What happens when an expectant mom changes her mind

March 4, 2013 in Domestic Adoption by   |  No Comments

I know you don’t want to talk about it- actually you don’t even want to think about it but you need to. Sometimes adoptions don’t go through. Usually adoptions don’t happen because the expectant mom has changed her mind about her adoption plan.  Generally adoption plans are made while she is pregnant and there is a significant amount of time to really think about all of her options. After the initial shock, perhaps, of her pregnancy it is often possible that a partner may come into the picture to help care for the baby, a parent is willing to step up or the expectant mom herself has figured out a way to make it work despite her initial thoughts she couldn’t. It is impossible to know the bond between mother and child and impossible to know how someone is feeling after just having given birth- there is always the potential that the expectant mom will change her mind until the waiting period is over after she signs the relinquishment papers.

It is normal to question yourself about your understanding of adoption, perhaps of the relationship you had built with this person. The reality is that it isn’t about you- it’s about a baby and their mother and that mother can change her mind so you should prepare yourself (another post on that!) and be ready to move ahead if it does happen.

There are so many reasons an expectant mom may change her mind. It is hard at the time to put yourself in her shoes. There is no one reason why adoptions don’t work out. In open adoption, prospective birth mothers not only have the ability to change their mind—it’s their right. That doesn’t change things or make them easier for you. This is always something to think about as you go through the process. Knowing that a failed adoption could happen is one thing. Having it happen to you is something else. A disrupted adoption is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to deal with, especially if you brought the baby home with you and starting the bonding process.

Recovering from a failed adoption will take time, here are some things to remember as you journey through this difficult time:

Grieve together.  Acknowledge your pain and your loss and discuss your feelings with your partner. Remember, he or she is going through this with you. Together, you’ll emerge from your crisis even more united.

Search out and join support group.  Get in touch with other adoptive parents who have been in your shoes. Most people won’t understand what you’re going through, those who have been through similar situations are most likely to be your best support.

Don’t give up hope!  There will be other opportunities. You have to allow yourself to pursue them. Take a short break, be good to yourself and to your partner and don’t make any big decisions until you’re ready. Each failed adoption fails for its own reasons. Understand that just because one situation didn’t work out doesn’t mean the next one will be the same.

Patience and time will produce the right family situation for you!

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