Adoption is permanent. Will I regret my decision? What if I miss my child so much it hurts? What if, at some point, I regret giving my baby up for adoption? What if the grief is too much? What if I just can’t deal with placing my child for adoption? There are so many “what-ifs.” There are so many reasons not to choose adoption. There are so many fears of the unknown associated with the decision for adoption. The truth is, you only need one reason to choose adoption, and that is because you know it is the best decision for your child.
Is Adoption the Right Decision?
Adoption: the hardest decision you will ever make, and yet, the best decision you might ever make. Once you know in your heart that adoption is the best decision, the questions about what you will experience come. It’s normal. It’s expected. It’s overwhelming. It’s confusing. Above all, the grief can be consuming.
I have words of hope for you though: No matter how much it hurts, or how many questions you have, or whatever happens: healing is possible.
Grief is Guaranteed
There are certain emotions that you can expect when you choose adoption for your child. The most important emotional process that you will go through is experiencing the stages of grief. Grief is inevitable as you are facing a sort of loss. While you haven’t technically lost your child, you have lost a role that you thought you might play in his or her life. It’s important to understand that while you are experiencing grief, it’s not going to last forever.
What You Are Really Greiving
Grieving your child, and the role you thought you would play in his or her life, is completely normal and expected when the decision for adoption is made. This will probably hit you the hardest after placement, as it did for me. There are many resources available when it comes to processing grief, and it’s important to tap into them. Everyone experiences grief a little differently, and the more insight you have into your grief process, the easier it will be to heal from it. Whatever you do, do not ignore the grief or isolate yourself. You will only end up making it worse.
But What If I Really Do Regret My Adoption Decision?
Now for the most important question: What if I regret my decision for adoption? The answer: you might. There is no positive way to spin regret. But I can tell you this: if you truly have made the adoption decision on your own, and you firmly believe that it is the best decision for your child, then it is very unlikely you will genuinely regret your decision.
Why Do I Feel Regret?
I have read plenty of articles on women who regret their decision for adoption. They are some of the saddest stories I have ever read. Except that they all seem to have a common thread: Adoption is a regret when healing was never walked out.
Women who regret their adoption decision typically miss their children, and haven’t given themselves the time to heal nor the focus, motivation, and energy that it requires to heal. Let me be clear: healing is no easy feat. The key to healing is having the desire to heal, the understanding that it will be necessary to live a happy and healthy life, and then following through with the healing process.
I Do Not Regret My Adoption Decision
I can tell you that seven years later, I do not regret my decision for adoption for my son. In fact, I have never experienced regret for choosing adoption. I have experienced tremendous grief, and at times was not sure if I could survive it, but I have. Today, I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in my life. It has taken effort. I have been through many traumatic experiences in addition to choosing adoption. My healing has gone much deeper than choosing adoption. I have healed from abuse, mistreatment, manipulation, and loneliness. I have worked very hard on myself to be the woman that I am today. I don’t do anything perfectly, but I wake up every morning and give each day my best foot forward.
“I regret giving my baby up for adoption.”
If you have said this statement in your head, or even out loud to another person, I have a few questions that I would ask you:
- Have you processed your grief and the other emotions that go along with choosing adoption?
- Do you honestly believe that you made the wrong decision for your child?
- If you could go back in time and change your decision, would you honestly be able to?
- Do you really believe your child would have been better off if you hadn’t chosen adoption?
- Is it truly that regret is what you are experiencing, or is there something else going on within your heart that needs healing?
If you really do regret your decision for adoption, then my heart goes out to you. I cannot imagine making that decision and then regretting it. However, I still have some words of hope for you: I believe that you can find peace if you desire it. Tap into the resources around you. Surround yourself with people who will love on you, support you, and encourage you.
Additional Reading and Resources on Healing, Grief, and Regret
Here are some additional articles that may help you understand what you are feeling and how you might find peace:
- Why I Don’t Regret My Adoption Decision
- Feelings to Expect After Placement
- Why It’s Important to Live for Yourself
Please seek help if you are experiencing overwhelming emotions that you do not have the ability to process. Emotions can sway us into desperate places and illogical decisions. If you find you just cannot handle what you are going through, please get help.
You Are Never Alone
Although I hold no regrets regarding my adoption decision, I still have a very comprehensive understanding of the grief process. You are not alone. I have been there. If someone like me can not only survive choosing adoption, but live a thriving life after the fact, then I know it’s possible for you as well.
Never give up. Healing is the right and responsibility of every birth mother. You can do this.