Let’s End The Stigma Surrounding Birthmothers

This guest post is by Lynea, a birthmother and the founder of Life After Placement.

With November being Adoption Awareness Month I ask you to honor and show your love for birth mothers.

Adoption begins with birthmothers—it’s a choice that affects us for a lifetime.

I’ve found that most people are not aware of who a birth mother is.

There is a perception that the choice she made to place was for selfish reasons. Few people try to understand or educate themselves about the motivation behind it. 

I placed my daughter 28 years ago and have been reunited for 12. I founded Life-After-Placement to create awareness and become an advocate for birth mothers.

I work to educate the public and people who choose adoption about why those choices are made and hope to create respect for what they have done.

Birth mothers still face a negative reaction about their choice to place. If we bring up our placement we get push-back or there’s a sense of awkwardness with the other person.

I have been asked several times why even talk about it. This amazes me given that we live in a society that has accepted so many other choices people made that were considered taboo in the past.

I wish our decision to choose life for our child would carry some weight. 

I recently had a conversation with a woman who I hoped would help with fundraising for a birth parent event. She lives in my neighborhood and I was told she is very active with this type of work.

However, when I sent her a message to her, she replied: “Forgive my ignorance because that’s just what it is. Feel free to send me more info about this….. but my girlfriend has adopted four children……from the same mother……all different fathers. I don’t support this birth mother’s carelessness and disregard for creating and giving away lives.”

I sent her a kind response telling her who I am and what I do and even though I requested a meeting several times I haven’t heard back from her. 

Sadly, this is how people think about placement. Typically, they’ll respond with something like “it’s done, now move on”.

If only life was that easy! It reinforces my drive to educate the public  about birth mothers and what we stand for.

Adoption is created through life-altering loss. For birth parents it’s a forever loss. It is also an emotional roller coaster.

It is hard to manage when a barrage of emotions and triggers overcome you. Just like all women who give birth, the bond never goes away.

It is trying to figure out how to live with that loss that is so damaging to those who place. We know our choice was the best when it took place based on the situation we were in. It takes a lot of time to learn to live with that choice.

For this November I hope you’ll take on the challenge of educating yourself and others about what birth mothers face and be more aware about what you say and feel.

We need to remove the stigma that has for so long been attached to women whose choices have given others the opportunity to enjoy a family.

Lynea is a birth mother of 28 years who has been reunited with her daughter for 12 years. Along with her other interests, she is passionate about helping other birthmothers to cope with the daily challenges of life after placing a child. Learn more about Lynea and the birthmother support group she founded at Life After Placement.

Do you have an adoption story to share? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.

Help us remove the stigma surrounding open adoption. Like us on Facebook.