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Would this offend you?

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by mondkmondk mondkmondk (Member)

mondkmondk has 17 years experience and works as a RN at local nursing homes.

5,516 Visitors; 336 Posts

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I belong to many forums because there are so many pieces of me floating around. Anyway, as we just adopted a baby last year I belong to a huge adoption forum.

Someone there posted that they were having trouble deciding to adopt this certain baby due in a couple months because his mother had been diagnosed bipolar. They were afraid the baby would wind up with it and they didn't feel they could handle a bipolar child.

Now I took great offense to this (doesn't help that I'm bipolar) and replied to their post that the chances of passing this on to the child is like 15% and how would they know if any other baby whose birthparents were healthy might not wind up with bipolar or other illnesses, mental or physiological. They ended up refusing to adopt the baby. This completely incensed me and just goes to show there is still a lot of stigma out there where MI is concerned.

Someone from there PM'ed me on the site and tried to explain to me that all prospective adoptive parents have the right to take on what they feel they can handle. All I can think of though is that little baby who is being judged by his mother's illness.

Am I "right" to be offended? Should I have handled it differently or tried to educate the posters that agreed with them (about 25 agreed and about 7 supported my take on the issue) or what else could I have done or said...this topic comes up a lot in adoption I've noticed, quite sadly too.

Any input appreciated!

Blessings, Michelle

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7 Articles; 27,426 Visitors; 5,163 Posts

I would not take offense. Every parent wants a perfectly healthy child.

While we all realize that "perfect" is not going to happen, only the parents can decide what type of "imperfection" they can deal with.

For instance, the doc wanted me to have an amniocentesis when I was pregnant with my son to test for Down's syndrome. I refused, my rationale being that if my child had Down's, I was having him and keeping him anyway, so it didn't matter if I knew beforehand.

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AprilRNhere works as a RN staff.

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I think it's very honest of them. If they took the child, knowing they couldn't handle it- then every mood swing that child has they'll wonder and blame on a possible illness. That wouldn't be healthy for anyone. They weren't directing it at you- just knowing their limits.

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TopazLover works as a retired.

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Congrats on the baby. We all know no child is perfect. Some things don't come to light until later in life and others never show up even though we know they are there. I think perhaps there has been some movement in the de-stigmatization (if that is a word) of MI if you were able to get a baby. Hold on to those thoughts.

That family may have passed on a beautiful, ""normal" child. On the other hand if the child did have MI, I am glad they did not take it, if that was their attitude.

I have Bipolar Type II. Probably all the females in my family have it. Only my daughter and I have been formally diagnosed. I am not too offended. I am left handed. You know sinister, hand of the devil, etc. There are still people who think I should have been changed while it was still possible. I did not ask for either one of these conditions. I have learned to take care and not take personally the ignorance of others.

Perhaps left handedness or buck teeth, or fill in the blank... would not have been perfect for them either. Maybe the baby is better off without them.:twocents:

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17 Articles; 31,091 Visitors; 4,167 Posts

To answer your question, no, it would not offend me.

I might be saddened or frustrated that the couple could be making their decision based on false information or flawed understanding, but taking offense--I don't think it would even occur to me.

We don't know much about these people. They could be paranoid dark-agers having a knee-jerk reaction to anything less than perfect. Or maybe one of them grew up with a family member with untreated bipolar disorder and now has a boatload of bad memories. Maybe they're reacting to distorted media versions of bipolar disorder that highlight the most sensational aspects of the condition. After all, someone taking their meds and managing their illness wouldn't make for a very interesting Lifetime movie.

I'd much rather see a couple recognize their limitations and say they don't think they could be fair to such a child than forge ahead with all their doubts and end up with delayed or diminished bonding because of their fears.

And think of the child. If even the possibility of bipolar illness would compromise the relationship, the child would be better off in a family where there wouldn't be such a shadow hanging over them all.

Ideally, a couple like this would take their reaction as an invitation to learn more and investigate any ghosts from their pasts so that they could find freedom to go ahead with confidence. But, barring such efforts, if they can't give their all, they should back away and let someone who can take the little one.

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN ER.

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If they passed on a beautiful normal child, good for them- the child will get parents that love him/her with all their gifts and flaws.

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DDRN4me works as a Adjunct Professor,BSN program, Instructor, CNA pro.

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Congratulations on your baby!

I think that the baby who didnt get adopted will be better off. I see too many kids with mental illness due to their parents issues and their upbringing (or lack of parenting and love) than genetic.

hopefully this baby will go to two parents who will love and cherish it with or without a MI hx.

