How Can Pre-Adoption Counseling Help Me?

woman getting adoption counseling from a professional counselor
If you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, you’re probably also dealing with a complex mix of emotions. Some of them may be confusion, uncertainty, sadness, and worry. You may wonder where to turn for help or worry if adoption is the right choice.

You are not alone. Right now could be a difficult time, but thankfully, help is always available to you. Pre-adoption counseling could provide the help you need as you process emotions and make the choice that’s best for you and your child.

There are typically two types of counseling offered to women considering adoption, and both are specifically tailored to meet your needs. Counseling from a licensed professional is the first type of counseling, while support from a peer is the second. These services are entirely free to all prospective birth mothers. 

Please keep reading to get an idea of what adoption counseling is and why many facing an unplanned pregnancy find it helpful. 

Counseling from a Licensed Professional

These licensed professionals have completed advanced education and training to help people with all sorts of situations, including adoption. They can listen to your feelings without judgment and give you advice based on their experience. 

When you’re thinking about adoption, it’s important to have someone to talk to who can help you understand your feelings. Your adoption professional can connect you with a licensed, third-party counselor who isn’t involved in your adoption process. By “third-party,” we mean that the counselor doesn’t have any personal stake in whether you choose adoption or not. They’re there to listen and help you deal with your emotions.

Talking to a licensed counselor before you make your decision can clarify things. They can help you figure out what’s best for you and your child and support you through the ups and downs of the adoption process.

Adoption is a big deal, and it’s normal to feel a lot of different emotions about it. That’s why it’s important to get the help and information you need to make the right choice for you and your family.

Your counselor will be there to help you process any complicated feelings. Experiencing grief, depression, and doubt as you consider adoption is completely normal. These are emotions that most women face when they’re thinking about adoption. Your counselor can provide advice on how to cope with these complex feelings.

Peer Support Counseling

Peer support from a birth mother can give you the help you need as you sort through your feelings to decide what’s right for you and your baby. 

These amazing women have been through the adoption process, having placed a child for adoption. They can share their stories and answer your questions from a first-hand perspective. Talking to someone who has been through adoption herself can give you valuable insights and support. 

This type of adoption counseling can be like having a supportive friend who helps you sort through everything. A peer counselor, someone who has gone through a similar experience, can understand what you’re going through and answer your questions based on her own journey. Even if her situation was different from yours, she’ll get how you’re feeling and what you’re wondering about.

This peer counselor can share her story with you, like how she talked to her family about adoption or how she handled discussions with the birth father. She can also give you helpful tips and advice based on her own experiences. Having someone like a peer counselor to talk to can help you sort through your feelings and find the resources you need to navigate your own adoption journey.

pregnant woman talking to her peer adoption counselor

How Can Counseling Help?

Adoption is a challenging process emotionally. While it may be the best decision you make for yourself and your baby, it requires a great deal of sacrifice on your part — and some grief, too, as you mourn the loss of your child. That’s why counseling about adoption is so important. Your counselor will work with you to process these emotions and move forward healthily. 

You don’t have to be struggling to benefit from counseling. Although you may feel that you don’t need therapy right now, you could need it before you realize that you do. That’s why adoption professionals highly recommend talking with a therapist who provides counseling for parents considering adoption. Here are some of the ways they can help:

  • Talk about your feelings: Maybe you’re feeling happy, sad, or scared. Discussing these emotions with a licensed counselor is the first step in addressing them and finding coping tips.
  • Explore your options: Not sure if adoption is the right choice? Talking to a counselor can help you weigh all your options and make the best decision for you and your baby.
  • Get support:  Going through pregnancy and considering adoption can be a lot to handle. Counselors can provide encouragement and emotional support throughout your journey.

Emotions are unpredictable, and you could face unforeseen challenges later in your adoption process. Even if you never decide to get counseling, it’s still beneficial to have support services available.

Even if you feel confident about adoption, talking to a counselor can help you address your emotions. You deserve to have someone listening to you and helping you identify tools to navigate adoption.

How do I find a counselor?

If you’re working with an adoption agency, you can let your caseworker know you are interested in counseling. They can connect you with qualified professionals or peer counselors. Most adoption agencies won’t charge you for counseling. 

You can also ask your doctor or a social worker for their recommendations. For a counseling referral, you can call or text the National Adoption Hotline at 1-800-923-6602.

Considering adoption is a brave and loving decision. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – counselors are there to support you every step of the way!