Why Do Parents Place Their Child for Adoption?
Many myths exist in the adoption world regarding why a birth mother would make the decision to place her child in an adoptive home. Stigma can surround a woman who is attempting to give her child the very best possible future, but it doesn’t need to be that way. These women (and their significant others) are making a sacrificial decision for the best interests of their child.
Until you end up in this situation, it can be difficult to speculate what may lead someone to form an adoption plan for an unborn child. Potential adoptive families are often curious to know what leads a birth family to choose this for themselves and for their babies. What life circumstances could lead a mother to make the decision to find another loving family to raise up her child?
An unplanned pregnancy can certainly throw a wrench into the most well laid out plans. Women who find themselves pregnant at an early age or at a precarious point in their lives may consider adoption for their unborn child so that both of them can have an opportunity at future success. She may plan to pursue additional schooling or make a huge career change in the coming years. Without a stable, secure future ahead of her, an unplanned pregnancy can rob her of the ability to pursue personal success and ultimately a brighter future for her baby.
Similarly, teenagers who find themselves pregnant may plan to finish high school, understanding that raising a baby would be quite a burden during that tumultuous time. Young expectant mothers may prefer to place their baby for adoption with a couple that has the ability and time to care for their child. A mother may realize she isn’t mature enough or responsible enough to care for her baby.
Birth mothers also have to take a very close and realistic look at whether they can financially support themselves and a new baby. If having a baby affects her ability to work or requires her to pay for childcare, it may not be possible for her to raise the child with the life she envisioned. She needs to consider the cost of caring for herself and the child on a daily basis throughout the years, and she may realize that she doesn’t have the capacity to do so financially.
A woman who struggles with her own health, whether mental or physical, may also need to evaluate whether or not she is capable of caring for her baby. A disability or long-term illness may prevent her from physically caring for a newborn all the way into the child’s adult years. Even a mental illness or drug addiction can impact a birth mother’s decision to form an adoption plan. She may not be stable enough to raise a child well at this point in her life, and her desire to find a more consistent and suitable environment for her baby is a courageous and often difficult decision.
Of course, placing a child for adoption may not have anything to do with outside circumstances. A birth mother may desire an adoption plan for her baby simply because she knows she isn’t in the best position to parent at the present time. Whether it’s because she’s still single, she’s too young, or she has no desire to raise a child, there are no “wrong” reasons for placing a child within a different yet loving family for the purposes of adoption.
Placing a child for adoption isn’t the same as giving up on them. Instead, it should be viewed as a valiant decision that ultimately benefits the child and gives them the best chance for a bright future. No matter what reason a birth mother gives for choosing adoption, she is making a brave choice to consider the needs of her child above her own desires to parent them. She is choosing to do what is best for them, even when it may not be what is best for her.
Every pregnancy and family will find themselves in a unique situation. The important thing is to remember that adoption can be a positive and rewarding experience, for both the birth mother and the adoptive family selected for the child. All parties have to come to the decision following careful consideration of what’s best for the child and their long-term wellbeing.
Adoption can be a beautiful thing when we have the perspective to remember that it isn’t the same as giving up on the child. Adoption is really the result of choosing the best possible future for a baby, no matter what the cost.