When people find out that I am a birth parent, they are usually a bit shocked. I have two kids that I get to raise as my own; I have a college degree and a stable job; I am usually positive and happy unless there are major stressors going on (I recently had to put my cat to sleep, which has turned me into a grouch); I am generally happy with my life. When someone says that he/she is shocked because I seem so normal, have children of my own, and am doing well in life, I am always a little taken aback.
Birth parents are real people. Same as everyone else, who make mistakes, love others, have families, and live normal lives. Based on the responses I get from others, there is apparently a stereotype of what kind of people birth parents are. To say that it is hard to believe that I, a normal and happy person, am a birth parent says something about the way some others view birth parents.
Adoption does not cater to people with a certain lifestyle, or who fit a particular set of qualities. Adoption is an option for anyone or any couples who think that adoption may be best the option for the child. Occasionally, married couples will place their child or children for adoption; adoption is not just for young, unwed mothers.
Education levels among birth parents vary, and not all birth parents are uneducated. According to americanadoptions.com, “Birth mothers have higher educational aspirations [and] are more likely to finish school.” A very dear friend of mine was a senior in high school when she placed her son for adoption. She graduated, and then she earned an English degree. I know several birth moms, including myself, who were in college and chose adoption. (I am a college graduate with over 100 credits in postgraduate coursework.) Choosing to place a child for adoption is not linked to IQ level.
Birth parents are people with goals and families who experience the same ups and downs of life as everyone else. We are no less normal than anyone else is. I do believe that birth parents have an overwhelming amount of love for their children and possess a tremendous amount of courage to place them for adoption. In general, I have seen how remarkable birth parents are, not because they placed a child for adoption, but they seem to embody strength, perseverance, and have found a way to be happy in spite of their circumstances.