For any mother facing an unplanned pregnancy: beware the adoption agency speak.
I’ve been doing a lot of natural mom studying recently. Reading blogs, websites, studies, recovery books, etc. I have had insightful conversations over the last year with other natural moms. I’ve learned that so much of what I’ve felt the last 17 years isn’t crazy at all. In fact, my feelings seem to be the rule, not the exception. I do find comfort in that. For years, I wondered why I just couldn’t “get over it” like I had been expected to do. When you soberly think about that demand- “get over it”- when talking about the loss of a child; my goodness we’re surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
As far as I’m concerned, adoption agencies can’t be regulated enough. And this is coming from someone who considers themselves borderline Anarchist. Ok, maybe not Anarchist, but hardcore Libertarian at the least.
I came across an adoption agency site today that says this to pregnant moms:
If you’re thinking about adoption, please ask yourself these questions:
- Are you financially and emotionally able to provide for a child?
- Is the father able and willing to provide financial and emotional support to you and the child?
- Are you ready to prioritize the needs of another above your own?
Seemingly innocuous? Perhaps to the untrained eye. I’ve had 3 children with my husband and I’m still not certain I can answer #1 & #3 to my satisfaction! Now imagine yourself in the shoes of a pregnant mom in a compromising situation. This agency is telling her through these questions:
1) If you’re poor or emotional, you don’t need to parent.
2) If the father of your child has bailed on you, you don’t need to parent.
3) You are selfish, you don’t need to parent.
If she doubts her answers to these questions and calls that number, she’s as good in the birth mom club as any.
Questions like these are loaded and serve a purpose solely for the agency’s gain. They have years of study. These 3 questions weren’t just thrown at a wall to see if they stuck. They’re leading a vulnerable woman to predetermined conclusions. That conclusion is “I shouldn’t parent. I should place my child for adoption.”
What would it look like if someone REALLY cared about a pregnant mom in a compromising situation? They would never use these 3 reasons as a purpose for adoption. If she were poor, they would help her find programs to get on her feet. If she were emotional, they would support her through counseling. If the father of the child bailed, they would pursue means to make him financially responsible while reassuring her of her independence. If she felt uncertain about what sacrifice entails; they would teach her what it means to be a mother and offer her parenting classes.
Mama, you have to look out for your heart. You have to look out for your baby. There are people out there wanting your baby and they will sweet talk that baby right out of your arms.
Mama, anyone who makes you feel less deserving of motherhood because you are poor or alone- there’s your red flag. I don’t even know what this agency means by “emotional”. My goodness, if you’re pregnant, you’re emotional. That question could imply all pregnant women need to seek adoption. Pregnancy is one of the most “emotional” times of your life regardless of circumstance.
I’m also not sure what they mean by “sacrifice”. If you’re a first time mom, you have no clue what or what not to expect when it comes to sacrifice. There are levels of sacrifice. Are you willing to sacrifice sleeping in because you have an infant to feed? Are you willing to sacrifice traveling the world because you have to maintain a 40 hour a week job to take care of an infant? Sacrifice is a broad term and certainly being used here to sway a timid mom.
Mama, you have to beware the adoption agency speak. Its subtle and always comes with a smiley face. They aren’t going to look you in the eyes and say, “We want your kid. Just hand him over already.” No, they have to wine and dine. You have a lot of questions they have to answer. You’re going to hear things like “selfless” and “hero”. They’re going to talk your “sacrifice” and “nobility” up so much you’re going to be expecting sainthood when its all over. But bam!!! That door slams quick when that baby is out of your arms. They offer post-adoption counseling for the adoptive parents. What about you? Yeah, sorry, none of that. You’re left to your own devices with the physical healing from labor and post-partum emotional turmoil. The sainthood that was bestowed upon you now belongs to the adoptive parents who just saved an “unwanted” child.
If you’re thinking about adoption…stop. Ha. But seriously, don’t contact an agency right away. Seek out other birth moms for advice. Read studies about adoptees and birth moms- 4 times more likely to commit suicide and have addictions. Exhaust your options to raise your child. Use a pregnancy resource center. Reach out to friends and family. Adoption is a lifelong suffering. The agencies have it ass-backwards. They say the first year is the hardest. Absolutely not. The first year is the easiest. Every year gets harder and harder. You never get over the loss because every year brings a new loss; lost baby steps, lost first words, lost days of school, lost graduations, lost weddings, lost baby showers, lost grandchildren.
Exhaust all means. You might feel completely powerless right now, but once that baby is out of your life and in a stranger’s home…there is no more a powerless feeling than that. Now is the time to demand help for you and your child. If that means contacting local government agencies for housing and/or financial aid- so be it. If that means contacting local charities for basic necessities- so be it. If that means contacting a pregnancy resource center for counseling and support- so be it. Do it now so you don’t have to be a member of this abominable club.