When Adoption Really Is The Best Choice: Four Tips To Keep Your Emotions Intact

If you've thought long and hard about what's best for your baby and have decided that the best thing to do is to put him or her up for adoption, then you can breathe a little easier. The hardest part -- making that selfless decision for your child's benefit -- is over. But that does not mean the road ahead will be easy. Giving up a baby for adoption is an emotional endeavor, and it's important to take some precautions along the way in order to keep yourself emotionally stable and mentally healthy.

Work with a licensed agency.

There are several ways to go about giving your baby up for adoption. Some birth moms choose to draw up private contracts with adoptive parents, but this is not always the easiest approach from an emotional perspective. Drawing up your own contract will mean a lot of meetings with lawyers along with the potential for the adoptive couple to back out at the last minute -- and these struggles can keep you emotionally on edge.

A far easier way to approach the adoption is to work with a licensed adoption agency. They'll do all of the legal groundwork for you, help you find the right adoptive family, and check in with you along the way to ensure your needs are met. With someone else doing the paperwork and juggling the red tape, you'll have more time to focus on your feelings and well-being.

Visit a therapist.

Don't wait until months after the delivery when you're feeling distraught and at your wit's end to see a therapist. Even if you're confident in your decision and you feel emotionally strong right now, seeing a therapist will ensure that your mental and emotional concerns are addressed as they come up. If you develop postpartum depression or begin feeling a bit blue after the birth, you'll be glad that you already have an established relationship with a therapist. Look for someone who has experience working with women who have put their babies up for adoption. When working with your therapist, be open and honest about your needs and concerns. Remember that they're there to help -- there's no need to be embarrassed about what you're thinking or feeling.

Be honest and open with your family about the decision.

It's not uncommon for mothers to face ridicule and negative treatment when they inform their family members of their decision to put their babies up for adoption. If you feel your family may react poorly to the news, do not delay telling them. The longer you wait, the longer you'll have to bottle up all of the fear and anxiety you feel when you think about telling them.

Gather everyone who needs to know in a safe environment -- preferably somewhere public like a park or restaurant if you fear someone may become violent or overly angry -- and break the news to them gently. Make it clear that you're doing this because it is what's best for your child, not because you want to hurt your family or bring them shame. You may want to tell your family on a day you have an appointment with your therapist so that you can head straight to your therapy session and discuss the experience afterwards.

Talk to other moms who have given their babies up for adoption.

It can be incredibly helpful to talk to other moms who have gone through what you're going through. They can let you know what to expect before, during and after birth. You can share your struggles, and they can share stories that relate. If you don't know any other moms who have put their babies up for adoption, speak with your adoption agency. They should be able to give you names of mothers who would be happy to talk.

Putting a baby up for adoption is a challenging experience. Take good care of yourself emotionally along the way and work with a licensed adoption agency, like A Child's Dream, and the process should go more smoothly.