Placing a child for adoption can be an emotionally draining experience. Those feelings don’t just go away. For that reason, birth parent support, including post-adoption counseling and support groups, are recommended and offered for free by Destiny Adoption. But during the holidays, feelings of depression and anxiety can increase.
For birth parents, the amount of contact you have with your child depends on your adoption agreement. Some adoptive families welcome birth parents into their holiday traditions and celebrations, but many do not.
If you are included in the adoptive family’s traditions, it can still be hard to avoid feelings of loss and isolation. It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling, and seek help.
There’s Help: Birth Parent Support
There are many ways you can seek help for depression related to placing a child for adoption. Try some of these tips to thrive during the holidays:
- Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself and allowing yourself time to grieve are critical for good mental health and emotional well-being.
- Reach out to a birth parent support group, such as Destiny’s. There are many groups that meet in person and online. They offer a place for birth parents to give each other support and ask for advice. Sometimes, it’s helpful simply to talk to other people who understand what you’re going through.
- Seek counseling. An adoption counselor can help you develop the tools needed for dealing with loss and grief, establish goals for yourself and make recommendations for further treatment.
- Contact Destiny Adoption. We can refer you to helpful resources for post-placement depression. We are here to help with whatever you need.
If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, know that those are feelings. They are not you and don’t define you. You are so much more! So, don’t wait to see if they go away — reach out right away. There are resources, such as counseling and birth parent support groups to help you navigate through these painful feelings.
If suicidal thoughts accompany your feelings of depression and sadness, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or reach out to their Lifeline Crisis Chat service. You can also call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
The holidays can be a trying time, but you can and will thrive. Remember, you are loved. You are strong.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.