Meet Brittany Brooks, our Wynnewood Office Manager and Marketing Associate! As a birthmother, Brittany has seen the adoption process from an oft-misinterpreted perspective. She wants to break the social stigma of birth mothers through her work here at the agency by empowering fellow expecting and birth parents.
As a birthmother, were you looking for an open adoption or a closed adoption?
As an expecting parent, I was looking for an open adoption. A closed adoption seemed really heart-wrenching to me. My hope was to know where my child was and how he was doing. I didn’t go into the adoption process expecting to form a relationship with the adoptive parents though. Honestly, it was a happy surprise that they were willing to share his life with me, so I didn’t want to push for more. However, the family I ended up choosing wanted to have a close relationship with me, so it worked out well.
Tell Us More About Choosing the Family for Your Son…
The family I chose was in the first collection of potential adoptive parents shown to me. It did take me about 3 days or so to make a definite decision. I pretty much knew I wanted the family I ended up choosing anyway; it was mainly about getting my heart on board with my brain.
What were your searching for in an adoptive family?
It’s funny how expecting parents decide to choose their families. Either we’re looking for a family that has everything or accomplished everything that we have not done yet or we search for a family that directly resembles us. For me, it was a mixture of both; I wanted a married couple, regardless of race or sexual orientation. I wanted my son to be either an only child or the family’s first. That was most important to me. Because I felt like I didn’t give him all the excitement and joy that he should have gotten throughout my pregnancy; like a baby shower, being excited at my ultrasounds, or just being happy while pregnant so, I wanted him to feel that with his new family.
How does your status as a birth mother impact your work here at AFTH?
Working at AFTH as a birth mother is very therapeutic for me. It also allows me to bring the birth parent perspective to the table. I help run the Facebook Birth Parent Support Group, where I can really help other birth mothers and fathers and help connect them to other birth parents who are going through the same thing. I didn’t have a lot of support during the adoption process and I wasn’t aware of any such groups. Most of the time as birth parents we end up feeling like we’re the only one. It wasn’t until I started speaking with other birth parents that I finally felt a sense of normalcy. For once, I didn’t feel like an outcast. I was able to relinquish the feeling of shame that society puts on adoption in general. The social stigma drives my advocacy for birth parents to seek help if needed, talk to other birth parents, and allow themselves to feel their emotions. I feel like this is a great start to our healing process.
What would be the #1 thing you would want to tell someone who is pregnant and considering adoption?
If someone is pregnant and considering adoption, I would want them to know it’s okay if you can’t parent your baby. As a woman, I feel that gender roles force us to accept being a mother even if we honestly can’t be. So, it’s okay if you can’t parent and if you don’t want to be a parent at this time in your life too. As time goes on, knowing that you made the right decision for yourself and your baby is what matters most. Don’t let your family, friends, society, or gender roles pressure you into something you’re not ready for. It doesn’t matter if you’re considering adoption or if you want to parent, let the choice be yours and yours alone.
Brittany shares more of her story and advice for expecting and adoptive parents on several episodes of Adoptions From The Heart TV.