Most people assume an expectant mother is excited about the future with her new baby. Friends, family, acquaintances and strangers alike will ask many questions of a woman who is late into her pregnancy. This can be a difficult situation for a woman whose baby will be adopted.
Making the situation even more painful are the stereotypes that people may have when they learn of the adoption. Following are the most common stereotypes believed about birth mothers as well as the counter statements that can be used to educate those who have questions.
Stereotype: Most birth mothers are teenagers.
Truth: Some birth mothers are teenagers. Others are college students, professional women, single moms or middle-aged women. The average age biological mothers is closer to about 24.
Stereotype: Women only choose adoption because they can’t afford to raise children.
Truth: While money can certainly be a factor, it is rarely the only reason a woman might choose adoption. She may have no ability to care for the child. She might have a career that would not allow her to spend the time she thinks a baby deserves. Perhaps she doesn’t have a support system in place. It most cases, it is a combination of many things that leads to this important decision.
Stereotype: Birth moms tend to abuse drugs and alcohol.
Truth: Nothing could be further from the truth. Only around 20 percent of birth mothers use drugs or alcohol during pregnancy in any capacity. In many of these cases, the drug or alcohol use took place prior to the time that the woman learned of her pregnancy. Women who choose adoption do so out of care and concern for the unborn child. They would rarely even consider an action that might cause that baby any harm.
Stereotype: Birth mothers are women who do not want children.
Truth: There is not one single reason a woman chooses adoption. Some birth mothers already have children but simply do not have the ability to care for another child. Some do want children, but aren’t ready at the time they become pregnant. Sometimes the child was wanted and even planned, but circumstances occurred that led to adoption being the best option. It is impossible to know if the biological parent ever plans to have children in the future or not.
Though there are multiple stereotypes, they seldom apply to every biological mom. The one thing all birth mothers have in common is the desire to offer the baby the best life they can. Women who choose to adoption do so out of a place of love. The only thing one can determine about a birth mother is that she has made a very difficult, but also very brave choice that should be supported and applauded.