Adoption

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    After reading another post I saw someone write they only wanted to have their "own" child. I am NOT trying to jump on this person, but as an adoptee and a LD nurse it got me thinking.

    I have seen fourteen year old drug addicts who couldn't take care of a goldfish properly take their babies home. Trying not to be judgemental, I think that these children would be better off with parents who would love and want them. A lot of these girls seem to keep their babies because of the stigma associated with "giving away your own child". I wonder why the mothers are stigmatized if they even bring up the subject of adoption (especially when the fathers are nowhere to be found and suffer no stigma). Any thoughts?
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    ABSOLUTELY!!! I agree with you 100%. But I've never had a baby, and haven't started 'trying' to get pregnant yet, so I don't know how it'll feel if I turn up infertile. I tell my husband all the time that if we turn up infertile, I just wanna skip all the rigamarole and go to China or Romania and adopt some little baby from an orphanage. However, I haven't crossed that bridge yet, so I don't know what I'll REALLY want to do until I get there. I do know one thing, though. If we ever adopt a baby, it WON'T be a baby in the states. Too many stupid judges are giving babies back to their birthmothers 2 and 3 years after the fact, which I think is just a horrid practice. I don't trust our system. I'd rather go to China, get myself a beautiful baby girl, and know in my heart that there's almost a 100% chance that the birthmother won't surface 3 or 4 years later and 'want her baby back.' Sorry...rambling.
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    Last edit by Chuckie on Jan 18, '03
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    It's not the idea that some people would only want biological children that surprises me. I couldn't count the number of times people have told me my family isn't real. I know that those who haven't been involved in adoption or those who had bad experiences may not be able to see the good in it.

    What I don't get is the idea that the birth mother should keep her babies even when she isn't the best to take care of them. I don't understand the stigma associated with giving your child a better life than you can provide when you are young, unmarried, drug addicted, unemployed, etc. Why is keeping a child you can't take care of better than giving him/her a good home?

    ps
    I love my family. They are real. I do know my "real" mom (birth mom). I love her too. I am not bitter, and I don't have any "issues" related to being adopted.
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    Some of us at this board are old enough to remember when pregnant girls dropped out of school and went to live with Aunt Sarah and never returned to school. We can also agree that that was not ideal. Now, at school, we have pregnant girls with a significant drop-out rate who live the romantic notion of how "cool" it is to keep their babies. I've had girls tell me that their friends "didn't see how" they could give up their babies.

    I think the pendulum has swung too far the other direction and not many people make what I call a "child-centered decision". You will clearly see that the courts view children as belongings. That is why children are returned to their birth parents after living with nurturing adoptive parents for years--because they "belong" to the birth mother. This flies in the face of anything we know and understand about nurturing, attachment and providing a secure environment for children.

    Incidentally, I don't see this changing. Over 40 years ago when a cousin of mine became pregnant, her parents were the main decision maker in what would happen to the baby. The baby was adopted out. I would certainly intuit that there was heartache on my cousin's part. When teens get pregnant, NONE of the decisions are cost or pain free. Now, the pregnant girl herself is the main decision maker on the disposition of a teen pregnancy. Overwhelming trend is she keeps the baby. there is heartache and FREQUENTLY what a nursing acquaintance of mine called "the post-natal abortion" where the life a child is destroyed not literally but figuratively AFTER birth by a well-intentioned but incompetent mother. (Please, no hate postings by those of you who were teen parents and decided to keep the baby. I am aware that it can be done. I am also all too aware that it can have disastrous effects for all concerned over the long haul.)

    Fergus, you mention fathers, particularly "sperm donor" fathers. The young ladies I have worked with had very little expectations of what the father would do. When I worked with young moms, we would say, "Does [baby's] dad help?" and they would say, "Oh, yes, he brought some diapers for the baby last week." My expectations are quite a bit bigger than that, as likely are yours. I think that the notion of re-working the role of father expectations will have to be done by communities, churches, families. (What was the name of that men's responsibility movement a few years ago? Promise Keepers?) Changes in Paternal role expectations are not necessarily amenable to nursing intervention that I can see but even though PK's message was a little noisy and "out there", nursing needs to support those kind of community movements and have a little mercy when they don't change things all at once. Attitudes and expectations change slowly.

    As are you, Fergus, I am saddened by the burden of babies birthed to mothers who are eager to be loved by their babies. While I love my son immensely, at age 9, he's better at taking than giving. Also, Fergus, sorry you had to meet some people who do not understand that parenting is not a biological function but a behavior function. Quietly live your life in front of these people and they may come to be smarter.

    Child rearing, be it adoptive or by birth, is not a risk free enterprise and not for the faint of heart.

