A Act of Love Adoptions has built a reputation for taking excellent care of birthparents that are in need of support and information for an adoption plan. The staff at Act of Love is focused on being available and supportive to birthparents, especially at this time when an unplanned pregnancy can be stressful and confusing.
Having support from their community and loved ones is very helpful to birthparents, as they complete their adoption plan. The family who has adopted the child, the birthparent’s loved ones and friends, as well as, the people who relate to them on a regular basis need to realize that birthparents are extraordinary people who have made a difficult decision and need continued respect and support.
The first days after birthparent signs relinquishment paperwork can be some of the most difficult times. They will need a support system that they can rely on. Here are some ways you can help:
– Acknowledge that the birthparents remain the parents until they decide to terminate their parental rights. Their child is legally their child until they choose to terminate their parental rights and they reserve the right to change their mind regarding a placement plan for their child. Parental rights should be made clear to birthparents.
– Respect their choices. The choices and plans made for their baby should be respected. It is important whether planning for an adoption or in parenting that there is a healthy plan in place for the baby to thrive and be loved.
– Recognize their loss. Birthparents who decide to terminate their parental rights experience a loss. It will be natural for birthparents to grieve and to feel a loss. Knowing that the decision birthmothers and birthfathers make to place their baby for adoption and knowing it is the right decision, takes a great deal of strength and courage. The decision to place a baby for adoption is bittersweet. This act of love, which will bring so much happiness to a waiting family, is nonetheless painful. This decision may be brought about by wanting what is best for the child, at this time in their life, but the birthparents will still need to grieve. It is helpful to support the birthparents by acknowledging their loss and being able to listen to their needs.
– Allow the birthparents to grieve their loss. It is important to allow birthparents to feel what they are feeling and express their emotions. Having a good post-adoption plan for support in place that includes counseling is critical to the healing process to take place.
– Appreciate their choice. For parents who have adopted, acknowledge and show appreciation for how the birthparents have entrusted their child to your family. For loved ones and friends, try to focus on them rather than on how their choice has made a family happy. Let them know how much you admire the courage and love for their baby that they have shown and how much strength they have shown thus far.
– Share the child’s milestones and happiness with the birthparents. An open adoption can provide closure for the birthparents by knowing that their child is safe and loved. An open adoption can promote a healthy relationship for the child, birthparents and adoptive family.
– Offer your help. It can be as simple as being there to listen, assisting them with day-to-day tasks or keeping them busy (such as going to the movies, taking a walk, etc.) This may also mean giving them some space, if this is what they need. It will be comforting to them to know you are available to offer your love and support.