Pregnant woman talks to a peer support counselor about adoptionWhen you find out you’re pregnant, the emotions you feel are complex. Feelings of worry, fear, sadness, and even happiness are totally normal. This is also the case if you’re choosing adoption.
Adoption is a big decision, and you might not feel ready to make a choice until you go to counseling. Counseling comes in many forms, including peers, groups, and professionals. A combination of several types of counseling can help you make the best decision for your baby.
To get more of an understanding of these emotions, you might wonder who you can talk to. The best person to speak to is a person who has already done it before: a birth mother.

The Benefits of Peer Support

Peer support counseling from a birth mother provides a significant amount of support when you’re unsure what to do or feel. In fact, many women thinking about adoption aren’t sure how they should feel. They might feel a combination of grief and fear mixed with happiness and excitement. Some people may even feel guilt.
Talking to a birth mother gives you insight from somebody who has been in your shoes before. This person has navigated the same waters you feel lost in now. That means they can provide you with an understanding you cannot get from anybody else.
The best news? Peer support is available to you for free when you are building an adoption plan. You also have access to counseling as you need it. Through Lifetime, you can receive access to different support systems, including one that is made up of birth mothers with first-hand experience.
It’s so beneficial to have a support system during this time. You may already have built a support system made up of family members and friends. Or, you may be surrounded by people who disagree with your decision. In either case, it can really help to have a birth mother who stands behind your decision and is willing to provide emotional help.
Woman texting with a Lifetime peer support counselor

What Should You Ask a Birth Mother?

You may have a lot of questions for a birth mother, and the good news is you can ask as many questions as you want. A birth mother has had many of the same questions as you, and she is well-equipped to answer them after having gone through it.
One question a lot of potential birth mothers have relates to how to choose an adoptive family. What should you look for in an adoptive family’s profile? What makes them better than other adoptive couples? The truth is that you are the only one who can choose the right family for your child, but you can still seek advice on how to look at each profile you get.
Many pregnant women who are choosing adoption want to know how they will know they are making the right decision. Uncertainty is a common emotion, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. The birth mother you speak to might express that she had the same feelings. This can be reassuring, and your conversation can give you some pointers for dealing with emotions like guilt and anxiety that might come up in the coming weeks.
You might also want to ask about how she coped with the emotions and feelings of loss after the adoption placement. Post-adoption and post-partum feelings can be strong, and they can be mixed. Some birth mothers cope with the help of counseling, support network, and building confidence. There are many ways to deal with your feelings, and a peer can show that doing so in a healthy way can lead to new adventures in the future.
Additionally, family relationships can be complicated after adoption. You might not be sure about the boundaries that exist between you and your child’s adoptive parents. A birth mother can help you navigate this new relationship with helpful tips from her own experience.

Where Can You Find Peer Support?

For many birth mothers, peer support is so crucial for those times when you need to lean on somebody for help. Sometimes just hearing from someone who has been in a similar situation eases fears and anxiety that make your decision feel overwhelming. You may just need some assurance that everything will be okay.
Lifetime Adoption offers peer support for women thinking about adoption. You can meet the birth mothers offering peer support here. Talking with a birth mother can provide a sense of security and allow you to feel more grounded and confident in your choice.

Thinking about adoption but have feelings of uncertainty? Call or text us at
1-800-923-6784 to learn more about the resources available to you.

Heather Featherston
Written by Heather Featherston

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.

Read more about Heather Featherston


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