March 10th, 2011
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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 I gave birth, a social worker and lawyer came in together stating I should pick one of their families. I stated to all parties that I wanted to parent. They all said I wasn’t good enough. There was no one in the hospital advocating for my rights.

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I was intending to parent the whole time, I just wasn’t preparing very well. Looking back, my situation wasn’t really that dire. I worked full time at a factory job and I had a good friend willing to watch her while I was working. I was a good person finding my way out of a crisis. My pregnancy was not a problem. I could have raised my child just fine. The problem was that I was in a crisis and I needed help out of my situation, not out of motherhood.

The agency social worker and lawyer broke down my self-esteem after hours of sitting with me the day after my daughter’s birth. The agency worker told me repeatedly that my daughter deserved two parents and financial stability. The lawyer repeatedly said I didn’t have any rights. They stated that I could have a fully open adoption. My daughter could have it all, my love and their two parent home and financial security. For hours they grilled me until they succeeded in breaking down my self-esteem and shoved papers into my hand for me to sign away my rights. I had believed for a moment that I wasn’t good enough, and hoping that I did have rights. I didn’t. I lost my daughter forever. She has my love from a distance, but she doesn’t know it.

What would I say to myself or to anyone in that situation? First of all, if you have any doubts that adoption isn’t right for you, don’t sign anything. You have time to consider your options. You can place your infant baby after a week or a month. All parents have the right to raise their child and no one is perfect. If you feel that people are telling you that your child deserves better or that you aren’t good enough, don’t believe them. You are perfect just as you are and especially for your baby. It’s the situation that needs resolution, not the pregnancy.

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4 Responses to “Crisis Vs Pregnancy”

  1. mommyof1 says:

    I am so sorry for what you experienced! No birth mom should ever feel pressured into relinquishing her rights and it horrifies me that so many are expressing this feeling…I am an adoptive mother and we were very careful when choosing an agency to make sure that the birth mother was NOT pressured- in fact I have asked her many times (both before she signed and after) and she says even though it is painful that she was not pressured and is still happy with her decision…For me, this is like a gift because as much as I want to be a mother I would not want to be a mother at the expense of another woman always living with such pain and regret…Adoption should never be a situation of pressure- and every birth mother should know that they have the right to change their mind and choose to parent…I wish there was something I could do or say to help you pain but there simply isn’t- what happened to you is wrong and never should happen to any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy- I am truly sorry for your experience…

  2. Heather K says:

    Thanks! I definitely feel that making adoptions ethical is in everyone’s best interest. How would any adopted person feel after being told their first parents had been lied to and coerced? It’s not only a crime against the first parent, but to all involved.

    I think it is so important to make everything transparent. Records need to be opened, open adoptions need to be enforceable, and first parents need independent lawyers to ensure that their rights are not being violated.

    I really commend you for your words… “I would not want to be a mother at the expense of another woman always living with such pain and regret.” THANK YOU!

    It’s so reassuring to know that there are adoptive parents out there holding their agency responsible, and making sure that first parents are not being coerced. Because really, it’s our rights that are being violated, and we have no way (yet!) to hold them accountable. Hopefully we can change the laws to make sure that every adoption is ethical and therefore for the child’s BEST interest.

  3. mommyof1 says:

    Yes, I wish there were more of us out here but I do fear there are some who are selfish and just want a baby no matter what the cost and to who…but please know that there are many of us who do want the birth mothers, the first mothers, to be given legal rights. If an adoptive family agrees to open adoption and signs papers then this should be enforcable in court and there needs to be new legislation to protect birth mothers against adoptive parents who play head games. I hope and pray that someone out there starts advocating for birth mother rights- someone with enough power to make the change that needs to be made sooner rather than later.
    THANK YOU for your reply. On a personal note, I communicate more with our birth mother than we agreed to and I will never regret it- she appreciates it and sending monthly pictures and letters for the first year and now every few months along with some phone calls (we live far apart) seems like the least I can do for this wonderful woman who chose me to mother her child, who is now my child. She is an angel on earth to me and my husband and we will never, never, never go back on our promise to stay in close contact- that is beyond reprehensible for us, it is unthinkable!

  4. Heather K says:

    I know the people who adopted my daughter admitted to willfully lying to me to get my daughter; never intending to follow through.

    We do need to make laws to protect first parents. I agree 100%! I hope to see some movement on the laws.

    I’m glad that you are able to have an open adoption with the first mom of your child. It definitely gives me hope for the future for ethical laws. We can do it. I believe in us.

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