Open Adoption: A Birthmother’s Story

My name is Laura Gladden. I am 20 years old. I placed my daughter, K, for adoption in July of 2012. My pregnancy was very unplanned and unexpected! I am so grateful for it though, and I’ll tell you why.

I found out I was pregnant when I was 18 years old.  It was 5 months after I graduated high school and 4 months into dating my boyfriend at the time. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, my boyfriend broke up with me and told me he didn’t want to have anything to do with me or my pregnancy. I was now alone and left to parent my baby alone.

Being 18, I only had a part-time retail job at a clothing store and a part-time job at a realty office. I attended a university and still lived at home, very much dependent on my parents. I feared my baby would grow up poor, without a daddy, and not have all of her necessities. I’m religious, so I prayed about my situation and had an inspiration about adoption, although I didn’t know how it worked, who to contact, or what it meant really. Plus I didn’t want to give my baby to another family. I loved that little baby even though I couldn’t see or feel it yet.

I did some research and found an agency–LDS Family Services. I contacted the local case worker and met with her. I wasn’t sure if I was going to choose adoption, but I decided to consider my options and see what it was all about. I made my decision to finally place my daughter when I looked at adoptive couple’s profiles on the agency website.

There were so many amazing couples who were in need of children, but their bodies didn’t work to be able to create life. All the families were married, had great job situations, and so much love. They had everything I wanted for my baby. I always pictured my children growing up with nice things, things they needed, and most importantly–both a mommy and a daddy. All of which I couldn’t provide.

I picked the family I found fit to care for my baby and love her as much as I do. I met them a few times and called, texted, and emailed them for weeks and weeks before I finally picked them. I have become so close with my daughter’s adoptive family and I consider them family myself.

When it came time to give birth, I called them and they traveled from Utah to Colorado to be at the hospital and see her. They brought gifts and hugs and love when they came.

Placing my daughter in their arms forever was the hardest thing I have ever done. It is a pain indescribable. My heart ached and still aches with pain of loss and grief, but it is filled with love and blessings at the same time. I am sad that I can’t be there every second to see my daughter, but I am overjoyed that she has the best life ever. I love my baby girl so much that I gave her the best life and future possible.

I have an open adoption and am able to contact her adoptive couple 24/7. They send me pictures, videos, and updates weekly and I am able to visit her every couple of months! It is definitely hard to know I can’t hold and kiss her everyday–but it makes me happy to know she is happy and being well taken care of!

Looking back at my decision–I am still at peace with it. It makes me sad and sometimes sick to my stomach to think of how her life would turn out if I decided to parent her. She wouldn’t have a stable home to live in. Her grandparents (my parents) would have to provide most of her things, she wouldn’t have a daddy, and I truly think she wouldn’t grow up to be the happiest she can!

As a birthmother, I can see that all 3 of us (my daughter, her adoptive couple, and me) are and will be blessed forever!

Seconds after her baby is born

Laura kissing her baby

Laura kissing her baby

Playing with baby K

Playing with baby K

Laura with her family

Laura with her family

Placing baby K

Placing baby K

Laura with the adoptive family

Laura with the adoptive family


You can continue to follow Laura’s story at her own blog.  Thank you so much for sharing your story with DWLA, Laura.


  1. Reblogged this on ARW Blog.

  2. Lisa DeNike Ercolano says:

    Laura, you are brave, amazing and beautiful, and a mama in the truest sense of the word, as you did the selfless thing for the good of your baby. Blessings on you and your gorgeous miracle of a daughter, and her adoptive family, too.

  3. Laura, I agree with Lisa’s comments above. You are a beautiful person. xo

  4. Agreeing with Lisa, you are and will be a great mother, loving your child more than yourself. And you became an Angel when you made someone else’s dreams come true. May God bless you! I am glad you can stay in touch with your birth family. That is awesome!

  5. Thank you DWLA for sharing my story and a big thanks to all your sweet comments:)

  6. What an inspirational story Laura. You are a selfless, loving mother.

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