Although adoption is widely accepted, birth parents still experience shaming from others. This often comes from a lack of understanding about adoption. Even well-meaning individuals sometimes say hurtful things. Below are some ways you can help.
As a Birth Parent
Of course, you are never obligated to share your story with anyone. But if you feel comfortable doing so, it can be very helpful. Most of the negative comments about birth parents come from ignorance. Those who have never been touched by adoption simply don’t understand the enormous gift and sacrifice of those within the adoption journey. As a birth parent, you can educate others about your journey. When people hear your story, they can experience adoption through your eyes. Once they understand the tremendous courage and love of a birth mother, they are unlikely to shame birth parents in the future.
As an Adoptee
As someone who was placed for adoption, you are in a unique position, and your perspective can have a significant impact on how people feel about adoption. Whether you have a close relationship with your birth parents or do not know them at all, you do know that your birth parents made their decision with your best interest at heart. When you speak kindly about your birth parents and share your positive feelings about adoption, it helps shape the opinions people have about adoption and birth mothers.
As an Adoptive Parent
You, more than anyone, understand that birth mothers deserve respect and support. You may have a very close relationship with your child’s birth parents, or perhaps the relationship is strained. Regardless of the state of that relationship, you gained a child because of their sacrifice. You can help destigmatize adoption by vocalizing your support of birth parents. Additionally, speaking with your child about adoption and explaining the tremendous love their birth mother has for them, will help alleviate some of the shame.
As Someone Outside the Adoption Community
If you are not directly involved in an adoption, you can still put an end to birth mother shaming. Perhaps you know someone touched by adoption, or simply recognize the positive aspects of adoption. You can speak out and correct people when they shame birth parents. Stand up for them the way you would if you heard someone saying something racist, sexist or homophobic. These things all grow from ignorance, and by educating people, we can often eliminate them. The shaming of birth mothers is no different. It’s oppressive, mean and completely unnecessary.
We like to think that we live in an inclusive, open-minded society. While we have made great strides, we still have a long way to go. Birth parents are just one of many groups who suffer from the ignorance of others. By educating others and explaining the true nature of adoption, we can help eliminate some of the shame birth mothers experience.
Contact Destiny Adoption for more information and assistance.
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.