Adoption counseling is necessary for all those considering placing a child for adoption as well as those considering adopting a child. Counseling is also closely linked to education. By combining counseling and education one can receive comprehensive support.
Adoption STAR provides pre-adoption counseling for expectant mothers (pregnant women) and expectant fathers as well as provide post-adoption counseling for birth parents (women and men who made an adoption plan.)
Counseling is provided at no charge and assists expectant parents and birth parents to:
- Fully grasp the entire adoption process
- Prepare for the emotions that often accompany an adoption decision
- Understand the grief and loss process
- Evaluate alternatives to adoption
- Discuss adoption options
- Explore family and friend support systems and relationships
- Better understand resources and services available
- Determine the need for financial and other support
- Deal with myths and fears about adoption
- Explore future personal and professional plans
- Understand healthy coping skills for emotions
- Learn self-advocacy skills
One of the most important components of counseling is “coping with loss.” Experiencing loss is one of life’s most stress events. You experience so many emotions.
Some of the emotions common when dealing with loss are:
These feelings are normal and common reactions to loss.
Grief is the outward expression of your loss. Your grief is likely to be expressed physically, emotionally and psychologically. For example, crying is a physical expression, while sadness or depression is a psychological expression.
It is very important to allow yourself to express your feelings. Even if you try to avoid dealing with your feelings, someday those feelings will need to be visited as they show up causing physical or emotional symptoms from stomach disorders to sleep disturbances.
The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain.
- Allow your adoption counselor to be there for you.
- Seek out additional supportive people such as trustworthy family and friends.
- Join a support group.
- Remind yourself of all the positive reasons you made an adoption plan.
- Be patient. It takes time to grieve.
- Take care of yourself. Eat well and get plenty of rest. Treat yourself well.
- Seek out additional professional assistance if you feel your grief is too much to bear. Adoption STAR can provide referrals should you desire this additional support.