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Coping with Grief and Loss in Adoption

Everyone involved in adoption can experience grief and loss. The experience can vary in intensity and timing. Learn how to process these emotional issues to prevent long-term problems.

The Seven Core Issues of Adoption

An adopted person considers the core issues about her adoption.

Adoption experts have found that adoptees commonly experience seven issues related to their circumstances. These seven issues include: grief, loss, rejection, guilt/shame, control, intimacy and identity. 

Tips for Talking About Adoption

Are you frustrated with insensitive adoption questions? This article explains how to avoid misunderstanding and potential hurt when talking about adoption with your family and friends.

Why Expectant Fathers Matter in Adoption Relationships

Expectant fathers are important when a child is placed for adoption.

Should you include the expectant father in the adoption plan? Learn why fathers matter in adoptive relationships and what you need to consider as you make your decisions.

Adoption Today

Thankfully, today’s birthparents have greater access to more information about the choices available to them than ever before. There are fewer social stigmas surrounding adoption and birthparents enjoy greater influence over their child’s future by helping select the adoptive families and even building an ongoing relationship with them.

Because of these and other changes in adoption practice, expectant parents are more likely to feel empowered to make choices that they believe are best for their child and feel good about those choices in the long term.

However, even the most informed, supported and empowered decision for adoption carries pain with it. Saying goodbye to a child is always a heartbreaking, life-changing event. As a birthparent, you feel the grief and loss that accompanies relinquishment and adoption.

Your Growth After Adoption

You love your child. In choosing adoption, you demonstrated a true sacrificial love and now you trust that the parents you selected to raise your sweet one will provide her with the security and opportunities that, under different circumstances, you would have wanted to provide.

Openness in adoption can provide comfort and even joy in watching your well-loved, well-cared for child develop into a healthy, young adult. When visits are part of the openness plan, opportunities to interact and enjoy a positive relationship with your child and her adoptive family are a great blessing. Openness, though, does not make your loss disappear—there will be times throughout your life when you will feel that loss intensely. It may be difficult to find others who can relate to your experience and understand how you can feel both delight and grief simultaneously.

Your adoption journey did not end when you choose adoption for your child…Indeed, it only just began. We hope that the information on this site can help you:

  • Discover meaning out of the sad times that follow adoption.
  • Find answers to questions you may have about your child’s development.
  • Recognize the positive aspects of adoption in your life.
  • Honor the important role you play in your child’s life.