Birth Mothers’ Options Counseling And Relinquishment Experiences

Authored by: Elissa E. Madden , Donna M. Aguiniga , Scott Ryan

The Routledge Handbook Of Adoption

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138362505
eBook ISBN: 9780429432040
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter shares findings from the Donaldson Adoption Institute’s Options Counseling Study that specifically pertain to birth mothers’ experiences with relinquishment and satisfaction with their decision to place their child for adoption. Women who voluntarily relinquished parental rights to an infant for adoption in the United States in or after 1990 (n=223) were surveyed online for the study. The primary objective of this analysis was to explore the relinquishment experiences of women who placed a child for adoption, as well as the information and support available to them during their decision-making process. The study also included birth mothers’ circumstances at the time of relinquishment and external factors that contributed to their decision to place their child for adoption. In addition to the presentation of findings from this study, practice and policy recommendations are discussed.

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