The Birth Mother
Couples, who have found themselves at the end of the line in terms of having their own biological child, often will turn to adoption as a way to fill the desire for children. However, adoption holds some deeply emotional stresses for a young woman who decides to offer her baby to another person to raise and call their own.
What Does A Birth Mother Go Though?
A birth mother goes through feelings of guilt and depression. Although each young woman who decides to give her baby up has done so with certainty, a part of her wants to keep and hold her baby. Often these women are relinquishing the child as a direct response to parental pressure. Perhaps the fact that abortion among young women is so high is because it effectively reduces the pressure without having to experience the life of the baby.
The birth mother often has great emotional difficulties and needs help in mourning the loss of her baby. Society has not been much help, as a young woman often has to face the guilt of having "abandoned" her baby. There is a great need for young women who opt to keep their babies to have the help and support of others, including government support, in order to be able to do a good job raising their child. Adoption agencies should be part of this support group as well. Rather than existing only to provide childless couples with a family, the aspect of the birth mother should also be relevant. By feeling as though releasing her child to a family is part of planning for the baby's future, a birth mother may feel she has participated positively in the child's life.
The Anguish Of Not Knowing
Today there are options available in the process of adoption that allows the birth mother to be involved in her child's life, should she choose to do so. There are also closed adoptions, where neither the child nor the mother is able to be in touch. For women who gave their babies up for adoption many years ago, there was no option-it was closed and neither mother nor child would be able to find each other. Today, records are open and stories abound of birth mothers and their adopted children finding one another. Some of the stories are very happy and others very sad as mothers, laden with guilt, try to make up for the anguish they experienced over the years.
She Is A Mother, Too
The fact is that a woman who gives her child up for adoption is a mother, regardless whether she raises her baby or not. While birth mothers in hospitals are often surrounded with loving family, friends, gifts, flowers and well wishers, the relinquishing mother is often left feeling very alone. Even though they will not take their baby home with them, they are still mothers and feel all of the same feelings any woman who has given birth feels.
Clearly, women who choose to offer their baby for adoption need support and help to mourn their loss and the compassion to understand that they too, are mothers.