A Typical “Open” Adoption

When and "p[en adoption" really is a closed adoption.

Promises of Contact Broken Reveal Intentional Lies A Guest Post by Amy Payne-Hanley

One of the most infuriating things I find is when someone insists that “adoption is different now”. You know, because, I relinquished almost 26 years ago, my feelings and experiences are out dated or that being separated from one’s baby somehow became more appealing to mothers?  I suspect that the uneducated like to parrot about the ideals of open adoption and assume the  whole “co-parenting” approach to today’s relinquishment, but as always, Open Adoptions, are not legally binding, and many mothers, like Amy and myself, continue to believe the adoption professionals and are convinced that the prospective adoptive parents are more deserving of our babies than we are.

I “met” Amy though Facebook and she shares her adoption relinquishment experience here, in her own words.

Amy’s Open Adoption Story

I was 14 when I learned I was pregnant and my life changed forever.

Once I’d gotten that fateful news, I tried to imagine what it would be like to have a baby; I wondered if I’d be able to finish school, would I be able to give my baby the life she deserved? As abortion was never an option, it came down to either doing my best to raise her myself or finding a deserving family who weren’t able to have children of their own.

When I was about 3-4 months pregnant, a friend of mine from school told me about her Aunt and Uncle who had been trying to conceive for a very long time. They were on a waiting list with Children’s Home Society to adopt a baby. I called her Aunt one day and out of the blue asked her about their situation, told them a little about myself and suggested that maybe we should meet up. We slowly built a relationship through the course of my pregnancy and I began to really love them.

When the Emotional Connection with Prospective Adoptive Parents is Exploitative

The prospective adoptive mother and I would go shopping for the baby together and have long chats on the phone, lunch together, all of this gave me the impression that I could really trust these people…even with my baby. I made it very clear that in order to go ahead with the adoption I must remain a part of her life. As a family friend I would visit from time to time (as long as this didn’t upset my daughter,  “K”, or make her confused), call, send letters, etc… I truly believed they would follow through with our agreement and never once thought to get it in writing. I struggled with this throughout my pregnancy and at times doubted whether or not this was something I could go through with.

The night  K  was born; I held her in my arms, I rocked her, sang to her and felt so tortured at the thought of losing her.

I wanted to go back on the adoption but I couldn’t imagine hurting someone so deeply as to promise them a baby and then go back on it. I never imagined, THEY would be the ones to hurt ME but they did…deeply.

I was told over and over by Children’s Home Society that adoption relinquishment was the right thing to do; I couldn’t give my daughter the life that these people could. What a selfless act this was not only for the perspective adoptive parents but for this baby that I loved so much.   I was offered and received counseling but it was through the adoption agency. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was being conditioned and coerced into thinking I was incapable of being a good parent. They used my love for my child to make me believe that because I was young and unwed that meant I was unfit. I signed the papers the next day immediately relinquishing my rights as a parent to K.

I was also told by the Children’s Home Society to say that I didn’t know who the father was, though I did, because he could take K from me. He was on drugs and alcohol, so I went along with it and did lie. I never told him. After searching for a couple of months, I found out that he passed away just about a year ago. He asked if it was possible that I DID have his baby and how could he find out. They didn’t know how to reach me so he died never knowing about his daughter. It makes me so angry that I went along with the lies that we not there to protect me or K, but only to proetcet themsleves and make the adoption of my daughter easie on them.

This “Open Adoption” Closed Before the Baby Could Walk

The adoptive parent’s stayed true to their promises for a little while. They brought her for visits, I got to see her for Christmas and call them whenever I wanted and I got pictures in the mail sometimes.

One of the last times Amy saw her daughter before the adoption closed.

When K was about 3-4 months old, I got a visit from my Children’s Home Society case worker, she sat me down and told me that the A.P.’s decided this was all too much for them and they no longer wanted contact from me, they changed their number so I couldn’t call.

Then I remembered that they never once had me over at their house in the whole year or so I know them, they’d never invited me over. This is one of the main reasons I’m convinced that this was a scam from the start; they never intended to keep me in their lives at all.

They agreed to send updates (letters and pictures) every 6 months until she turned 18 and kept up with that until about 3 years ago when the updates suddenly stopped. No explanation, no warning, nothing. The updates were being sent to me through Children’s Home Society so I called the agency and got the run around. They have no updated address (yet another lie as I’ve researched this and learned they’ve lived in the same place for about 8 years) and no phone number for them so I’m just kind of left hanging.

This, to me, is one of the most heartless and cruel things that can be done to a Mother and I’m in utter shock that this is actually happening. She’s 14 now so I only have about 4 years before I can legally contact her (or so I’ve been told). I hope to one day reconnect with my daughter so we can build a relationship but for now…for now I just wait and wonder.

There is Always More to a Story: More Untruths

Now, I have to add, people like to assume that when an adoption becomes closed on behalf of the adoptive parents desires, that the birthmother must have done something to deserve it.  Again, I find that infuriating that people are so quick to cast blame on a mother for believing lies and trusting others with their child’s and often their own best interests. So of course, I found out more when I inquired if Amy was planning on searching for her daughter rather than waiting for her to search:

I did search and I did find her, we were in contact for about 6 months. Then her adoptive mother found out and gave her hell. The adoptive mother then sent me a nasty, threatening email and blocked me from everything. This happened about a year ago.

So adoption is different now? Still separating mothers and children for a profit. Or is it worse? As the lies and false promises continue to destroy lives, thin about the fact that this was done to a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD CHILD. Amy was a mother, but still, they LIED to a 14 year old. I do wonder how these kinds of people sleep at night. I mean look at her face. How threatening could she really be? 


