Saturday, October 17, 2009

I often wonder about how much counsel do the women who walked into adoption agencies really get. Do they honestly tell them of their options and encourage them to speak to other people. I don't understand how someone who gains from them if they place can 100% give unbiased counsel. I think a lot of failed matches would be prevented if they made the women follow a few steps before they begin to contact people to adopt their child.
I think they should be encouraged to talk to other young, single moms if that's who they are. Also, they should talk to Birth parents who can share their experience. Granted not all are the same. I think they should seek out counsel from a church or some other counsel that won't gain or lose anything. Maybe even talk to a couple adoptive parents and see adoption from their side. I won't pretend to have all the answers on where or how to get people willing to extend their time for these women. But I believe if I was asked I would give up my time to share my story. But I don't think adoption agencies want them to know that 18 years later I still hurt.

I think the most important people they should talk to about considering adoption is their family. I regret not speaking up about my pregnancy and maybe things would have been different. But again, I go back to I believe my Mom would have forced an abortion on me so I did what I had to do to save the life of the baby. I would suggest be very clear to your family about adoption. I am not saying begging them for help, but if you tell them that you have been through all your options and you can't raise the baby for whatever reason. Then that gives them a chance to say ya know we could help. Maybe that's where matches get failed, because the family didn't really think they would go through with it and then when they find a couple it makes it so real.

Maybe some of these failed matches wouldn't have been matches in the first place. They would be women who considered adoption and decided to raise their child. Then, couples wouldn't have to go through all the hurt, anger, sadness over the loss of what they thought would be become their child.

I want to admit that I didn't use an agency. The adoption was done through an lawyer of the adoptive parents. So, I don't have personal experience, but my gut feelings on the process. Anyone who went through an agency maybe they can share more on what's really going on.


BB said...

We went through an agency. Obviously I am on the other side of things, but one thing really stood out to me.

R was born before her birthparents made an adoption plan. It all happened so fast that our agency recommended that they wait another 48 hours and put R in a receiving home to make sure this was something they really wanted. They chose not to, but it stuck with me that the agency was pushing them for that. It made me feel good about the whole situation.

Then again, we did go through a non-profit agency in hopes that there would be better counseling and stuff.

Tammy said...

Well, my situation is a little different and not exactly the norm because my son was 6 months when his birth mom placed him. She had tried getting all sorts of assistance to raise him herself and found that even with some limited family support and quite a bit of professional supports, she couldn't do it. She called up the adoption agency and told them to take her baby that same night. I honestly don't know what kind of counsel was offered but she had been thinking about it for a little bit of time beforehand and - from both her's and the social worker's story - she was determined by the point.

She wanted to go to court the next day to terminate her rights but she didn't actually go until a week later, although I think that had more to do with that they couldn't get her in faster. My son was put into an agency foster home from the day she placed him until I picked him up.

From my outside perspective, it seems that the agency has done a fantastic job of supporting her (I made a big fuss about it too). The social worker transports her to and from counseling (not sure if the counselor is independent of the agency though) and also provided her transportation so we could meet when we were down there. The social worker assigned to us also has a degree in counseling, which I think was very beneficial.

My son's birth mom tells me that she likes her counselor, who has also encouraged her to try to re-establish contact with a previous child who was placed for adoption. She tells me she feels comfortable with this counselor and that she feels it helps. I have never met the counselor so I can't tell you what I think of her but I'm glad my son's birth mom likes her.

I too think that the difference between good agencies (or attorneys) and bad ones are their birth parent support. And I too agree that there would be fewer failed matches if the birth parents are given appropriate counseling and assistance beforehand. It would save a lot of hurt on both ends. It always seemed like a good sign to me when agencies would tell me that at least half of the women who came to their agency ended up parenting.

I had a failed match in March and I feel that a lack of support was largely to do with that. The attorney was almost 2 hours away from the expectant mother, although the expectant mother refused to see an attorney who lived in her city, was a bad decision on both ends. It was a very complicated situation but I believe if someone had been seeing and talking to the expectant mother during the weeks and months leading up to the birth that it never would have gotten as far as it did (I flew out to Arizona only to find out that the expectant mom had changed her mind and the baby was put in foster care).

But that is my perspective on things. You could ask my son's birth mom what she thinks and she may give you a totally different answer. Likewise for my failed match in March.

Jenn said...

fortunately i never had a failed match, but do agree with your views on having this pregnant moms have access to speaking to people who have experienced the adoption process from all angles. i do know that with our licencee EVERYTHING before the boys were placed in our care was about our birthparents and making sure that they were taken care of on a physical and emotional level.