Some birthmothers got pregnant during long-standing relationships with men they love. Unfortunately, that wasnâ€™t my story, and it isnâ€™t the story of many other women who have chosen to relinquish their babies. A lot of relinquishments, Iâ€™ve noticed, contain at least some element of shame. Itâ€™s as if we were trying to redeem ourselves by letting the baby go.
As for me, I had sex just one time with a man I didnâ€™t know well. I hadnâ€™t been sexually active for some time, and wasnâ€™t at all intending to have sex with this person, so I wasnâ€™t on birth control. We immediately regretted our intimacy. Though he is a fine person, I never expected to be tied to him for life through our mutual child. During my pregnancy, a large part of the leaning toward adoption was based on the undesirable circumstances of my pregnancy.
To start with, I couldnâ€™t picture how I would raise this child that came from a virtual stranger; I worried that I wouldnâ€™t love my baby since I didnâ€™t love the father. And I feared my life becoming intertwined with that of a man I didnâ€™t even know. I was terrified that I would be bitter if I did all the hard work of parenting and Dad swooped in for only the fun stuff. I thought that by relinquishing, I would solve all these problems and cut the ties to J.
Of course, Iâ€™m still tied to him, regardless. And surrendering merely changed one set of problems for another. Given the choice again, I would go back in time and change things.
But one-night stands are not the only shame-based situations.
In another type of scenario, some women get pregnant while having affairs. They surrender because they feel they canâ€™t ask their husbands or partners to raise a child that isnâ€™t theirs. This makes true openness hard, but I have seen this situation work successfully. What has to happen first is for everyone to come clean, and forgive one another. Not everyone can do this.
(continued in next post)