What Does Post Adoption Support Look Like for Birth Parents?

Choosing to place a child for adoption in order to best provide for them is definitely one of the hardest decisions that a parent will ever make. Many parents consider making this decision every day. We believe they should be offered extensive support throughout the process including after placement.  Post adoption support for birth parents is crucial for ensuring their well-being and helping them navigate the emotional complexities that may arise after placing a child for adoption.  But what does post adoption support look like for birth parents?

Information, Resources, Advocacy and Empowerment

First and foremost, birth parents should be offered correct information and resources from the start of their adoption planning process. Empowering and advocating for those who are considering adoption is the right thing to do. Adoption professionals should provide the following.

  • Providing information about the adoption process, their rights as parents considering adoption, and helping them navigate any challenges or obstacles they may encounter. Such as the information packet we prepared for expectant parents.
  • Empowering parents to advocate for themselves and their needs within the adoption process.
  • Referrals to community resources such as financial assistance, housing support, or job training programs.
  • Access to educational materials and workshops on topics like coping strategies, self-care, and healthy communication
  • Advocating for policies and practices that prioritize the well-being and rights of birth parents within the adoption system.

Counseling, Therapy and Supportive Services

Offering counseling, therapy and supportive services to parents considering adoption and birth parents who have chosen to place their child for adoption is vitally important. Not everyone will partake in counseling, but it should always be offered if needed.

  • Access to case managers or social workers who can provide ongoing support and guidance.
  • Individual counseling sessions to address feelings of grief, loss, and adjustment.
  • Group therapy or support groups where birth parents can connect with others who have experienced similar situations.
  • Therapeutic services tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of birth parents.

Peer Support and Networking

It’s easy to think that you are alone in choosing an adoption plan for your child. However, many people make this decision every day. It can be reassuring to know that you are not the only one who has placed a child for adoption. Sometimes it can be helpful just to talk with someone who has been through similar circumstances.

  • Connecting birth parents with others who have been through similar experiences for peer support and networking opportunities.
  • Organizing events or gatherings where birth parents can share their stories and build a sense of community.
  • Online forums or social media groups where birth parents can connect with each other for support and encouragement. Some of our birth parents have even collaborated with us to create videos of their stories.

Continued Education and Skill Development

  • Providing opportunities for birth parents to pursue education or vocational training to enhance their skills and employment prospects.
  • Offering workshops or classes on parenting skills, relationship-building, or personal development.
  • Supporting birth parents in setting and working towards personal goals for their future.

By offering comprehensive post-adoption support services, agencies and organizations can help birth parents navigate the emotional, practical, and logistical challenges they may face after placing a child for adoption, ultimately promoting their long-term well-being and resilience.

If you are currently considering placing a child for adoption, you can reach out to one of our counselors for support at 1-800-676-2229. You may also find more information online.

EXCITING NEWS ~ ACI is happy to announce we are now a 2024 Birth Parent Support Alliance Member with On Your Feet Foundation. With this alliance we can make sure birth parents who have placed through ACI get the best possible post adoption support.

ACI is the newest member of the Birth Parent Support Alliance, a membership offered by On Your Feet Foundation to adoption professionals committed to best practices in post-placement care for birth parents, regardless of how long-ago placement happened, or the circumstances of that placement.

Who is On Your Feet Foundation?

Founded over twenty years ago, On Your Feet Foundation is a national 501(c)3 organization dedicated to serving the needs of parents after they have placed a child or children for adoption. Recognized as the gold-standard in comprehensive post-placement support for birth parents — a historically under-served population within the adoption community — they are a neutral third-party, providing birth parents with case management, adoption- competent therapy, therapeutic retreats, education and counseling grants, adoption education and strong, vibrant community in which to heal and thrive.

03.14.24 by Pam Brown, ACI Expectant Parent Counselor

Pam joined Adoption Center of Illinois in July of 1991. She graduated from the University of Iowa where she earned her bachelor’s degree focusing on psychology, child development and counseling. Pam counsels expectant parents in northern, central and southern Illinois and says that after many years with the agency she still loves her job.