Birth Parent Experiences

Adoption has impacted millions of lives. Listening to and learning from those who have walked this journey personally is an important catalyst towards improving experiences and outcomes for all involved. And that’s why we did this research.

BraveLove, in partnership with the National Council for Adoption and the Opt Institute, conducted focus groups with birth mothers and completed a nationwide survey of birth parents, to explore their experiences with adoption.

About the report

The goal of this research was to understand this population better and gain meaningful insights that can inform the development and implementation of programs and services to the expectant and birth parent community. We heard from over 1400 birth parents, and the results outlined in the report answer key questions such as:

  • Why do birth parents choose to place their children for adoption?
  • What factors contribute the most to long-term satisfaction with an adoption decision?
  • How have the experiences of birth parents changed over time?
  • What is most helpful to an expectant parent or birth parent considering adoption?

Read the Highlights Report   Download the Full Report

Learn more About: Satisfaction, Stigmas & Support

Find out what factors contribute the most to birth parent satisfaction. Where are the sources of support during decision-making? Where are the sources of stigma?

Too often, birth parents lack the support from others before, during, and after a placement. This lack of support makes it difficult for birth parents to share their adoption experiences and perpetuates the cycle of stigma by not allowing the broader community to hear or learn from the breadth of birth parents’ experiences.

See Key Takeaways


This was a joint research project by

The Opt Institute provided a grant to fund this research. They are a national research foundation and think tank dedicated to improving access to and support for private adoption. For more information, please visit

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What did you learn? Whether you’re a birth parent, adoption professional or just generally interested in this cause, we’d love to hear from you.

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