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Archive for birth mothers

Did You Know That There’s a Symbol of Adoption?

The symbol of adoptionIf you’ve been blessed by adoption, you might wish to honor your journey in a meaningful way. The symbol of adoption has been used by many to share their love of open adoption. As seen in this image, the symbol of adoption is a triangle entwined with a heart. Each of the three sides of the triangle signifies the adoption triad: birth family, adoptive family, and adoptee. The heart symbolizes the love present in an open adoption relationship!

We encourage you to appreciate the fact that all in the adoption triad play a role in building a healthy, safe life for the child. Understanding what each party in the triad should (and shouldn’t) contribute is an important first step. Today, we’re sharing about the roles of adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees!

Adoptive Parents

adoption loveAdoptive parents provide the child with daily care, support, and love. They’re responsible for the child emotionally, medically, and financially. And adoptive parents are responsible for helping their child grow healthy self-esteem about their adoption. Openness and honesty are encouraged from the very beginning. It means sharing in an age-appropriate way that the child’s birth parents created this adoption plan to give them the best life possible.

Adoptive parents should honor the promise of ongoing contact that they made to the birth parents. If you promised to send pictures and updates, send them. If you agreed to visits, then schedule them. Open adoption is built on trust. If contact doesn’t happen, your child might search for his or her birth parents. You don’t want your child to hear that you broke your promise to keep in touch!

Birth Parents

Birth parents are a vital part of the adoption triad. They’ll always have a biological link to their child. At the same time, they should honor the level of contact they agreed to. It’s difficult to manage expectations if they thought, for example, that their child would still call them “Mom.” Having a sensitive conversation with them can help.

Sometimes birth parents make negative choices after placement. If you’re worried about your child’s safety, it’s acceptable to look at boundaries. But don’t change your open adoption agreement because some of the choices are ones you don’t approve of. Simply express your concern and hope for them.

The Adoptee

What a sweet update on baby Brynlee!Children should be provided the truth about their adoption in a way they can understand. You can share more and answer more questions as your child gets older. That way, your child doesn’t grow up confused about where they came from.

When parents wait to tell their child that they were adopted, it comes as a major shock, and there’s the potential for relationships to suffer. Part of loving your adopted child is loving where they came from, including their birth mother. Face the challenges you might feel when your child is curious about their origins.

When you understand adoption from everyone’s point of view as well as what healthy boundaries look like, these roles in the adoption triad will bring positive outcomes.

Find out how Lifetime can help you achieve your dream of adopting a newborn!

To get started, just fill out our free online application.

Is It Positive Adoption Language to Call Her a “Birth Mother”?

is it positive adoption language to call her a birth mother?We wanted to share a question that our Florida adoption agency received recently about positive adoption language:

“I’ve noticed a few people saying online that the term ‘birth mother’ shouldn’t be used until after a woman places her child for adoption. So, I’m wondering if we should stop using the term ‘birth mother’? Is that negative adoption language?”

Let’s start with an easy definition…”birth mother” simply means a biological mother. So actually, a birth mother is any woman who gives birth.

In adoption language, we use the term ‘birth mother’ for a woman who’s considering adoption, or who is deciding to place her child. To identify the individuals involved in adoption, it makes things more accurate and simple to refer to adoptive parents (those adopting the child) and birth mothers (who will or have given birth). You’ll see that the legal paperwork required for adoption will use this adoption language to designate those involved in one child’s adoption.

Many adoption agencies and other adoption professionals prefer to use the term “birth mother.” It’s warmer than “biological mother,” which has a bit of a clinical ring to it.

We’ve seen terms like “expectant parent” or “expectant mother” used, but these aren’t always correct, since not every woman choosing adoption is pregnant. A mother can make an adoption plan weeks, months or years after her child is born; it’s never too late for adoption. Since many refer to adoptive parents as ‘expectantly’ waiting, using a term like “expectant parent” gets confusing. It starts to get very complicated, especially for people new to adoption and unfamiliar with positive adoption language.

Here at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida, we don’t assume a woman is going to place her child when she’s in contact with us. We educate and provide support to every woman who calls us, regardless of whether she’s sure about adoption. In Lifetime’s social media accounts and informational materials, we use the term “birth mother” to protect her privacy. Of course, when we communicate with her one-on-one, she’s referred to by her name. Each woman who contacts Lifetime is listened to. We’re here provide her with help on her own terms, and as it applies to her unique situation.

It’s so important to be sensitive to a woman’s feelings when she’s deciding about her unplanned pregnancy and her baby’s future. Women typically see the term “birth mother” as positive adoption language when they were given the choice to lovingly and willingly choose adoption for her child. Using the term “birth mother” reminds us that she has an important role in creating her child’s custom adoption plan. Our hearts break for women who felt coerced into adoption, which was, unfortunately, the norm decades ago.

In open adoption, a woman who creates a plan for her baby or child can create and develop an on-going connection with her child and the adoptive parents. Whatever questions and thoughts she has are recognized, before, during, and after the adoption takes place. Even if she decides that adoption isn’t right for her, she’ll be able to help another woman who does choose adoption. So as you can see, the term “birth mother” is actually positive adoption language.

Pray for Birth Mothers

cynthia gismegian 12_2015_pray for bmoms edit

We wanted to share this very touching and moving note that single adoptive mother Cynthia shared with us. Cynthia’s daughter just turned one, and she’d like to encourage all to pray for birth mothers:

I have spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting these last few weeks. I tell my daughter all the time how we became a family. I am so lucky and have had an amazing year with my girl, but it hasn’t been lost I had this year because God brought her birth mother into my life.

It was 1 year ago today she last held our girl and I can’t and will not pretend to know what she is feeling right now. If all of you could put her and ALL birth mothers in your prayers, regardless of why they couldn’t keep their children as so many of us would not be parents without them, I would appreciate it.

Babies and children who come home to their adoptive parents do so after a long and often difficult journey by their birth mothers. We must never forget this very important woman who, by strength of character, or difficulty in circumstances, or both, opted to give the gift of a child to those who could not have one. For this reason alone, please pray for birth mothers: they deserve respect, recognition, consideration, thoughtfulness and kindness, from those who benefit from their adoption decision.

You are your child’s parents, no doubt. But a birth mother never forgets the birth of her child. Even if the child is out of her sight, they will never be truly be gone from her memory. This woman was your child’s first mother and because of this, your child will always remain in her memory and in her heart.