When people hear the term ‘birth mother’ it is not uncommon for preconceived notions to rise in one’s mind.
One may picture a young teenage girl, an irresponsible/selfish woman, or a mother who will change her mind about placing her child as soon as she delivers.
These stereotypes of birth mothers stem from numerous films (and other forms of media) that show birth mothers in a variety of negative ways.
However, many of these stereotypes can be challenged if one chooses to look at the facts of what a birth mother goes through when placing her child.
Myth: Most birth mothers are teen moms.
Reality: Expectant mothers come from many differing backgrounds.
Research shows that the number of teens who place their babies for adoption has declined sharply over recent decades. More than half of the births in the United States are to single women under the age of 30.
Birth mothers choose adoption because they believe the child will have a better life.
Myth: The birth mother will take her child back once delivered.
Reality: A very small percentage of birth mothers who place their child with adoptive parents will change their mind.
Most have chosen adoption because they felt that they could not offer their child the better life that adoptive parents may give the child.
Myth: If a birth mother hadn’t chosen an adoption plan she would have had an abortion.
Reality: Though no one but the birth mother knows exactly what a woman would have done had she been under different circumstances, most women view adoption as an alternative to parenting.
Abortion is not always the other option.
Myth: Birth mothers forget about their child after placing and no longer care about the child.
Reality: Most birth mothers are involved with the adoption process in order to ensure that their child will be raised in an environment that they are comfortable with.
Even though a birth mother may be confident she is making the correct decision by placing the child, saying goodbye may be one of the hardest things she endures during the process.
Most women who create an adoption plan go through an intense period of grieving after placement.
Even with this grief and loss, the option of an open adoption allows the birth mother to have a role in the child’s life.
It can help bring peace of mind to the birth mother knowing that she still has a connection with the child while being able to view the child thriving with its adoptive family.
Myth: The birth mother is selfish for giving up her child.
Reality: Choosing an adoption plan is a challenging, courageous decision for a birth mother.
The birth mother is fulfilling her parenting responsibilities by ensuring that the option of adoption will give the child a better life.
Placing a child up for adoption is not the easy way out; instead, it shows signs of maturity and responsibility on the birth mother’s behalf.
Myth: The birth mother would have been unsuitable as a parent.
Reality: The circumstances of the mother during her time of pregnancy may not have allowed her to be the best parent she could be to her child.
By choosing an adoption plan, the birth mother is ensuring that her child receives the best possible life from its adoptive family.
Overview: As far as stereotypes and myths of birth mothers go, this list just scratches the surface. Others still need to be educated on the reality that birth mothers endure hardships trying to make the correct decision for their child.
Remembering to keep an open mind regarding birth mothers allows the adoptive parent(s) to create a relationship of respect that will best benefit both parties.