This will be part one of a series of posts on this subject. Originally, I planned on this being a single post, but it got entirely too long and I didn’t think that cutting things out would be the best choice. I feel it’s important to get the right information out there about adoption and help clarify some of the common misconceptions about choosing to make an adoption plan.
I am a fan of First-Time-Mommy.com on Facebook. If you’ve never visited this page or blog, I would highly recommend it for all moms, not just us first timers. The admin and creator of this blog is Monica and she is currently working on getting her site up and running so she’s doing most of her interacting on her Facebook page. On the blog, you’ll find a little background on her, some awesome product reviews as well as the birth stories of other moms (vaginal, c-section, emergency c-section and water births). Anywho, recently as I was checking out my feed, I saw that Monica had posted a question from one of her followers about adoption (you can find the question here).
The majority of people who left comments were very polite, insightful, supportive and gave the best advice they could to this brave woman, who was asking for some support. Some not-so-nice people, however, were making some pretty harsh comments, which Monica (in her infinite awesomeness) promptly removed from the thread. I couldn’t believe how many people seemed to be against adoption and this got me to thinking about why there is such a stigma on mothers placing their children for adoption. Before seeing the negative responses on this thread, I thought most everyone was fine with adoption and that it was abortion that was the hot button issue. But apparently, some people aren’t happy unless a mother keeps her child, no matter what.
When I first found out I was pregnant with my son, I had no idea what I would do. A big part of me just wanted to wake up from what felt like a bad dream while the other part of me felt like maybe the test was wrong.
After I accepted that I was in fact pregnant, I started to wonder what my next move would be. Should I get an abortion? I was nowhere near ready to have a baby- financially, emotionally or mentally- but, while I am pro choice and would never judge a woman for having an abortion, I wasn’t sure I could live with that decision for the rest of my life. But I’ll freely admit, I did consider it for a brief moment, before I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant. I think telling him made it real and afterward, when we were discussing what we would do, I told him that I wasn’t sure I would be okay with having an abortion, but that I was open to the discussion of adoption if it came to that.
We didn’t consider that for long either. I think, for both of us, the thought of giving our baby up and knowing that somewhere out there was our child being raised by another family was simply not a decision we thought was best for us. In the end we decided that even though we weren’t ready to start a family, we loved each other and would go on this journey together. And yes, our family and trusted friends weighed in with their opinions, but in the end we were the ones who made the decision to keep our son.
Some women, and some girls who become pregnant at a young age, aren’t so lucky. Some women have different situations that drives them to decide that keeping the baby is in the best interest of neither them nor the child. It takes a lot of courage and strength to make the decision to place your baby for adoption and no woman should ever have to be on the receiving end of judgement or cruelty based on this choice. With this series of posts, I hope to inform and maybe even help remove the stigma on choosing adoption for yourself and your family.
The most popular mother who gave her daughter up for adoption was Catelynn Lowell, who was on an episode of the MTV show 16 and Pregnant and later on the spinoff Teen Mom. It was through this young girls story that we were able to get an inside look as to what it’s like to place a baby with an adopting family.
Because they chose to place their daughter, Carly, Catelynn and her boyfriend, Tyler were able to graduate from high school and both went on to continue their education in college. They have since married and are currently starting their family (I believe Catelynn is seven months along and is expecting another daughter). This is one of many success stories where the birth parents decided to pursue adoption.
MTV’s decision to include Catelynn in the Teen Mom series was a genius move because not all teen mothers- or mother in general for that matter- choose to keep their babies. I watched this show while I was pregnant even though I was 27 at the time and, as silly as it may or may not sound, I felt very much like those girls on the show. Not ready and completely clueless as to what it would mean to be a mom. Hearing their stories and watching their experiences with dealing with the drastic changes that every pregnant woman goes through helped me cope with my own situation better. Did anyone else have this experience? Or am I just weirder than I thought?