Why Adoption Counseling is Recommended
Lil Snee
Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) and adoption professionals should have as much interest and concern about the emotional and psychological health of the expectant mother or birthmother as they do about her physical health. An expectant mother or birthmother involved in making an adoption plan for her baby will typically experience a gamut of phases that might take her by great surprise.

An expectant mother or 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 will assist the expectant molther or birthmother in determining if indeed adoption is the right choice for her and her baby. If it is the right choice, counseling will help her to staying focused on her decision before and after the birth. If adoption is not the right choice, it is much better for the expectant mothr or birthmother, the adoptive parents, and especially for the child, if that is determined before the birth rather than after the adoptive parents have physical custody of the child.

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 an expectant mother or 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 expectant mothr or birthmother might face. Counseling will benefit them in same way it does the expectant mother or birthmother. Additionally, they may have a significant amount of influence on the expectant mother or 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 an expectant mother or 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.

copyright 1989 - 2050

Excerpted from Chapter Seven, "The Adoption Connection"
a book written and published
Lil Snee
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Adoption Consultant
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