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By AdoptMatch on August 12, 2021

Advice From a Birth Mom: Why Counseling After Adoption Is Important

Birth mother counseling is an important part of your recovery, even after the adoption process has ended.

Adoption is an ongoing story: one with new beginnings for your baby, for you, and the adoptive parents. Your adoption story doesn’t end at the hospital or after your sign adoption paperwork. 

Birth mother, Sarah, shares how post-adoption counseling with an experienced adoption counselor can make a big difference in your adoption story. 

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Post-Placement Support

Immediately following your child's birth, you will want to make sure to take advantage of available post-adoption support resources, including counseling. Family and friends may offer you al lot of encouragement after the adoption, and can be an important source of strength.

However, finding a therapist who is familiar with adoption loss and grief will be a critical part of your recovery and healing.

Whether you are working with an agency or an attorney, you should receive free adoption counseling throughout the process, both before and after the birth of the child. While counseling is not a magic fix, it can make a huge difference in your emotional stability— during and after your pregnancy.

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Finding the Right Counselor

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 Zoom if their office location is not convenient for you. The agency or attorney you choose to work will help you locate someone right for your circumstances.

Paying for Adoption Counseling

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 someone who has just placed a baby for adoption deal with post-adoption trauma and the grief that many birth mothers experience afterward. 

We recommend that the adoptive parents plan to pay for a minimum of 12 counseling sessions for their child's birth mother. Whenever possible, start building a relationship with your counselor during your pregnancy and then continue with therapy sessions after your baby is born. You will likely experience feelings of sadness and loss at different intervals after the adoption, so having a trusted counselor to call upon at those times is important. 

While adoption counseling won't eliminate your feelings of grief loss, and trauma after an adoption, counseling with an experienced adoption therapist can play a huge part in your emotional recovery and overall mental health.

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Published by AdoptMatch August 12, 2021