Across the country, every year, May is observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a time to raise awareness of those facing mental health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many people experience. It’s important to reduce the shame surrounding mental health struggles because it can prevent people from seeking help. The message for 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Month is “Together for Mental Health.”
The caring adoption coordinators at Lifetime are always available to help you! Maybe you are thinking about adoption for your baby and need someone to help you sort through the complicated emotions that come with that. Or, perhaps you’re a hopeful adoptive parent who is struggling with the wait to be chosen by a birth mother.
Lifetime Adoption is here to connect you with the appropriate support and quality of care so you can live a healthy, fulfilling life. We strive to create a place where no one feels alone if they are struggling during their adoption journey.
Free Counseling Throughout Your Pregnancy, Adoption Placement, and Beyond
Many women find it difficult to think about placing their child for adoption. There are so many emotions to sort through and decisions to make during the adoption process, that it might feel like the most difficult thing in the world to do.
Adoption is the most loving decision you can make for your child if you want more for them than you can provide right now. However, with that decision can come sadness. Grieving is a normal part of the adoption process. You may face grief no matter how sure you are that adoption is the best choice for you and your baby. As Hailey, a birth mother, puts it, “I feel like no one understand what I’ve been through with my baby. I’m so glad I chose adoption, but I think I need to talk with someone who gets it.”
Adoption is a major decision and most birth mothers need all the support, listening, and answers they can get. Lifetime Adoption can connect you with a licensed, third-party counselor who has experience in adoption. A counselor can help you deal with the emotions that pop up as you think about adoption, such as grief, anxiety, depression, and anger.
Birth mothers have the right to professional counseling during and after the adoption process. It often helps to speak with a non-biased counselor who’s not directly assisting with your adoption. We will work with you to provide emotional support and the counseling you need throughout your pregnancy, adoption placement, and beyond. You are not alone.
Lifetime also has a wonderful network of peer support for our birth mothers. You can learn from women who have already made the adoption journey just like the one you’re starting. Talking with a peer can be very helpful for mental health and for coping with grief after adoption.
Let us know how can we help by calling or texting Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784. We promise you’ll start to feel better once you have a caring and experienced adoption professional to talk to.
Do You Need Counseling As Adoptive Parents-to-Be?
During your adoption journey, you might discover that you need extra help to work through some of the emotions that are coming up. For many hopeful adoptive parents, seeking the help of a licensed counselor is invaluable. A counselor can help you find ways of coping, reacting, or addressing some of your challenges and feelings.
There is no “wrong” reason for getting counseling when you’re waiting to adopt. Many hopeful adoptive parents find the adoption wait to be stressful and filled with anxious highs and disappointing lows. You are not alone. Here are a few scenarios for which other adoptive families have sought counseling:
- Impatience with the adoption process
- Feeling like they want to give up on adoption altogether
- A sense of loss about the unfulfilled desire to be pregnant
- Marital struggles
- Disagreement with spouse over adoption preferences and goals
- A failed match or a reclaim
- Prior mental health struggles which are intensified by the adoption wait
To find a counselor, begin by taking a look at your health insurance coverage and identifying if your insurance will cover specific providers. You can also ask your physician for referrals to trained professionals either in your area or available by a telehealth, virtual appointment. If you don’t find counselors who are trained to deal with the specific issues of adoption, most any Marriage and Family Counselor can help you.
If you need to address issues within your marriage, it is important that both spouses are dedicated to working on the challenges together. Remember the old saying “it takes two”? It applies to counseling too!
Talking with a counselor may uncover other issues which you may have pushed down but are popping up now in unexpected ways. If this happens to you, know that is very common. Whatever struggle you may be facing, please remember that you are not alone. A trained counselor is available to help. Reach out for extra support.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 24, 2021, and has since been updated.
Linda Rotz, CWCM-S, CWCM-Trainer, ACC, is the Director of Adoption Services at Lifetime. Linda has worked in the field of adoption for 20 years within the child welfare/foster care system in Florida. She has degrees in Mass Communications and Human Development, and completed graduate studies in social work.
Due to her extensive expertise, Linda was called upon to write adoption procedures and training materials in Florida. She is certified as an Adoption Specialist, Child Welfare Case Manager Supervisor and Child Welfare Trainer in the state of Florida.