Birth Mothers Experiences with Grief after Placement of their Children in Adoptive Families
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Adoption has become a more openly discussed option for women who are unable to raise their children or who may choose not to parent their own. Choosing to place a child for adoption can be one of the most difficult decisions that a woman may ever have to make. Many people in North American society do not see reason for the birthmother to grieve as it is thought to be a decision the birthmother has made and because the child is still living it is not acknowledged as a loss. Because birthmothers’ grief often becomes disenfranchised and the loss is an ambiguous loss, the grief experience for these women is often complicated. This paper includes an overview of recent literature on what is known about birthmothers’ grieving experiences, followed by a discussion of the limitations of this literature, implications for counselling this population, and areas for future research in this field.