Please, feel free to send me your adoption stories and I will post them here. I can give you credit or keep you unknown; whatever works for you.

 

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About the Author

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Musings of the Lame was started in 2005 primarily as a simple blog recording the feelings of a birthmother as she struggled to understand how the act of relinquishing her first newborn so to adoption in 1987 continued to be a major force in her life. Built from the knowledge gained in the adoption community, it records the search for her son and the adoption reunion as it happened. Since then, it has grown as an adoption forum encompassing the complexity of the adoption industry, the fight to free her sons adoption records and the need for Adoptee Rights, and a growing community of other birthmothers, adoptive parents and adopted persons who are able to see that so much what we want to believe about adoption is wrong.

110 Comments on "A Typical “Open” Adoption"

  1. Barbara Thavis | May 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

    Oh Claud, thank you for this. Just yesterday I was writing on Facebook how a 14 year old could be a good mother. Can’t you just see what an amazing parent Amy would have been with a little help. I wish I could get a program going to place girls and their babies with foster families. My niece in Utah has a mother-in-law unit in her house and would take in a young mother and child but we just don’t know of any programs that match mothers in need with foster parents. My niece would help the mother with child care while she worked and/or went to school. My niece already has five kids, the youngest 10 years old, and has a heart the size of Texas.
    Amy’s story is heart wrenching. How I hope we can help the new generation of ‘birthmothers’ from losing their precious children.

    • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 3:07 am |

      I think this is a lovely idea! Isn’t there a way we can make it a reality? What would we need to do? I would be willing to open my home to. I love being ” mom”. I could help them learn life skills they would need it in this scary world while helping them and their baby have a good start at life. 🙂 I think it’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time!

    • Karen Whitaker | May 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

      It’s a wonderful idea and there are a few programs out there, but most are localized. I’ve talked with some who would like to go nationwide but they need more exposure, more homes and more funding.

      I will list a few below. Check out website.

      http://www.sienahouse.org/mission.shtml
      http://www.birthmotherministries.org

      I have other single mother resources listed on my facebook page.

      As mothers ourselves, we can also help support our own daughters, should they find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy and more importantly, help our sons to become responsible fathers. Then instead of a female feeling alone with no one (not just teenage girls, but any woman), they will have many supportive members to help. But for those who do not have the support they need to be a single parent but would like to raise her own children rather than placing for adoption, who feel alone because everyone turned their back and said, “Do want you want but….. (fill in the blank)” and she made a choice because she felt like she had no other choice, they are the ones who need programs like this desperately. I would love to help in this mission as well. btw….I am a birth mom.

  2. I recently heard about a story- now, in the year 2013- in which the prospective adoptive mother was blatantly encouraged to bold-face lie to expectant women to make herself more appealing and more likely to be chosen. Straight out lie. I forget that this stuff really does happen in 2013. Thanks for your article.

  3. Amy, my heart aches for what you have been through. As an adoptive parent, and as a doula in training, I don’t believe that any woman should place a newborn child with adoptive parents–not in the delivery room, certainly, and not for a reasonable time after birth. Too many hormones, too much exhaustion (physical and emotional), too much opportunity for bad decisions under pressure. I’m so sorry for all you have been through alone. Know that I and others are with you now, and sending wishes for healing and strength. The years to come will help, perhaps, in re-connecting with your daughter. Meanwhile, you’ve lived your truth. My heart is with you.

  4. “Typical” Open Adoption? That’s BS. No, this isn’t typical but it isn’t uncommon. To cast all PAPs this way is irresponsible, IMO. This is like casting all birth mothers as crackheads, which isn’t true either. A story like this gives good PAPs and adoptive parents a bad name. It angers me that this happens ruining it for the good people out there who abide by their open adoption agreements.

    This is a sad story where a 14 year old was taken advantage of on multiple levels. If there is any good to this story is that with technology today and how easy it is for people to find one another karma will come back to haunt these insecure adoptive parents when the truth comes out and exposes them. For Amy and especially the child justice will be served one day. No, it doesn’t erase the damage done but it will come back it haunt the adoptive parents.

    I would be interested to hear them defend themselves. Unless Amy was threatening them or the child with physical harm there is ZERO defense for their actions. And it doesn’t sound like that was the case. Claudia is absolutely correct, how do these people sleep at night. Even if that were the case there are still ways contact could have been kept in place through a third party.

    This could have been handled better on so many different levels. First the PAPs should have understood what they were getting into. If they were insecure about their infertility and weren’t ready to adopt, they should not have adopted. This was a really young girl who needed space during her pregnancy. After the initial meeting the PAPs should have left her alone until placement was made after birth. They should have never bought her anything or developed a relationship prior to placement. Also they should have never promised anything they weren’t comfortable delivering on. If they felt uncomfortable after the child was born they should have figured out an alternative way to deliver the contact they promised. What they did was unfair, cruel and downright disturbing to not only Amy but most importantly the child. Again zero defense for them or the adoption agency. I hope they all suffer the rest of their lives and if there is a hell they all rot their for eternity.

    As for your suggestion Barbara, to me you are either ready to parent day 1 or you aren’t. Having someone babysit the kid until the parent is ready is the parent picking and choosing when they want to parent. If the parent needs to go and live with someone until they are ready then they aren’t ready to be a parent. What you are suggesting is in the best interest of the birth mother not the child. If a mother is ready to parent from day 1 then that’s in the best interest of the child. Educating expectant parents not doing their job for them once the kid arrives is what is best for all parties involved.

    Again this isn’t a “typical” open adoption but its a story everyone can learn from to not make the same mistakes to have a mother and child suffer.

