I believe that adoption is the most loving choice that is available. Adoption is not “giving up” a baby, but instead I view it as “giving to” a family and “providing for” a child.
-Cheryl, 26, Birth Mother
Adoption is one of the bravest and most heart-opening choices for birth parents and adoptive parents alike.
Whether you are considering placing your child for adoption, adopting for the first time or returning to further expand your family with a subsequent adoption, this post has something for you. There are a lot of stigma and misconceptions around adoption, but there’s one point I want to make abundantly clear:
Adoption is not giving up.
There are actually two meanings to this. On one hand, adoption does not always entail giving up a child. Birth mothers choose adoption as their birth plan for many reasons. She may be in an unhealthy relationship, financially unable to support a child, never desired to be a parent or simply has an awareness that her child would receive better care elsewhere. In this sense, adoption isn’t always “giving up” your child. I feel this is a stigma that needs to be removed. As birth mother Cheryl says, adoption is a form of “providing for.” She may not have had the financial means to physically provide for her baby, but she possessed the emotional love to make the brave choice to provide a home that could meet her child’s needs. Cheryl provided in the only way that she could: Adoption.
Adoption is also not giving up in the sense that, once you agree to parent via adoption, it’s not a stagnant job. Your responsibility is to love, provide and nurture this child as if he or she were your biological child. As an adoptive parent myself, it is the most rewarding role I have ever held. There is not a day that passes that I am not humbled by the knowledge that I was selected out of many to love and raise a child born to another woman. I’m grateful and honored for the opportunity to provide a better life for my child than he may have received elsewhere.
One beautiful aspect of the adoption experience is that it’s all around us and a larger network than you may think. According to AdoptionNetwork.com, “One out of every 25 U.S. families with children have an adopted child.” With adoption being fairly commonplace, one of the things I love is that it truly connects you with your respective community. There are so many other families and resources that I have the ability to connect with on an everyday basis and I encourage you all to find and connect with your local adoption community as well.
It’s time to remove the stigma and untrue beliefs around placing a child for adoption and completing your family by adopting a child. Let’s be strong and advocate for the truth: Birth mothers give their babies life, give their babies love and give their babies more family through adoption.
And as Kira Mortenson powerfully said, “God knew that it doesn’t matter how your children get to your family. It just matters that they get there.”
To all the birth mothers out there considering adoption, only you know what is best for you and your baby. Adoption is not “giving up.” Adoption is your way of “providing for” your child. It is one of the hardest but the most selfless and loving choice you will ever make. If you choose adoption as your birth plan, please be aware that adoption is not always goodbye. In California, birth parents are given the freedom to choose if they would like an Open Adoption. Simply put, an Open Adoption allows the birth family to maintain contact with the child that they place for adoption and with the child’s adoptive family. Depending on what the birth parent is comfortable with, this can range from exchanging photos and updates every couple of months to having visits with the family.
To all the families considering adoption as a way to grow your family, I’m wishing you all success on your adoption journeys. Be patient, be kind, be judgement free, but most importantly be grateful and humble. A birth mother is choosing to provide you with one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.
This article was written by Tephaney Stewart
Tephaney is a proud adoptive mother who loves sharing the highs and lows of her adoption experience with others, as well as supporting families through their adoption journeys.