November 15th, 2007
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This week’s featured birthmom is Amanda B.

At age 21, Amanda became unexpectedly pregnant. She did consider parenting but eventually decided that making an adoption plan would be the best thing for her child as she had just lost her job, health insurance, and her baby’s father had just moved over nine hundred miles away. Amanda describes her life as being very chaotic before and during the time she found out she was pregnant.

I was way too entirely overwhelmed. Beginning an adoption plan was the first pillar of stability that I found in my chaos.

Her son’s birth father was not involved at all so Amanda made all the decisions regarding adoption on her own. Flipping through profile booklets of couples hoping to adopt, something in C and R’s profile caught Amanda’s eye. She called the attorney that same day and then that night she talked to C and R on the phone. She decided they would be good parents for her son. Amanda chose her son’s adoptive parents early in her pregnancy, giving her a lot of time to get to know them before her son was born. Although they lived clear across the country from one another, they exchanged emails, chatted on the phone, etc.

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Amanda chose a semi open adoption because she didn’t really feel comfortable with the idea of visits and the distance between her and the adoptive family would make visiting a little difficult. At this point, Amanda is content with emails, letters, phone calls, and of course pictures.

Amanda describes her Mom as being her biggest support person during her pregnancy and adoption plan.

Amanda now resides in Illinois where she is a full time college student studying to be a special education teacher. She also works with developmentally disabled population. Amanda is engaged and planning a spring wedding.

In conclusion, I asked Amanda if she had advice to share with expecting moms who are considering adoption.

Demand respect, ask for what you need, work until you give birth, talk to the experienced, be leery of people who buy you things, eat everything with extra cheese, educate yourself, take a proactive role in your adoption placement, and remember that your choices last a lifetime. What you don’t say now, you can’t always say later.

Thank you Amanda for taking the time to answer these questions and share our story with us!


Other Featured Birthmoms:
Amy M.
Krissy M.
Tracy V.
Jamie

Photo Credit

9 Responses to “Birthmom of the Week: Amanda B.”

  1. thomasina says:

    I am a birthmother and this upsets me very much. I just don’t get glorifying choosing a permanent solution to a temporary problem, particularly because it is a permanent decision that so totally impacts a person who is helpless in the decision to be permanently separated from his/her family.
    I would rather see institutions and individuals glorified who help women in crisis pregnancy (like Amanda) keep their babies.

  2. Coley S. says:

    Thomsina,

    Thank you for your comment, but for whatever reason, birthmothers (as you know since you are one) make the best decision they can at the time.

    Each person must make their decision based on the information and support they have.

  3. Amanda,

    I am so glad to read more about you. You for sure deserve to be mentioned in this article. You are a special and wonderful woman.

    Coley, another well written post. :)

    Alicia

  4. thomasina says:

    I didn’t make my decision; my parents forced me to surrender my child. As a minor, I had no choice. I tried everything I could think of to keep him but was overruled.
    I disagree vehemently with making an adoption decision for a child who is too young to weigh in on whether or not he/she wants to be separated permanently from his/her family. This is only acceptable in cases of physical abuse, unresolvable substance abuse or psychiatric problems that would put the child in danger. I agree with those who say that most of the time in this country, adoption is a permanent solution to problems that are most likely temporary. I feel horrible when I read about a mother who was forced to give up her child or where a mother was coerced or scammed in some way. However, I want to scream when I read a post or article where people are supporting and encouraging women making adoption plans or where we glorify mothers who gave their babies to strangers because “they weren’t ready” or the “wanted to go to go to school”, etc..and are happy about it. Gah! What we ought to glorify is those women who parent “in spite of” or people and institutions that make it possible for women in crisis pregnancy to parent.

  5. mandapanda says:

    I hope that adoption will always be a free, personal choice, and believe that it is truly criminal to force, coerce or otherwise push someone to relinquish. I also pray that women who freely choose adoption will find meaning and positive growth through placement. I must say, there is simply too much joy in my life, and in my adoption-extended-family for anyone to feel outrage or upset. I am a wonderful, whole, healthy woman who followed (what I undeniably believe to be) God’s path for me in life. My son is very happy, very loving, and I feel very blessed to be his birthmother. We all follow different paths, let us all meet again in the end.

    • mommyof1 says:

      Thank you for your perspective…It appears that many birth mothers in the past were forced into placing their babies for adoption. I hope and pray that this is not the case for birth mothers now. Why? Because I am an adoptive mother and I could never live with it on my counscious to know that our birth mother had been forced into the adoption. I could not nor would not want to be a mother knowing that she had been forced into the placement or had regrets. Simply put, she was young and decided she did not have the ability to parent now or any time in the near future- she even said she would rather place her child for adoption at birth rather than risk taking her child home and not being able to parent which could lead to her child being seized due to neglect. She had friends who had such situations happen and she vowed that would not happen to her child. To this day, we are in close contact and she still maintains that for her this was her best option. I am relieved to see that there are other birth mothers out there who feel the same way and don’t regret their decision because adoptive moms truly don’t want to steal a child away from a birth mom. We don’t want to be moms knowing that the birth mom was forced into her decision and really wanted to parent her child. If that were the case, how could we look into our child’s eyes and not feel like a monster? I hope that my replying to you isn’t out of line but I wanted you to know that as an adoptive mom that I am truly grateful to know that some birth moms out there don’t feel like I am a monster for adopting my child.

  6. thomasina says:

    mandapanda,

    I’m sorry, but your outlook on placement

    I also pray that women who freely choose adoption will find meaning and positive growth through placement

    is one that I will never, ever be able to understand.

  7. mandapanda says:

    I think as birthmothers with positive experiences, we are obligated to give back by reaching out to support each other, and pull our sisters “up.”

    I don’t think we are necessarily called to understand each other, but to empathize and respect each other in our choices. We are also called to help those who are hurting, to heal. It seems you are among good company to learn about all of the facets of adoptions, it is almost too amazing how different all of our paths stem from one basic social institution: adoption.

  8. thomasina says:

    mandapanda,
    I am not a birthmother with a positive experience. I am a birthmother who was coorced…oh, with the best of intentions, by a doctor, a religion-based agency and my parents. My son is NOT better off, as they promised. If you look at the children I parented and the children my son’s aparents parented, you will see an enormous difference. He is completely ruined.

    I am against coercion…and maybe because I was coerced and have suffered horribly over it for 37 years (and that doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing…I raised three great children, whom I adore..I’m finishing a doctorate, am a graduate program coordinator, college instructor and professional opera singer who has sung in a first-class house), it is pretty much impossible for me to understand how anyone could relinquish willingly and feel good about it.

    Beyond my own experience, I am fundamentally against separating children from their families of origin unless there is death, neglect, abuse, unresolvable psychiatric or sustance abuse problem. I have talked to hundreds of women over the years and most of the reasons they relinquished (and regret having done so) were rooted in a problem that seemed, at the time, unresolvable, but later did resolve. In my ideal world, society would expend its resources helping mothers and fathers parent rather than pushing adoption.

    This does not mean that I go out of my way in my day to day life to hurt people. I just avoid the issue with people who have relinquished and are happy about it. I can’t handle it; it upsets me terribly.

    I read the posts on this site regularly for solace and companionship. A weekly blog entry uplifting women who relinquished and are happy about it, pushes my buttons. I will try to avoid this section in the future.

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