I first came across BraveLove as an adoption professional, early in my career. I had just moved in with a college friend who is also a birth mother. She was telling me about an organization that describes themselves as “a pro-adoption movement dedicated to changing the perception of adoption by acknowledging birth moms for their brave decision.” (BraveLove, 2023). She showed me a video that this organization had made about her story, and how she came to decide on adoption and match with the adoptive family that she chose for her son. Immediately, I was struck by the honesty, the bravery, and the organization’s tender desire to educate others on the “brave love” that is required to choose adoption. I knew this was something that other people needed to see.
BraveLove has resources specifically dedicated to expectant mothers who are open to learning about the option of adoption, birth moms who have made the decision to place their child for adoption, and adoption professionals. Below I have listed just a few of the reasons this organization is so important and revolutionary for breaking the deep-rooted stigma of choosing adoption.
- They feature the perspective of real-life women through the use of blogs and video testimonials
As I stated above, my friend was featured in a testimonial video about her story. She is one story of many. There are many stories that echo hers, but as we know, no adoption story is the same. Every woman’s reason for considering adoption is different, and that is what BraveLove hopes to show through featuring woman of various races, ages, socioeconomic statuses, hardships, and openness agreements with their adoptive families.
- They do not downplay the emotions or the very real questions involved with considering adoption
Grief is a very real piece of adoption. Shame and fear of other’s opinions is often a factor in considering adoption for an unborn child. These themes appear throughout the testimonials provided. BraveLove answers questions for women considering adoption and encourages them that this is their choice and their choice alone – but that they do not have to choose it alone. That it is a loving and selfless option that gives life and beauty to a decision our culture does not often recognize as brave.
- They partner with different adoption agencies all over the country
BraveLove does a wonderful job at vetting agencies and adding agencies and attorneys to their website that are known for their “quality care, professional services, and how they treat birth parents before, during and after placement” (BraveLove, 2023). They also end with a wonderful reminder that “by contacting an adoption agency does not mean anyone has to know whether they're ready to make an adoption plan. It's just a step to gather more information.” (BraveLove, 2023).
- Their number one value is connection and they believe in the importance of post-adoption support
BraveLove creates local dinners hosted BY and FOR women who have chosen adoption, support groups (in person or virtually), and opportunities to share their stories through blogs and videos.
If you are a hopeful adoptive parent, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with me? The answer: everything. The more adoptive families learn the other side of this decision, share what they learn with others, and raise their child with the knowledge of their origin story, the more likely we are to break the stigma that has surrounded birth mothers for generations. The more people will see the woman behind the decision and her example of brave love.