There are many stereotypes regarding the type of women who place their children for adoption: lazy, uneducated, carefree, irresponsible. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, there are thousands of expectant mothers who want to better themselves through the adoption system to further their education, income, and overall quality of life. While doing so, they never forget the child they placed as well as the adoptive family providing a loving and caring home; they think of them every step of the way.

Jane* is a prime example of a birth mother who broke such a stigma. She was a nineteen-year-old college freshman when she was pregnant. Having been raised in a single parent household, she respected and admired her mother for the sacrifices she made throughout her life; but she wanted a better life for herself and her child. She considered abortion for a very short time before realizing that her heart could not let her go through with it as way to “take care of it.” To add more stress to her situation, she served in the military while in school and was in an abusive relationship with the father of the child.

Jane’s decision to place her child for adoption proved to be the best decision for both parties. She had the support of her family, friends, and the birth father, despite his lack of direct involvement in the pregnancy. She independently selected the adoption agency as well as the adoptive family with whom she placed her daughter. She even opted for an open adoption with the family and is an integral part of their lives, and vice versa. Their correspondence ranges from Skype calls to birthday cards and letters; they meet every year to catch up and for Jane’s peace of mind. “They didn’t just want my baby,” she stated, “they wanted me to be part of the family and they have held true to that.”

After the birth of her daughter, Jane found it difficult to go back to her former life for a while. She felt that no one understood her situation and complexity of emotions, particularly her adoption agency. A group of birth mothers who placed their child for adoption crossed her path one day, leading her to seek help for her mental health and body changes after childbirth. Through this healing process, she was able to enrich herself with various women going through the same personal situation.

Stories like Jane’s are one of many accounting for the loving adoptions across the country. She went on to graduate college and continued to serve in the military. A few years later, she married and started a family of her own. She also keeps in touch with the adoptive family and her daughter. Jane’s adoption journey is not only one that breaks the mold about birth mothers, but also one that will hopefully inspire you or someone you know going through similar challenge.

*Jane is a fictional name based on a real account of adoption.