The Birthmother Experience

The experience of becoming a birthmother is so unique and I hope that sharing my experience will bring you hope and perspective should this be the path you choose.

I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I felt like my entire life was crashing down around me. I felt shame, anxiety, worry, and so many more emotions all at once. This was never part of the plan. The birthfather was unsupportive and chose not to be a part of my pregnancy. My family was extremely disappointed in me. I was alone and honestly thought that I had made my bed and now had to lay in it. I planned to be a single mom. I was going to school at the time. It had been a goal of mine to graduate from my university in four years. Being a mom, and a single mom at that, was going to make that very difficult. I had to give up on that dream and take on the responsibility that was coming. It was extremely scary. It wasn’t until I was about 8 months that someone suggested I look into my options.

At that point I didn’t know I had options since I had decided against abortion. I was very against adoption given what I knew about it (which I came to find out was very little). I could never give my child away to someone and hope that she was going to be okay. She was my flesh and blood and I would not have been able to live with myself. But even with that in mind, I still decided to look into it. I found an agency’s website and started looking into open adoption. It sounded to good to be true at first. I wasn’t sure how exactly it would work, but I decided to look further into it. By this time I was 36 weeks. I thought it was too late, but the agency walked me through the entire process. I looked through profiles and one family stood out to me. I chose to meet with them and I instantly fell in love with them. They were perfect.

I could not have found better parents for her. Our relationship is natural. Our bond is strong and based on mutual love and respect. They are so committed to the relationship that we share and make it a constant priority that my birth daughter know who I am and that I be a part of her life. I have never doubted that I made the right decision. I did not make this decision for myself, but in hopes that my daughter would have the most wonderful life filled with opportunities I could not provide by myself. She deserved the best, and she got that. I am a part of a beautiful thing. I graduated in May 2014 (meeting my 4 year goal) and she is my inspiration. I have achieved these things because of open adoption. Fast forward six years and I am still getting updates on how she is growing and thriving, while achieving my own dreams. I have the best of both worlds and I have come so far because of the decision I made to place her.

The birthparent experience is unlike any other experience I have gone through. It is beautiful, but at the same time very painful. There is no denying that making the decision to place your child in an open adoption is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make. It can be scary and that is okay. Birthparents are just as scared as everyone else involved. It is a new experience that has to be taken day by day. In my own personal experience I feel the ups and downs often, and it is ok to feel those deep emotions. There are good days and there are bad days, but ultimately it is the most beautiful and rewarding thing I have ever been a part of. I love my birth daughter and I love her adoptive parents with all my heart.


Adoption Process

We are writing to share some information as it relates to your adoption. For families waiting to be identified by prospective birth parents, the wait can be the most difficult part of the process. We continue to be here to support and guide you through what can be an emotionally trying time. A number of families have asked how long they will need to wait. Unfortunately, no one can answer that question or provide a guarantee. What we can say, however, from many years of experience and countless successful adoptions is that we remain confident everyone will be successful in just a matter of time.

The US is seeing the lowest birth rate in thirty years which certainly adversely affects the number of adoptions annually. We share this information to make you aware, not frighten you. Faced with the lower birth rate and other factors, families are choosing to be more proactive by further expanding their exposure, allowing prospective birth parents to find them. Some will engage our social media representative who advertises directly for them on Facebook and other forums while others will place print advertisements after consulting with us to discuss “adoption friendly states.”

To continue to provide you with the best possible service, making ourselves accessible to prospective birth parents around the country, we have substantially elevated our online presence. Traffic to our improved website has increased and numerous calls continue to come in daily. In addition, we network with adoption professional throughout the US who will consider our families when prospective birth parents come to them searching for a family. We also maintain relationships with OBGYN offices, pregnancy crisis centers, and hospitals who are invited to reach out to us should a woman inquire about adoption as an option.

In addition, to fall in line with what other adoption professionals are offering, we are assisting prospective birth mothers earlier in their pregnancy with the payment of reasonable pregnancy related expenses. If we do nothing these woman will look elsewhere. Risk vs reward has always been a consideration and will continue to be. We are confident in our ability to successfully manage each and every situation, including situations where there is a greater financial risk to you. While we urge you to consult with your CPA, it is our understanding that in the event a prospective birth mother receives financial assistance from you and does not place her child for adoption, you may write off your financial loss as a charitable contribution. With that, the financial risk decreases and opportunity increases.

With adjustments we have and will continue to make, we are hopeful your chances of adopting will increase substantially in a shorter period of time. If you would like to talk about the information provided or anything else, please let us know.

Ready to AdoptU.S. Births Dip To 30-Year Low; Fertility Rate Sinks

The results put the U.S. further away from a viable replacement rate — the standard for a generation being able to replicate its numbers.

Does placing my baby for adoption make me a bad person?

When I was making the decision whether or not to place my baby for adoption I struggled with this same question. Unfortunately, there is a lot of shame placed on women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We are often times thought of as irresponsible and careless. On top of that shame placed on us, there is still ignorance about adoption that creates an additional stigma. Society tells us that women who place their babies are taking the easy way out or are running away from their responsibilities. I have come to learn that it is the exact opposite. These women are making the hardest decision and taking full responsibility for making the best choice for their child.

