Blog// For Birthmothers

Where to Find Adoption Support Groups

Whether you are an adoptive parent or a birthmother, seeking the support of others as you navigate the adoption and post-placement process can have a positive effect on many aspects of your journey. Read more to discover the importance of adoption support groups, where to find them, and additional resources for birthmothers and adoptive parents.

What are adoption support groups?

Adoption support groups help birthmothers and adoptive parents find a community and build relationships with others who are going through similar experiences. They provide education, social activities, and opportunities to get support and learn from other families and/or professionals. 

Adoptive parents and birthmothers can find adoption support groups that are relevant to their unique needs during the adoption wait, through the placement process, and after the adoption has been finalized. Their respective needs will look different and vary depending on what stage of the process they’re a, so gaining additional assistance through a support group will be particularly meaningful when things are tough or overwhelming.

What are the benefits of adoption support groups?

Adoption support groups offer many benefits for both birthmothers and adoptive parents. Just a few of note include emotional support from peers and professionals, connection to helpful resources, providing healing from the challenges of the adoption process, and tools for navigating your adoption arrangement. The most important benefit of adoption support groups is that they connect you with others and allow you to become part of a community and learn from one another as you navigate the joys, challenges, and everything else that adoption brings.

What support do birthmothers need throughout the adoption process? 

Birthmothers who are considering adoption did not choose this path lightly. In fact, this may be the biggest decision they ever make in their life. Because of this, birthmothers need support throughout all aspects of the adoption process. For example, birthmothers often need help with creating an adoption plan, navigating communication with prospective adoptive families, choosing the right family for their baby, preparing for childbirth, dealing with the legal aspects of adoption, caring for any children they already have, maintaining their prenatal health, and more. 

After her adoption is finalized, a birthmother will be dealing with many difficult and complicated emotions, such as guilt, relief, doubt, sadness, all while recovering physically from giving birth. During this delicate time, she will need the support of her loved ones, the adoptive family, and her case worker. She will also benefit greatly from having other birthmothers who have gone through the adoption process and understand the emotions she’s experiencing. She may also need support with dealing with the post-adoption arrangement with her child and the adoptive family and with getting back on her feet after placement.

What support do adoptive parents need throughout the adoption process? 

Similarly to birthmothers, adoptive parents need different levels of support at various points throughout the adoption process, including handling the legal and financial aspects of adoption, communicating with potential birthmothers, and dealing with the array of emotions that come up throughout the process. During this time, adoption support groups provide a sense of community with others who are experiencing the same thing in addition to tools for dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of adoption. This especially helps when adoptive families are feeling alone or isolated.

During the post-placement period, adoptive parents will need support navigating the general challenges of parenting, communicating with the birthmother if they have an open adoption arrangement, and successfully raising an adopted child. 

Parenting an adopted child is a lifetime commitment, with various challenges and situations that will arise at different points throughout the child’s life. For example, as the child gets older, the adoptive parents may need assistance or tools related to their child navigating their sense of identity or posing questions about their adoption. These kinds of situations are when it can be beneficial for adoptive parents them to have a support network of other adoptive parents to rely on in the form of a trusted adoption support group. 

What should I consider when searching for an adoption support group?

Every person is different and will have different needs from an adoption support group. For both birthmothers and adoptive parents, there are certain things that can be considered when seeking an adoption support group including: 

  • What level of support are you looking for? 
  • Would it be beneficial to find a type of support group that is more specific to your situation, e.g., a support group for families in an open adoption arrangement or an interracial adoption?
  • Do you want to attend a support group meeting online or in person? 
  • How much time are you looking to dedicate to the support group? 
  • What resources do you hope to get from the support group? 

How do I find adoption support groups?

There is an abundance of online and in-person adoption support groups for both birthmothers and adoptive parents. A good place to start is by consulting your adoption professional who may have suggestions or be able to point you towards an adoption support group in your area. At LifeLong Adoptions, we’ve put together a list of adoption support resources for both birthmothers and prospective adoptive parents.

You can also use MeetUp to find adoption support groups in your area if you would like to attend in person. Birthmothers and adoptive parents who are more inclined to attend online support group sessions will find that social media and online forums offer ways to get support, meet others who are in similar situations, find relevant resources, and more.

However you find or interact with whatever adoption support group you choose, just know that having the support of others in your situation and professionals who are qualified to help provide tools, resources, and education can make your adoption journey that much smoother. 

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