There’s a famous proverb that goes, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Everyone has a story that the world does not know about.
While adoptive parents are praised for their generous deed of adopting a child who is not their own, birth mothers are shamed for choosing to place their child for adoption. It’s easy for outsiders to assume the worst intentions of the birth mothers and call them selfish. However, there are many elements that should be taken into consideration.
The decision to place their child is not an easy one, and as birth mothers go through the grieving process, they need others around them to understand and support them. Let’s take a look at some reasons why birth mothers choose to place their children for adoption.
1. Instability of Relationships
The family structure of a birth mother should be taken into consideration when she decides whether to keep the baby or not. When the birth mother is single or in an unstable situation, it may cause her stress; therefore, affecting the development of the child. This isn’t to say single parents aren’t capable of raising a child properly, but birth mothers might not feel confident in their ability to do so. For them to place their babies for adoption is to ensure they will grow up with loving and stable families.
2. Money, Money, Money
Let’s be honest, babies are expensive. If a birth mother does not feel comfortable that she is able to provide for herself along with another person, she has every right to consider putting her child up for adoption. Even if she wants to raise the baby, the limited funds she has available to her might make it onerous. Many financial situations can attribute to this decision, like homelessness and lack of income. All mothers want their child to grow up in a family without financial insecurities.
3. Emotional/Physical Abuse
Birth mothers can also be involved in abusive relationships, which can make it extremely dangerous for her to keep the baby. In some instances, the father might not be in the picture any longer. However, the birth mother will still feel haunted by the abuse that might get in the way of taking care of her child. If it’s not the father, it could be other family members that she has to be around. Moving the child to a safer environment is a good reason to choose to place her baby for adoption.
4. Lack of Encouragement
Along the same lines, when there’s not a healthy supportive ecosystem for birth mothers — from a partner, friends or family members — she will feel discouraged and unable to properly raise the child. It will take an emotional toll on her and if she keeps her baby, and the child may not grow up in a loving and supportive family. Being stuck in that situation will do more harm to their development than anything else. Choosing adoption placement allows the mother to determine the lifestyle and family environment her child will grow up in and, hopefully, thrive in.
5. Substance Abuse
Addiction can happen in anyone. When the birth mother faces addiction of any sort (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and is unable to take care of herself, removing her baby from that lifestyle is the best thing she can do for herself and the child. It is also possible that other family members are addicts while the birth mother is clean. Nonetheless, she doesn’t want her child anywhere near the substances. CRC Health stated that children of addicts are more likely to become addicts themselves later on in life and form emotional and behavioral issues compared to children raised by non-addicts.
6. Sexual Assault
This is the worst possible scenario for anyone. The reality is, some pregnancies are a result of non-consensual sex. For birth mothers who have gone through something as horrific as this, they will experience trauma for the rest of their lives, which may inhibit their ability to raise their child. Although she recognizes that the child is innocent, it may be hard for her to disassociate between the act and the baby. Her decision to place her child for adoption is a valid choice.
7. Not the Right Time
Age is just a number. It does not determine the efficacy of a woman to be a mother. If she feels that she’s not ready to have a baby, then that is her decision. It could be because she’s too young to take care of another life. Another reason could be that she’s too old. Whatever the situation is, choosing to place their child for adoption gives birth mothers the feeling of control.
8. Wanting a Better Future for the Child
While this explanation is simple, the words speak for themselves. All parents want what’s best for their children. If they feel that another family will be able to provide all the necessary love, support, and accommodation for the child, then the choice of adoption placement will be the one they’re making. Many mothers also want their children to grow up with opportunities that weren’t available to them, like education, housing, and mobility. This reason also relates to not having enough money or a lack of support from family members.
The Choice is Yours
At the end of the day, it is the decision of birth mothers. To outsiders, the choice could be seen as selfish or reckless. However, being aware and admitting that you are not ready and able to take care of a baby takes a lot of courage. The brave action of choosing to place their child for adoption deserves praise.
If you are going through an unexpected pregnancy and are uncertain about your future, experts at Adoption Choices of New York will guide you through the entire adoption process to ensure that you hold the control over your life.
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
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
“Addiction Passed Down Through Generations.” CRC Health Group. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://www.crchealth.com/drug-addiction-rehab/hereditary-addiction/.
“What Are the Reasons a Mother Would Place Her Child for Adoption?” Adoption.org. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://adoption.org/reasons-mother-place-child-adoption.