Grief and Loss Experienced by a Birth Mom
Every birth mom is unique and individual regarding grief and loss in adoption. If a birth mom has not dealt with previous losses, it is not uncommon for the adoption placement to trigger unresolved feelings of grief and loss. It is important for a birth mom to allow time to process the stages of grief that are normal and expected. According to Kubler-Ross, the five stages of grief include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. These stages are fluid. There are no set expectations on the time frame for grief and loss. It is beneficial for a birth mom to work through grief and loss to prevent future triggers of unresolved grief and loss related to adoption. This is not to say that a birth mom may not have future triggers that produce profound sadness, but will likely reduce a significant trigger related to adoption.
When a birth mom spends time attaching to the baby during the pregnancy and after birth, it may reduce the grief and loss process after placement. A healthy attachment to the baby during pregnancy allows a birth mom to release the baby and move toward the stage of acceptance. An adoption placement is not an easy decision and can cause intense grief and loss, but it is possible to have an adoption placement and work through the stages of grief and return to a stable, fulfilling, joyful life.