Adoption Birthmothers & Their History
Adoption isn't a new trend. For many generations, women have been choosing to place their children with adoptive parents over raising them by themselves. Some of those selected families are relatives of the birthmother. Others happen to be 'friends of friends' or unknown to the birth mother. The Bible provides for us the story of Moses' mother's choice that when his life was endangered, she happily permitted someone else to raise her son.
The number of domestic adoptions which are part of recorded history are incredible. The year 1944 was regarded as a low year in the world of adoption with 50,000 documented. Adoption hit an all-time high in 1970 with 175,000 noted placements. Before 1970, most adoptions were closed, meaning neither the birth mom knew exactly where her child was going nor the adoptive mother and father knew from where the child was coming. At the mid-point of the eighties, 104,000 placements were documented.
Even though the decision for adoption may differ, the ending is basically the same: mother carries baby, mother delivers baby, mother goes home and the baby goes with the adopting parents. What happens to the new mother after she leaves the hospital alone? Think about these three familiar scenarios:
1. A woman finds out she is pregnant and decides to parent her child. She can visit a myriad of support groups and learn about parenting, nursing, nutrition, discipline and scheduling. She will meet other women that are dealing with the same thing.
2. A woman finds she is expecting a baby and chooses abortion. Afterward, she finds she cannot sleep, cannot eat and can't function on the job. She discovers help at a local center that provides an abortion recovery group to help her understand why she is feeling the way she is. She meets various other woman like her and learns she's not alone.
3. A woman has a child, decides on adoption, then finds herself struggling to deal with the overwhelming sense of loss and despair. Where can she go? Who helps her? She can turn to the adoption professional to find adoption counseling to help with her specialized feelings of loss. Her child is not deceased, so a memorial service does not supply the closure she so desperately needs.
The birthmother is definitely an essential member of the adoption triad. The adoptive baby and adoptive parents seem to get all the attention, but it is important to remember that the birth mother is mourning.