Sunday, January 20, 2013

Please Wait

I've been thinking a lot about birth. My daughter just gave birth a couple of weeks ago. This is her first child and my fifth grandchild. I got to spend a few days with them at home, helping her around the house while she recovers. I watched her deal with the emotion of postpartum living, the extreme emotional ups and downs of becoming accustomed to being 2 separate beings as opposed to one connected. Living pregnancy and delivery is an emotional roller coaster and it's understandable considering what a woman's body must go through. When we have a new mom going through the early days of motherhood we want to be there for her, support her, understand her, help her. My daughter has a wonderful husband, friends and all of her family for support. This is the ideal for having a baby yet she still has to cope with the hormone changes that come with being a new mom. These moments can be hard.

So what about the women who don't have the ideal situation? They may be single or in a bad relationship, they may lack resources or information about where to get resources, they may not have family support. What they need is someone by their side to help them find what they need. They need an advocate, someone to tell them that they can do it and help them find out how they can raise the baby and be ok.

But what does the adoption industry do? They actively look for young women who don't have these ideal circumstances and uses them for their gain. They literally spend millions of dollars in this active search. If a business (that's what it is -a business - it certainly isn't some benevolent organization with a mission to help people) can spend millions looking for the source of it's products, then you know they're making many billions on the sale of the products. Instead of seeing an opportunity to help a young mother get on her feet and care for her newborn, they convince her that she's not good enough for her own baby. They use the postpartum hormone changes against her by insisting that adoption consent forms must be signed within days of giving birth. Many times she hasn't even left the hospital yet. Seeing the emotional roller coaster that is postpartum life in the best of circumstances makes me even angrier at the system that coerces women in this way. The fact that they push her to sign so soon after giving birth is, in my eyes, nothing less than evil.

If you're considering surrendering your child to adoption, PLEASE WAIT! There is no law, in any state, that says you have to sign a consent soon after giving birth. A consent can be signed at any time! Wait at least 6 to 8 weeks. Give yourself time to heal. Give your hormones time to level out. Give yourself time to meet your baby and discover what it is to be a mother. You have to know who you're giving up before you can sign away your rights. No matter what an agency or a prospective adoptive parent says, give yourself time with your baby before making a truly life altering decision. Think about you and your baby's needs, not the wants of the PAP. Talk to other mothers but not just the ones that the agency wants you to connect with. Seek out people who are not connected to the agency in any way. Don't solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution.

It's been 27 yrs for me since I gave birth to my youngest daughter but watching her now with her new baby reminds me of what it was like after the births of my children and just confirms my commitment to stopping this business of using woman as breeding machines for money.


  1. I totally agree with you that every new mother needs to take her time before making such a drastic and life-altering decision as giving her child up for adoption. But what can young girls do if their parents have told them that they can't come home with a baby? I know going home and putting the child in foster care is one option. But there can be problems getting the child back from foster care if the mother does decides not to go through with adoption.

    1. Robin, there are no easy answers to that. I was told that same thing which is why I lost my daughter, I didn't know where else to go. I could have contacted other family members but did what I was told and kept the secret even though there was family that would have helped me keep her. Reaching out to extended family or friends is one option and there are now more and more maternity homes being started that are doing what they were originally intended to do. They're offering girls in that situation a place to stay, help with childcare, parenting skills, education and job skills and they're not pushing adoption at all.

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  3. The saddest thing is that after all these decades of pain on the part of mother and child that it is still a question with so few answers.

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  6. sorry (I say that a lot) i was sent to the 'home for wayward girls'! jeepers! to pretend i was at college (some of the time i was) and come home babyless. The gals that had social workers for proverty did keep their babies. they could not be told they were too poor to keep their babies they were already on assistance and knew that was a huge lie. The people in the know are the very people that take babies away for sale. there are answers they don't want to say them!