A birthmother should be professionally
advised that it is normal to experience grief,
denial, anger, uncertainty, confusion, guilt, and depression.
She should have professional resources available to her to discuss
these phases and learn how to accept them and resolve the issues. Otherwise,
she might one day feel like she has walked into a brick wall of unexplainable
emotions. Not knowing
how to respond, she might lash out at the adoptive parents, and might even
terminate the adoption plan. I know this from personal experience with
my son's birthmother. In
the course of counseling, other issues might be discovered and hopefully
resolved early in the adoption plan.
Professional adoption counseling can minimize risk for everyone involved in the process! To serve the best interest of everyone, do and say all that you can to encourage a birthmother to engage in professional adoption counseling, before and after the birth.
Professional adoption counseling can also greatly benefit an involved birthfather and birth-grandparents as well. These individuals may also experience the same gamut of emotions the birthmother might face. Counseling will benefit them in same way it does the birthmother. Additionally, they may have a significant amount of influence on the birthmother and hopefully will be prepared to support her in her decision. They can be better prepared to offer her the support she needs if they understand the basis of her decision and they, themselves, accept it and learn how to manage their emotions such as, and grief, confusion, and anger.
Likewise, adoptive parents would also benefit from professional adoption counseling. Adoptive parents must be knowledgeable about what a birthmother might experience psychologically, so that they can recognize these phases and be supportive rather than frightened and defensive. Additionally, adoptive parents will likely experience changes in their relationship while the adoption plan in is effect and they await the birth of their child. The stress level can be incredible. Couples who rarely argue may find that they are now doing so; there may be anxiety and uncertainty. As they ponder how their lives are about to change dramatically, it's no wonder! A counselor can educate adoptive parents on these issues and more, and assist them to arrive at resolution.
Not all counselors, regardless of their degrees, are trained to provide adoption counseling, which is very specific and unique. When selecting an adoption counselor, it would be wise to get referrals and references from adoption professionals or other adoptive parents.
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