The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Mothers speak: adoption ups and downs

Published: November 2, 2017   

There are many misconceptions surrounding adoption. Here, two women speak out about the lessons they learned.


Adoptive mother

Mary and her husband live in Central Arkansas. They adopted a daughter through Catholic Adoption Services and are waiting to adopt again. Her name has been changed to protect the family’s privacy.

What is the worst comment you’ve heard as an adoptive mother?

I think the one that bothered me the most was after we adopted our daughter is “Well, now you’re going to get pregnant and have a child of our own.” We’d say, “Well, we have a child of our own, our daughter.”

What do you wish people would understand about adoptive parents?

People sometimes will ask us about our daughter’s real parents. Parenting is not just biology. Parenting is the love, the compassion, time and resources it takes to raise a child. Being a real parent is about the sleepless nights, the skinned knees, the doctor’s visits and the first day of school. So when you ask about our daughter’s real parents, please don’t be surprised when we say you’re looking at them.

Best advice for people looking to adopt?

Adopting a child can be an emotional roller coaster. My advice is to hold on tight, keep your eye on the prize, follow the lead of your adoption specialist and trust the process. All children are gifts from God and I truly believe that you receive the child you’re supposed to receive.


Birth mother

Sara, who preferred to use her first name only, lives in Central Arkansas and made an adoption plan for her child after he was born in January 2016.

What is the worst comment you’ve heard as a birth mother?

“How could you give up your own child?” I wasn’t shocked because that’s everybody’s first question. I was eager to explain to them it’s not necessarily “giving up,” it’s giving a better life for the child and also for myself. I wasn’t ready to raise a kid; of course, people don’t know the whole story.

What do you wish people would understand about birth mothers?

That they’re doing what they do out of love and not because they’re irresponsible or that they don’t care, because we do care, that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. They are still a big part of the child’s life (in an open adoption) and with the adoptive parents.

Best advice for a birth mother intending to place her child for adoption?

It’s OK to do adoption and it’s not making you a bad person in doing that and you are not alone. I wish I would have known that I wasn’t alone. It is a brave thing to do. Just don’t be scared to tell somebody about the situation and ask for help because there are people out there that will help. They (should) have support because it’s hard if you don’t have support.

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