May 12, 2006, Newsletter Issue #49: Birthparent Coping

Tip of the Week

It is important to recognize that birthparents need time to grieve after they plan a child for adoption. Although the birthparents have decided that they wanted to plan an adoption and are happy with the adopting parents they chose, they still need to grieve the loss of their child. The first year will be the hardest on the birthparent, and they should allow themselves enough time to grieve. Birthparents may look to family and close friends to help them through their grieving process, but it is often hard to others to understand what a birthparent is going through if they havenít experienced in their own life.

It is important for family and friends to be supportive, but also that birthparents realize that others may not really know how to help them cope. Birthparents should determine realistic expectations of others. If the support they need isnít available through friends and family, they should search for a counselor or support group for help.

After the placement of the child, the birthparent may feel detached from friends and not enjoy activities they used to love quite as much. As the birthparents work towards recovery, they will regain a more positive outlook on life. In open adoptions, establishing a relationship with the child may be very difficult for the birthparents at first. The birthparents should keep a realistic view about the relationship they hope to establish and that it may be hard to see pictures of their child with another set of parents at first.

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