Saturday, February 6, 2010

my thoughts on adoption part 2

I want to start off by saying that I am not anti adoption. I honestly know that sometimes it's is the answer. First, I think most people should stay clear away from private adoptions. It is my experience so I suppose it's only natural that's how I feel.
So, if a woman is leaning towards adoption and is going to go to an agency to look more into it. I think, because especially, if you never had a child before, they need to do more to prepare you to make this final step in your decision. I think they should suggest you read some books on adoption from birthparents side of things. I believe it would be good if they could connect them with some birthparents to talk to. Although, I can see them saying that it's not within their policy or them choosing the ones with that seem well adjusted that might not tell you a horror story.
If they have gone through the options and talked to other people. I think the next thing agencies should try to do is talk with her family members. To see if they are on the same page as far as the adoption and a kind of speak now or forever hold your peace type of deal. I think they need to be reminded that when the baby is born they will be a whole another set of emotions and hopefully they can convince them that if they are going to offer up support or help to raise the baby then do it now. It could save an couple from having the heart ache of a failed match.
So semi open, open or closed adoption? I think she needs to be fully told that open adoptions are not legally binding. They should say it again and again, if they choose to cut you off then it's their choice. It's not going to make it any easier when that happens to someone but at least she went in with the knowledge of the law.
I know there are good and bad of every profession and that includes adoption agencies. I think because so much is at sake that there needs to be more done to prevent the women being taken advantage of. I think the adoption worker should have someone who is supervising her by example recording the meetings and also have the expectant Mom to meet with her adoption workers boss.
A few things I think the workers shouldn't say to the expectant Mom.
  • What a wonder thing your doing. Your helping a couple who would otherwise not have children have a child. (not my problem) They are giving the baby a Mom and Dad.
  • Never tell them oh you will get to go on and have more babies and go back to your normal life. ( life will never be the same)
  • The adoptive couple can provide so much more than you.
  • You are giving them a much better life.
  • Don't speak to them as if they baby is already the adoptive couples
Somethings that they should tell her.
  • See the baby. Spend all the time you want with him or her so say hello and goodbye.
  • after the birth, it's still your choice.
  • It's okay to cry.
  • should encourage her to speak to people about adoption. Don't keep it a secret.
  • She is your baby until you sign away the rights. You make can make the decisions about the baby.
  • Make sure she gets some pictures. Someone did that for me.
I am about to wrap this up for now, but I think the hardest part of adoption is that you may have gone through all your options and you feel it's the only option but it hurts like hell. All the reasons in the world isn't gonna make it any better.
I have more to add on this subject, but will save it for later.


Miss Tanya said...

This is interesting!

What captivated me in particular was your list of things that adoption agency workers should not say to their clients. When I read them, I was like "Yeah! Why would they say those things to somebody? They seem to really be pressuring them to choose adoption." But then, another thought hit me. Maybe the adoption acencies assume that their clients have already made up their mind and chosen adoption, since helping people adopt is the job of an adoption agency. They may not think outside of that box.

I think the advice you gave in your previous post would really help to counter this problem: To visit a pregnancy crisis centre as opposed to an adoption agency, unless you want to adopt. An adoption agency may be somewhat of a biased environment if you are still unsure as to what your final decision will be.

The point to made about open adoptions not being legally binding also really struck me. To be honest, I never knew that before. I never knew that in an open adoption, the adoptive parents could cut off contact with the birthmother. In other words, yes. I think you make an excellent point when you say that people need to be made more well aware of that fact. There are many people (myself included, apparently) that are ignorant as to the legalities associated with open adoptions.

Anyway, I can't wait to read more of your thoughts :)

By the way, where do you work? What is your profession?

birthmothertalks said...

I am a caregiver for the elderly, but sometimes that could mean younger people too, because if they have disabilities they need help too. I mostly do in home care helping them with non medical stuff, such as tolieting, bathing, grooming and cooking, cleaning, and errands. It just depends on what the client wishes for you to do.

StefanieJinelle said...

I just sat in a session the other day of a girl who is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and a caseworker. And the caseworker gave her the low down of the place. I have seen this caseworker knowing that I have dealt with unplanned pregnancies as well. I came in thinking that I was going to parent my baby. I was going to get married. Obviously, didn't happen.

This girl is looking to parent her baby. She noticed that caseworker is very pro adoption. But that's just how the agency is. The caseworker doesn't think, "I'm going to pressure her into adoption." This girl is already getting pressured into many different decisions. The last thing that girl wants to do is listen to someone tell her what to do.

The caseworker told her that what they do is look at her option. 1st option- get married. They want the girl to bring in the potential future spouse for pre-marital counseling to see if it will work. 2nd option- single parent. give them resources to things with that. help from the government, finding a place, or a job if necessary, whatever. 3rd option- adoption. choosing one that's opened or closed.

Open is not legally binding. But it is also the birth moms choice to choose the couple. And the couple will let her know what they want. If they don't want what she wants, she can move on and choose a different couple.

As I said, the caseworker is pro adoption. But she will help out whatever the girl decides, even if the caseworker thinks adoption would be a better option for her. She says that she has had girls who single parent that say, "Why did you do this? Why did you let me parent? This is so hard." And the caseworker said, "That was your choice. You were in fairyland thinking everything was going to be perfect once the baby was born."

I went through an agency and it was great for me. With unplanned pregnancy it is a big stress, so the counseling and groups were free. Also, this agency when they talk to potential adoptive families they encourage having an open adoption. It's better for the child's identity to know where they came from and for the birth mom so she doesn't always have to wonder how her baby is doing and if he/she is being taken care of. But the agency also does in home check ups and things on the couple to make sure they are legit.

That's just a little of what goes on in an agency.

Tammy said...

I have heard of some agencies who have support groups for first families. They can go as often or as long as they wish. That seems to me to be the best way to do it (assuming the group facilitator is ethical and unbiased). Expectant parents can go to these meetings, listen to the other side and then determine if this option is still for them. Then they also have the support of people who know what they are going through if they decide to place for adoption.

I have always said the best sign of an ethical agency is one where the majority of the women who come to them DON'T place. Because then it seems more likely that they are getting unbiased assistance, which, as you have so often said, helps everyone in the long run.

An aside for this though - and I don't know what to do about it but it is what we adoptive parents are told constantly. We are told that one of the reasons our fees are so high is because agencies offer support to all women who come to them, whether they place or not. So when we pay our fees for their services, we are, in essence, not just paying for our child's first mom, but all of the other women who have come to the agency as well.

birthmothertalks said...

It is the woman's choice to choose the couple and they can decide on them based on a lot of things including open or closed adoption, but at any time in most states the adoptive parents can just decide that they don't want to keep their end of the bargain (meaning open) and it's legal but not moral.

Cathy said...

We are adoptive parents in a private family adoption. (No "Dear Birthmother" stuff, which I abhor.)
My cousin is my daughter's first mother, and every single thing on your list, I drilled into her head before the birth and before the court date. If I had not, I could not have lived with myself.
Great list, excellent post.