There is no perfect way to prepare to place your child for adoption, but these suggestions may be a good place to start.
1. Get to Know the Adoptive Family
Getting to know the family who will be adopting your child can do wonders to appease fears and provide peace of mind. If an open adoption, you can discuss openly what expectations each party has and plan for the future. This will also allow you to gain perspective on the values the adoptive family holds and insight into the life into which your child will enter.
2. Seek a Support System
Regardless of how you might feel now, you will need support after you place your child. Your emotions may ebb and flow. Even the strongest of people will need someone in their corner through big life events. This support system may look like family and friends, or you may benefit from professional counseling. It is vital to not go through placement alone. Just as you are making a decision for your child, you will need to go into it with the understanding that saying and doing are two different things. It is completely normal for feelings and emotions to change, making love and support vital during this time.
3. Set Up After Care
Along with love and support from friends and family, your adoption agency should provide after-care, which often comes in the form of professional one-on-one counseling. While some states allow for birth parents to waive this counseling, it is incredibly worthwhile. A counselor can help you work through your feelings and build strategies for your future. Even if you do not feel the need for counseling, it is good to have the tools in case your feelings change.
4. Understand It’s Okay to Feel However You Need
There may be many along your adoption journey who tell you how you should be feeling or how you need to feel. At the end of the day, only you know how you truly feel. Know that there is no right or wrong. Your feelings, positive or negative, happy or sad, are all valid. You are entitled to feel however you need or want to feel. Placement can bring a whole host of emotions. While one parent may feel extreme sadness at placement, another may feel a sense of relief that they did the right thing. While one parent may be okay, another parent may feel an incredible sense of regret and remorse. It is okay for you to feel however you need to feel at placement and to seek support accordingly.
There is no perfect way to prepare to place your child for adoption, but there may be a perfect way for you as a person.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.