Adoption option? - page 4

I'm new to L&D nursing. We have some very young "mom's", some as young as 13 and 14. I've noticed that no one ever mentions adoption. ALL of them are keeping their babies. The grandmothers are... Read More

  1. by   jrsmrs
    Quote from EDValerieRN
    In March of 2000, I gave birth to a baby girl. I was 16, and yes, Medicaid payed for it. I never once considered adoption, because it was my child, and I loved her from the beginning. I graduated high school early, I went to college (with no help from my parents) and got a degree. My daughter has always been well-cared for. She has never lacked a mother.

    I don't appreciate being judged as a welfare-mom, a bad mother, or selfish just because I had my daughter at a young age. I worked two jobs, and I'm still paying off loans from school. There are those of us who do it, and it's a shame to lump us all together into one big group of irresponsible, unwed mothers.

    There is a problem with the welfare system, but it is not to be blamed on young mothers.... or african-americans, or illlegal immigrants. Lumping a group together and blaming them for a problem is irresponsible at best.

    I still get the looks, and the comments... especially around parent-teacher conferences. The funny thing is, my daughter is more well-adjusted and intelligent than many of the children from two-parent homes.
    I just have to agree with everything said here.

    I was a young mother myself- had my daughter when I was 15. I can only speak to my own experience, but adoption was never really discussed in any way during my pregnancy- by my parents, or by the public health nurse assigned to me. I was basically told 'You know your options, right?' and left to decide on my own. I knew from the get-go that I was uncomfortable with abortion, and the thought of giving my child away to total strangers was horrific to me. There are teenage mothers who do have values and morals and ideals when it comes to parenting, and I couldn't stomach the thought that someone could spank or hurt or yell at or abuse my child because I decided to put her in that home. I was very suspicious of open adoptions as well, as I felt that these people could totally lie to you about their intentions just to get the baby (mine happened to be a healthy and gorgeous caucasian female, born to a healthy non-addicted mother, with no problems whatsoever, so apparently is one of the more 'desired' babies).
    I'm sure I raised more than a few eyebrows in the hospital, and I was embarassed to be in school with a huge belly sticking out, and I was embarassed to tell family about it. It wasn't fun but I made the best of it.
    I finished out the school year until I had my daughter. She was born June 24, 1995, delivered vaginally with vacuum assistance at 9lbs 11.5 oz. I had taken care of myself during my pregnancy. Didn't party AT ALL, in fact most of my friends basically stopped coming around since I wasn't any fun anymore..... ate well, took care of myself and my unborn child.
    After she was born, I realy tried hard to be a great mom. Sure, I told her 'no' a few more times than I should've, but it's a learning curve, as for any new mom. I breast-fed her (for 2.5 yrs, I might add) and she was well fed, well-dressed, and well cared for BY ME. It was made clear to me that my baby was my responsibility, and my parents did not offer to babysit once unless it was while I attended school. I knew that keeping her meant the end of my teenage life. For the first year of her life, I didn't leave her side for so much as an hour. Then I went back to finish highschool and had my mother, and then my now MIL sitting for me. I graduated with honors, top marks of my class.

    Absolutely there are young teen moms who are irresponsible and can't or won't take any responsibility for their child, and who are content to leave their child with any idiot and abuse the system. There are also adult mothers in that situation, who may be drug-addicted and popping out babies once every 9 months. And it's been a hard lesson for me to learn that you can't force someone to see things your way. Unfortunately due to the way they were raised, or the path they took, these people are just too selfish and uncaring to at least get some good birth control so other people aren't forced to take responsibility for their mistakes.
    But there are also teen moms who are able to take responsibility for the situation they created, and who try their best to be good mothers. I don't think supporting them and giving them the best chance of success is creating a situation where these girls are having such an easy life that they just keep on popping out the kids. Be realistic. Being a mother isn't easy. And it's even less easy if you're a teenager and have to contend with people's judgements and stares and looking down on you and questioning of your ability and intelligence even while you're trying to be smart and do the right thing and take care of your child.
    I do think adoption should be made more clear to these girls as an option. Perhaps being made to meet with some prospective adoptive couples or something similar. Just so the reality is made clear, and the girl can make an informed decision. I don't think what my parents did was right, just to leave it to me to ponder on my own with no real information or input from anyone. But I also think that there are a lot of people (my MIL included) who will say things suggesting that anyone who would give up a child is shirking their responsibilities and running away from their mistakes. Obviously that's not the right approach either.
    Last edit by jrsmrs on Jan 10, '07
  2. by   Eirene
    I was very suspicious of open adoptions as well, as I felt that these people could totally lie to you about their intentions just to get the baby (mine happened to be a healthy and gorgeous caucasian female, born to a healthy non-addicted mother, with no problems whatsoever, so apparently is one of the more 'desired' babies).
    I can understand and appreciate the fact that young mothers believe that open adoptions are a way for adoptive parents to pry the newborn away from the birthmothers arms with lies and deceptions. I'm sure this does happen, but I must add that some states now see "open adoptions" as a contract and uphold the law if the adoptive parents "change" their minds.

