Find Post-Placement Support as a Birth Mother
Sometimes being a birth mother after placement can be incredibly lonely. You may feel as if nobody understands. You have been through trauma, and everywhere you look, there are reminders. Triggers haunt you, and you desire a place to be safe. A place you can go and be free to express your darkest thoughts and deepest loneliness. A place to heal. That is what support groups and resources are for. The following outlines how you can seek out the resources you need and support you require to begin the healing process.
Local Support Groups
The first step to take is to reach out to the adoption professional that you worked with and ask if there are any local resources for support groups. Hopefully, you will have this information prior to placement, but if you haven’t received it previously, now is the time to ask. Adoption professionals may have reading lists, know of a support group or provide one, have counseling options, phone numbers of women who have chosen adoption for their babies, etc. The only way you will know if these resources are available is to ask.
If your adoption professional doesn’t know of any local support groups, call a few hospitals, churches, or other institutions to see if you can find a support group close to you that you can begin attending. There will be areas in which no local support for birth mothers exist. In this case, perhaps it’s time to start your own.
What If I Want to Start My Own Support Group?
Starting your own support group will give you something healthy to put your energy and focus into. You will have the ability to be creative, utilize your skills, and begin finding other birth mothers who seek healing as well in your local area. Advertise it on Facebook, in the local newspaper, and reach out to your adoption professional, churches and hospitals to let people know you have a support group available where healing becomes possible.
The internet has proven to make our lives easier in some ways, one of which is finding online forums and groups in which one can express their feelings freely without face-to-face interaction. Be cautious that you are sure the website you are using is birth mom-friendly, as there are sites out there condemning adoption. Once you find a great forum and begin the healing process, share your story with others as a testimony to how healing is possible.
National and Local Resources
Depending on what area you live in, there will be different resources. Some areas seriously lack post-placement support and resources, while other areas prove to have a plethora of options. Here are some organizations with chapters throughout the United States that help local birth moms and the communities they affect.
Three Strands believes in the value of birth mothers in the adoption triad. They bring gift bags to birth moms in the hospital and provide post-placement support after adoption. Three Strands has not forgotten about birth mothers and their important place in the adoption triad.
On Your Feet Foundation
“On Your Feet Foundation honors and values the choice birth parents have made to place their children for adoption, helps birth parents become self-sufficient, and provides support and community after placement.”
Concerned United Birth Parents
“The only national organization focused on birthparents – their experiences, healing and wisdom – CUB serves all those affected by adoption and all who are concerned about adoption issues. Although our focus is on birthparents, long the forgotten people of the adoption community, we welcome adoptees, adoptive parents, and professionals. We find that we all have much to learn from each other and that sharing our feelings and experiences benefits all of us.”
Birthmother Bridge Ministries
“Our mission is to honor birthmothers for their decision to give life. We are dedicated to sharing God’s love through support and community with other birthmothers after placement.”
Linked Thru Love
“As Birth Mothers, and having been in these women’s shoes ourselves, we have a heart for these courageous women as we know what their lives have been like. We want to change the stereotype of women who place in society, lifting them up and showing how their selfless act is one of courage rather than one of shame in their lives.”
You can find more post-placement support groups and events around the country and read inspiring stories from other birth parents at BraveLove.
Going through the grief and overwhelming emotion of life post-placement left me feeling empty and alone. I looked for support groups in my area, and was greatly saddened to discover that there was a serious lack of support for birth mothers. In the adoption triad, birth mothers may seem to have been forgotten. Adopted children and their adoptive parents have each other, but where does a birth mother go to escape the perpetual loneliness and seek solace?
I spent two years in post-placement life miserable. I couldn’t create healthy relationships to save my life, felt incredibly depressed daily, and knew of nowhere to turn. Then it happened: I woke up one morning and decided I was done living that way. I began my healing journey after placement without knowing it. What made the largest impact was the morning that I decided to write my story and dedicate my life to helping birth mothers walk a path of healing.
I have written two books, been writing blogs for over a year, and am on a journey to create curriculum for a nationwide support group for birth mothers.
No matter how you are feeling, know that you are never alone — because I am here too.