challenges that can impact their mental health and well-being. Coping with these challenges requires support and understanding, which is where post-adoption support comes in.

Post-adoption support for birth mothers is essential as it provides a safe space for them to process their emotions, connect with others who have been through similar experiences, and access resources to help with practical challenges. This blog post will explore the emotional and practical challenges that birth mothers face after adoption, as well as the benefits of post-adoption support, including emotional validation, empathy, and connection.

By understanding the challenges and benefits of post-adoption support, we can better support birth mothers who have made an adoption plan. Ultimately, by supporting post-adoption birth mothers, we can ensure their long-term well-being and mental health.

Post-adoption support is essential for birth mothers. It offers emotional healing, practical resources, and a safe space to share stories. Discover the support available in the blog from @NEChildrensHome:

The Emotional Challenges of Post-Adoption Life for Birth Mothers

Adoption is a decision that many birth mothers make in the best interest of their children, but it can be an incredibly challenging experience. After the adoption, birth mothers may struggle with a range of emotions, including grief and loss, trauma, triggers, shame, and guilt. These emotions can impact a mother's mental health and well-being, making it difficult to move on with her life. In this section, we will explore the different challenges that birth mothers face in post-adoption life.

1. Grief and Loss

A significant emotional challenge for birth mothers after adoption includes feelings of grief and loss. Birth mothers may experience a range of emotions, such as denial, anger, fear, sadness, and acceptance. It is not uncommon for birth mothers to experience these emotions at different times, even years after the adoption. Coping with these emotions can be incredibly difficult without adequate support.

2. Adjusting to Post-Adoption Life

Birth mothers may encounter emotional challenges throughout their adoption experience and beyond. It's important to acknowledge that certain situations, like seeing the child they made an adoption plan for or hearing about their child from others, could potentially be triggering, especially if they don't have an open adoption. These feelings, although normal and expected, can still be difficult to confront.

During the first year post-adoption, birth mothers may find it particularly challenging as they adjust to their new life and learn how to navigate these emotions alongside significant milestones like holidays and birthdays. It's crucial for birth mothers to recognize these feelings, respect their emotions, and be aware of the potential triggers. However, it's equally important not to dwell on negative emotions for too long, as it only prevents them from healing and going into their next chapter.

While dealing with these emotions is not easy, having the knowledge that they may arise at different times and in different years can help birth mothers prepare and cope more effectively. It is crucial to remember that each individual's experience is unique, and support is available to assist birth mothers throughout their journey.

3. Shame and Guilt

Many birth mothers experience shame and guilt related to their decision to make an adoption plan. They may feel societal pressure or internalized stigma that leads them to believe that they failed as a mother. In addition to being completely inaccurate, these emotions can be incredibly painful and lead to long-term mental health issues.

@NEChildrensHome offers a Birth-Parent Support Group where birth parents can connect, access educational resources, and find understanding. Learn more about the importance of post-adoption support for birth mothers here:

The Benefits of Post-Adoption Support

The journey of adoption can be a roller coaster ride of emotions, and it's important for birth mothers who have made an adoption plan to have a strong support system in place to cope with these feelings and overcome the challenges. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of post-adoption support and how it can positively impact a birth mother's life.

Emotional Benefits

1. Validation and empathy

Post-adoption support can provide validation and empathy to birth mothers who may be struggling to come to terms with their decision to make an adoption plan. A support group can be a safe space where birth mothers can share their experiences and feelings without fear of judgment or shame. Through the power of shared experience, birth mothers can find comfort and validation, knowing that they are not alone in their journey.

2. Understanding and acceptance

The feeling of being understood and accepted can be incredibly healing for birth mothers who have made an adoption plan. Post-adoption support can help them connect with others who have gone through similar experiences, providing them with a sense of belonging and acceptance. Understanding and acceptance are key ingredients in the healing process, and post-adoption support can provide a space where birth mothers can work toward self-acceptance and self-love.

3. Connection and community

Post-adoption support can provide a sense of connection and community, which is especially crucial for birth mothers who may feel isolated and alone after making an adoption plan. This support system can help birth mothers build meaningful connections with others who can relate and genuinely understand their experiences. Connection and community can provide a sense of belonging, which can be essential in managing feelings of guilt and shame.

Practical Benefits

1. Educational resources and support

Post-adoption support can provide birth mothers with access to educational resources and support, which can be immensely helpful in navigating the legal and emotional aspects of adoption. It can also provide them with guidance on how to communicate with their child's adoptive family, maintain a relationship with their child, and work toward closure.

2. Access to healthcare

Post-adoption support can also provide birth mothers with access to healthcare resources, which can include counseling, therapy, and medical services. These resources can provide support for birth mothers as they work through complex emotions and help to address any mental health challenges they may face as a result of the adoption process.

By providing a safe and understanding space and educational and healthcare resources, post-adoption support can help birth mothers overcome complex emotions, build connections, and find healing after making a courageous and loving decision for their child.

Post-adoption support is incredibly helpful for birth mothers to cope with the challenges and complexities of their post-adoption life. These resources can provide birth mothers with the tools necessary to navigate their emotions, build relationships, find hope for the future, and ultimately support their mental health and well-being.

It is important for birth mothers to know that they are not alone and that there is support available to them. One such resource available for birth mothers post-adoption is NCHS’s Birth-Parent Support Group. This support group is a safe space where birth parents can connect, share stories, and access educational resources.

Find out more about the Post-Adoption resources available for birth parents here and reach out to join our support group.