    My beautiful son was not a "healthy, gorgeous, caucasion female". He was a total runt at 1 pound, 15 ounces. Even though he was a late bloomer, he was still totally MY "desired" little man. And even though he's *gasp* a boy, not so healthy, and African American, he's still gorgeous. Did I want him to be born early? HELL NO. Was he? Yes. But he was my son, from the first time I felt his strong kicks inside of his birth mother when she was 20 weeks pregnant.

    You don't like it that young mom's are generalized, I don't like it that adoptive parents are generalized, either.

    PS... if any of you are interested in seeing my beauty boy, you can click here: Mom and Student by day. Superwoman by night. I like pie.. He's my guy!
  3. by   jrsmrs
    Quote from danibanani
    I can understand and appreciate the fact that young mothers believe that open adoptions are a way for adoptive parents to pry the newborn away from the birthmothers arms with lies and deceptions. I'm sure this does happen, but I must add that some states now see "open adoptions" as a contract and uphold the law if the adoptive parents "change" their minds.

    My beautiful son was not a "healthy, gorgeous, caucasion female". He was a total runt at 1 pound, 15 ounces. Even though he was a late bloomer, he was still totally MY "desired" little man. And even though he's *gasp* a boy, not so healthy, and African American, he's still gorgeous. Did I want him to be born early? HELL NO. Was he? Yes. But he was my son, from the first time I felt his strong kicks inside of his birth mother when she was 20 weeks pregnant.

    You don't like it that young mom's are generalized, I don't like it that adoptive parents are generalized, either.

    PS... if any of you are interested in seeing my beauty boy, you can click here: Mom and Student by day. Superwoman by night. I like pie.. He's my guy!

    I didn't mean that they WOULD lie or deceive me, just that they could and I would be none the wiser. That was kind of my point, that I was uneducated as to the reality of adoption and wish that someone had presented it as a move viable option, so at least my decision would have been educated. Obviously there are tons of great adoptive parents out there, and if I ever decided to have another child (which I'm as certain as I can be that I won't, hence the fact that hubby has a vasectomy booked for this Friday! LOL!) I would consider adoption myself.
  4. by   SheaOBRN
    At the previous hospital I worked at, we worked with a lot of young moms...mostly 15 years old and up. However I did work with a 14 yo, a 12 yo (whos mother was pregnant at the same time), and then 15 year old twins within the last few months I was there....anyways...what i see/saw a lot was where the grandmothers had stepped in and were going to raise the babies. I think this is an OK strategy if the mother is equally if not more a caretaker for this child, but i am not sure the mother is learning anything if the grandmother just takes the baby off their hands and raises it like a sibling. I understand that some of the thinking behind it is keeping the baby in the family, but a lot of times it is putting a burden, emotionally and financially on the grandparents. I have spoken with a couple young ones after having their parents leave the room who have said that the grandparents (many times grandmother) insisted on the baby staying with them, and that wasn't necessarily the wishes of the mother (who is technically an emancipated minor in her present condition, has authority over her unborn child, and no you are not going to sign her consents for her! ...sorry for the rant) Tough to say what I would do if it was my daughter, but open adoptions are a wonderful thing-you would still have contact!
  5. by   charebec65
    Quote from unikuelady
    another reason can be family pressure. my 16 yr old daughter gave her child up for adoption 5 years ago. there were many complicated reasons for the decision she made. i told her that i was willing to support her in any way i could-regarding keeping a roof over her head, food, emotional support and that continuing her education/graduating from high-school was mandatory. i also discussed with her my willingness to be fantastic "grandma". this meant that "i" as the grandmother would not be responsible for raising "her" child. i was not going to be the ever-present babysitter so she could go out and party. the high-school she attended had a teen mother program. she had many options open to her, she made the decision to have an open adoption where she would be able to "hand-pick" the parents for her baby. she would get set visitation, phone updates and photographs for minimum of 2 years and then re-negotiated after that. its been 5 years now, my daughter now has an 8 month old child that she is raising as a single mother and doing a very good job. she finished her education and has a good job. she gets to visit her first child twice a year and this 4 yr old knows she has a full sister-whom she has also met. i've had the priveledge of getting to visit my first grandchild 3 times since her birth and can see that her adoptive parents have taken good care of her. my point is: when i told my friends and co-workers that my daughter was giving her child up for adoption.....the fur flew. i got many negative comments about how if it was their grandchild they could never let it go and have even had some admit that they "forced" their own teen daughter to keep "their" grandbaby. i have seen this attitude from many of the "mothers" of these teens...they start for the get-go caring for the baby in the hospital and not even letting their daughters assist with the infants care. i have had teen mothers telling me that their family would not let them give up the baby for adoption even if they wanted to. this is whats sad.
    you and your daughter are to be commended. your daughter made a huge sacrifice for child. it was a sacrifice for all of you and it's great that you can keep up with the child periodically.
  6. by   charebec65
    Quote from stevielynn
    But maybe one of the reasons teens are keeping their babies is because we've set up such a great system for them to be able to keep them. Maybe that might be one reason not to consider adoption.


