Your adoption story doesn’t end at the hospital or when the period to revoke your consent is up. It’s a continuing story: one with new beginnings for baby, for you, and for the adoptive parents but with continuing ties binding all of you together for your lifetimes. Immediately following the birth, you will want to make sure to take advantage of post-placement support including counseling. Family and friends will be very important during this time and can offer a lot of support, however, visiting a therapist who is familiar with adoption is going to be a critical part of your recovery and healing.
Whether you are working with an agency or an attorney, you are entitled to counseling throughout the process, both before and after the birth of the child. While counseling is no magic fix, it can make a huge difference in your emotional stability during and after pregnancy. Don’t just choose any counselor; ask for help finding one that is familiar with adoption, grief and loss. There are several well-qualified compassionate therapists who will provide counseling to you via phone or Skype if their location is not convenient for you. The agency or attorney you choose to work with should be able to help you locate someone right for your circumstances.
Most states require the adoptive parents to pay for at least a few sessions of post-placement counseling for their birth mother. For example, in California, adoptive parents are required to offer three (3) counseling sessions. However, if you’ve ever gone to counseling, you know that three sessions with a therapist is a good start, but nowhere near enough to help a birth mother through post-adoption grief. We recommend that the adoptive parents budget for a minimum of 10 counseling sessions. Whenever possible, an Expectant Parent should establish a relationship with a counselor during the pregnancy and continue with counseling as needed into the future. Counseling can be a huge part of paving the way for your road to emotional recovery and health.