Shows and movies often portray a dramatized view of the world. So much so, that it can be hard to distinguish what is real and what isn’t. The misconceptions about adoption and the whereabouts of the birth mother may lead to questions such as, “why did she relinquish their child?” and “what made her decide on the path of adoption?”
Birth mothers can come from all over the world in different shapes and sizes. Depending on the adoption, some may have the opportunity to create a bond with their child later in life, while others choose different options. As people living in this large world, we must educate ourselves on knowing fact from fiction. What we see may sometimes be misleading, (i.e Hollywood), but reading adoption books and attending meetings specialized in adoption can be helpful for adoptive parent(s), adoptees and the birth families. Part one of this blog will focus on five myths pertaining to birth mothers/parents.
Myth #1: “There are only resources available to the adoptive parents, not the birth mom/parents.”
Across the country, within the different states, there are different support groups, meetings and specialized professionals that provide for the specific needs and support for birth mothers, adoptive families, and adoptees. There are different paths and resources accessible to birth mothers/parents when they need extra support and help with the adoption. These resources can offer emotional support, help with searching for adoption agencies/lawyers and support groups targeted for birth mothers and/or birth parents.
Similar to adoptees, birth families may deal with their own sense of loss and grief. Adoption is not something that is decided at the moment and finalized moments after. This can take time and there are necessary steps to complete an adoption. Meeting with agencies such as Adoption Choices of New York provide the support and help to assist birth mothers with making sure their needs are met.
Myth #2: “Birth mothers/parents are bad people who did not want their child.”
Relinquishing a child is one of the hardest things a birth parent will ever have to do. Painfully, this moment can stay with them forever. They often will feel a period of mourning and regret sometimes before and after the adoption was finalized. People can be quick to judge and make assumptions on people, topics and things they may not fully understand. This particular myth is one of the worst misconceptions a birth mother and/or parents receive. If we do not know the full story and possible journey the birth parent(s) took to ensure their child be placed in a loving and safe home, we cannot assume they did not care about or want the child. Adoption can be a positive thing for the birth mother and child. Topics surrounding the birth mother should always be handled and discussed with the utmost respect.
Myth #3: “They don’t think about their child.”
While all parents are different, many birth mothers cannot forget their child. Their child will forever be a part of them even if they are not physically with them. The hardest part about adoption is no longer being able to care for that child and see that child grow. The best part is knowing that they are living with a loving adoptive family that can provide the proper care for that child. They may mourn the loss and separation long after the adoption. Open adoption may make it easier for the birth mother/family because they can see the child growing up and being cared for by the adoptive family.
Myth #4: “Birth Mothers will come back to get their child.”
As mentioned earlier, birth mothers do not make a big Hollywood entrance into their child’s lives and demand on having them back. Birth mothers understand that the child is being raised by other individuals and they do not necessarily want to interfere with their lives. However, in certain circumstances, birth mothers may have a desire to come back into their child’s life to see how they are doing, but depending on if it is a closed or open adoption, they may not be able to. This should not be taken in a negative way if the adoption is closed. This occurs because the birth mother may feel it is too emotional seeing their child again after their final goodbye and/or they do not want to disrupt their new life. In any case, the appropriate level of openness for the adoption can be decided with the help of an adoption agency like Adoption Choices of New York and other adoption professionals.
Myth #5: “Searching for birth mothers/family doesn’t help the child.”
In time, the adopted individual will grow up and may want to piece together their adoption. Items can include, documents, photographs and anything that may have been saved before and after the adoption. If it is an open adoption, the adoptee will be in a position to decide if they want to reach out to either the adoption agency and/or the birth mother/family. This decision should be made by the adopted individual, with the support of the adoptive parents and by no one pressuring them to do so. This can be a rather positive experience for the adoptee to research their background and where they come from. Searching is not done to replace the adopted parents but rather searching or meeting the birth mother and/or family can give more answers, and possible acceptance with their own adoption if they meet with their biological family.
- Myths about Transracial Adoption
- How Adoption affects Birth Mothers
- Adopting a Baby: Understanding Open, Semi-Open, and Closed Adoptions
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Strom graduated from Lehman College in the Bronx in May of 2018, where she received her bachelors in Professional Writing. After receiving her education at Lehman College, Rachel is currently interning at Adoption Choices Inc., where she is a weekly blogger.
Rachel was adopted from Asuncion, Paraguay in 1991. Her adoption experience has helped her write articles for Adoption Choices Inc., from the perspective of an adoptive individual. She hopes her articles will help someone looking into adoption or encourage those currently in the process.
When Rachel is not writing for Adoption Choices Inc. or her own novels she enjoys her other passion for baking, where she resides, in the New York City area. When she is baking, music is always playing throughout the kitchen while she is whipping up a delectable dessert for her friends and adoptive family.
Bish, Tim, and, Unsplash. Yawn Baby. 2018.
Caldwell, C.O.A.P, Mardie. “6 Common Adoption Myths Dispelled.” TODAY.com, 8 May 2007, www.today.com/parents/6-common-adoption-myths-dispelled-wbna18557471.
Greyerbaby, and Canva. 2019.
“Impact of Adoption on Birth Parents.” Child Welfare Information Gateway, Children’s Bureau, Aug. 2013, www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_impact.pdf.
Motely, Isolde, and Susan Caughman. “Adoption Facts: Dispelling the Top 10 Myths.” Adoptive Families, Adoptive Families Magazine, 3 Nov. 2017, www.adoptivefamilies.com/how-to-adopt/myths-about-adoption/.