It’s often said that the day your child is born is the happiest day of your life and for most parents that’s true.
Except for mothers who are placing their child for adoption.
On the day a birth mom has her child, she will reaffirm the only parenting decision that she feels is right – to not parent the child. That is, to allow another family to parent the child she has carried for 40 weeks of her life, knowing her love and work will be a joy for someone else.
A mother’s first response when faced with an unplanned pregnancy is not to “give up her baby.” Placing her child for adoption is a choice that is made after long, careful consideration. Typically, it’s an emotional time filled with second-guessing.
That’s why adoptive parents’ initial responsibility is not to the child they will parent, but to the mother who made them parents. To the mother who, at this time, knows that she cannot provide the life she wants for her child.
Birth parents are to be cherished and respected throughout the adoption process. They need support, time, and understanding, especially if they’re placing a newborn.
By the time the adoptive and birth parents see each other at the hospital for the birth of their child, they “know” one another and are comfortable together. They have talked on the phone during the interview process. They have met in person. They may have even exchanged email, text messages or phone calls. But more than anything it is the friendship and support adoptive parents provide the birth parents at the hospital that sets the tone for their life-long relationship.
Graceful Adoptions expects the adoptive parents to spend most of their time at the hospital with the birth parents. We want the parents to share meals, tell stories, laugh and cry together. Sure, you will spend some time with the child, and if you are first time parents you will learn how to bathe and care for the child. However, your priority is to spend quality time with your child’s mother and, if she chooses, for her to spend quality time with her child.
The more you understand and show empathy and compassion for the birth parents, the stronger your relationship will be which is better for everyone involved.