    • I beg to differ. 99% of the time children do far better staying with their original families. Some Moms need a little boost to help them launch and that doesn’t make them bad parents. Adults have unplanned pregnancies for goodness sake and aren’t “ready” to be parents, but the don’t give their babies to strangers to raise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone needing a little help along the way. That’s what’s wrong with out society, they think its ok for someone to give up on a person they love instead of fight for them.

      Sad story that all too often is played out over and over again in the adoption world.

      • You mean some moms need someone to parent for them until they decide they want to parent or are able to parent? Give me a break. Just because someone isn’t ready to parent providing everything a child needs financially and other types or care they need doesn’t make them a bad parent.

        As for the giving them to strangers, that’s nice way to take a shot at adoptive parents and anyone who isn’t biologically related to the child they are parenting.

        • Greg… is there any particular reason you troll this blog?

          Let me tell you something as a mother of adoption fraud, I don’t need some wanna be fucking adopter boo hooing about poor adopters having people take pot shots at them. People who con people out of their children this way should be in jail, yet you are here for what purpose, on a blog written about open adoption fraud? I find it to be disgusting, truly and you need to get a life and stop stalking mothers of adoption fraud on the internet. It is quite creepy. Nothing you can do or say will change what has happened to thousands of mothers. I don’t get it, really.

          • To answer your question, to gain perspective. So that if my wife and I do decide to pursue adoption we don’t make the same mistakes that PAPs and adoptive parents have in the past. By that I don’t mean making us more attractive to be selected by an expectant parent(s) but that we treat the expectant/birth/first mother with the respect they deserve.

            The one thing you said I agree with is that I nor anyone else can change the past. I wish I could because all of your stories are heart breaking (I’m sorry to hear you were the victim of adoption fraud). I hope that by the word getting out that these experiences can be limited in the future.

          • Laurel Ehrichs | May 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm |

            All the stories are heartbreaking. Then or now, makes no difference. Willing or unwilling, forced or not, every relinquishment or surrender story is terribly sad.

        • Ws Birthmom | May 7, 2013 at 4:49 am |

          Greg,
          Your entitlement and desperation is showing by your comments that you are ‘better’ because you are financially ready to take someone else’s child and separate them for a lifetime. Sometimes women need support.
          Sometimes pregnant women lose faith in themselves for whatever reason while pregnant.

          Making this lifelong decision to be separated from your child should not be allowed to take place until a mother is 6-8 weeks post partum, and the hormones have begun to settle down. Google ‘oxytocin’ and check out how every adoption agency and professional who profits from separating mother and child convinces them that it will be best if TPR happens before leaving the hospital, before the mother can realize the magnitude of this decision and it is too late. Before the mother feels the bond that her child already has rushing deep through his or her soul since conception. Mothers aren’t told of that, mothers aren’t fully disclosed ALL of the facts of what adoption really means. There are NO guarantees. Nothing saying their child’s life will be better, because you can’t guarantee that, but the PWPs sure sell it that guarantee that the child will be ‘better off’ with someone other than these mothers.

          I make more $$ that the ‘keepers for now’ of my son, who I gave away before being discharged from the hospital. I was also already a mother, and a good one. I just lost faith, and reached for the wrong people, people who would profit (PWP) from separating me from my son. The ‘keepers for now’ convinced me that my 7 year old daughter would know her brother. That we would not be cut out of his life, that we were ‘family’ now. That is before the grief became too much for them and I started speaking out about the fact that I did not need to lose my son, and that this is the one and ONLY regret of my life. You see, I wasn’t going to be the ‘good little b-mommy’ that I needed to be, because it was a lie to me, a lie to my daughter and a lie to everyone that separating him from me was best, when it is not. I had a moment of weakness that the PWP capitalized on. They became insecure, and I guess rightly so. I wasn’t playing along with the lies. I will not lie.

          I immediately took action and started helping women who were in the same ‘throws of despair’ as I had been while pregnant and not seeing a way out. All I tell them is to take the baby home (as long as there is a home, and a safe environment). We immediately start building their support network, family, friends and even perfect strangers are in that network. The perfect strangers include adult adoptees, people who have adopted from foster care who know that separating a mother and child should be an extreme last resort, and of course mothers of adoption loss, who would wish their life of grief, sadness and one that is always a little shaded by the damage that being separated from their child brings to ones life.

          Once I started doing this and having success, and also not hiding my grief from ‘his keepers’, their desperation and insecurities won and they chose to cut us out of our son/brother/nephew/only grandson my parents have’s life. Because my ‘negative comments’ about adoption will hurt him. Mind you when this happened he was 19 months old, hardly able to understand, nor would I ever expose or hurt my son anymore than I already did by allowing us to be separated. And there is nothing I can do about it except hold my now 10 year old in my arms when she cries for her brother. Or allow myself to lay in bed and cry, unable to sleep and wondering what my son is going through. Wondering if he will ever forgive me for losing faith in myself and forcing this life of living adopted because I lost faith.

          A mother needs TIME, love and encouragement. God placed the child in her for a reason. Man created adoption. Mary didn’t give up Jesus. The only thing that we have left is that one day, our son/brother/nephew/grandson will come back to us, and know the truth, the ugly truth of what ‘his keepers’ did, and that he is a product of love. You see I am still with his father. I don’t know how, but he has forgiven me. Without him, I would not be here today. I would not be surviving this grief, not even for my daughter. This has profoundly changed me from the person I was, into the person I am today. The old life is gone.

