July 30th, 2006
Posted By:
Categories: Counseling

If you are considering placing a child for adoption or you have already made the decision, pre-adoption counseling as well as post adoption counseling can be beneficial to you. Choosing to parent your baby or choosing to place your baby is a huge decision, one that should not be taken lightly. You are making a decision that will affect the lives of many people.counseling2

Pre-adoption counseling gives you a neutral person to bounce your pros and cons off of and to get a neutral prospective from someone not intimately involved in your life and can help you in making a final decision.


Many adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy centers offer free counseling and may have on staff counselors. If you have health insurance, it may cover your counseling. Some states (it differs from state to state) may allow adoptive parents to cover pre or post adoption counseling for a period of time. Also, check with your local health department or county services, there are many counselors that may work on a sliding scale or offer services for free.

A good counselor should help you consider and look at both options – parenting and adoption. The counselor may ask you to make a list of pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages to both choices and then help you analyze the list. He or she should allow you to make the decision and support whichever decision you make.
Pre-adoption counseling should also touch on the grief and loss issues a mother will feel and experience once she has terminated her parental rights.

Post adoption counseling or counseling after you have placed your child can be beneficial to help you deal with your grief, work through the many mixed emotions you are having, and deal with any trust and guilt issues you may be having. Again, post adoption counseling may be provided by an adoption agency or you could find an independent counselor. It’s best if you can find one that deals with adoption related issues and loss.

I did not choose to have pre-adoption counseling but did choose to have post adoption counseling, but it was a disaster. The counselor was not familiar with adoption loss issues and had had a baby herself just a few weeks before I’d had and relinquished my son. She would bring her baby to work with her so while I was chatting with her, she’d rock her son or feed him a bottle. Needless to say, I didn’t continue seeing her for long. I gave up and decided to deal with my grief and other issues on my own.

Here’s a few good articles about adoption counseling:

8 Responses to “Adoption Counseling”

  1. Jan Baker says:

    Coley, do you believe that most counselors that are employed by crisis pregnancy centers or adoption agencies can be impartial? It would be a conflict of interest for them to counsel a women to parent.

  2. Coley S. says:

    As a generalization, no, I don’t think so. I have met some that are impartial but as a whole it would be difficult for agency counselors to counsel an expectant mother to parent since the agency makes money off the number of adoptions and placements, not the number of women that walk in the door. That’s why I said that the counselor should educate on both options – parenting and adoption. I think crisis pregnancy center “counselors” might be a little more impartial regarding parenting vs. adoption.

  3. Heather says:

    Your post-adoption counselor was completely inconsiderate – that must have been so difficult.

    There definitely are agency counselors out there that are impartial. We have worked with two agencies just in our area that both had very competent birth parent counselors. You can tell by the ratio of placements to birth parents counseled.

  4. Mnkhart says:

    Having worked for a Pregnancy center I can tell you that we do not pressure the mother in either way (adoption or parenting). We do as Coley said have them list the pro’s and con’s for both parenting and adoption. We are there to listen and give advice when asked.

    I placed a child for adoption 10 year ago and when I went to an adoption agency and did the counseling they said that they didn’t feel I really wanted to place my child. They did not let me place through them. Honestly, I didn’t really want to place and I was feeling pressure from my family. I guess I am saying that in my experience they really wanted what was best for me.

  5. suziq says:

    I totally agree with you Coley, there are a lot of things to consider prior to placing a child and there are many times that someone thinks that they are ready and once weighing the pros and cons realize that it might not be the best decision after all. Doing your research will help many women find a councelor that works with them no matter what road they decide to go down.

  6. lahdh4 says:

    I agency I went thru offers both pre and post adoptive counseling. Because of my situation I didn’t do pre but man I took advantage of the post. I had 3 months or 9 visits with my counselor paid for by the aparents through the agency that we used. I have since continued with this same counselor and it has now been almost 2 years. I was told at the beginning that it would be tough, I was not expected to “get over it and move on”. I am/was expected to live up to my promise to MY daughter to be there in her life.

  7. Heather Lowe says:

    SuziQ wrote:
    “Doing your research will help many women find a councelor that works with them no matter what road they decide to go down.”

    That makes it sound so easy, but the reality can be far more difficult.

    I did research til I was blue in the face and it didn’t help, becuase there weren’t resources for good, impartial counselling in my area.

    Some regions of the country are lucky to have good pre-and post-adoption counselling, but some places just don’t have it. If you’re lucky to live in one of the “good” states, then yes, you can do research and be all right. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.

  8. Though I did not place Brittany for adoption, I know if I had the right counselor I could have benefited from counseling. Thanks for posting this Coley. I wish I knew to ask for counseling after she went to her foster home.

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