    [This message has been edited by MollyJ (edited April 14, 2001).]
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    I have to reply to this thread. When my mother, who is now 53, became pregnant at 17, my grandparents forced her to give up the baby. Actually, what they said was that she either had to give up the baby or find a new place to live. My grandfather was an "upstanding" member of the community where they lived and they didn't want to be embarrassed. My mother was able to stay in school through graduation and was then sent away to a Salvation Army home for unwed mothers. While there, she was treated poorly, not fed well, and pretty much used as slave labor, as were all the girls there. After the baby was born, she had to take care of her baby for THREE WEEKS and then they took her little girl away and my mother was "allowed" to return to her parents. It was VERY traumatic and my mother has paid for it since that time.

    Shortly after returning home, she met my father and now she knows he would have had no problem raising her baby as his own, but who knows the future? And despite all of this, my mother does not feel she did the wrong thing, because my older sister was adopted by beautiful people who cherished her and gave her a wonderful life. She contacted my mother when she was 19, and we have been in touch with her since then.

    The option of raising a baby on welfare was not one my mother chose and I respect her for that, she did what she felt was best for the baby, something I don't see much in today's society. People seem to consider children their "property" that they should be allowed to keep no matter what.

    On the flip side, my youngest brother is adopted and I HATE it when people ask me how many "real" brothers I have. I have two biological brothers and one adoped brother, but they are ALL my real brothers. My heart recognizes all three of them in the same manner. And I am grateful that his birth mother chose to give my brother the opportunity for a better life.

    Laura
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    I am an adoptive mom of one of my former foster children. I agree that alot of the teens do not know the first thing about raising their kids, but have also seen some miracles occur! I had a foster daughter for seven years and was in the final stages of adoption when a family member came forward and that was that. Blood was certainly thicker than water! After not being part of her life except for the few times I had set up visits with this person(literally less than 5 times in a seven year period) she was gone from my life. The law sides on the biological. I felt like charging the state fees for being the nanny for seven years. My son was born from 2 drug addicts and now at age 11 has come to realize that he will never learn things easily. In fact he cries about how hard it is for him sometimes and wishes he could be "smarter". He tries so hard sometimes it makes me wish I could share his story with those who bear these kids and then leave them to live out their lives in many distinct ways. My son has had the benefit of schooling since age 2 in early childhood centers and great role models in the school districts special education programs. I feel gratitude though to be his mom. He and the other kids who have passed through my life have made me a much better person for knowing them. I wouldn't ever do foster care again though, as the pain is too much!!! The system today sucks, it is set up for the parents and not for the kids. My foster daughter went into a home where the father figure had had allegations of sexual molestation on his own daughter at age 5, but the state downplayed that to the hilt.
    I applaud all of you out there who are adopted or have adopted as our lives can be richer for it and our sense of what makes a family so much greater!!!
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    Hi- your story was very touching. my birthmother was forced to give me up for adoption, as she was only 15 at the time of my birth. she met and married a man 2 years after I was gone, and 52 years later she is still with him. He offered to try and find me, but she said it would be to hard on me to come back to her since I had already been with my adopted family for 2 years. I met my birthmother in 1998{ I searched for her}/ we are very close, but my adopted parents are my real mom and dad, and I wouldnt trade either of them for anyone else. On the other hand, I am helping a friend of mine with his birthmother search, his birthmother did the right thing by giving him up, she was never fit to be anyones mother, on the other hand, neither was his adopted parents. his adopted father turned out to be a child molester. So, one never really knows what the right thing to do is. all I know, is that you really have to follow your heart, and try to do whats best for your baby. As for my siblings, I love them all , adopted and birth ones, there is no difference to me, they are all mine.
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    Having experienced terrible complications of infertility treatment, I was ready to stop "trying" and begin the long process of adoption. It was in no way important to me that my baby be "mine" biologically.

    Unfortunately, that was around the time that "Baby Jessica" and "Baby Richard" were prominent in the news, both having been "returned" to families they had never known in their young lives. My husband wouldn't even consider adoption because of those stories.

    We were fortunate to eventually be blessed with 2 beautiful, healthy girls, following 3 complicated pregnancies, and 2 pre-mature births. But I wonder about all the complicated pregnancies and preemies with life-long health problems that have resulted from parents being scared away from adoption.

    I personally have the greatest admiration for any young woman or couple who can see past their own pain to offer a life-time of joy for a family and precious baby.
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    gosh, i just can't imagine the insensitivity and ruthlessness of those people that have stated that the adoptees are not the real family, or not really yours. no matter how much i b*tch about the ignorance of some, it still never ceases to amaze me. if i had the money, it has always been a lifelong dream for me to adopt in addition to my biological children.


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