          They lied to get a baby Greg, and until you walk in their shoes and hear a mother of loss sob for her son, and tell you that this is the only regret of her life, that she wanted her son, The one that you have possession of….until you hear that truth, never say you wouldn’t close off that mother. You have no idea what this grief does to a mother. Especially one who does not need to lose her child in the first place. The agency played us all like fiddles. The ‘keepers’ didn’t know anything about me, and I knew only about what was in their ‘profile book’. Which they conveniently left out that ‘male keeper’ was in anti-anxiety meds. Or that they had their two nieces live with them while their drug addicted mother ‘female keeper’s’ sister could get back on her feet. She refused to adopt them when CPS asked her to, but had no issue taking my son, when drugs, alcohol or whose situation had any kind of abuse around. See, they weren’t infants, they had a past, and she loves, truly loves her sister that she did that for her.

          The coercion is subtle in adoption today, your entitlement is not.
          The PWPs (professionals who profit) have perfected their craft. Financial coercion is number one on their list. Take advantage of the less fortunate, they don’t deserve their children because they can’t provide ‘stuff’.

          Which is exactly what you are saying, you’re better, you’re buying into it….be careful, you could end up with a woman like me as your child’s mother. An out of the fog early mother of loss, he’ll bent on making sure no mother is unnecessarily separated from her child. And that, apparently is too difficult to love, even though you have her child.

          • First of all, I never said I was better than anyone nor do I feel that way. I was speaking in generalities that someone who is financially, emotionally and mentally ready to be a parent on day 1 is better fit for a child than someone who isn’t. Whether my wife and I are a better fit to parent a child than someone else if we pursue adoption is not our decision to make.

            I do agree that expectant parents need education and support on all of their options prior to and after giving birth. As best as possible they should understand the risks that each option presents. It’s not any easy decision either way and no one should influence that decision besides that person.

            I am so sorry to read your situation and that you never received the support you needed and deserved. But I disagree about god placing your child with you. There is no god. If there was you and other birth mothers wouldn’t experience the grief you do. Nature placed your child with you not “god”. Just as nature had me be born infertile not “god”.

            I don’t mean to sound arrogant but I think I am smart enough to smell BS where it exists. I am not going to believe that birth/first mothers pain ever goes away or that the child will guaranteed to grow up happy. I understand that we could be selected by someone like yourself who is outspoken about their regret. Again even if that happened and we felt uncomfortable I would get a third party involved to facilitate the communication as defined in the open adoption agreement before I closed the adoption. I would never ever close an adoption even if the first/birth parents took shots at us, I would suck it up understanding what they are going thorough and not take it out on the child.

            Understand though my wife and I may not decide to pursue adoption. We may decide that its not for us. We may end up living child free never having the privilege of becoming someone’s parent. It’s something that kills me as I feel my wife and I are good people who would be good parents. But that is something we are not “entitled” too. I don’t have a sense of entitlement. If that means living Childfree so be it. I’d rather live that way than ruin a child’s life and live with that regret.

            Thank you for your feedback.

          • Laurel Ehrichs | May 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

            Just a word correction, you would be childless, not childfree. Childfree is another thing entirely. People who choose to be childfree have no interest in becoming parents. Clearly, heartbreakingly so, you would not fall into the childfree category.

          • You’re right living childfree is a choice being childless is not. Though Childfree sounds more upbeat and positive for the infertile. But it doesn’t change reality.

          • Laurel Ehrichs | May 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

            It’s not to be arbitrarily picky about word choice. The child free community takes great amount of fuss over the distinction and is an even bigger lion’s den to walk into unaware.

    • Barbara Thavis | May 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm |

      So Greg, are you saying that no mother should parent if she has to have child care to work or go to school? That’s all I asked for. A little support so mother and child can stay together. Do you recognize in any way the profound loss mothers and their children experience by being separated?
      Oh and by the way, adoptive mothers and fathers often both work and use child care.

      • No, that’s not what I’m saying. If she can provide for child care while she goes to work or school she is providing for that child and ready to parent. Not if someone else has to pay for it.

        Do you recognize that there is more to being a parent than just loving a child? Or in your mind does that not matter because as long as a mother isn’t disconnected from their child it’s all good?

        • Laurel Ehrichs | May 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm |

          And that is perpetuating poor hatred.

          How is it in the same exact situation that having a babysitter or childcare for one is a respectable option, but yet in the other passing the responsibility to someone else to parent your child?

          Regardless of income, familial childcare exists just fine without your lump judgment that people who do so are unfit parents.

          • No, it’s just reality of what it takes to provide for a child. You don’t need to be rich or be well off either. You just have to be able to provide enough for that child.

            What you are referring to is not the same situation. The former is the mother/parents providing for that child. The latter is someone else providing for that child. It’s a lot of what you see on teen mom and 16 & pregnant that glorifies teen pregnancy rather than trying to prevent it (by means other than useless abstinence only programs). You enable the teenage into thinking it can be a teenager while someone else is doing the difficult work and at the end of the day it isn’t fair to the child. Amy’s situation isn’t fair to the child either. But you don’t fix an extreme with another extreme.

          • Laurel Ehrichs | May 7, 2013 at 11:24 am |

            So now it’s ageism?

            http://www.girlmom.com/

          • Laurel Ehrichs | May 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

            I was on my phone replying, and now I’m not, so here we go…

            So it would be more fair to categorize your comments as ageism with a touch of poor hatred perpetuation.

            I disagree that teen pregnancy is glorified. It is a rare teen that willing wants to walk down that road purposefully getting pregnant. The stigma, the lack of resources and the complete alienation of one’s self from the traditional path of youth is not something wished for.

            Instead, teen pregnancy is in existence, and young mothers deal with what they were dealt real fast. They put up with a huge amount of scarlet letter syndrome, mommy wars in an ugly way because of the condescending remarks given because of their age and situations, and all doing so with much more pressure by the grown ups in their life that may or may not be healthy dynamics.

