I was told as an unwed teen mom in the 1990s…
Adoption was the selfless choice.
Parenting was the selfish choice.
Adoption was the brave choice.
Adoption was the loving choice.
In order to prove my love for my daughter, I would place her for adoption.
Having a child out of wedlock was a sin.
Adoption was the way for me to be redeemed.
My daughter deserved better than me; a single, teenage mom.
Young, single moms were ruining the country.
She deserved opportunities I could never offer.
She deserved a 2-parent household.
She deserved a family with means.
She deserved better than anything I would ever be able to provide.
Together, we would be on welfare. Raising a child on welfare was selfish.
Other young moms, who kept their babies, were selfish.
They didn’t really love their babies.
Parenting was about their own selfish ego.
Their babies would grow up to be criminals and would amount to nothing.
All I had was love, and my love was not enough.
I needed to put aside my own wants and desires.
I needed to put my baby’s needs above my own.
I would not suffer because I would know she was better off without me.
I would have peace with the devaluing of myself because it was the right decision for her.
In order to be a good mom, I would give her to a more deserving mom.
My daughter didn’t need me.
My daughter needed to be raised within a marriage.
She would only suffer with me.
In fact, one day, she would thank me for placing her for adoption.
I could have an “open” adoption.
It would be like “extended family.”
I would get Christmases with my daughter.
I would be in her life and get to watch her grow up.
I would be an extended family member in the life of my child that I wasn’t “good enough” to parent myself.
Open adoption was for me, not for her. This way, I could see that she was always better off without me.
She would not suffer in any way.
She would only gain by having more people to love her.
Do not breastfeed her. If you breastfeed her, then she will form a bond with you. Then it would hurt her.
Adoption is God’s plan for children born outside of marriage.
Adoption is a “covenant” just like marriage.
I was brave like Moses’ mother; making a personal sacrifice so that my daughter would have a better life without me.
What I wasn’t told was that my crime of sexual sin outside the bonds of marriage would be her sentence too.
While the adults in my life judged me and ultimately executed my motherhood, it is my child who has had to carry the grief of that judgment and our separation for far too long.
There has to be a better way than this.
2 thoughts on “My Crime, Her Sentence”
You have so well described my own experience as a young mother in the late 1970s in the UK. Take away the religious element and the open adoption reference (not available then) and your experience almost exactly mirrors my own.
I’m so sorry for us. And so sorry for our children xxx
((I’m so sorry))