December 25, 2009, Newsletter Issue #171: Birth Parent Coping

Tip of the Week

It is important to recognize that birth parents need time to grieve after they place a child for adoption. Although the birth parents have decided to choose 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 birth parent, and they should allow themselves enough time to grieve. Birth parents may look to family and close friends to help them through their grieving process, but it is often hard for others to understand what a birth parent is going through if they haven't experienced it in their own life.

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

After the placement of the child, the birth parent may feel detached from friends and not enjoy activities they used to love quite as much. As the birth parents 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 birth parents at first. The birth parents 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 for a while.

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