About Expectant Mothers Considering Adoption and Birthmothers


As a hopeful adoptive parent, you may find yourself wondering what your child's birthmother will be like. In fact, you may already be making assumptions about her based on what you've read or heard from other adoptive parents. This is only natural but having a real relationship with her means that you will probably need to clear your mind of all these preconceived notions. You will need to truly accept her as an individual and a mother. With that in mind, here are some common birthmother stereotypes and some thoughts on how you can start letting go these tired ideas.

  • First, she isn't even a birthmother until she has actually given birth and placed her child. Technically, someone doesn’t become a birthmother until after she signs relinquishment papers terminating her parental rights.
  • Don't assume that all of the birthmother stereotypes you may have heard are true. Don’t automatically assume she is young, troubled, or on drugs. Movies, television shows, and the mainstream media have painted some jaded views of what birthmothers look like. Stereotypes often portray birthmothers as addicts or sexually-promiscuous teenagers who drop out of school and run away after getting pregnant. This simply isn’t always going to be true. Many birthmothers are in college or are already in their mid-twenties. Some may already have at least one child.
  • Unplanned doesn’t necessarily mean unwanted. One large misconception many people have regarding unplanned pregnancy is that because the mother didn’t plan the pregnancy, then she didn’t want that pregnancy. This is untrue! Most birthmothers fell in love with their baby the minute they learned they were pregnant but ultimately decided they were not in the position to be a mother for whatever reason(s) and ultimately chose adoption. Wanting and loving their children is what makes placing so difficult.
  • An open adoption doesn’t mean your child’s birth mother wants to undermine your authority or parenting decisions once the adoption is finalized. Society can view open adoption as a form of co-parenting and think that the birthmother still wants to assist in parenting decisions and help raise the child. This is untrue! Birthmothers realize that adoptive parents are the parents, they just want the opportunity to be a part of their child’s live, love on them, provide a biological connection for their child, and see that they are living the happy and healthy life they dreamed of for their child. If all parties involved can do this in a positive matter, this can be a great thing for the child.
  • Each expectant mother/birthmother is different and has her own story. As you began to meet and talk with expectant mothers considering adoption and possibly birthmothers if you are involved in social media groups or live support groups for adoption triad members and meet birthmothers, you will notice that while they have some expectant mothers and birthmothers have similarities in their stories and their struggles present as a common bond; however, no two stories and no two women are exactly alike so you should not treat them as such.