Birth Mother Blog

Adoption Grief vs. Depression: Understanding the Difference and When to Seek Help

By Carl Roth

For birth mothers, an adoption plan doesn’t end with your baby being placed. There are still obstacles to overcome, and they largely originate from within. It is common for you to go through an emotional toll when giving a child up for adoption. Navigating grief stages is easier with trusted allies at your side. However, if grief leads to depression, there’s an even greater need for a specialist’s help.

Our Adoption Choices of Missouri team knows how important time post-adoption is for birth mothers. Post-placement care is always accounted for those who are pregnant and considering adoption. There’s a variety of effective options to consider, and your private adoption specialist can help you find which ones work best for you. Grief and depression are no small hurdles to clear, but our resources put birth mothers in a position to proceed confidently. 

Understanding Adoption Grief vs. Depression

Grief Stemming from Adoption and Pregnancy

While everybody’s adoption process varies, certain aspects of the journey are inevitable. Experiencing grief is always anticipated, coming and going at different stages. Nobody can be sure when exactly grief will hit hardest because your mental construction differs from all others. Some birth mothers may feel their strongest emotional reactions at the precise moments of significant decisions and parting ways. For others, it takes time for the weight to set in and take its toll. Grief can come in short, concentrated spells and in longer, subtler presences.

Simple reminders of your difficult choices can often trigger it during pregnancy. Over time, you’ll learn when and how your bouts with grief originate, gradually reducing confusion. 

The human mind isn’t designed to go numb to the feelings of sorrow brought on by loss. However, understanding patterns of grief can help you monitor your current condition. The kind of anguish stemming from giving up your baby is not akin to most mourning. It isn’t quite losing a loved one because they are just beginning their life in a different place.

Nevertheless, feelings of sadness can be present when pondering what could have been. One important trait of grief is that it tends to decrease in frequency and potency as time progresses. It can flare up when faced with reminders of your child but is not a constant presence throughout your waking hours. A birth mother experiencing grief can still enjoy life despite their recurring turmoil.

The goal isn’t to forget but to accept and use your experiences to progress. It won’t be easy, but the support of loved ones and time can contribute to a healthy resolution. If you feel professional care is needed, contact Adoption Choices of Missouri’s counseling team for more information. 

Is it Depression You are Feeling After Your Adoption Journey?

Whereas grief tends to be a recurring burden, depression is signaled by more serious symptoms. Depression’s impact is all-encompassing, with even the most basic parts of your life being affected. It hangs overhead like a cloud, making simple tasks become a challenge.

The occasional enjoyment that can still be found while grieving is not present when depressed. Symptoms like weight loss and insomnia sometimes accompany the feelings of prolonged emptiness and hopelessness. Some birth mothers are more prone to its affliction than others, so keep in mind whether you’ve experienced it before. 

Depression is a serious condition, and waiting it out isn’t always the best course of action. It can be a destructive force in anybody’s life, so seeking professional help is vital. Adoption Choices of Missouri takes birth mother depression seriously, and our team can provide counseling or link you to an outside specialist. Your health and well-being are our priority through adoption, so please share your struggles with us. 

Can support groups help with the adoption healing process?

Whether you’re going through grief or depression, seeking structured forms of mental support is a wise endeavor. Many birth mothers find support groups valuable resources for a healthy recovery post-adoption. Having the support of friends and family is important, but they might not provide the benefit of shared experiences in your case. Support groups exist for this very reason. Judgment is inherently reserved when in the company of those who have gone through a similar ordeal to yours.

All birth mothers are familiar with grief, so expressing your feelings and hearing others is a hugely advantageous exercise. Women connected by adoption agencies near you will have different perspectives on comparable experiences, which can be insightful in your search for solace. 

If you’re unsure or need more information, reach out to our Adoption Choices of Missouri team. We can address any concerns or curiosities you may have and connect you with a nearby support group. Your specialist will help chart a plan that continues your care post-placement.

Support groups may be an option that greatly benefits you, so do consider them. It helps to have an open mind when approaching adoption grief/depression care options. Hear what your specialist has to say and take time to explore the avenues of support available to you. 

Learn more about post-adoption care in Missouri

Placing your baby for adoption is difficult without trying to endure the aftermath alone. Powerful emotional effects stemming from an unplanned pregnancy are not to be ignored, and your adoption specialist is paying attention. They can help identify what is troubling you and find the best way to approach your case.

Planning an adoption in Missouri doesn’t end at childbirth, as post-placement care holds primary importance. You deserve to be happy despite your troubles, and Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you on your way ahead. Starting the next chapter becomes easier with structured support giving you the push to propel you forward. Speak with your adoption specialist to find care options for addressing your grief or depression as soon as possible. 

Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond. Please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll-free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri, call or text us at 816-527-9800