Adoption is a wonderful solution for both parties involved. Families who want a child and women who are not ready to parent can both benefit from adoption. Amid this happy occasion though, depression can often occur.

Birth parents experience feelings of grief and loss after placing a child for adoption. These feelings are natural, and you should expect birth moms to go through them. Birth mothers by deal with typical pregnancy- and adoption-related emotions. Some are also at risk of having postpartum depression.

Below, we examine the differences between postpartum and post-adoption depression. We also discuss the symptoms of depression and offer some coping methods.

Postpartum Depression

Any woman who gives birth can experience postpartum depression. It is a mood disorder caused by physical and emotional factors that occur after childbirth. More specifically, changes in hormone levels and stress are the leading causes of postpartum depression.

A woman who has a family history of mental illness may be more prone to this mood disorder. Birth mothers are also at higher risk due to the stress of unplanned pregnancy.


Every woman is unique. But there are common symptoms of postpartum depression:

  • Depressed emotional state
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Withdrawal from typical social activities
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Noticeable shifts in sleep patterns
  • Loss of energy and increased fatigue
  • Lack of enjoyment in things that once created joy
  • Extreme anger or irrational hostility
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame or guilt
  • Difficulty focusing or making decisions
  • Intense anxiety, possibly accompanied by panic attacks
  • Thoughts of death, suicide or self-harm

Please seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by depression or if you are having thoughts of harming yourself. Postpartum depression is a treatable condition and typically fades over time.

Post-Adoption Depression

The main difference between postpartum and post-adoption depression is the cause of the emotions. Postpartum depression is a treatable disorder caused by hormonal changes. And post-adoption depression is a natural part of grief that one endures with various coping methods after placing a child for adoption. Many of the symptoms and feelings are similar in both cases. So, it may be hard to determine whether you are dealing with postpartum depression or post-adoption depression. In either case, we recommend that you seek professional help.

Coping With Postpartum or Post-Adoption Depression

There are things you can do to cope with these issues. Below are some examples of what you can do to manage this condition.

Talk to Your Adoption Specialist

Adoption counselors at Destiny Adoption are here to help you through the entire process. Your adoption specialist will help you prepare for the emotions you are likely to feel after placement. If you are experiencing post-adoption depression, she will provide guidance and help you adjust after the adoption. But you must let your adoption specialist know how you are feeling. She can also send you to a professional for treatment if you have postpartum depression.

Speak With Your Doctor

Your doctor can screen you for depression and prescribed medications to treat it. Be sure to let your doctor know what is happening with you both physically and mentally.

Your Support System

You are not alone. The key to coping is asking for help. Whether you are dealing with postpartum depression or post-adoption depression, others can help you through it.

Reach out to friends and family for help. Talking with people who love and support you can be instrumental to your recovery.

There are also birthparent support groups to help you connect with others who have experienced similar situations.


Please contact us 24/7 for information and assistance.  727-292-8966


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.