            But that being said, the amount of dysfunction, pain and consequences that come from separating a child from their mother is something that should be seriously considered before unilaterally deciding that young mothers should not parent their children.

            Just for hypothetical argument sake, let’s say you do finally parent and it’s a girl. She for whatever reasons, (good, bad or indifferent)ends up pregnant in your too young generalization category.

            What next? Do you take the child as your own and alienate your daughter away with you can’t have your cake and eat it too mentality? Or do you, thinking it is best interest of avoiding those unhealthy relationship dynamics, insist she relinquish to someone else. Which doesn’t take away the complete train wreck of impact from birthing a child and then relinquishing… (the body physiologically goes into the baby has died mode, and that grief combined with the mental challenge of knowing that the baby hasn’t died is one of the main PTSD causes)

            And that isn’t even discussing trauma to the child by removing them from their mother.

            Or do you deal with the hand you have been dealt with and parent your child through new motherhood?

          • Laurel it’s interesting that you proposed that scenario to me as I have a close high school friend who is exactly what you described. She was adopted (closed adoption) who got pregnant her Senior year in High School. The father was never in the picture because he was an absolute dirtbag who denied the kid was his when the kid looks exactly like him. The complicated matter was that my friend was the oldest child in her house and she had other siblings in the house who were either adopted or biologically related to her adoptive parents. What ended up happening is that her adopted parents adopted her son and raised him as being their adopted son in a closed adoption. He was told that my friend was his older sister he even referred to her by her first name. I recently reconnected with her and my understanding is that she still has a good relationship with her parents. Although she did tell me that she struggled at one point about being adopted but her other adopted sister didn’t.

            As for how I would handle the situation in your proposed scenario, it would depend upon my daughter’s age, the father’s involvement and what her future plans were. Also, I would hope her birth/first parents were still involved in her life to also provide guidance. I know I would not adopt and raise the child as our own. Honestly, my heart tells me I would support any decision she made. As my daughter I would do anything for her that didn’t involve harming anyone (the boy who got her pregnant excluded). So yeah I would financially and emotionally support her and the child if that’s what she wanted as long as she was focussing on her education and doing well in school. But again it would depend upon her age. If it was Amy’s situation, I have no clue what I would do when you are talking about a 14 year old with all of high school ahead of her. But I know I would not force her to do anything she didn’t want to do. Who knows I may send her this way for guidance as well. 🙂

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

            See this is exactly what we are saying. You wouldn’t force adoption on your child. You would support her. Which of course is the right thing to do in my opinion. But what if the parents won’t? That is where I would offer to do it. My sister in law got pregnant at 14. She did marry the dad, so a bit different, but I babysat for free while dad worked and mom went to school. I helped any way I could. They have now been married 13 years and have 4 children. And they both truly appreciate everything that everyone did to help them succeed. I don’t think she would have been better off without my wonderful 12 year old nephew.

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm |

            Actually no one here said they would “do the hard work while the teenager just continues to be a teenager.” We said help them. Babysit while they finish school or work. Give them a hand. Help them provide for the needs of the child. Not raise them both. Just be a friend helping a friend.

          • If you are willing to do that then more power to you. I now have a better understanding of what you mean. At least for me I couldn’t do that as I wouldn’t want to get emotionally attached to them. Its the same reason I couldn’t Foster Parent. But thats just me. I’d rather give the money to a charity or get involved in a big brother type program.

        • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 3:04 am |

          In most states a 14 year old can not get a job. All they can do is go to school and take care of their child while they are at home. In my opinion if someone doesn’t offer to foster a young mother and her child, that is financial coercion of the worst kind. How do you think a 14 year old can work, finish school, pay child care, rent an apartment or house ( considering you have to be an adult to do so), drive a car to get the baby to doctors, go grocery shopping etc.? Almost none of that is possible for a 14 year old child. Since that is not possible, that means she isn’t ready to parent? So she should place her child for adoption, because no one should help her? It’s thoughts that like, and people believing stuff like that, that makes it “okay” to separate a mother and child. 🙁 Such a sad world we live in.

          • You answered your own questions Victoria. If that is the situation and the father isnt an option to provide, then no I’m sorry shs isnt ready to parent.

            Someone doesn’t and shouldn’t have to Foster the mother and child. It’s not financial coercion if its never offered. It’s not financial coercion if paying for doctor’s appointments and other items are never offered. It is financial coercion if those things are offered and something else is expected in return for it as it was in Amy’s case.

            Again this didn’t have to be this way if the adoptive parents never paid for things pre birth and abided by their open adoption agreement. The child would then have grown up knowing who one of their mommies was. It wouldn’t have taken away all of Amy’s pain but it would have made the best of a tough situation.

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 10:50 am |

            You’re right, financial coercion is providing for her to get her child. But so is withholding any help so that she has no way to provide for her child. Either way, you are the one with money, and she’s not, so you deserve her child. What happens if right now, my husband leaves me and disappears, doesn’t help me at all with the kids. Then, I loss my job in this horrible economy we have, or I get hurt and can’t work. I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent, child care, buy groceries, whatever. Should I then place my 9 year old and 2 year old for adoption, because I’m not ready to parent. Call it what you want, or only look at one side, but do a little more research. That is financial coercion. You don’t have to give a dime to the mom to do that. All you have to do is prove that by money, you can provide for her child and she can’t. And that is what has us in this predicament. Would it be different if it was her mother that was offering to help her? Isn’t that the same thing? She shouldn’t help either? What you’resaying is that if for any reason a girl too young to get a job winds up pregnant, she doesn’t deserve her own child. And that’s just sad. Mainly because so many people think the same way you do.

