Adoption option?

  1. 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 younger than me! I have to say that the hardest patients for me are these young teenage mom's - it breaks my heart. I have 2 daughters ages 16 and 17, and they have both told me that there is more stigma at their schools if a girl says she's giving up her baby for adoption than if she keeps it. They even have daycare at the schools in an attempt to keep these girls in school, but most drop out...When did adoption become such a bad thing, and why? The only adoptions I have seen are the involuntary ones - babies taken from crack moms (and it's usually the 6 or 7th time!) Do you see this across the country? Or is is just Oregon?
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   VegRN
    I do not work in L&D but, this is my 2 cents worth.
    It doesn't seem that adoption is promoted as a selfless positive thing. I think some people see adoption as a failure on themselves as in they can't take care of the child so they have to give it up and no one wants to be a quitter. And then to be cynical I think some people see the child as theirs as in, their property, theirs and they are not going to give it up.
    I wish more people gave up their babies for adoption when they don't have the resources as in emotional, financial or time to take care of a baby. Thinking about a 13 or even 16 or 17 year old raising a child just blows my mind. I know there have been some successes but, the odds are so against a teenager raising a child that adoption should be promoted as a positive caring option that benefits the child and the birth mother.
  4. by   Miss Calculation
    It would take an exceptional and incredibly mature young woman to give her baby up for adoption. I can't imagine myself at 15 being faced with a pregnancy. At the same time, I can't imagine myself as a 15 year old parent! I know there are many that take the single parent road with success. But now that I know first hand how difficult parenting can be, I would definitely recommend adoption to a teenager.
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    I agree with MC, that giving up a baby at the age of 15 shows great maturity. But I know what the OP means. It does seem that a lot of girls (13-16) would rather keep their babies than give it up for adoption. I believe that the "property" issue is part of it. Some have visions of playing with a doll. However, of course they are in for a rude awakening when you can't turn this doll off.

    When I worked at a maternity home, I found that our newer arrivals originally wanted to go the adoption route - this is when the girls were newly pregnant and it didn't seem "real" to them. As the pregnancy progressed, it became real and in the end they really didn't want to part with their baby. The higher ups in the organization made half hearted attempts to steer them towards adoption, but for some reason, didn't really tell them about the facts of adoption. And this was a faith-based maternity home related to an adoption agency. Go figure.

    I wish that adoption would be promoted a bit more. I know that there are so many childless couples would who give anything for a chance to raise a baby in a loving home.
  6. by   lannisz
    Quote from BabyRN2Be
    I wish that adoption would be promoted a bit more. I know that there are so many childless couples would who give anything for a chance to raise a baby in a loving home.
    I agree. It's so sad. My youngest daughter knows of 3 girls in her school who are expecting any day now. One told her that she really didn't want to have a baby....but felt pressured to raise her baby. That same girl has been in our unit several times, risk of preterm, not following MD orders for bedrest, etc. Sad. So many couples would give anything to adopt that little one and would have so much to offer emotionally and financially. I don't see adoption promoted anywhere
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have heard several teen moms refer as their baby being "someone to love me". I find that as telling as anything else....and sad. I think some really believe this child will give them the unconditional and unceasing love they may be lacking from their own families of origin. Plus, we are as a society, extremely selfish. Indicative of this is the attitude by others who just think of these babies as their "property" or object of ownership, and would no more consider adopting them out than they would giving up ownership of a car or their cell phones. It's sad, but very true, in my experience.

    Rare but precious, is the teen parent who is ready and willing/able to parent her child well. I salute those who do.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 20, '06
  8. by   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.
  9. by   HappyNurse2005
    It's a standard part of our admissions questions, if there is an adoption plan. of course, by the time i get them, they've usually already decided.
  10. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from zias
    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 younger than me! I have to say that the hardest patients for me are these young teenage mom's - it breaks my heart. I have 2 daughters ages 16 and 17, and they have both told me that there is more stigma at their schools if a girl says she's giving up her baby for adoption than if she keeps it. They even have daycare at the schools in an attempt to keep these girls in school, but most drop out...When did adoption become such a bad thing, and why? The only adoptions I have seen are the involuntary ones - babies taken from crack moms (and it's usually the 6 or 7th time!) Do you see this across the country? Or is is just Oregon?
    I don't believe that it is just in Oregon. Over at least the last 20 years, and probably starting before then, the trend has been moving more and more towards young unmarried mothers keeping their babies. I find it very difficult to judge these young girls. I can't imagine carrying a baby for 9 months and giving it to someone else to raise. My cousin adopted a healthy newborn from a young girl who chose adoption, so it is a joyous thing when it happens. I don't know that adoption became a ''bad'' thing; I think that keeping your baby stopped being a ''bad'' thing.
  11. by   imenid37
    I think it is sad. I see the "property" issue a lot. It is not just the young mom, but often also the family, especially grandma who feels that this is their family member and that point supercedes any right that child might have to be raised in a stable loving home. The few people I have seen give a baby up usually have a lot more sense and maturity than the majority who keep their baby. It is also very different for a thirteen year old to parent than a sixteen or twenty year old. Some single teen moms do a great job, but many have a great many problems. Often times the teen mom is a more functional person than the crazy family who are her "support" people. It makes me cringe to send some of these kids home w/ these families.They are so selfish and immature that it would NEVER cross their mind to put their child first and give him/her a better life. We are, in many respects a very selfish society, not just confined to this issue. Unikuelady, your daughter sounds like nice young lady. I am glad to hear she has done well w/ her life. It sounds like you are a supportive mom who has expectations and standards for your daughter, rather than one of these "I will do anything, just don't give the baby away grandmoms."
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I don't believe that it is just in Oregon. Over at least the last 20 years, and probably starting before then, the trend has been moving more and more towards young unmarried mothers keeping their babies. I find it very difficult to judge these young girls. I can't imagine carrying a baby for 9 months and giving it to someone else to raise. My cousin adopted a healthy newborn from a young girl who chose adoption, so it is a joyous thing when it happens. I don't know that adoption became a ''bad'' thing; I think that keeping your baby stopped being a ''bad'' thing.
    I think you've hit the nail on the head Mercy . . . . . we've swung so far from the shame and dishonor a teen pregnancy used to carry. Now it is no big deal to be pregnant in high school or even junior high.

    One of my daughter's classmates is pregnant and is 16 but looks about 13. Her older sis also had a child as a teen. We have quite a few teen deliveries coming up.

    steph
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would rather not shame, but prevent, if possible--- and if need be, support--- teen pregnancy. But that is just me, I realize.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I would rather not shame, but prevent, if possible--- and if need be, support--- teen pregnancy. But that is just me, I realize.
    I guess I see teen pregnancies celebrated - parents don't get upset, they are thrilled. There are no negative consequences. No stigma.

    I realize how that sounds - coldhearted.

    But maybe just a little of bit "shame" vs. no big deal wouldn't be such a bad thing. Having and raising a baby is not a tea party . . . and teens have such a safety net that they don't see reality.

    Of course I say this being a pro-life person . .. not wanting a teen to have an abortion.

    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.

    I still think Mercy had a good point.

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Dec 22, '06

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