In my previous post, I began talking about the difference between an unplanned pregnancy and a crisis. I want to share my experiences and demonstrate the difference between a pregnancy and a crisis, so others won't make my same mistakes. My experience of going into the hospital with premature labor took away all of my control around my pregnancy and birth. If I could change anything, I would have found a midwife and had a homebirth. When the doctor transferred me into her care, I asked for help with my baby. She stated adoption as the solution because I was unmarried and not Catholic. She gave me several profiles of families to look through that went to her church. The day after… [more]
Awhile ago an expectant mother considering placement asked a series of questions as to whether or not she should stick with the agency she had initially contacted. Her questions boiled down to one: Should I find a new agency? Gut instinct tells me that if you're even asking yourself that question, the answer is probably, "Yes." This isn't always the case, of course, as some people have personalities that are prone to doubting. However, if you are actively asking yourself questions as to the ethics, moral compass or financial profit of the agency, you're probably right to step back and reconsider the agency for another. All too often the parents considering placement are lead to believe that once they have sent in their forms… [more]
In my last post, I ranted about an adoption agency website that boasted their luxury living quarters complete with a swimming pool and twenty four hour state of the art exercise facility for expectant mothers making adoption plans. On that same agency website was a page that listed the “possible benefits of adoption for birthmothers.” Some of them were basic “benefits” that I’d read before like the ability to continue your educate without juggling a child and school. But one particular so called benefit really bugged me. The opportunity to bring many people a lot of happiness that would not occur without you. Yes, making an adoption plan is going to make other people happy. The parents who adopt the baby as well as their extended family… [more]
If you are pregnant, your due date is getting closer each day. You should begin thinking about your upcoming labor and delivery and hospital stay. If you are making an adoption plan, you still call the shots in how you want things to play out in the hospital. 1. Begin to think about who you’d like in the labor room with you and ask them. Discuss plans and your wishes for the experience. Also discuss how you will be able to find your support person should your labor start in the middle of the night or at time that your support person may not be reached easily. Choose a back up support person as well, just in case. 2. Pre-register at your hospital… [more]
Below are some warning signs, if you will, of things expectant mothers considering adoption should be on the look out for regarding the potential adoptive parents you may be matched with. 1. Adoptive parents that do not have a home study. You can not adopt without an approved home study. 2. Adoptive parents who give you money and the money comes straight from them to you. Any money the adoptive parents may provide you with for living expenses, medical care, etc. should go through the agency or attorney involved. 3. Adoptive parents that pressure you and say things like, “we are already attached to the baby” or “our son/daughter is so excited, if you change your mind he/she will be so upset.” 4… [more]
I decided to compile a list of big red flags – things that ought to make you run screaming for the hills if your adoption worker suggests them.
- They want to isolate you from friends or family
- They encourage you to lie to loved ones or conceal your pregnancy
- They offer to move you to another state to have your baby
- They pay your expenses while pregnant but you have to pay them back if you choose to parent
- They encourage you to sign the papers in the hospital
- They call you a birthmother the minute you walk in their door
- They encourage you not to name your baby, hear its heartbeat or look at an
We hear a lot in the media about untruthful birthmothers (as the media calls them) who most of the time are not even really pregnant but are just scamming prospective adoptive parents. But what we don’t hear about very often is the untruthful prospective adoptive parents, who may be so desperate to adopt a baby that they are dishonest or misrepresent themselves to expectant mothers considering adoption. Granted, there are more couples hoping to adopt that are sincere, respectful, and honest, than not, but if you are considering adoption and looking for adoptive parents for your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind. My friend Kelly Kiser-Mostrom came up with this great list of warning signs for expectant mothers. If… [more]
What’s one phrase you can hear from potential adoptive parents that may serve as a giant red flag? “I could never do that.” (Sometimes this is prefaced by a softener, such as “I admire what you are doing…I could never do that.”) But still it’s a warning sign. Why? If the hopeful parents don’t have the ability to picture themselves in a place of great pain, facing a terrible decision and struggling to determine what’s best, then they aren’t terribly imaginative or empathetic people, and you probably don’t want to place your child with them. Adoption is emotionally complex. It needs people who are comfortable with ambiguities and subtleties, and who realize that it's tough realities that cause babies to be available for adoption. Instead of holding you apart… [more]
I once got a newsletter from an adoption agency that claimed to practice open adoption. Their publication, however, showed the opposite of everything they said they believed.
- There were no pictures or mentions of birthfamilies, just plenty of adoptive families with glowing descriptions of how they "got" their babies...as if those babies had materialized out of thin air.
- Birthparents, when mentioned at all, were referred to in derogatory ways, and those women who had changed their minds about relinquishing were heavily castigated for doing so.
- Adoptions that were mostly closed were referred to as "open," on the basis that pictures and letters were sometimes exchanged in the first year. (That is NOT an open adoption. I'll explain more about what a true open adoption is in upcoming