Birthmother Grief

Understanding the Grief Process in Adoption

‎"Neither society nor the adopter who holds the child in her arms wants to confront the agony of the mother from whose arms that same child was taken." ~Margaret McDonald Lawrence


The established stages of griefdenial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, often don’t seem to help the grief experienced by birthmothers and adoption losses.

Unlike the grief felt from a death, the loss from adoption is often said to be a complicated grief or a continuous grief. As life for both parties carries on through the years, the separation continues to add more missed opportunities or milestones that are normally shared with one’s children.

To complicated matters even further, some mothers have had to bury their feelings and have never had the opportunity to express them. Others, refuse to acknowledge a loss from adoption separation, and cling to the fairy tale versions where the birthmother is some heroic figure. Still other mothers, find that it is not until an adoption reunion with their lost children, does the full spectrum of feelings, including grief.

How to Cope With Birthmother Grief

One cannot avoid the feelings of grief and be able to live a relatively normal and productive life. While the grief process is not pretty, it is only by dealing with the grief and loss can one be able to experience emotions fully, both the positive and the negative feelings.

The best advice I can give anyone who needs help with the grieving process in adoption is to know that you are not alone in it. What you feel is normal.

 For more ways of understanding and coping with birth mother grief, please click here. 

The Most Recent Adoption Blog Posts about Dealing with Birth Mother Grief  Below:

I’m Sorry

By AstridBeeMom I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’re struggling. I’m sorry for your pain. I’m sorry if I caused it, even inadvertently. I’m sorry life is so rough. If I could take it all away, I would. If I could trade places with you, I would. There’s so much I want to tell you, so much I want to say, but I cannot find the words before…

Posted in Birthmother Grief, Musings of a Birthmom | Comments Off on I’m Sorry

In The Funk. Again.

By Susie I’ve been in an adoption funk again for the last couple of weeks.  I know it’s partially because a planned visit to see Christopher in July didn’t happen due to my getting another kidney stone a couple of days before I was supposed to go.  Now we are finding it difficult to find time when we are both free at the same time.  It’s been over a year…

Posted in Birthmother Grief, More Adoption Blogs from Adoption Bloggers | 1 Comment

Teleflora’s Commercial Tribute to Young, Single Mothers

By Susie While wasting time on Facebook the other night, I kept seeing a link that several different friends had  posted about a Teleflora commercial that had left them in tears. It left me in tears too.  But for reasons unlike my friends.  Especially during this month of May, that includes not only Mother’s Day, but also Christopher’s birthday. What a kick in the gut. This wonderful son, grown up…

Posted in Birthmother Grief, Birthmother Holidays & Adoptee Birthdays, Finding Christopher Finding Myself, More Adoption Blogs from Adoption Bloggers | Comments Off on Teleflora’s Commercial Tribute to Young, Single Mothers

When the Adoption Experts are Wrong

So what I read is a educated therapist adoption professional who SHOULD have access to all the known research of birthmother grief and is seemingly choosing to ignore it instead repeating the propaganda laden ideals of how we WANT adoption to be. The studies clearly state that our grief intensifies over time. There is no peace. A birthmother’s grief is continuous, disenfranchised and complicated. An “article” like this only serves to lead both adoptive parents and any birthmothers up to fail. This supposed two year window sets a stage where people are going to expect that grief will lessen after two years which is a direct contradiction of the research. Now granted there is limited research on birthmother grief, but that gives even more reasoning to expect that Ms. Mantell should be familiar with the facts she speaks of.

Posted in Birthmother Grief, The Adoption Industry | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on When the Adoption Experts are Wrong

Scream Until It Hurts

By Cassi When my middle son was just a baby, I worked at a day care center that included infant care – it was all about the benefit of reduced child care costs and being able to work while still being near my baby. During my time there, I had an experience I will never forget. An experience that forever changed me. In the crib next to my son’s in…

Posted in Birthmother Grief, More Adoption Blogs from Adoption Bloggers, Relinquishment | Comments Off on Scream Until It Hurts

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