A Birth Mother’s adoption story doesn’t end when she leaves the hospital or when her consent becomes final. Adoption is a lifelong journey that is just beginning at that point. Immediately following the birth, it’s crucial that she is surrounded by the support of family, friends or another support network. The physical recovery from birth typically takes a couple of weeks, but the emotional recovery is a whole other story. The first few weeks are usually very difficult. Emotions are raw and the feelings of grief experienced are intense. Staying connected to a support system is crucial, but often her tendency is to pull away. It’s not unusual for her to feel jealous toward the adoptive parents.
Fortunately, there’s a growing community of post-placement support resources available for birth mothers throughout the U.S. Some of these resources offer online peer support while others hold annual, no-charge retreats especially for birth mothers. Many of these organizations also offer counseling, mentoring, support groups and educational scholarships.
Lifetime Healing, LLC
Description: Lifetime Healing LLC is a post placement care network dedicated to not only educating adoption professionals on the importance of lifetime resources and support for women that made the decision to place their child(ren) for adoption, but to also provide concrete tools to help them be successful when providing these services. Through an established and tested national training we hope to bring a vital and missing piece of ethical adoption to the forefront. Go to the Lifetime Healing website for details on support group locations.
Website Link: https://lifetimehealingadoption.com/
Number: (801) 477-7292
Description: Birthmom Buds is an organization and website that provides peer counseling, support, encouragement and friendship to birth moms as well as pregnant women considering adoption. BMB offers support through many different means, including: the buddy system, online forums and chat, live/in-person support through three different chapters, an annual retreat and more!
Website Link: http://birthmombuds.com
Number: 1 (855) 469-2283
Description: Embrace Grace, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of providing emotional, practical and spiritual support for single, young women and their families who find themselves in an unintended pregnancy. The primary goal of Embrace Grace is to empower churches across the nation to be a safe and non-judging place for the girls to run to when they find out they are pregnant, instead of the last place they are welcomed because of shame and guilt. The support groups they offer are held in numerous states and can be found on their website.
Website Link: http://embracegrace.com
Number: (817) 755-8484
Currently serving: 42 states and 5 countries
On Your Feet Foundation – Evanston, Illinois
Description: OYFF honors and values the choice birth parents have made to place their children for adoption, helps birth parents to become self-sufficient, and provides monetary support and community after placement. You can apply for assistance through their website.
Website Link: http://oyff.org
Number: (224) 858-6933
Birth Mother Bridge Ministries
Description: Their weekend retreats provide an opportunity to connect with others who share their experiences as birth mothers.
Website Link: http://www.birthmotherbridgeministries.com
Three Strands, Inc.
Description: Three Strands exists to love, serve and lock arms with a birth mom through a community of birth moms, adoptive moms, and older adopted children. They provide a community of support and begin with the delivery of Three Strands Bags to the hospital!
Website Link: http://www.threestrandsinc.org
Number: (470) 202-8848
Description: Brave Love is a national, not-for-profit public charity organization that exists to change the perception of adoption through honest, informative and hopeful communication that conveys the bravery of birth mothers. They believe birth mothers are heroes and adoption can be a beautiful thing. The website offers support through adoption education and numerous video testimonials.
Website Link: http://www.bravelove.org
Support Groups currently located in: OK, AZ, AL, TX, PA, KS, VA
Concerned United Birth Parents
Description: Concerned United Birth Parents is an organization focused on birth parents healing through retreats, support groups, and adoption reform. The CUB Retreat is a unique experience for birth parents, adoptees, adoptive parents and others affected by adoption. There are always interesting and insightful speakers, both professional and those speaking from the heart about their own experiences with adoption. There will be great entertainment and lots of laughs as well as tears. If you have never met a birth parent, or perhaps never met another birth parent in person, the retreat is a wonderful opportunity to connect in the real world with online friends, and to put a face to words and voices. If you have attended our retreats before, you already know what a healing experience they can be, for all whose lives have been affected by adoption — and how wonderful it is to meet old and new friends.
Website Link: http://www.cubirthparents.org
Number: (800) 822-2777
Millcreek Counseling and Adoption Services
Description: Millcreek provides counseling for expectant parent(s) as they prepare to place and for birth parent(s) after placement. Services offered: hospital support, grief counseling, orientation to adoption placement, and helping extended family with adoption grief. Rate for counseling is $85 per hour.
Website Link: https://millcreekadoptions.com/
Number: (801) 865-1453
Currently serving: Utah
Here are some links to a few different blogs that we love! All are written by birth mothers who are at different points in their adoption journeys. They have all been there and have experienced the ups and downs and the emotional rollercoaster that is adoption:
Another Choice: A Compassionate Guide to Placing a Child for Adoption
Author: Jennifer Bliss & Ann Wrixon
Description: Another Choice is a step-by-step guide to the entire process of placing a child for adoption. It discusses everything you need to know to ensure that you are making the best decision for yourself and your child, including how to find an ethical and empathic adoption provider, how to talk to the birth father about adoption, and how to find the best adoptive family. Most importantly, the authors discuss the emotional journey of placing a child for adoption, and provide real life examples and quotes from women who have already traveled this path so that you know you are not alone.
Author: Sharon Fox
Description: This book is dedicated to reframing the role of a birth mother and is designed to provide support, understanding, and information to grieving birth mothers who have given their child up for adoption so that they may move from an emotional loss to a renewed spirit of hope, joy, peace, and contentment. For a mother to gift her child to another family through adoption is a brave action. All adoptions can be grieved in healthy ways. The grief of birth mothers may be magnified by the little contact with their children and the adoptive parents. No matter how the adoption was structured, the birth mother will grieve her loss. The choice for the child should be either gift or guide-by gifting the child to another family or guiding the child by parenting. This is a new choice that is realistic, healthy, and a blessed decision. Think of adoption as a way to “gift” a child through adoption.
The Girl in the Orange Dress
Author: Margot Starbuck
Description: “Chosen.” “Special.” Those are the words Margot Starbuck used to describe herself as a child adopted into a loving family. And when her adoptive parents divorced, her dad moved east, and her mom and dad each got remarried, she told herself that she was extra loved, since she had more than two parents and people in different times zones who cared about her. But the word she really believed about herself was rejected. First by her birth parents. Then by her adoptive father when he moved away. Then by her stepfather. Then by her birth father a second time, when she tried to invite him into her life. Most of all, Margot felt rejected by God the Father, who she also suspected could not be trusted.
God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother
Author: Amy Seek
Description: This is a mother’s account of her decision to surrender her son in an open adoption and of their relationship over the twelve years that follow. Facing an unplanned pregnancy at twenty-two, Amy Seek and her ex-boyfriend begin an exhaustive search for a family to raise their child. They sift through hundreds of “Dear Birth Mother” letters, craft an extensive questionnaire, and interview numerous potential couples. Despite the immutability of the surrender, it does little to diminish Seek’s newfound feelings of motherhood. Once an ambitious architecture student, she struggles to reconcile her sadness with the hope that she’s done the best for her son, a struggle complicated by her continued, active presence in his life.