Adoption agencies in Missouri Birth Mother Blog

Navigating the Spectrum of Feelings When Considering Adoption for Your Baby

Navigating the Spectrum of Feelings When Considering Adoption for Your Baby

By Eric Somarriba

Like any life-changing decision, adoption can bring out a wide spectrum of emotions. It’s a deeply emotional process, and everyone has their own unique journey and emotions. From the day you begin considering adoption to even years after it’s said and done, these feelings can often change. Some birth mothers feel intense grief and heartbreak, while others feel excitement, but even positive emotions can become grief. Whether you’re just beginning to consider adoption or you’ve already completed your journey, we’re here to help. Grief and depression can be a common result, but they aren’t the same thing. Overcoming either of them is a different process. Understanding these emotions is key to being able to find peace.

Adoption Choices of Missouri is a local adoption agency dedicated to supporting birth mothers through every part of their adoption. We understand the emotional complexities of this choice and want you to have faith in your decision. Here to explore the different emotions you’re feeling and the differences between grief and depression.

Grief After Adoption

Many birth mothers feel intense sadness after giving a child for adoption. If you’re feeling this way currently, it’s completely understandable. It could be that you did want to raise your baby, but you know you don’t have the necessary resources. Or you feel that placing your baby for adoption means you aren’t worthy of being a mother in the future. If you’re feeling this intense sadness, it’s likely you’re in the midst of either grief or depression. While similar, they’re ultimately two separate experiences that you must tackle differently.

Grief is a feeling of intense loss and is usually only thought of with the death of a loved one. But for birth mothers, it’s different; your child is still alive but is in some way out of reach. You may feel like you threw your baby away and gave them up, but that isn’t true. Adoption is a selfless choice made purely out of love. Even if you only held your baby for a few moments after birth, you still carried them to term. That still forms a deep bond between mother and child. It’s perfectly normal to feel grief after you put your baby for adoption. 

Even though they’re alive and well, it’s still a form of loss. It’s okay to take time to allow yourself to grieve; sometimes, time is all you need to recover. But if it continues to affect you, then you may want to consider professional help. One of the adoption services that adoption agencies often provide is counseling. It’s available during your pregnancy and often for a time after as well. It can be a great way to get support from a professional who especially understands adoption.

Please speak to your medical practitioner or one of our adoption counselors for more information.

Depression After Adoption

One of the key differences between grief and depression is that depression can result from a wide variety of circumstances. Grief stems from loss, and it can be one of many stepping stones to a serious depression. You may have dealt with depression before in your life, or the stress of your pregnancy helps lead to it. Another difference is that while grief is a prolonged feeling, depression is a clinical condition. You can be officially diagnosed with it, and it can be dangerous. Depression can be different for everyone. Some symptoms include:

  • A lack of enjoyment in your interests.
  • Feelings of guilt besides grief.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Not enough or too much sleep.

If you feel these symptoms for a prolonged period after your adoption, we’d recommend seeing a professional. If you receive a clinical diagnosis, a professional can refer you to a more specific therapist for depression. You may also be able to receive medication specific for depression. Depression is a difficult experience, and an adoption agency like ours can try and help. We can connect you with local support groups made up of birth mothers who have been through similar experiences. One of the ways to overcome depression is to know that you’re not alone. There are people out there ready to listen and help if you need it.

What if I Don’t Feel Sad After My Adoption?

As stated at the beginning of this article, there’s a chance you might not feel sadness after your adoption. This is true for many birth mothers, and feeling this way isn’t any more or less valid than feeling sadness. Maybe you’re relieved that you won’t have to raise a child when you know you aren’t ready yet. You could also feel relief because you had no interest in being a parent, to begin with. There’s also the comfort in knowing a family you chose and trust will raise your baby. Regardless, it’s okay to feel some kind of relief or excitement once your adoption is over. 

Sometimes, however, that feeling of joy or relief can then turn into more complex emotions. Birth mothers who feel joy at first sometimes think they should be sad, and not feeling that way is wrong. That isn’t true. No one can say what you’re supposed to feel. With adoption, you made the choice that was best for you and your baby. If you have faith in that decision and feel relief by the end, then no one can say otherwise. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child; adoption is a choice made from love. We want you to have faith in yourself and your decisions.

Adoption Aftermath With Adoption Choices of Missouri

We hope this was helpful in better understanding what you may be feeling. One thing we want to stress is that it’s okay not to be okay. We all go through difficult periods. Sometimes, we just need to let it all out first before beginning to heel. 

Our goal is to inform you of what you’re experiencing and how to begin overcoming it once you’re ready. Putting your baby for adoption isn’t an easy choice, but if you feel it’s right no one can say otherwise. Take the time you need to heal, but find support if you need it.

If you want to explore options for unplanned pregnancy or want to adopt, contact us. We’re ready to assist in your adoption in Missouri no matter which side of the adoption process you’re on. You can use our resources for pregnancy help or creating an adoption plan, or to help you apply to adopt. Trust us to help you throughout every step of the way.