Navigating the Emotional Journey of Choosing Adoption 

February 29, 2024

By Adoption Choices of Florida

Navigating the Emotional Journey of Choosing Adoption 

By Miriam Fuller

Our emotions are often the greatest battle or puzzle we face. For birth mothers choosing adoption, this trying puzzle often presents during their adoption process. The emotional journey birth mothers face during their adoption in Jacksonville contains an expansive variety of conflicting emotions, making their adoption process a difficult personal journey. That is why Florida adoption agencies, like Adoption Choices of Florida, are here to ensure all birth mothers receive encouraging support throughout their adoption journey. 

At Adoption Choices of Florida, we offer free counseling and financial support for all birth mothers so they can focus on what truly matters: themselves and their child’s future.

Feeling Grief or Depression During the Adoption Process

Choosing adoption in Florida and pursuing your adoption options can cause many birth mothers to feel a variety of negative emotions. Two of the most common are feelings of grief and depression. Many people believe these emotions go hand-in-hand. However, they differ quite significantly, both in symptoms and in severity. Grief and depression may both be emotional responses to the feeling of loss, but they manifest within birth mothers differently. Understanding the difference between grief and depression is vital to knowing what type of support you need and how your adoption agency can help you throughout your adoption journey. 

Grief Within Adoption

Grief is an emotional reaction many of us feel at some point in time. It can entail a lot of negative emotions, such as denial, shock, sadness, and even anger. Often, people refer to these emotions as the “five stages of grief.” These stages are as follows: 

  • Denial
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Bargaining 
  • Acceptance

Greif is a temporary emotional state, coming in a time of loss, running its course, and subsiding after a while. It is incredibly valid that birth mothers experience feelings of grief as they often feel a strong sense of loss while pursuing adoption. Feeling as though they are losing their child, losing the chance of parenthood, or even feeling as though they are losing themselves are common causes for birth mothers to experience grief during adoption. Grief is a complex emotion that should be allowed to run its course. Sadness is a healthy and normal reaction to loss and should be allowed to run its course. If you are experiencing grief throughout your adoption journey, it is imperative to understand that your emotions are valid and your adoption agency wholly supports you. 

Depression Within Adoption

On the other hand, depression is a diagnosable mental health condition. Contrary to grief, depression can last anywhere from two weeks to years if left untreated. It causes a multitude of physical symptoms as well as emotional ones. Someone struggling with depression might experience negative emotions such as deep sadness, anger, or even a loss of emotions. However, the toll of depression is often heavily felt physically, causing symptoms of: 

  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches 
  • Sleeplessness 
  • Changes in Diet 
  • Low Motivation
  • Lack of Interest

Birth mothers dealing with depression experience feelings of guilt, loss, or anxiety. Feeling guilty about placing your baby for adoption or feeling a sense of loss when pursuing adoption are common for birth mothers. Many birth mothers also feel uncertain about the future of themselves and their baby, however, all these anxious feelings are valid emotional journies. Depression is also a much more severe emotional response compared to grief, which is why adoption agencies like Adoption Choices of Florida offer birth mothers professional counselors. The mental and physical health of birth mothers is the top priority of adoption agencies so that they can ensure birth mothers are protected and confident in their adoption decisions. 

If you are experiencing feelings of grief or suspect you are struggling with depression, understand that your emotions are valid and that professional support is only a call away. While the adoption process often focuses on your child, do not forget to advocate and care for yourself in the process. We urge you to reach out to your adoption agency if you are experiencing grief or depression. They are there to support you through it all.

Every Birth Mother’s Emotional Journey is Valid

While many birth mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy and pursuing adoption can feel negative emotions, many also experience positive emotions throughout their adoption process. Experiencing joy, hope, excitement, and relief throughout your adoption journey is natural. Birth mothers often feel excitement and joy when planning their child’s future or relief and hope in choosing adoption. However, just because a birth mother feels any number of uplifting emotions throughout their adoption journey does not mean they do not also feel loss, guilt, or anxiety as well. In fact, feeling a complex mix of both positive and negative emotions is healthy and very normal for birth mothers. Feeling relief and guilt about choosing adoption or joy and anxiety about planning your child’s future may seem contradictory.

However, experiencing contrasting emotions like those display your immense love for your child. Choosing adoption is a significant decision that affects the life of both the mother and her child. Your decision is an act of deep love and empathetic selflessness, but it is also a decision that can place you in a challenging emotional state. So take your time to feel your emotions and understand that all your feelings are natural. 

Supporting Birth Mothers During the Adoption Process

Whether you are feeling grief, depression, joy, relief, excitement, hope, or a combination of them all, your emotional journey while pursuing adoption is perfectly valid. Ensuring birth mothers receive abundant support throughout their adoption process is the key to helping them navigate their complicated sea of emotions. At Adoption Choices of Florida, we understand that no matter your feelings, your emotional journey is valid and deserves respect and care. We offer you free counseling during and after your adoption process so that you can feel safe making the best choices for you and your child. 

Adoption Choices of Florida provides birth mothers with emotional support, a personalized adoption plan, and financial support so that they can feel confident in their decisions. Contact us today if you are seeking help for your adoption in Florida. We are excited to be a part of your journey!