When you think about adopting a baby, do you ever feel conflicted? Like you would love to, but fear holds you back? Even though adoption has a long history, and many success stories to its credit, there are still many misinterpretations and stereotypes shrouding the adoption process. At Adoption Choices of Nevada, we feel it’s important to shed some light into those and put a stop to them. Particularly when it concerns myths about birth mothers.
The birth mothers we serve are all incredible, selfless women, and we are thankful for each and every one of them. Following are six of the most common myths that we run into. We hope that this resource will provide a sense of comfort and put all the fears associated with each of these false perceptions to rest.
Myth #6: Birth Mothers are Druggies, Teenagers and/or Promiscuous
Fact: A gross misconception. While some birth mothers may struggle with substance abuse, or are in their teenage years, passing judgments and making assumptions is unnecessary and disrespectful. Moreover, it’s dangerous and unhealthy to create generalizations like this. The same goes for categorizing birth mothers by age or lifestyle choices. Each and every birth mother is unique, and come from all walks of life. Teenager or young adult, girl next door or a friend or family member. Unplanned pregnancies can happen to any woman. They don’t only result in a woman’s teenage years or through promiscuity.
Myth #5: Birth Mothers don’t Love their Babies
Fact: Inaccurate. Birth mothers are among the most loving, nurturing and compassionate women you’ll ever meet. Making a plan of adoption and enduring pregnancy takes an enormous amount of courage and willpower. Not to mention, love. After all, an unplanned pregnancy doesn’t equal an unwanted one. From beginning to end, birth mothers do everything they can to make sure their baby is taken care of. Her ultimate expression of love is putting the needs of her baby above her own. Even though she may wish circumstances were different, she follows through on her decision to give her baby their best chance at life.
Myth #4: Birth Mothers Choose Adoption for the Easy Way Out
Fact: On the contrary. Think about it for a moment. Is there a such thing as an easy way out? With all that’s involved, how could the adoption process be seen this way? It is not easy by any means. In fact, choosing adoption is one of the most challenging decisions a mother can make. From pregnancy to birth to saying goodbye — it’s a devastating experience. Yet, it’s one that birth mothers willingly choose: to give their child the opportunity to live a better life than the one she would be able to provide for them.
Myth #3: Birth Mothers are Uncaring, Selfish and Move On after Adoption
Fact: Incorrect. To reiterate the statement made in #5, birth mothers are amazing women. Among the most courageous and selfless in existence. They are in no way uncaring or selfish. As for moving on after adoption? That times time. It’s not an easy journey, or something they can pretend never happened. Birth mothers never forget their children. Quite the opposite. She thinks about them everyday. Wonders how they are and grieves missing out on all their major milestones. Some birth mothers will even buy birthday and Christmas presents, or write letters or cards for their babies to commemorate them. The emotional connection birth mothers develop during pregnancy never disappears.
Myth #2: Birth Mothers Regret their Decision
Fact: Whether or not she regrets her decision isn’t the issue. It’s remembering her selfless and loving choice of giving her child the best life possible. No adoption is free from loss. It truly is the greatest sacrifice a mother can ever make. Saying goodbye to their baby and watching him or her leave the room is a heart-wrenching experience. However, by the time this moment happens, the birth mother has come to terms with her choice. She has gone through the ins and outs, weighed the pros and cons, and decided to do the best thing for her child. It doesn’t mean her choice doesn’t cause her pain or grief, but it is one that she has determined is the right path and worth it. Pictures and updates sent via the adoptive parents post adoption help her find comfort and allow her to grieve healthfully.
Myth #1: Birth Mothers will Take their Baby Back
Fact: Impossible. Among all the known myths about birth mothers, this is perhaps the most common. It strikes a great deal of fear into the hearts of adoptive parents. But no. This does not happen, and cannot without some serious legal ramifications. Once the birth mother has relinquished her parental rights, she no longer has legal custody over her child. She cannot change her mind or undo the adoption. To take back her child would disrupt her child’s adjustment period into their new life and shatter any trust the adoptive parent had in her, eliminating any chances of her connecting with her child later in life. So, to ease all the minds of adoptive parents, the last thing birth mothers want to do is create a scene. She will not and cannot take back her baby post adoption.
Myths about Birth Mothers
More times than not, myths are born through fabricated evidence. That, or reconstructed details that are repeatedly passed down via word of word. If you hear anything that causes fear or doubt to creep into your mind, it’s important to double-check the information. These two negative emotions are good indicators that something isn’t right. Call your local adoption agency. Speak with an adoption professional. Ask friends or family. Make sure the information you are receiving isn’t one of the known myths about birth mothers. Be sure that when having discussions about birth mothers that everything can be relayed accurately and give them the respect that they deserve.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Adopting.” Adopting.com, www.adopting.com/adoption-blog/stereotypes-and-misconceptions-about-birthmothers.
Morton, Lawrence. “12 Myths About Birth Mothers.” Scary Mommy, 15 Mar. 2017, www.scarymommy.com/myths-about-birth-mothers/.
“The Myth of the Teenage Birth Mom.” Considering Adoption, 4 Nov. 2019, consideringadoption.com/birth-mother/the-myth-of-the-teenage-birth-mom.