Birthmother Grief

Coping with Birth Mother Grief

The established stages of grief,  denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, often don’t seem to help the grief experienced by birth mothers 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 Birth Mother 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.

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The Birthmother Shift – 12 Years In an Adoption Fog

At or around age 12, childhood is over.
And for birth mothers, it is obvious that we missed the whole thing. It’s over. Our child is in the final stages of growing up without us. Their whole childhood is gone. They grew up without us. It’s done.


“Instructions for a Bad Day” by Shane Koyczan

Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence. So speak and be heard. One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context – if you find that no one is listening, be loud.
Make noise.


Five Lies About Grief & What No One Tells You about Birthmother’s Losses

In many ways, you are restarting your life from scratch. You were not a birthmother before. You did not have this child before. Now you do. You are newly born as a mother, as THIS mother, for THIS child and that mother has been relinquished as well. She is gone. You mourn not only your child, but the mother you would have been, the girl who did not live with this sorrow, the woman who didn’t hold sadness in her eyes.


Searching for Adoption Healing and Birthmother Advice

It’s bad enough that the adoption industry is still promoting that somehow it is OK to relinquish a baby to adoption and that the long term effects of relinquishment on birthmothers does not exists despite all the scientific research to the quandary. But by putting the impossible task to “healing from relinquishment” on the actual birthmother; they are also setting her up to fail.


Musings After the Pumpkin Patch…

There will be no memories of perfect pumpkin days with my oldest son. Yes, I am sure his parents are great and he has the proper days in his past, and if I am lucky, maybe someday I will get to see the pictures. ( I have never seen the pictures)


Spouse of A Birthmother Asks: How Do I Tell My Children?

And like many of us affected by adoption, for a spouse of a birthmothers, it helps just to know that one is not alone, which is then altered with the desire to help others also feel that validation and acknowledgment. I do infrequently run into other spouses that wish there was more public support. Perhaps one day we will have something really good for you all. Of course, we’ll have to make it ourselves. The adoption industry probably never will, as then they will have to admit that adoption has long term affects on behalf of relinquishment.


Kitten Adoption Can be Very Triggering

We make it out the double glass doors and I burst into hysterical tears. Not weeping, not crying, but gut wrenching hysterical deep soul crushing sobs. Rye looks at me shocked, I am beyond all logic. I make it about ten steps to the car, and then turn around….sobbing, tears flowing down my face, I am not sure what I said. It was like I had stepped on an emotional land mind and now all this shrapnel of myself was just flying.
I had no way of knowing it, but when I had to leave my “baby” cat behind and walk out that door without turning back..I hit that place that every relinquishing mother fears. It really was an emotional land mind that exploded when I walked out that door. I wasn’t crying over the cat, it was over Max…two days old. It’s no one’s fault that this experience reenacted the worst trauma of my life, but it did. Just ripped that scab off with such a force, that it took me hours to find the place to stop the bleeding.