Most adoptive parents make plans and have expectations for the adoption process leading up to parenting. After the fact, though, many adoptive parents say that nothing could ever have prepared them for the actual moment they part ways with the birth mother. This period is usually filled with an outburst of intense emotions from each party.
In most states, adoptions can only be finalized upon the birth of the child. Some believe that the child’s birth may be capable of reversing the initial decision of the birth mother to give up her child for adoption, so when adoptive parents go to the hospital, the process of saying goodbye comes with a lot of mixed emotions. They may feel guilt for ‘taking’ the child from their birth mother and also fear the birth mother changing her mind.
Listed below are things you should prepare for as an adoptive parent when saying goodbye to your child’s birth parents.
You have to brace yourself for the intense emotions the birth mother may experience when parting with her child. Most times, the birth mother may find it hard to come to terms that she will be leaving the hospital without her child. Even if the adoption is an open one and the mother still has some level of access to the child, accepting that another person is going to raise her child can be challenging.
The overflow of emotion is not limited to the birth parent. Chances are that you, as the adoptive parents, have gotten to know the birth mother a bit and may have been present for the child’s birth. You may have bonded a bit with the birth mother and might be touched by her tears. It's okay to show those emotions.
Holding a newborn baby and knowing that this child is yours, for the rest of your lives, will almost certainly bring about immeasurable joy. Conversely, the birth mother also feels joy knowing she chose parents who will truly love and cherish the child she gave birth to.
This is a two-way street. While you may feel grateful to the birth parent for allowing you the opportunity to experience parenthood, the birth parent is also thankful to you for giving the child a life of security and love.
Pain and Guilt
It would be best if you also prepared yourself for some negative emotions. In many cases, guilt comes from the feeling that while you leave the hospital with a full arm and joyful heart, your child’s birth parent leaves empty-handed.
On the part of the birth mother, the fact that she came to the hospital pregnant and will not leave with a child in her hands may be difficult for her to bear. In some cases, adoptive parents can help ease the birth mother’s worries by assuring her that her child will be in safe hands, showered with love and attention. In an open adoption, they can also remind her that she will be able to see her child grow up and get to know them.
With the right mixture of patience and positive emotions, both parties can make this day one to remember.