Many people imagine a birthmother thinking about adoption as a teen or college-aged woman. The reality is that women of all ages choose adoption to help give their new baby a better life. However, women who choose to adopt out a baby when they already have kids in their home may experience different social challenges.
Reasons for Adoption
A woman who is already a mother often chooses to adopt out a child for the same reasons a first-time mother makes the decision. She may lack money, or her relationship with the father may be nonexistent or shaky. The reason may also have to do with the woman’s current state in life. She may be at a critical moment in her career, or she may have already raised a family and have no desire to start over.
Questions From Children
The biggest concern for most women is how they should explain the situation to their children. It is not easy for a mother to hide a pregnancy, and experts recommend that women be honest with their children when they are in a position to do so. Children in the home need to know that the baby will live with another family but that their own place in the home is not at risk.
Toddlers may not be old enough to realize anything unusual is happening. In such cases, explaining the situation too much may only confuse a young child. In these instances, the better choice may be to avoid discussion about the baby unless your child asks. Even then, simple answers will usually satisfy their curiosity.
Opinions of Others
Most women at this stage of their life will not be able to be away during the last few months of pregnancy. Neighbors, co-workers, and friends will have questions and want to talk about the future arrival. Many will believe the pregnancy was an intentional event to expand the family, and some may react negatively to the idea of adoption.
No one answer will satisfy everyone. The only way for women to manage the reactions they receive from others is to understand the reality of adoption and feel confident about their decision. Adoption statistics show that adopted children are generally happy and well cared for, and as a birthmother, you can stay in the child’s life if you want to. Consider these statistics:
- Nearly three out of every four adopted children under the age of five are read to or sung to every day.
- 90 percent of adoptive parents said they would go through the process again to have their child.
- 90 percent of adopted children over age five feel positive about their adoption.
- All birth mothers have the right to choose how much contact they want with the adoptive family and the child after adoption.
- Adoptive families are more statistically likely to live in safe, family-friendly neighborhoods than non-adoptive families.
Your child will likely have a great life with an adoptive family, so remember these statistics if you get pushback from people who don’t know a lot about adoption.
Support for Women
Counseling services and emotional support through online and in-person support groups help many birthmothers. Advice and stories from others can help people have the reassurance they need that their choice was correct. Family therapy can give older children in the home the opportunity to discuss their own emotions and feel more secure.
All birthmothers have questions and concerns, and women who already have children in the home may have a few more than others. At Arizona Adoption Help we can answer your questions and help you find the resources you need. Contact us to explain your situation so we can help you to make the right choice for you and your baby.