Some people would say to me that I was making a brave and selfless decision, but to be honest I didn’t feel that way. I weighed out my options and while I was making the decision that was best for my baby, I was also making the decision that was best for me. I felt selfish for wanting my life back to the way it was before. I felt shame that I couldn’t parent on my own. So while my selfish reasons helped me to make my decision, the driving force in my decision to place my daughter for adoption was my desire for her to have the best life. She deserved that. And let me tell you that placing my daughter was the most difficult experience of my life. As sure as I was about my decision, my heart was betraying my head. It hurt. When it really came down to it I forgot all about my selfish reasons and the only thing that kept me going was knowing she deserved a life I couldn’t give her on my own. It wasn’t about me; it was about her.

I mean I may be biased, but I think birthparents are some of the most courageous and selfless people. They are making the ultimate sacrifice. They are putting their child’s needs above the wants and desires of their own heart. It really doesn’t get any braver than that. They are taking a difficult experience and making it into something beautiful. And that is something to be proud of. It takes a special kind of person to make that sacrifice. Placing your baby for adoption doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a beautiful person.

Birth Mother

Choosing the Parents for My Baby

When I knew that I was going to place my baby for adoption, I wanted to find the best parents I could for my child. That is one of the most important parts of the adoption experience that I had with Adoptions First. These are the people that will be adopting your child. The people that will be raising them, teaching them and loving them.

I wanted a couple who had been married for a little while and that were family orientated. I wanted a family that loved the outdoors and were animal lovers. I also wanted someone who was down to earth and had similar values as me. Let me tell you, it is one of the most difficult things ever to pick people to raise your child.

It took me a while to choose the adopting parents as there were several families that I really liked. With Elisabeth’s support, I was ready to talk to an adopting Mom that I had been thinking a lot about. I felt so comforted knowing that Elisabeth not only took the time to get to know me, but the adopting families she works with. So when I asked her questions about the adopting mom, she was actually able to answer me honestly. With Elisabeth’s support and advice, I was ready to talk to her.

The first time that we talked the conversation went very smoothly. There was not a pause or any moments of awkward silences. We really connected. We talked a few times getting to know each other and I discovered a lot of things about them that I was looking for. They both were close to their families and also loved the outdoors. There is a place where a grew up that my family holds dear to our hearts and I came to find out that they loved to go there for camping and hiking. They had a dog at home and loved all sorts of animals. The mom works in a creative industry and the dad is a writer. It made me very happy to know that they worked in creative fields because I also love the arts and it is something that I have enjoyed my entire life.

I fell in love with these people and then I realized that I had found the parents for my child. They were everything I had hoped for and wanted. It can sometimes be overwhelming to find parents for your child but the best thing that you can do is to get to know them, ask as many questions as your mind can think of and make the decision with your heart. Your heart will not steer you in the wrong direction.

With my open adoption, it helps me more with knowing that the decision was the right one. Just recently, the adopting mom texted me that she had read some of my writings. She told me that it touched her heart in a deep way and affirmed our connection together forever. She promised that my little girl will know that I’m truly amazing and strong and that she has no doubt we will reunite in the future when the timing is best for all. She truly believes what we have is special and that she will know she is loved and supported by all of us.

Her words touched my heart, so deep down. It made me realize how powerful adoption truly is. It makes me feel whole from it all, knowing that she will make sure that my little girl knows I didn’t do any of this because I didn’t want her but I did it because I love her and want her to have the best possible life and family.

How I Define “Birthmother”

When we first began to explore adoption in order to start our family almost ten years ago, we realized that besides the goal of wanting a baby, I wasn’t going to have a lot in common with my friends who were pregnant and starting their families. At a time when we should have been leading almost parallel lives, it really felt as though we were worlds apart.

So as we dove into our own world, we were faced with the term “birth mother” over and over again. And then there were questions about a birth mother – what type of relationship did we want before the birth of her baby and then what type of contact did we want after?

To be honest, until we actually spoke to our first expectant mother, it was hard to put a “face to a name”. But once we had that first conversation and we just had that gut feeling that this was “the one” for us, it was the most human and heartfelt moment I had ever experienced.

At a time when we could have felt very alone, navigating the adoption process and learning about birth mothers through the help of Elisabeth and Adoptions First made us feel anything but. They helped us feel grounded and supported through it all.

When I speak to people now who don’t know a lot about adoption and I tell them about our journey, they sometimes reply with a look of disbelief. And I simply tell them that while you were going for ultrasounds and glucose tests, I was getting finger printed for my home study and talking to birth moms; something that felt far more natural to me at that time than anything else I had endured in our efforts to start our family.

And now all these years later, I am not only honored, but completely humbled by our three children’s birth mothers. Each one of these beautiful women who are affectionately known as a Tummy Mummy in our family, has shown us the true meaning of sacrifice and has helped make our dreams a reality. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about them and all three have a very special place in my heart.