Placing a child for adoption is never an easy decision. However, it’s much more difficult when you choose to do it alone. Many women, when placing their child for adoption, work through lawyers or facilitators instead of adoption agencies. While you can have a good experience with a lawyer, adoption agencies have at least one major benefit for birthmothers: post-adoption support.
Post-adoption counseling and support can help birth parents in many ways. Whether you are struggling with negative feelings, confused about how to approach your relationship with the adoptive family, or simply want someone impartial to talk to, adoption counseling can help. Keep reading to learn more.
Common Difficulties for Birth Mothers After Adoption
Birthmothers face many common difficulties after placing their child for adoption. Some of the most common include:
- Feelings of grief or loss after their child is adopted, even in open or semi-open adoptions.
- Difficulty giving up the role of “mother” when they see their adopted child at events or gatherings.
- Trouble in other relationships outside of the one with the adoptive family, such as their relationship with their spouse, parents, or friends.
These issues are common in birth mothers after adoption placement. However, there is no one way to handle these problems, and some women appreciate more support than others. But that raises another question: Where do you go for post-adoption support and counseling?
Finding Support After an Adoption
Unfortunately for many birth mothers, there is no central resource for providing post-adoption support, counseling, or guidance. Most birth families are on their own when it comes to seeking out and finding help after placing a child for adoption.
This is especially true when women place their child for adoption through an adoption lawyer or facilitator. While lawyers and facilitators may provide excellent service during the adoption process, their interest in the case usually does not continue after the adoption is finalized. Furthermore, even if your attorney or facilitator does provide some support, they may not have the resources, training, or experience necessary to help struggling birth mothers.
In most cases, the best place to find support after an adoption is a licensed adoption agency. Agencies, unlike law firms, don’t just specialize in completing adoptions. They also provide support and services to birthmothers and adoptive parents before and after placement. One of the most important services they provide is counseling for birth mothers after adoption.
The Types and Benefits of Post-Adoption Support
Depending on your personal feelings and needs after the adoption is finalized, different types of support could be right for you. Some of the most common types of post-adoption support include:
- Support groups or retreats for birth mothers.
- One-on-one sessions with a counselor or therapist.
- Alternative therapy methods including meditation or artistic therapy.
Every type of therapy has its own benefits and uses. Furthermore, not all types of therapy are effective for all people – so just because you’re not comfortable with one style of counseling doesn’t mean counseling won’t work for you. If you’re having issues after your adoption, you should seek help and keep an open mind until you find a program or solution that works for you.
It’s also important to keep in mind that feelings of grief, depression, or confusion after placing a child for adoption are normal and not something to be afraid of. That said, counseling provides a way to experience those feelings with guidance and support from a trained professional. This can help you engage with your emotions and move past them in a healthy, productive way.
Where to Find Post-Adoption Support
There are many places you can find support, guidance, and counseling after an adoption. Private counselors and mental health providers can often help with many post-adoption symptoms, and birth mother or adoption support groups exist in most cities and communities.
However, finding counselors with experience in adoption matters can be more difficult. The best place to find experienced counselors is at an adoption agency. Agencies make it their mission to help birth parents and adoptive families with their adoption journeys, including providing support and help after the adoption. If you’re looking for support – or want to ensure you have it after your adoption is complete – an adoption agency is a good place to start.
To learn more about the benefits of post-adoption counseling and whether a counseling program could be right for you, contact us today at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption. We’re Oklahoma’s oldest and most experienced adoption agency, and we would be happy to help you with your adoption journey. Call us today at 405-949-4200, or visit our Facebook page for more helpful advice and insight into the adoption process.