When my brother’s birth mother calls to check in on how he is doing she always expresses the same concerns and fears. Even though he was adopted almost fourteen years ago she still asks if he is going to hate her, if she is a terrible person, if he will forget her, etc. Many birth mothers have the exact same concerns. They wonder if their biological child will hate them for “giving them away,” especially if they have kept other biological children. So how do you help your birth mother feel better about her choice to place her child up for adoption?
- Be honest with your child about his or her birth parents. Tell them the reasons why their birth parents were not able to parent them at the time. Tell them about the difficult decision their birth parents made in order to give them the best life they possibly could. For example, we always tell my brother that his birth parents were young and not in good place in their lives to become parents, and that they felt that we could give him a better life.
- Never talk down about your child’s birth parents. Your child is a part of his or her birth parents and it is important to emphasize that they came from good people who were possibly in bad circumstances or made some bad choices. Tell your child about the good qualities their birth parents had and what you liked about them. We always tell my brother that his birth parents made some bad decisions, but that they were good people with loving hearts who wanted to give their child everything they could, even if that meant giving him a new family.
- Save things that will help your child piece together their story later on. For instance, we saved letters, pictures, handmade gifts, and a couple of toys from my brother’s birth parents that we can give him when he is ready.
- Follow through with your promises to your child’s birth parents. We have always told my brother’s birth parents that they can visit him and that we would send them pictures of him over the years. We have always followed through and sent updated pictures. They visited my brother often when he was a baby, but have not visited him since his first birthday. Now we leave any future visitation up to my brother when he is ready, which we have also explained to his birth parents.
How will doing these things help ease your birth mother’s fears about adoption? It’s simple. Help your birth mother feel better about her choice to place her child up for adoption by telling her that you will do the above mentioned things and then actually do them. When my brother’s birth mother calls and expresses her concerns we are able to calm her fears with honest answers. We tell her that my brother does not hate her because we tell him good things about her, the reasons behind the adoption, and about the loving decision she made. We tell her that she will never be forgotten because we have saved memories and tokens from her to give to my brother as a part of his life story. And most importantly, we are able to calm her fears because she trusts us. She states that she knows we are good honest people who have never pushed her away or lied to her, and who have came through on all of our promises.
For those of you who have already adopted, what do you do for your birth mother? Email me at Raquel@fam2fam.org with more tips regarding adoption and we will feature your advice in our future newsletters! Visit our website at www.fam2fam.org for more information on adoption. Feel free to contact us through email or at 281-342-4042 if you have any questions or concerns.