Adoption is PURPOSE

Adoption is such a gift for everyone involved in the adoption circle.

Adoption has always been a part of the human story. Although sometimes rooted in a context of loss and necessity, adoption is equally – if not more so – a product of birth parents desiring the absolute best for their children. It is an embodiment of the wisdom, courage and selflessness involved in a birth parent deciding that the life of one’s child should be defined by more opportunity, more family, more love. A thousand-foot-view of open adoption makes clear the reality that placing a child is the quintessential expression of sacrificial love. There is loss and hardship, but there is also strength and resilience. 

Kate, a birth mother, exemplifies these virtues wholeheartedly. Becoming pregnant at the age of thirty seven and being unpartnered, Kate compared her circumstances to those of her own childhood. Surrounded by siblings and two loving parents as she grew up, she did not want her child to have anything less. These altruistic intentions culminated in Kate considering a very special kind of open adoption: a kinship or relative adoption. 

Her sister and brother-in-law, in the face of fertility struggles, had been endeavouring to start a family for many years. Kate recalls that, since childhood, her sister desired nothing more than to have children, so when she found herself pregnant, she knew that helping her sister start her family was the best option for both herself and her birth son. She knew that he would have every opportunity in the world to flourish, to be happy, and to be loved.

It's taught me a lot about myself and the power that I have within. Nothing about adoption is easy. I like to say that adoption is the easiest and hardest decision I've ever made.

With the help of an adoption agency, Kate was able to carefully craft how she would approach her sister with her birth plan. It would have to be delicate, intentional, and – above all – Kate needed absolute certainty that the pregnancy was viable. Knowing that her sister and brother-in-law had experienced years of loss and heartbreak, there was no room for providing false hope. As such, the process of putting together the adoption plan was arduous and challenging at times. Kate dedicated weeks of her time to attending various appointments and ultrasounds, all of which had to be done in secret. She describes this period as being one of struggle, as she could not share or experience the joy of being pregnant. 

 After everything was set in place and made certain, Kate made the call to the East Coast. She recounts every detail of her conversation as if it had just happened the day before. Every grain of emotion, every facial expression and reaction is crystal clear in Kate’s memory. At the news of her being pregnant, Kate remembers her sister uttering a small, heartbroken “Oh”. In that moment, Kate’s heart broke in tandem with her sister’s but she courageously continued and informed her sister that she wanted her and her husband to parent the child. The emotions that followed were hard to discern. Were they good? Were they bad? They were complex and overlapping and they weren’t simple, but neither is the nature of adoption. Kate asked if her news was positive; in response, her sister began to scream “yes” over and over. Her brother-in-law fell to his knees in tears and, within those moments of profound and shared emotion, Kate experienced a deeply purposeful and life-changing realisation. She was carrying their child, and she was his vessel. She was the way that child would come to them. 

The journey forward presented challenges that were unforeseen in the beginning. Kate was confronted with the experience that two different things can be true at the same time. She experienced feeling a strong, protective maternal instinct while feeling the selfless desire to provide her sister with a child. She felt the all encompassing joy of being a birth mother and seeing her sister with her birth child while feeling paralysing grief. This process was an absolute miracle all the while being an immeasurable loss. 

Adoption is a monumental sacrifice that is truly made out of the purest form of love. It is an unparalleled, entirely selfless act.

In this regard, the experience of being a birth mother is largely incomprehensible to those who have not been in such a position. When describing her experience following the delivery of her birth son and her return to Alberta from the East Coast, Kate makes a powerful statement: “Your body is not designed to experience those emotions so fully […] You can’t even imagine the thoughts and emotions that are going on in [birth mothers’] heads because you will just shut down.” She continues this thought by revealing an insight that stands both as a testament to the profundity of adoption and to her beauty as a human being: “I had no idea that I had the capacity to love something as much as I love my son, my sister and her husband.” In being so candid about her experience, Kate dispels the narrative that adoption is something done out of shame or guilt. On the contrary, adoption is a monumental sacrifice that is truly made out of the purest form of love. It is an unparalleled, entirely selfless act.

Following the placement of her birth son, Kate has been forever changed as a human being. She has acquired a deeper compassion for others and has become awakened to the power within her. Although adoption was the hardest decision she has ever made, it was equally the easiest, as she had complete trust in the people who adopted her birth son. He may be thousands of miles away, but her birth son is a part of every minute of her life, which at times is difficult and at others is amazing. Through it all, Kate has been supported by a network of birth mothers in her community who have shared similar experiences. Their understanding and sisterhood have been invaluable and Kate strongly urges birth mothers to seek out a network of supporters as they journey through the intricacies of adoption. 

He may be thousands of miles away, but her birth son is a part of every minute of her life, which at times is difficult and at others is amazing.



We are looking for Birth Parents to share their stories and help educate Albertans on the impact of adoption.