Tag Archives: Adoption

More Myths Busted

In part 2 of this series, I picked apart some myths about adoption that I was stunned to find in the first place. In this post, there are a few more myths I want to bust in order to try and get the right information out there. My hope is that a woman or young woman who is scared and wanting a little support and answers will somehow stumble upon this blog. And as she reads, she will know in her heart that her decision is in the interest of her child. She’ll know that she’s not alone. And maybe she’ll feel a little bit better about her choice, because that’s what adoption is; a choice. A personal choice in which a mother makes the biggest of sacrifices, all for her unborn baby.

I found these completely bogus myths during my research for this series. So here we go…let’s get some truth, shall we?

MYTH: No one WANTS to be an adoptee.

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As far as I know, there are women who get pregnant specifically to place that child with a couple who, for whatever reason, can not have children of their own; they’re called surrogate mothers and they totally exist. Secondly, some women, who never wanted children, find themselves in a situation where they’re pregnant and don’t want to have an abortion. These women are among those who choose adoption for their baby. Now, is there such a case where a teenager gets pregnant and decides to place her baby? Of course there is, there have been a few cases on 16 and Pregnant as a matter of fact, but that doesn’t mean that they, too, don’t want to place their baby for adoption.

What they want, in most cases, more than anything is to be able to go to prom, be able to graduate and be able to go to college and have the full college experience without doing all of this at the expense of a child.

MYTH: No mother who has lost a child ever fully recovers.

Not true, guys. Yes- just like with any loss- a woman will have her grieving period, which may last a few weeks, months…even years. But that doesn’t mean that she won’t ever be okay. With the right support system, a birth mother can recover from her loss and find joy in her decision to place her child. Now, having said that, I know some birth mothers may not have an immediate support system, be it their family or even friends that can help them get through it. So I have scoured the internet and have below listed some websites you can visit to find a support group in your area as well as online support groups.

Birth Mother Resources offers support groups for both birth mothers and pregnant women. They also have an area where you can find a group in your area as well as a link for an online support system.

Adoption Services is a state-by-state listing of all support groups and also offers websites for online support groups.

America Adopts offers numerous online support groups for birth mothers. They also have links for birth father blogs and birth mother websites.

Adoption Support Center features birth mom stories from real birth mothers who chose adoption for their baby.

MYTH: Giving up your baby is wrong. It just means you’re a bad parent.

I’m here to tell you that acknowledging that you can’t or don’t want to raise your baby (whatever your reasons may be) and making a plan to find a family who will and can love that child as though it were their own is not wrong. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and maturity to make this decision. Don’t ever let anyone try to convince you that adoption is wrong. Because by choosing to place your child, you’re doing one of the most selfless and brave things a woman could ever do.

Since I’ve started this series, I’ve been trying to refrain from using phrases like ‘giving up your child’ because I don’t think adoption has anything to do with giving up. On the contrary, it’s not giving up on your baby’s future. It’s ensuring that your child will never have to know what it’s like to not play sports because mommy and daddy have to pay the rent. Or know the feeling of thinking Santa doesn’t believe they’re good enough because (unbeknownst to them) mommy and daddy can’t afford to buy them Christmas presents. It takes a strong woman to put her own needs aside and make a decision for her baby that ensures it will have the best life possible. Even if it means she can’t be the one to give it.

Adoption Myths, Busted

In my first post about this topic, I expressed my desire to abolish the stigma placed on women who choose to place their baby for adoption. Now, obviously I realize that me posting this won’t suddenly change things. But maybe, just maybe, a young, scared pregnant girl may one day be online, looking for someone to say that everything is going to be okay. And maybe…just maybe, she’ll run into my blog and see these posts. If I can just make one person feel better about a decision they’re wanting to make or even make her realize that perhaps she wants to re-think that decision, that’s totally enough to make this series completely worth it.