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J_PIERCE_823 has 5 years experience and works as a Freelance Carpenter/Body Piercer.

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Thats just not giving a child a chance. I would never neglect or reject a kid cause of an illness. I guess if those are the type of ppl they are though, then their loss. They really could be missing out on a wonderful chance.:no:

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Liddle Noodnik has 30 years experience and works as a "Exploring my options" ;).

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Am I "right" to be offended? Should I have handled it differently or tried to educate the posters that agreed with them (about 25 agreed and about 7 supported my take on the issue) or what else could I have done or said...this topic comes up a lot in adoption I've noticed, quite sadly too.

Any input appreciated!

Blessings, Michelle

Hi Michelle, put it this way: Would YOU want to have parents that took you in, feeling that way about you?

Better a family that, knowing the risks, would take the baby anyway and love him/her no matter what.

Most of us don't get to choose our parents, be glad this little one has some say (in a way)! :)

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2 Followers; 46,355 Visitors; 8,863 Posts

Hi and congratulations on your baby!

If I were you and had bipolar I would surely be offended however as others have stated so eloquently I also believe it is best that prospective parents recognize their possible limitations in advance. I work in Pediatric Psych and the sad truth is that almost all of my kids with Bipolar or Schizophrenia do have a parent or close relative with it also, sigh. Not that it is the end of the world or means that particular child would have it of course but it is definitely something to consider, imo.

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agw505 works as a med-surg.

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Michelle,

I cannot say I know how you feel, I haven't adopted a baby. I know that no matter what problems my two children and grandchildren might have had, I would not have felt I couldn't handle their situation. I was raised to believe that God will show us a way, and he hasn't abandoned me yet.

We all want perfect children, mine aren't, my mother had five, none of us were either.:clown::jester::devil::nurse::devil:

Years of nursing, seeing all situations with children and/or parents, my tongue is sore from biting it. I have heard grown children say " I just cannot handle mom or dad " and I think of how those parents stayed and took care of them, I want to choke some of them. The same goes for parents who have to 'get away' from children for awhile. I did not work with my first, my second I had to work. They went everywhere I went. My mother had to ask me if she could keep them a day or night, I never called and told her I needed a break.

Children do not ask to be born. They deserve to have love, understanding, nourishment of their bodies and minds. They do not deserve physical and/or mental abuse. If parents feel like they can't handle a sick baby/child they may not treat them kindly, therefore I would rather they not have one at all, their own or adopted. There are people God knows that will take any baby, no matter what they are or may turn out like. :saint: Unfortunately we can't just pick them out of a phone book under "great parents or caregivers."

I feel why you are upset about a posting to your comments. A year or so ago I posted a comment on an amputee forum, the person who replied was not that same one, she posted to me that she hated people who were racist, which many others did not see the comment (which I said I made to my husband) as a racial slur. I am a 'bullheaded Taurus' and gave it all to her on a reply. She was a highly educated woman, I am a high school dropout who got my GED then went to nursing school. My feelings were hurt, but I got over it after I replied back to her.:smokin:

The great thing about forums is you never have to see the person you may have a conflict with. Say what you feel and never answer their comments. It usually makes THEM mad if you don't answer.:banghead:

I hope you can find peace with this problem. As it has been said "Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff." We need many more people like you in this world.:saint:

God Bless you!

:twocents::yeah::bow:

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Babs0512 has 20 years experience and works as a 4 yrs Med Surge, 13 years Critical Care, now lovin.

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I would't be offended. People are entitled to their opinions and decisions - even if different from yours.

You are, however, correct that there is still prejudice with regard to mental illness everywhere - even in the health care field where we should know better. We've made some strides, but we have so much further to go.

I feel bad for the child they passed over, hopefully he/she will find a family that doesn't require "perfection" as an adoption trait. There is no such thing as a perfect child, equally true for parents, none are perfect.

Try not to be too sensitive about your illness. I have MI too, and I just try to blow off the ignorance as much as possible.

My grandson is 1/2 black. My daughter is white, her BF black. Anyhow, after my beautiful grandson was born, I began to pay closer attention to comments people made with regard to race and prejudice. In short order, I realized I was driving myself batty "defending" my innocent grandson from those who will never even know him. So I said a prayer, and "gave it up to God" Now, I let God handle my worry over this.

So, I know how you feel, but you've got to grow a bit thicker skin. We live in a country that allows for freedom of speech. I suggest taking the higher road, don't be drawn into an argument with an ignorant person, you'll only feel worse.

Blesses, Babs :redbeathe

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