Wednesday, January 19, 2011


One question that I am asked most often by fellow birthmothers, expectant mothers considering adoption, and just about anyone who dares to ask it is if I regret my decision to place my son for adoption.
It seems like a simple yes or no answer, doesn’t it? But, for me at least, it’s a loaded question with a complex answer. I wish I had a simple yes or no but I don’t. I also think that the answer to that question is ever changing just as my feelings regarding adoption are ever changing.  If you had asked me that question when Charlie was one my answer would have been a solid no but now it’s much more complicated. The older Charlie gets and the more I learn about adoption seems to correlate with how my feelings regarding adoption change.
When I chose adoption for Charlie nine years ago, I thought I was doing the best thing for him at the time. I still know that I made the best decision that I could at that time in my life.  However, I do have some regrets. I regret not educating myself about adoption more. Some days, I regret not at least attempting to parent Charlie. And as silly as it may sound, I regret not giving Charlie a name of my own choosing. (I knew what the adoptive parents were intending to name him and just had that name, with my last name, put on his original birth certificate.)

But I do not regret getting pregnant with Charlie at all. Yes, I do regret the events and decisions that led up to my getting pregnant with him, but I don’t for a single second ever regret having that little boy in my life. Even with the pain involved with adoption, I’m still blessed to have him in my life.
There are some days that I feel like Charlie is exactly where he is supposed to be. Then there are other days that I’m regretful. Little did I know when I was pregnant with Charlie that by his second birthday I’d be married with a supportive husband and the means to provide for more children and by his fourth birthday his (adoptive) parents would be divorced.
But hindsight is twenty/twenty as they say. I didn’t know how my life would turn out. I only knew what was going on in my life at the time wasn’t conducive to parenting a second child. I know that I made the best decision I could at that point in my life and I don’t regret that.
I could sit here all day and say “what if….” or “I wish…” but that’s not very productive and it certainly will not change the past. So when I’m feeling regretful I try to reassure myself that I made the best decision that I could at that moment in time. I know what’s done is done and I can only try to heal from the past and move forward into the future.

How do you cope when you are feeling regretful?


  1. Thank you for this great post. I'll remember this if I ever struggle with any regrets. Regrets are okay, but like you basically said, regrets aren't something you want to live your life around. When I feel regretful, I remind myself how happy my daughter must be with her parents. I remind myself how happy her parents are with the ultimate gift that I gave them. That in and of itself helps me feel better, because it makes me feel good to make other people feel good. I also remind myself that I strongly believe God let things happen the way they did because He has a bigger plan for my life and hers than I have. :-) *hugs*

  2. But Monika- what if your child ISN'T happy with her parents? Even if she is, she may regret being surrendered. Please keep that in mind for when your children are older, ladies. We love our first Moms, and "most" adoptees regret that their first Mothers did not have the support or resources available to keep us.

    And again....try to keep God out of it. I know for myself, and many of the adult adoptees I know, it really bothered us when people use God as a justification for adopting, or surrendering. God has nothing to do with adoption...people do.

  3. Thank you. That's all I can say right now. Found you through Coley's Corner ( and I'll be back. Nice to know I'm not alone.

  4. When I feel regretful, I write poetry or emails to other bmom friends, I post on this site, and I talk to my mom and hubby and friends. Sometimes I write letters to my birthchild, just to get the feelings out, and then toss it (I do not wish to burden him with MY feelings). Finding support during feelings like that is critical! I feel so bad for the poor birthmoms out there who lack the support system that I have been blessed with...that's one reason I love bmombuds! This is a safe environment for venting feelings and being understood...and for recieving support!

  5. Thank you, Linda, for pointing out that we should keep God out of this adoption thing. Too many people DO use God as a justification for adoption. Because, if God really does treat people like this, I want nothing at all to do with him.