During my research for this project, I was taken aback by the overwhelming amount of negative sources that appeared. It frightens me that a young girl, who may be scared and is looking for a little guidance may run into one of these hateful, shameful sites and get the wrong idea about what it means to place your baby up for adoption. I came across one particularly awful site (I don’t even want to share the link, so as not to promote this filth) which claimed that, “Adoption is the punishment for middle-class white women who become pregnant.” That statement is not only completely untrue, but it’s also disgusting that anyone would say or think such a thing. Adoption is not a form of punishment. It is an option that birth mothers have available if they feel that keeping the baby is not the best thing for the child.

This site also insinuates that adoption agencies (which they have called,”predators”) try to “trick” you into giving your baby away by promising you an open adoption that they would later intend on revoking. This is bonkers. Agencies act as the median between adoptive family and birth parents, they bring both parties together and help them create a plan that is right for them and for the baby. Granted, there are people out there who claim to be associated with an agency that will not act in your best interest or that of your baby’s, but there is a very simple way to avoid that by doing your research when looking for an agency to help you with finding a home for your child.

They also imply that an infant knows the difference between his or her birth mother and an adoptive parent and that the child will somehow suffer from being separated from it’s biological parents. I sincerely think this is false. I have known many people who are adopted and all of them love their parents just as much as I love my own. Just because they know that they were adopted by their families, didn’t change the fact that their adoptive parents were still “mom and dad” to them, regardless of biology. Most of them didn’t even find out they were adopted until later in life.

Typically people who want to adopt are those who (for whatever reason) can not have children of their own and I can only imagine that they want a child so much that they’re willing to take in another woman’s baby and raise it as their own. I think that takes a very special and loving person. So, for this installment- since there is so much bad information out there- I’m going to find all the other myths concerning adoption and also find out the truth. So here we go!

MYTHS V. FACTS ABOUT ADOPTION

MYTH: Infant adoption is an industry in which young unwed (and thus powerless) parents are persuaded – through force, coercion or outright lies – to transfer parental rights of their children to older, more affluent couples (and sometimes also single people), and usually strangers.

TRUTH: This is totally false. For one thing, a pregnant woman is the one who decides whether or not she wants to pursue adoption. Agencies don’t get a list of newly pregnant women and harass them to try to get them to choose adoption for their child. That simply doesn’t happen. Most reputable agencies work with you every step of the way and they will not continue with the placing if you’re uncertain. That’s according to Adopting.org.

Secondly, not all mothers-to-be are unwed. Some married couples simply don’t want kids. Some already have all the kids they want or can afford and believe that God gave them another child so that they can have the opportunity to give that child to a couple who can’t have any of their own. For this resource, I simply searched the question, “Do married couples place their babies for adoption?” and the first source I found was someone who posted this very question on yahoo. While informal, this a great resource because it comes from real people in this very situation. I also found this article by the New York Times about a real family who became pregnant and chose to place their baby for adoption.

MYTH: No woman can make a decision about her baby until she actually holds it in her arms, has it in her life – even then, the transition from pregnancy into motherhood must be smoothed by wise counsel and the support for all new mothers.

While it’s true that you may feel differently once the baby is born, this doesn’t mean that you’re making blind decisions if you choose to pursue adoption options while you’re still pregnant. There’s a saying that I heard quite a few times while I was pregnant, “A man becomes a father when his child is born, but a woman becomes a mother the moment she finds out that she’s pregnant.” Speaking from my own experience, I started bonding with my son shortly after finding out that I was expecting. I remember one night, after attending a friend’s birthday gathering, I decided to go to sleep while Adam wanted to stay up a little longer and decided to watch TV. I was sitting on our bed, hand on my belly (which had not yet begun to swell) and for reasons that I can’t pinpoint, I started softly singing Richard Marx to my growing fetus- more specifically “Right Here Waiting”. In that moment, as I gingerly stroked my belly and sang to my unborn child, I felt him. More connected than I had ever felt to a human being.

A mother can feel a connection to her baby when she feels it kick inside her for the first time. The first time she has a craving for a food she would’ve never eaten before being pregnant. The first time she notices a forming baby bump. The first time she sees a family while out and about and realizes that in a few months, she will have what they have. A woman can make a decision about her baby at any point during or after her pregnancy because from the moment that test comes up positive, she’s changed forever.

Adoption: You’re not alone and you do have a choice

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?