Adoption Studies and Knowing Your Rights in an Open Adoption

Information that will not be presented to expectant mothers in adoption counseling.

*If you are an expectant/new mother looking to make an informed decsion on adoption or looking to end an adoption plan, please contact Saving Our Sisters.

Adoption Studies

Natural/Birth Mother


Culmination of Studies. Research Article: The Relationship Between Time and Birth Mother Satisfaction With Relinquishment

“The results of this analysis demonstrate that for many birth mothers, satisfaction is not static. Rather, time (measured by years since relinquishment) was found to have a significant inverse relationship with birth mothers’ satisfaction regarding their decision to place their child for adoption.”


“Landmark Donaldson Adoption Institute Study reveals financial difficulties, social pressures and lack of support all factors in decision-making for expectant mothers.”

Understanding Options Counseling Experiences in Adoption: A Qualitative Analysis of Birth Parents and Professionals


“Among women motivated to avoid parenthood, as evidenced by abortion seeking, adoption is considered or chosen infrequently. Political promotion of adoption as an alternative to abortion is likely not grounded in the reality of women’s decision making.”

Adoption Decision Making among Women Seeking Abortion.


“Birth parents express repressed feelings of shame, guilt, anger, and sadness from placement that may manifest as subsequent infertility, disruptive marriage relationships, addiction, clinical depression, and overprotectiveness of any additional children”…”Some clinicians identify grief as the dominant emotion driving such pathological behavior and call for consideration of grief as a major indicator of the posttraumatic stress disorder created by adoptive placement.”

“birth mother grief is like taking the continuous grief over the loss of a child and then adding Complicated Grief Disorder (CGD) AND Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) AND Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while being expected to deal with it all silently because it was a choice.”

Birth Mother Grief and the Challenge of Adoption Reunion Contact


“They found that the effects of the loss of the child on the mother were both negative and long lasting. All of the mothers who participated in the study reported a sense of loss, which did not diminish over time. In fact, approximately half of the mothers surveyed reported an increase in the sense of loss over time.”

Long term outcomes of losing a child through adoption: the impact of disenfranchised grief


Counselors are directed to encourage mothers in vulnerable situations to relinquish:

“Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes a strong, mature woman to place a child for adoption. Arguments about financial survival can be compelling as well. Counselors must communicate that adoption can be the heroic, responsible choice and that the child benefits tremendously.”

THE MISSING PIECE Adoption Advocacy and Pregnancy Resource Centers


“comparable to losing an infant through death, it is a very stressful event for the relinquishing mother. This stress, combined with a powerful grief reaction, can predispose these women to a number of long-term adverse effects”

A Collection of Birth Mother Studies over a 30 year span



“When we used regression analysis to adjust the academic performance indicators for disparities across groups in related factors like parent education, family income, and age, sex, and race of the students, we found that adopted students continued to have significantly higher problem rates. Indeed, because adoptive families tend to be well above average in income and educational attainment, the statistical adjustments sometimes magnified the differences in problem frequencies.”

National Household Education Survey, Parent and Family Involvement Component


“Assume that all children who have been adopted or fostered have experienced trauma. Just as not every child exposed to tuberculosis develops hemoptysis, fevers, and weight loss, not every child exposed to stress will develop trauma symptoms…The pediatrician must assume that such exposure could have profoundly impacted the child, and must use history taking, surveillance questions, and screening tools to accurately assess trauma’s impact.”

Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope With Trauma


“Nonetheless, being adopted approximately doubled the odds of having contact with a mental health professional and of having a disruptive behavior disorder. Relative to international adoptees, domestic adoptees had higher odds of having an externalizing disorder.”

The Mental Health of U.S. Adolescents Adopted in Infancy


“The odds of a reported suicide attempt were ∼4 times greater in adoptees compared with nonadoptees.”

Risk of Suicide Attempt in Adopted and Nonadopted Offspring


“The attachment bond between a mother and her child is first formed in the womb, where fetuses have been found to develop preferential responses to maternal scents and sounds that persist after birth, explains Myron Hofer, who was director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychology at Columbia University until his retirement in 2011.”

How Mother-Child Separation Causes Neurobiological Vulnerability Into Adulthood


“Although most adopted adolescents are psychologically healthy, they may be at elevated risk for some externalizing disorders, especially among those domestically placed.”

The Mental Health of US Adolescents Adopted in Infancy


“Attempted suicide is more common among adolescents who live with adoptive parents than among adolescents who live with biological parents.”

Adoption as a Risk Factor for Attempted Suicide During Adolescence

Knowing Your Rights in an Open Adoption

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