Who are Birth Mothers?
(Not Just Teen Moms)
When you think of a birth mother, you might envision what many people do. Most people are going to assume that a birth mother is going to be a teen mom. That is what every media outlet has portrayed birth mothers to be. Teen moms who aren’t ready or don’t want their child. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but maybe you don’t fit that.
You are a birth mother -- that part is true -- but maybe you aren’t a teenager. Adoption isn’t a case of you not wanting your child either. Rather, it is a case of you wanting to give your child more opportunities that they may not have with you. Adoption is you putting the needs or your child above your own, and acting out of selflessness to give him or her their best chance at life.
So, who are birth mothers then?
Who are Birth Mothers?
Birth mothers come in a range of different ages and backgrounds, just like the world of adoption does. There is no set age or background that will identify who a birth mother is. Your coworker could be a birth mother, which you may never know for sure, but it’s possible. Put simply, birth mothers are women who go about their daily lives in our everyday world. Some own the title of birth mothers, others choose to keep it hidden.
It is easy to fall into the image of a birth mother being a teenager who made a mistake. While there are teen-aged birth mothers out there, they aren’t the vast majority.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Age. Not every birth mother starts her journey at the age of 16. There are birth mothers that range from 16 to 40. In fact, the biggest collection of expectant mothers range from 20 to mid-thirties.
Marital status. Every woman who comes through our doors has a different relationship status. Maybe she is recently divorced, just married, or not in a relationship at all. No matter the case, all birth mothers come in at different stages of their life.
Race. Women from all different races chose adoption. Being in Nevada, there are all kinds of women who walk through our doors. The idea that it is only young Latina women is an unfair idea many have. Anyone is able to choose adoption.
Education. Plenty of birth mothers have a high school diploma or even a college degree. So, you can eliminate the preconceived notion that birth mothers are uneducated or didn’t finish school. That isn’t true. Yes, some birth mothers choose to put their education on hold for pregnancy, but that doesn’t make them lesser than those who didn’t have to.
Support Systems. Not every birth mother is without a support system. There are plenty who have friends, family members, and other trusted individuals who support, encourage and comfort them throughout the adoption journey. Not every woman goes through the adoption process alone or only their adoption caseworker.
Employment. Maybe the idea that a birth mother doesn’t have a great job is what you think of first. While that can happen, there are women who have amazing jobs and are thriving in them. Birth mothers who are employed, then, may choose to place their baby for adoption because they already have a family, weren’t expecting another child, or can’t afford another child on their current salary.
Types of Birth Mothers
When it comes to who a birth mother is, though, you have to look around. There is no set standard for being one, but we do have a few examples for you. Maybe you fit into one of these, or maybe you are in a category of your own. No matter the label, you are just as valid as any other birth mother.
Military. Military women can find themselves unable to raise a child because, maybe, they are being deployed. That isn’t the only reason it could happen, though.
Addiction. It is true that many birth mothers may or may not struggle with some kind of addiction. But it’s unfair to place all birth mothers into this line of thought. If a birth mother, who may happen to have an addiction, chooses adoption, she is doing everything in her power to make sure her baby has the best chances in life. She is allowing herself to get her life together, if she chooses to do so, as well.
Sexual Assault. It is devastating to know that this happens to women. However, our agency offers temporary housing assistance if she chooses to place her baby for adoption with us. This will ensure that she has a safe and healthy environment for her pregnancy and adoption journey.
Single Women. It seems that, more times than not, pregnancy is unplanned. For a single birth mother who isn’t ready or unable to raise a child on her own, adoption is a great option for her..
Mother’s Already. There are many birth mothers who are already raising children at home. An unplanned pregnancy can throw a wrench into this and any future plans. Maybe another child wasn’t in the cards at the time and that’s okay.
Professional. A birth mother can have an amazing job, but experience an unexpected pregnancy and not be able to care for him or her. Perhaps they are about to get promoted or are too deep into their career to provide the love, care and support her child deserves. After all, having a baby is a huge commitment that not everyone can do. There is nothing wrong with that either.
If you are one of the many examples of a birth mother, know you aren’t alone. There are women who have gone down a similar journey before you. If you aren’t feeling like you are on the list above, just know, no matter what, you are valid. Sure, you may not fit the idea of a birth mother, but most women don’t. Even teen mothers don’t fit the idea of a birth mother set by the world.
The World is Full of Birth Mothers
No matter who you are, or what you do, you are a birth mother. There are women out there just like you. They could be your next door neighbor, a friend or a family member. You never know! The idea that every adoption story starts with a scared teenager needs to be rewritten. You are on this journey and you are the start to this beautiful path.