          • Who is withholding anything? If an expectant mother selects a PAP before birth and no money is ever discussed is it ever withheld? Money or gifts should never be discussed or exchanged until the relinquishment documents are executed, IMO.

            What you described is completely different than a young expectant mother. I just don’t see the comparison.

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm |

            I’m not talking about PAP. I’m talking about if her parents turned their back on her because of shame or embarrassment, the boyfriend takes off, and she is just a child having a child. If no one is willing to help her she has no choice but adoption. That is coercion. The way you were looking at it was coercion from the PAP. The way I’m describing it is coercion from family and community. The people that are supposed to help her. I couldn’t be a foster parent either, I don’t think. But I could help a mother and child, because as a Mother, I think she would stay in touch and I would still have a relationship with them both. But I wouldn’t be looking at either of them as my child, so it would be easier when they did move on.

        • Greg,

          If people are interchangeable, and you expect infants and their mothers to live without one another, why don’t you go find a FERTILE woman?

          Your wife will find another husband. But you have a chance at a biological clan–go for it!

          No adoption needed!

          • Sunny,

            I could find the most fertile woman on the planet and still wouldn’t ever be able to have a “biological clan”. See there is something called male infertility and it’s just as common as female infertility. People are always quick to assume that infertility is always the fault of the female but that is just a myth. The reality is not the case.

            But nice try with your failed attempt to convince me not to pursue adoption.

          • Haaaaaa!!!!!!!!

    • Sorry, Greg, but I have heard this version of open adoption as often as I have heard the good stories, and that makes it pretty typical.
      Have you heard my “if the shoe doesn’t fit” bit yet? It applies here. One bad story does not give all adoptive anyone, anything. It says THESE adoptive parents suck. Not all….other people’s actions speak for them and are not addressed here… this story speaks for this story. That it is a typical experience that many mothers can relate too might speak for more adoption situations, but that’s hat comments are for. So those stories can be shared.
      Because, you know…it’s a blog for birthmothers by birthmothers mostly….so we kind of rule here. 🙂

      • LOL, I am definitely walking into the Lions Den. I understand and that is the reason I come here to get that perspective. I appreciate you allowing me to comment on your blogs. I hope that I have not become too much of a pest for you and your followers.

        While I don’t agree that the word typical applies here, I get that by using the word typical it brings a stronger headline and message to your piece. I do get that is is not uncommon. Many PAPs that post on RESOLVE’s message boards in the adoption section give me the impression that they are those types of people who engage in coercion because they feel entitled to a baby. So I am not going to deny that these situations are rare. I just don’t want everyone think that all PAPs are this way. Being someone who along with my wife are researching adoption to see if it something we are comfortable pursuing, I don’t want to be stereotyped with these people if we do pursue adoption and are privileged enough to be selected to adopt a child.

        • You want to adopt? Sad face. Perhaps if you find a mother struggling who wants to keep her child you can take both of them in? I know it isn’t what most PAP’s want but adoption is about the adult, not the child. I see you want to do this all ethically and that is great, truly… however ethics and infant adoption are simply not compatible so I suggest another way to become involved in a child’s life…

          • I’m not sure if I want to pursue adoption. My wife and I are researching it right now before we decide whether we will pursue it. I would like to become a parent but due to a genetic condition I was born with I am unable to conceive a child. So I am not sure what holds for the future for my wife and I.

            As far as taking in an mother who is struggling and her child, as I said before I don’t think I could do that from an emotional standpoint. As I said before, if my wife and I decided to live childless we would find other ways to make a difference that didn’t involve our emotions being toyed with.

    • not every adoptive parent reneges on their promises, but the story is typical in many ways. it’s common for PAPs to send the expectant mom small gifts–i got sent flowers–and to be included in the hospital stay. the agency will tell the expectant mom how selfless and mature she is, and that she’ll get to watch the child grow up, as if that can be guaranteed.

      i disagree that every expectant mom is ready to parent at day 1 or they never will be. if they’ve just spent months being groomed by an adoption agency to give their baby away, how are they supposed to feel ready to parent? i felt like it took more than a day for any maternal instinct to sink in with me. that first day of having a baby was too crazy.

      bottom line, relinquishment papers should never, ever be signed in a hospital bed, where the full implications of those signatures are not yet realized.

    • Karen Whitaker | May 31, 2013 at 2:30 pm |

      Society has been “casting” ALL birth mothers for many, many years in a derogatory light. Everyone else made their voice known, spoke their comments to their friends, families, neighbors, and coworkers about what a terrible person she (birthmom) was (easy, slut, troubled, emotional, mentally unstable). And the birth mother sat silent, in secret, in shame. So pardon me if I don’t share your sympathetic feelings for the AP’s in this story. A promise is a promise. I am a birth mom and I have an open relationship with my son. No, it’s not always easy on any of us but we continue to work at it. Isn’t that what relationships are supposed to do. Especially if one loves their child. I always said the birth mom got screwed twice. Once by the S.O.B who showered her with affection making his empty promises so he could get what he wanted, an orgasm. Then when he finds out she is pregnant, he hits the pavement hard. Then the agency and adoptive parents shower the expecting mom with attention and make her feel so very special and generous and tell her how they appreciate her and her “gift”. Then once the AP’s get the baby in their hands, everyone’s like, “ok, bye now”. Empty promise, broken promise. Shame, Shame, Shame. And still the birth mother is the one who carries the burden, the pain. Ironic, isn’t it?

      • I have no sympathy for the APs in this story in fact they disgust me that they never worked on their open adoption putting their child first. I am not sure where you got that impression. I agree that you have to work at an open adoption. On the outside it does not look easy.

        I wish you the best.

