It’s normal to wonder if you will have regrets about placing your baby for adoption. Even if you have prayed and feel like it was the right decision for you, you may struggle with second-guessing yourself. Perhaps you chose adoption for your baby, but you still feel some regret from time to time. It is very normal to feel this way. You made a huge life-impacting decision, and it’s common for birth mothers to struggle with their decision at some level.
One study conducted at Baylor University found that even though a birth mother may feel she made the right choice to place her baby for adoption, she may have feelings of loss and grief over the years.
The same study found that those birth mothers who had continued contact with their child through open adoption had fewer feelings of anxiety and grief. By choosing open adoption, you’re able to see your baby grow up healthy and happy. Your feelings of regret may come and go, but choosing open adoption can help ease these feelings.
With open adoptions through Lifetime, you’re in control every step of the way. You make the decisions that go into the adoption process. It’s been found that women are less likely to feel regret when they make their own adoption plan. By being in control and making the best decision you can, with available help and assistance, you’re likely to be far more confident in the outcome.
Healing Takes Time
It takes time to heal, and you may feel a mix of emotions during the healing process. At times, you may feel sad about your decision to place your baby for adoption, but at the same time relieved about your choice.
Many birth mothers say that they felt the most regret in the months right after giving birth. After nine months of carrying a baby, your hormonal changes can make you feel strong emotions. It takes several months for your hormones to return to normal levels, and then you will probably feel more like yourself.
Tips for Coping if You Feel Like “I Regret Placing My Baby for Adoption”
What can help you find healing for your regret? Here are some things you can do:
Ask God to help you remember why you made the decision to place your baby for adoption. Perhaps you knew you couldn’t provide for a child, or you weren’t ready to be a parent.
Revisiting your decision can help you know in your heart that it was the right choice for you and your baby. Remember, too, that you chose the adoptive family for your baby because you knew this family would provide, care for, and love your baby.
An open adoption
The good news is that when you choose an open adoption, you will be part of your child’s life, even into their adult years. Depending upon your arrangement with the adoptive parents, you can stay connected with your child through emails, texts, and even visits.
Your involvement in your child’s life will help you heal. A National Institute of Health study found that birth mothers who have continued contact with their child experienced less unsettled grief than those who didn’t have contact. Seeing how happy and healthy your child is can bring healing to your heart.
Don’t neglect self-care
The stress of an unplanned pregnancy plus recovering from childbirth takes a toll on your body. Be sure to take good care of yourself so you can heal physically. There is nothing wrong with focusing on restoring your body because it will also help you heal emotionally. You made a courageous choice for the sake of your baby. You deserve to rest and get refreshed without guilt or shame about your decision.
Support from your family and friends
Be sure to reach out to your family and friends for support. Ask them to pray for you, especially when you’re struggling with periods of grief.
God wants to help you find healing as much as you do. Refuse to give in to guilt or shame. Talk to a trusted friend or pastor about your feelings about the adoption. Remember, you’re not alone. There are people who love you and want to support you through this difficult time.
Get support from a peer
There is peer support available from other birth moms. It can help to hear from another woman who has gone through the same thing as you. Hearing her story and how she felt can give you hope, plus it’s good to be with others who understand your feelings. Connect with Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime if you’d like to learn more about Lifetime’s peer support program.
If you can’t get past your regrets, you may want to seek counseling. Lifetime offers counseling from a third-party therapist to birth moms before and after their baby is born. These counselors have experience helping birth mothers work through feelings of regret.
Don’t struggle alone. Reach out to your Adoption Coordinator right away to let her know you need help. Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 today.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.