It is extremely important to take care of yourself after placing your child for adoption. Each stage of adoption is a huge life change and dare we say, a roller coaster of emotion. You can break the process into 5 key stages: conception (considering and choosing adoption), the preparation (your unique adoption plan), the birth, the placement, and the post-placement.
Many of these stages are discussed in full, detail by detail. But often, the longest period is neglected: the post-placement.
After placing a child for adoption, going right back to how life was before the child is very difficult, and can be quite impossible. Too much has changed – perspectives, relationships, self-image, and there’s a new person in the world. You may lose focus or feel unmotivated. Grief, depression, or regret can overwhelm you if not taken seriously. Here are a few tips to consider for your post adoption care.
- Plan your post adoption before the birth. If you have chosen an open adoption, plan your communication with the adoptive family (including visitations, emails, calls, etc) before the baby is born.
- Take care of yourself. Consider if you will be going on disability or pregnancy leave after the delivery. Recovery is a big part of birth and you need it! If you have a job, will you go back to your same job? If you’re in school, will you go back to school? How about your living/housing situation?
- Recognize your support system. Some people may not be supportive of you and your decision so keep in mind who you can trust and turn to.As daunting as it sounds when you’re grief-stricken and mourning, life does continue after placement…
- Some people find safety and comfort in being left alone when they’re hurting. Try to think in advance –before the pain of the placement potentially makes you think irrationally– how you handle stressful, burdensome events and plan accordingly. Always prepare for the unexpected by having some people on call, just in case, but do what is best for you to allow yourself safety and peace.
- Lastly, try to set some goals for yourself to get back on your feet. Please understand that it is extremely important to take care of yourself and take time to heal and feel everything that comes with placement, but setting goals will give you something positive to look forward to. Something to make you feel accomplished and good about yourself. This can be something as simple as working on milestones for a hobby or learning something new, or something bigger like saving up for a trip. No matter what it is, find ways to progress, and it will help you push past any negativity.
Placing a child for adoption and becoming a birth mother are extremely difficult, and will forever be a part of who you are. Do what you can to make the best of it by planning ahead and taking care of yourself. Just like your amazing child, you deserve the best and are worth the effort. If you need more information about your adoption journey, contact Adoption Choices of Texas at 855-304-4673 (HOPE)