  5. Thanks for censoring my comment! As a mother of open adoption fraud, I especially thank you…

    • You were not censored. You haven’t commented here before, and the system is set to hold new commenters for approval the first time. This keeps spammer and bad SEO links from ruining our conversations. And alas, there are times I walk away from the Internet and do stuff like eat dinner, sleep, drive my kids about, go food shopping, etc. Now, you’ve been approved once, all your comments will go straight through.

  6. I do agree with Greg. I don’t believe this is “typical” – many, many adoptive parents I know have successful open adoptions with their children’s birth families.

    I also don’t know of anyone who touts open adoption as co-parenting. Open adoption is not co-parenting at all, and open adoption advocates state that very clearly.

    It is terrible that this family mislead this girl. The child involved has suffered and is going to suffer for this as well.

    Greg said quite a bit of what I was going to say, so I’ll leave it at that.

    • It’s not a story about “many” open adoptions. It’s the story of one and in my experience, it’s just as typical as the many others.
      As for co- parenting….try reading comments on a public site about open adoption. Yes, people who do not “get” open adoptions make lots of co-parenting noise…like” well what did she expect? They do all the work and she gets all the glory? So immature. She gave the kid up. It’s adoption, not co-parenting.” Don’t believe me? Look up the birthmother cake post and follow the link there to the AOL comments.

      • Victoria Gallegos | May 7, 2013 at 10:59 am |

        You know, it’s funny. I am a birth mother that didn’t see my son for 12 years. He was 14 when we reconnected. Now he is 16, and his mom told me, ” we are both his mom” and many that with everything that could possibly mean. We do co-parent. We are both listed as moms on his school and doctors forms. He stays with me anytime him or I want, and for however long we want. I know all adoptions can’t be this way, but it is truly awesome to be in. I love feeling like we are sisters ( his mom and I) who have his best interests at heart. Maybe I’ll email you my story. You don’t have to use it, but you can if you want to.

  7. “As for your suggestion Barbara, to me you are either ready to parent day 1 or you aren’t. Having someone babysit the kid until the parent is ready is the parent picking and choosing when they want to parent. If the parent needs to go and live with someone until they are ready then they aren’t ready to be a parent. What you are suggesting is in the best interest of the birth mother not the child. If a mother is ready to parent from day 1 then that’s in the best interest of the child. Educating expectant parents not doing their job for them once the kid arrives is what is best for all parties involved.”

    Nonsense. If what Greg says here were true, we could be sure that every parent over 21 was good at their job, and I think we know that’s not true. Age is certainly a factor, but with support the young can parent as successfully as the not-so-young.

    I think what makes one young mother more successful than another is the support she received. I believe it has to start with a young mother’s family, which because of the blame game may not be available. That’s really sad, I think.

    If adoption had never been in the picture for Amy, and parenting had been her only option, things undoubtedly would have been challenging for her and her family for some period of time. There would have come a point, though, when Amy would have reached adulthood and done fine.

    Would her life have followed the straight trajectory everyone had in mind for her? No. Does anyone’s really, though? We all face all kinds of challenges, some of which are very hard to surmount. But if our reaction to all of them were to split up our families so our children could have “better lives” we would do nothing but destroy ourselves.

    Throughout the history of the world, children have been born outside of marriage, to young parents, into difficult circumstances and on and on. I think we can do more to support the fragile little families that will continue to form than blame and shame them, and then remove their children.

    And if, at the end of the day, a woman makes the decision that adoption truly is the best path for her, we should do everything to maintain the connection between mother and child and nurture their relationship. I can’t think of anything worse than betraying a young mother’s trust by denying her right to know and her child, except perhaps agreeing to it and then walking away.

  8. myst1998 | May 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

    Heartbreakingly, this is VERY typical in infant adoptions… in fact so typical it is disgusting. I laugh at adopters who try to convince others it is not typical but truth be known, it is common and typical; in other words, this is what a mother should expect if she decides to give her baby up to a couple. If she is lucky enough to have a couple who agrees to keep their promises, then really THAT is uncommon and not typical. But most adoptions I have seen occur in the last 15 years (something like 20 to 1) slam shut as soon as they possibly can.

    So yeah, those odds do not favour open adoption. I can count on one hand the open adoptions I know of that stayed open… those that slammed shut number in the hundreds. And all those because the adopters slammed them shut, not the other way around.

    It is because “Open” Adoption is in actual fact a fraudulent practise used to lure mothers into thinking they will not lose their babies but will be able to see them grow up. Agencies, lawyers and adopters happily and knowingly LIE in order to get these babies signed up.

    Even in open adoptions where the mother and the adopters play nice and put the child in the centre I have seen these adoptions fall apart – one in close proximity and the fallout is tragic for all concerned. It doesn’t work because at the end of the day adoption is not natural and is NOT supposed to be used as a bandaid for those who cannot have their own children. Which is all it does leaving the real issues of childlessness to fester underneath and never be resolved – transferring that ugly pain onto the mother whose child has been taken in an effor to fill the gap.

    Revolting really, anyone who gets involved with infant adoption today should hang their heads in shame. With all that is known of the cost and all that has been researched, there is NO need for people with any ethical bone in their body to become involved. Those who do only prove ethics is non existence in adoption and that entitlement is well and truly alive. Infant adoption is nothing more than the traffiking of live human babies purchased for whatever purpose. That is the harsh reality of infant adoption once you strip back all the unicorns, rainbows and koolaid advertised so liberally by the unscrupulous adoption industry.

    Those with morals and who do not believe they are owed a child by some poor mother in need of help out there would never, ever inflict the horror of adoption on mother or baby. Instead they would find another way to become involved in that mother’s life and become part of that child’s life in a way that uplifts them all and helps – not tears down and destorys. But no, the rarity of THAT is like finding rare and precious diamonds – THAT is not typical and yet it should be.

