The adoption process often faces the brunt of misconceptions. Adoption is often stigmatized as it challenges previous notions of what a family is. Because of this, misconceptions and myths are often so widespread that they are considered true. As a birth mother or anyone involved in adoption, it is important to know that these misconceptions are simply that: misconceptions. They are assumptions and overgeneralizations that make this process—that you and many others have taken part in—seem much more simplified than it is.
It is often assumed that birth mothers are teenagers facing unplanned pregnancies, but that is not always the case. Birth mothers are a diverse group of people seeking to place their babies for adoption for a variety of reasons. Birth mothers represent all sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds and ages. They can be college students, workers, or those who simply do not have the means—financial or emotional—to provide. While teens can be birth mothers, it does not mean that all birth mothers are teens. Unplanned pregnancies can happen unexpectedly to anyone, at any age, and at any point in life.
The adoption process is thorough and detailed. It requires careful thought from the birth mother and others who form part of the adoption triad and agency. First, the decision to place your baby up for adoption is difficult and results in you, the birth mother, weighing out all options available. Adoption is by no means an easy way out. From researching Florida adoption agencies to connecting with parents, the process encompasses so much more than those who have not experienced it might expect. Adoption is not as simple as just “placing a baby for adoption”; it goes beyond that. It includes the emotional toll and healing that results from coming to terms with the decision.
The confusion people refer to, in regard to adoption, stems from an adoptee having adoptive parents and birth parents. People assume that the child will be confused because they won’t understand how their family formed and why their biological parent isn’t with them. The only reason the child would be confused is if their adoption was never part of the conversation they had with the child. We often talk about the discussion between the birth parent, and the adoptive parents, but it is just as important to have an ongoing conversation with the child so they know more about their family. This level of transparency would rid them of any confusion and make them confident in knowing where they come from and how their adoptive parents came to their lives.
The trope of the troubled child or birth mother overgeneralizes the children and birth parents involved as “bad” people. While they may face their own personal problems or issues in some cases, it does not automatically make them bad people. Birth mothers come from all walks of life and the position they are in—placing their baby for adoption—can result for a multitude of reasons. Regardless of the “why”, birth mothers and children should be respected for their choice.
It is often believed that the birth mother will not be able to change her mind. However, at any point prior to the adoption being finalized, a birth mother has the right to be able to change her mind. While opting for adoption takes a lot of planning, it is still a difficult choice to make. If the birth mother believes that it is best to parent the child herself and wants to do it, she has every right to do so. With careful planning, that option is a path that the birth mother can take.
We do our best to inform and dispel common misconceptions about adoption in Florida. Misconceptions like these are too often mistaken for the truth so we work to provide helpful information to birth mothers. If you are seeking information or considering adoption, reach out to Adoption Choices of Florida for more.
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