Showing Appreciation to Birth Mothers

Q: My husband and I are hoping to be able to adopt a baby in June of this year. I would like to take something to the hospital for the birthmother to show our appreciation of all she has had to go through with her pregnancy, labor and delivery. I am planning on writing a letter to her and maybe including a picture of my husband and I. We have had dinner with the birthmother and her family but the family does not want to see the child after birth. I wondered if you had any ideas on what might show our love for her and/or what is appropriate? Is it appropriate to give her something at the hospital?

A: You should absolutely do something nice for her such as bringing a small gift of appreciation. Sometimes just thinking about the enormity of what she is giving you can overwhelm you because you can think of nothing big enough or special enough to symbolize your thanks. You are right; you can never fully express your gratitude in a gift of any sort, so you have to shift your thinking. The gift will be only a small token of your thanks and is meant to help her through this next transition period in her life. The most meaningful thing you can give is the assurance that you will love her child with all your heart, and that you will do your best to raise him to become a healthy and happy adult. A letter to that affect is exactly the right gesture.

I assume from your question that this will not be a very open adoption, but if it is appropriate to your past communication, you can promise to send pictures on a set schedule (once a year on his birthday, twice a year, etc.) You could also enclose a picture of you and maybe a picture of the nursery if you haven’t already shared that.

It would also be kind to bring a small gift, but not something very expensive or ostentatious. You probably know her a little, so think of something that she would like. I recommend something that will last, rather than something like clothes or perfume. Something like a really nice picture frame, or a necklace of a heart or something else to represent love. Of course, flowers or candy can accompany the small gift.


Image credit: mag3737