Post-placement, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your child’s birth mom. Giving up your baby for adoption comes with an overwhelming amount of emotions. If she needs to talk, talk to her! Remember to honor the commitment you made to your child’s birth mom about an open adoption. Join us in this post as we share 7 things you can do to help her after placement:
- Set a reminder to pop up on your phone to send her updates as promised. That way, you won’t forget to in the haze of new parenthood.
- Send her a thoughtful gift: think of something that would last longer than a bouquet or edible treat. Also, consider an additional cozy gift, like a beautiful fuzzy blanket or a special teddy bear that she can hold in her empty arms when she leaves the hospital. Make sure to double check with your attorney that gifts are allowable per adoption laws.
- Give her space: if she wants time with the baby, graciously give that to her with your blessing. If she needs time alone, don’t push. If she’s uncomfortable taking a photo, don’t demand it.
- Ask her how she’s doing, not just about the baby.
- Write her a letter to keep and give it to her before or as you say goodbye (until your next communication). Speak from the heart, and tell her how much she means to you and how you’ll never forget her, as well as your sincerest gratitude for choosing you and trusting you to raise her child.
- Offer to share the photos you took at the hospital, in case she didn’t have time or focus to take many.
- Include photos of all of you together when you share photos of your baby. That way, she can see the happy, loving family she helped create.
If she’s struggling or sharing emotions beyond your role as the adoptive parents to her child, remember the resources she has available. At Lifetime, we continue to be available to women after the adoption takes place, although many women often forget we’re there. We have counseling and peer support that may help her as she transitions into life-after-adoption. Also, the Lifetime scholarship is available to help her pursue her goals too! You don’t have to fill every need of your child’s birth mother, but you can point her to positive, healthy resources where she can get the help she needs, while you still build a loving connection together through open adoption.
Also, it may help you and your spouse to hear what open adoption is like from the birth mom’s point-of-view. Watch videos of birth moms sharing their story, in their own words.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.