What If the Birth Mother Wants Her Baby Back?Question: “My wife and I have just started to look into adopting, after failed fertility treatments. Since my wife has already been through so much, I’m feeling wary of adoption. What if she changes her mind? What if the birth mother wants her baby back?”
Answer: The media has sensationalized adoption reclaim. But while reclaim is a possibility, it doesn’t happen as often as it seems. It’s doubtful if the birth mother has emotional support from her family, the adoptive parents, and an adoption professional or a counselor. It rarely happens when a birth mother is confident in her decision to give her child, through adoption, the promise of a better life. Choosing an open adoption also reduces the risk. When a birth mother understands that through open adoption, she is accepted as part of the child’s life, she has peace in her heart that she won’t be forgotten.
The important thing is to trust in God and His will for your life. Remember that if God has ordained that you adopt a particular child, nothing can stop it. So trust that any child meant for you will come to you. Other than praying and trusting God, there’s not much adoptive parents can do to prevent a reclaim. We’re dealing with human emotions and a major life decision on her part, after all. It’s essential to prepare for a reclaim as a possibility and trust in the process.
Adoption professionals watch for red flags indicating that a birth mother is at risk of reclaim. Lifetime’s vigilance starts with screening potential birth mothers. We can often spot one who fits the profile of a woman who will be unable to relinquish her child. We also know the questions to ask so we can really find out what a birth mother wants in adoptive parents. A good match and a good relationship between them reduces the risk.
We know how hard it is on adoptive parents when a birth mother wants her baby back. We work hard to prevent it, but we cannot predict all outcomes. Sometimes we see a red flag before the placement, but the adoption goes through. Other times we are surprised by a reclaim.
If it happens to you, take some time off until you are ready to start again. Pray to God for healing. If you don’t give up, you will find your child, because nine out of ten adoptions do succeed.