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Thinking About Adoption
Open Adoption
Questions to Ask Yourself
Expectant Mothers

Learn about adoption to make an informed decision about adoption.

Birthmother, page 2

Overview of the Impact of Adoption on Birth Parents

Coping with Grief

All birth parents must deal with grief. Many are sad about not being able to raise or have a relationship with their child. Some have said that they eventually adjusted to the loss of the child, but that the pain and grief lasted a very long time. Others have said that life was never the same after placing the child. Birth parents' whole lives are affected.

If you are a birth parent whose adoption was arranged confidentially, you may have many questions. You probably do not know what became of your child. You don't know if your child's life with the adoptive family is happy and if the child is loved and treated well. You may wonder if the adoptive parents ever told the child he or she was adopted. If so, you may wonder how they spoke about you. You may question what it would have been like to have raised your child. Unanswered questions such as these can be very difficult to deal with.

Most people at some time in their lives experience grief when they are separated from a loved one. However, in adoption, there are no standard grieving processes or approved rituals to help birth parents cope. When a well-liked co-worker accepts a new job in a new city, there is often a going away party. When a loved one dies, there may be a religious service, a wake, a funeral, and visits to the survivors' home by friends and relatives. But birth parents' grief is distinct from most other types of grief, because it is not always socially acceptable to talk about what happened.

Birthmothers, page 3

Resource: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

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