    steph
    I was going to mention this after reading everything. Welfare, Food Stamps, Section 8 & WIC are really easy for these kids to get so there's no reason not to keep it when they have a free ticket. Often times, these kids are in households that are already receiving a lot of government assistance which is probably part of why grandma insists they keep the baby.... more money coming in.

    Welfare needs to be reformed again to put a stop to multiple births being paid for. As far as I'm concerned, let them pay for 1 child and make it a condition for getting all this free assistance that you go in for a depo shot every month. Government aid isn't a right so they should give something up in return.

    I am an adoptee. I was my 24 year old birthmother's 5th child in 7 years
    Though I was a voluntary relinquishment I think she ended up losing her other ones. Adoption is a great option and I would advocate for it any time. I thank God I was brought up in the family I was brought up in.
  7. by   charebec65
    I too was a teenage mom. I had my twins 6 weeks before I turned 18. They were due in late 1982 but due to to toxemia they were delivered via c-section a couple of weeks earlier than due. I finished my last high school final the day I went in the hospital and graduated with my class the following May.

    I had gotten married the previous summer and though both families were very supportive, we were expected to raise our children and we did. As is usual in marriages in kids, we were divorced a couple of years later but fortunately we had both grown up enough to successfully raise our kids, even apart. They are now 24, neither are married though both are engaged and though the boy's girfriend has a child, neither have kids (he is raising hers with her). One is a college graduate and is now a teacher and the other is being trained to take over the family business. The other 3 kids are 21, 19 and 16 and I am thankful that none of them have children...not because I don't want grandkids but because I know how incredibly hard it is to do so young. We struggled but did make it. And we managed to do it without welfare......

    Yes, there are many of us who can successfully raise children as teenagers, unfortunately, from what I can see, there are more than can't. And yes, there are many adults out there that have no business having kids. Adoption is a very good option for many if they would/could see it. I thank my birth mother for giving me up as I now have a pretty good idea how dysfunctional my home would have been and I had it great with my adoptive family, my real family.
    Last edit by charebec65 on Feb 5, '07
  8. by   CrownHunter
    I am 23, my oldest son, of two, will be seven this year. My parents wanted me to think about adoption while I was pregnant because they knew the statistics about teen pregnancies. I still graduated high school, aside from WIC the first three years of thier lives I have never been on any goverment assistance. I am in college, and it is hard. But I would never have it any other way.
    but on the other had I do know a girl who was pregnant w/her first the same time I was with mine and now she has 5 and #6 is on the way(all different daddys) She hasnt worked a day in her life and still lives with her mom.
    My point is that deciding to raise a child at a young age can be a good thing, if your willing to accept your "concequences"
    life isnt easy as a teenage mother, thats why your told to wait... but being a teen and keeping your child doesnt have to be bad.
  9. by   nrse4evr
    I have cousin who gave up twin babies to a couple she had chosen through an agency. It was probably the hardest and most unselfish thing she has or ever will do. She had the full suppost of her parents which ever way she decided to go. No pressure from them. Her extended familly was not so supportive. Don't know what they were going to do to help her but most just condemmed her choice.
    Those babies today have the most blessed life with 2 parents who really wanted them and are able to provide for them. The 'Mom' keeks in touch and can visit when she wants, which isn't often, and gets regular pics of the babies. They aren't 'babies' any more and I don't know what adoptive Mom calls bio Mom. But they have worked it out to their satisfaction.
    I respect my cousin and her parents for their unselfishness and consideration for the needs of the babies.

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