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In addition to understanding the complexity of adoption loss, it is critical that you understand and identify the birth mother as a mother. A mother who has placed her child for adoption is still a mother; she has been separated from her child, but she has not surrendered her motherhood.
Just as it would be insensitive to tell a grieving mother that she can always have more children, after the stillborn death of her baby, or that she was better off for the death of her child; it is likewise insensitive to make these comments to a mother who has given her child up for adoption.
Yet, birth mothers often report hearing these things frequently over the course of their lives. They are expected to get over their losses, replace their firstborns with other children, and accept that they are better off without their babies. It is important to understand the birth mother’s role in the adoption process, and treat her with respect for her decision to give her child a better life than she felt she was able to provide at that point in her life.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|