Thursday, October 3, 2013

Forgotten Birthmoms

You know I've been on this kick of trying to find out where the rest of 'us' are. According to research, both mine and others, there are possibly millions of us out there who hold the title of 'birthmom' still living. Yet where are our support services? where are our programs? where is the compassionate response to our grief?

In a traditional, pro-life pregnancy center there are support groups for women who have previously terminated a pregnancy. In those groups they find support, acceptance and hopefully forgiveness for their choice.

In a traditional, pro-life pregnancy center there are support systems in place for women who find themselves unexpectantly pregnant and choose to parent the child. In our local center, for example, ladies can attend classes during their pregnancy that include CPR, labor and delivery and how to care for a newborn. After their bundle of joy arrives, they can stay on for two years to further their parenting education all the while earning points redeemable towards diapers, wipes, formula and clothing.

In that same pregnancy center, there is all kinds of verbal support for adoption. There are referrals to adoption agencies available. And if you're lucky, you may get to talk to someone like me, someone who's been there and can lend support and a listening ear.

But that's it. That's all. No follow up. No rewards. No programming. No two year support group.

So that makes me wonder. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the support systems come first making the way easier for single parenting? Or did the era of single parenting come first with the need for support systems following?

And does that apply to adoption? Would it make a difference on the number of children placed if more support systems were offered? Would it increase the number of women willing to come out of the birthmother closet and tell their stories?

Photo credit


  1. Well, I just found your blog today and it has already helped. I'm not a birth mom yet, but I will be soon. I have chosen adoption and it is already breaking my heart. I'm ready - and needing- to "come out of the closet" if you will.

    I just started my second blog today, this one about my pregnancy and adoption journey. If you want, you can check it out. Maybe it will be helpful to other people in my shoes if they have someone going through something similar at the same time. Thank you for writing something that I and so many others are able to relate to.

    1. Hi Alana! So good to hear from you. I'm glad you are getting connected to other birthmoms now as you start your journey. Lean on us as we can all support each other. I'm going to check out your blog. Thanks for posting!

  2. It's because agencies, which generally end up being responsible for the "aftermath", don't like to focus on the lifelong sorrow that we face as birth mothers. In fact a lot of birth mothers I know were encouraged to "move on" because no one likes to see someone else in pain or dealing with sadness. I don't believe agencies as a general rule are "cold" or "heartless" and I don't believe the people who work there are either. But I do believe they just don't know what to do with "us."

    Also, the support systems for single parenting came after the societal shift in emotional readiness for single parenting. Don't ask me if we'll ever get there with adoption, since there's a disconnect with what we've done and the "good" that is "giving our children a better life."

  3. Actually, I DO believe that most agencies as a general rule are "cold and heartless" and esp. some of the CHristian ones who really just want to "save the babies" at the expense of all else and basically just throw the birthmother under the bus. SOme of the most evil wicked and nasty adoption attorneys claim to be CHristian but they are mostly just self-righteous.
    Everyone else, I agree with Monika, just "don't know what to do with us."