Birthmothers Friends are trained to identify a woman’s unique needs and provide support in her particular set of circumstances. Where appropriate, Friends present adoption. One scenario, Friends tell us, is that “adoption is a serious option” considered extensively by pregnant women.
Susan learned her matched birth mom’s pregnancy was the result of an extra-marital affair. The birth mom had a previous abortion. She was not planning to parent. Two older children were being raised by relatives.
Lengthy conversations and emails between Susan and the pregnant woman centered on the benefits of adoption versus abortion. “I encouraged her to talk about her feelings,” said Susan. The young woman felt placing a child for adoption would be too difficult because she wouldn’t know what happened to him, so Susan offered information about open adoption. She also shared her experience as an adoptive parent and the joy her adopted children have brought to her family. “As hard as you think adoption might be, don’t you think abortion is harder?” Susan asked her. In the end, Susan mourned the woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy.
Brenda’s matched birth mom was separated and facing divorce when she discovered she was pregnant. “Adoption was an option she considered seriously,” said Brenda. Together the two women spent significant time discussing the pros and cons of adoption, including placing with a family member or placing with a third party.
The birth mom’s fear was that her child would feel abandoned. “I thought it was important that she hear different perspectives as she made her decision,” said Brenda, who shared her story as an adoptee brought up in a loving home. Brenda also made arrangements for her birth mom to talk with a woman who had successfully placed a child for adoption. In the end, Brenda’s matched birth mom chose to parent and is now successfully raising her child.
Did You Know?
In 1998, 56% of Americans held a “very favorable” opinion of adoption. Today, 63% hold this opinion.