Support Groups can be beneficial to expectant mothers considering adoption as well as birthmothers post adoption. Many times support groups are led by a professional or social worker who has experience in dealing with issues of adoption grief and loss and you will be surrounded by others who have first hand experience in being a birthmother.
Some support groups will allow pregnant women considering adoption to join, while some are strictly birthmothers only. There are some support groups that are for any member of the adoption triad so be sure and check with the leader of the group to see what rules apply to that particular group. Support groups provide the support of others who have walked in your shoes, “been there, done that.” While each person’s journey is unique and different, there’s an underlying bond that connects the members because they have each been through a similar experience. For someone in the decision making process, it may be beneficial to talk with mothers who have actually gone through with relinquishing their children to find out how they are coping. Although no two people have the same exact feelings, you can at least get a sense for some of the feelings and issues that come up after placement.
You are probably wondering how you can find a support group in your area, right? If you are placing through an agency, check with them first and see if they have one. Many agencies do. If you are not placing through an agency, ask whatever adoption professionals you may working with; social workers, attorneys, etc. if they know of any in your area. You could also call around to agencies in your area to see if they offer one. The local support group I have attended several times is through an adoption agency. I didn’t place through them, but they welcome any birthmothers at their meetings, not just ones who placed through their agency.
Each support group is different. Some may focus on a particular issue or subject related to adoption each night, while others may be more of a roundtable discussion. You may click and fit in instantly or you may have to go a few times before you can truly judge how you feel about the group.
Resource: This link has some helpful information on how to locate support groups.