Misconceptions about birth mothers and birth fathers often sensationalize the real truth and reality behind adoption. The media often portrays the birth mother as an addict or a teen mother. In regards to the birth father, stereotypes often depict him as absent or uninvolved, or even as a rapist. These common misconceptions downplay the reality of adoption for all parties involved.
The Birth Mother Did Not Want to Parent Her Child
A common misconception surrounding the choice to place a child is because they are unwanted. However, the main reason why birth parents choose adoption is because they are unable to provide for their child. Without knowing the full story, it is not fair to assume that the child was simply unwanted.
The Birth Mother Does Not Miss Her Child
Another stereotype surrounding birth mothers is that she does not miss or think about her child. The decision to place a child for adoption is one of the hardest choices a birth mother has to make. While each birth mother is different, most never forget about them because the child is physically a part of them even though they are not under the care of the birth mother anymore. Many birth mothers struggle with not only missing their child but also not being able to see them grow up. Despite these struggles, birth mothers feel comforted knowing that their child has been placed into a loving home.
The Birth Father is Not as Important as The Birth Mother
The misunderstanding that the birth mother is more important than the birth father is false. Both birth parents are equally important in all stages of the adoption process. Oftentimes the birth father stays involved after learning of the pregnancy, and they offer support to their partner. Another misconception is that the birth father does not have a say in choosing adoption. While it is morally and ethically right to let birth fathers have a say, some states have laws in place regarding the birth father’s rights dependent upon the birth’s mother’s choices.
Birth Fathers Are Apathetic
The stories of birth fathers being uninvolved or unknown outweigh birth fathers who are involved and known. Stereotypically, birth fathers are seen as apathetic, yet there is a good deal of birth fathers that are devoted. Oftentimes birth fathers report that they wanted to be more involved but were unsure of their role before, during and after the adoption. Regardless of whether the birth father is present or absent, they still go through a lot emotionally.
Birth Parents do not Need the Same Support as Adoptive Parents
A common misconception surrounding support groups and therapy is that they are only for adoptive parents and the child. However, this is not true. Oftentimes birth parents find themselves seeking support after relinquishing their child for adoption. The process can be difficult for all parties involved, and frequently feelings of grief and loss are present. Many adoption agencies provide support groups and services to birth parents as well as adoptive parents to help them navigate their emotions and develop healthy coping methods.
How to Dispel Misconceptions About Birth Mothers and Birth Fathers
In the modern world of adoption, the facts tend to merge with fiction. In order to become educated on the realities of adoption and the roles of birth parents, consider reading adoption books and articles and attending meetings geared towards birth parents and adoptive parents.