Many adoptive parents struggle with feelings of grief, sadness and uncertainty before and during their adoption journey, but once a baby is placed in their arms, they embark on a new journey; one of joy and happiness. It is at this moment that birth mothers begin a very different journey of their own. Each birth mother’s experience and feelings are different, but each and every one should have access to a support system to help them navigate the road ahead. At Everlasting Adoptions, we offer a comprehensive list of local support groups to all of our birth mothers. Our birth mother consultant is also available throughout the process to provide guidance and support. Below we have compiled a list of nationwide birth mother retreats and support group.
Birth Mother Retreats
Birth mother retreats are outings of varying lengths that provide support for women who have made an adoption plan for their child. Birth mothers are provided opportunities to bond with other women in the same situation and given tools to help them cope with whatever emotions they may be feeling. Retreats can last from a couple of hours to an entire weekend. Gina Crotts, founder and president of Birth Mother Baskets, a leader at Tied at the Heart birth mother retreats and birth mother herself explains the importance of retreats and post placement support to America Adopts. “The grieving process was like nothing I had been prepared for and having someone who had been in my shoes before, could have eliminated a lot of questions and heartache that I experienced.”
Here are a few of the wonderful organizations that host birth mother retreats nationwide:
- On Your Feet Foundation hosts two, weekend-long birth mother retreats each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Their retreats are held in Michigan City, IN.
- Tied At The Heart hosts a weekend retreat that includes accommodations, food and workshops. Their 2018 retreats will be March 8 -11th in St. George, UT and September 6-9th in Bear Lake, UT. Follow their Facebook page to stay up to date with retreat information.
- Birthmother Bridge Ministries hosts a weekend retreat at no cost to birth mothers. All meals are also provided. Their fall retreat was held in Midland, TX. Check their website for 2018 dates.
- Concerned United Birthparents, Inc. hosts a yearly retreat that is open to birth parents, as well as, adoptees, adoptive parents and others affected by adoption. Their 2018 retreat will take place in Safety Harbor, FL from October 6-8th.
- Catholic Charities of Wisconsin hosts a day retreat for birth mothers at any stage in their adoption journey. Check their website for 2018 retreat information and dates.
Local Groups and Post Placement Support
A retreat may be too pricey, not practical or too much of a commitment for some birth mothers. A local or online support group is a great place to look for post placement support. BraveLove.org has put together this comprehensive list of recommended post-adoption support groups and retreats around the country.
For birth mothers looking for an online support group where they can connect with others from the comfort of their own homes, America Adopts has put together an online support group directory.
We need to educate birth parents on the resources available to them; whether it be retreats, support groups or online communities. It is crucial that those of us in the adoption community recognize the need for post placement support for birth mothers. Their adoption journey doesn’t end the day their babies are placed, in fact the most difficult part of their journey has just begun. If you are a birth mother at any point in her adoption journey and are interested in learning more about the adoption process or support options, please contact Everlasting Adoptions at 866.406.2702.