    Claud’s title is right. Slammed shut adoptions are typical. Common. Usual. To argue that point is to wear blinkers and CHOSE not to see what is really going on in the real world of infant adoption.

    • May I ask which perspective on a adoption you are coming from and what you experience with adoption is if you don’t mind me asking?

      • I am a mother who lost a child through forced adoption – long story, all gory details are on my blog. I have since spent the last 15 years researching and becoming involved in adoption where possible. I have witnessed many adoptions take place and their aftermath and have met countless mothers through the internet and real life who have experienced adoption loss. I also know many adopted persons who are courageous to speak out abut their experiences and I grew up surrounded by adoptive families believing adoption was wonderful until I got to be a teenager and started wondering what the flip side was.

  9. I am going t be flamed for this BUT a fourteen/fifteen year old is NOT ready to parent even with support! First off, many times it’s the grandparents that end up raising the child because the “mother” realizes that parenting is no joke and a lot of HARD WORD! This child was fifteen when she had a baby and it was most likely her parents that pushed for adoption.

    And in regards to WS I cannot understand how you can raise one child but not the other and call the aparents “keepers” they are your bchild’s parents-not “keepers”

    • Laurel Ehrichs | May 9, 2013 at 11:45 am |

      Birthmother vilianization for the win!

    • Victoria Gallegos | May 9, 2013 at 11:48 am |

      My sister in law was 14 when she got pregnant. She was 15 when she married the father and had her son. Her mom did nothing above giving them a place to live. I babysat while she went to school for free. She took over as soon as school was out. As soon as she turned 16 and was working, she paid me. I would have still done it for free, but she knew that wasn’t how the world worked, so she insisted. She has now been married for 13 1/2 years, has 4 beautiful children, her and her husband have good jobs, and she doesn’t have to ask anyone for anything.

    • Laurel Ehrichs | May 9, 2013 at 11:53 am |

      Age has nothing to do with ability to be a good parent. Plenty of teenagers are already placed into a parenting situation of their younger siblings for the majority of their care. It’s not playing house but knowing it is their obligation to their family because if they don’t no one else will. So take your agism broad brush away for another day.

      And just because someone had to consider relinquishment, doesn’t make them an unfit mother in every situation until the end of time. That’s just nonsense.

    • Barbara Thavis | May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

      Hi Adoptme,
      Often times the parents (grandparents) assume the young mother can’t handle it and totally take over the role of parent. That can totally screw up the mother. But I don’t see that being any worse for the adoptee, and actually better for them. At least they are being raised by people that look and sound and act like them. And sometimes it takes awhile before the mother matures but most often she gets there. If adoption was a risk free option where the child had no trauma I could see where you are going with this. But we KNOW that is not the case.

      • “Sound and act like them?” What are adopted and foster parents aliens who are second class citizens? I guess unless you are blood related to someone you can never have any type of bond with them.

        And I got news for you teenage parents take risks as well. They are different risks but they are risks where the child can get messed up. Again I’m not advocated for relinquishment but you can’t ignore other factors that don’t support a close minded agenda.

        • zygotepariah | May 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

          Greg, are you adopted yourself? I’m going to assume no. Let me ask you: in the course of your life, were you ever told you had your father’s eyes? Your mother’s nose? Told that you were the spitting image of uncle Fred?

          This is genetic mirroring, and it serves to reassure us of not only our place in our family, but in the world.

          I’m adopted, and let me tell you, it is *hard* when you don’t have this, when no one looks like you or is in any way similar to you. I never felt like I fit in. When I was 12 my mother remarried a man who had three daughters, of whom I was the youngest. All three of them look very alike to each other. Rather than introduce us to people as a step-family, my mother would say, “These are our four daughters”. You could see people’s eyes drift from the oldest, down to me, then do a double-take; I could feel their gaze lingering on me. I always felt like I needed to say, “Yes, I’m adopted. Yes, I know I don’t look like them. I’m not really supposed to be here”.

          Let’s remember: to the adoptive family, there’s only one person — the adoptee — they are not like. To the adoptee, it’s *everyone* that isn’t like them.

          I have met my first mother. We are identical. Even then, it really didn’t hit me until one time I was showering at her apartment. I stepped out and suddenly heard my voice coming from her living room. I was very confused by this. How did my voice get into her living room? Only then did I realize she was recording and playing back various outgoing answering machine greetings. Why this had such an effect on me when I’d been talking with her for weeks, I have no idea, but I had to sit down. I actually sounded like someone. It was huge.

          Your hyperbole does a great disservice to adoptees. I loved my adoptive parents, but that does not change the fact that I was not reflected anywhere I looked, and that was a great source of pain for me, as well as other adoptees.

          • So you loved your adoptive parents even though they did not act, sound or act like you? That proves my point. Despite not looking like their adoptive parents, adopted children can have a loving bond with their adoptive parents, which is something Barbara does not agree with. She has made a point that biology trumps everything.

            Now that doesn’t mean I believe there shouldn’t or isn’t pain their for the adoptee. That’s something completely different that I won’t try to say I know something about because I am not adopted.

            I am sorry about your pain and wish you the best on your life journey.

          • Barbara Thavis | May 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

            Greg wrote:
            Despite not looking like their adoptive parents, adopted children can have a loving bond with their adoptive parents, which is something Barbara does not agree with. She has made a point that biology trumps everything.
            ——-
            Do not put words in my mouth. I have an adopted niece and nephew. they love me and their mother (adoptive) very much. I never wrote anything that would convey that I do not believe adoptive children love their parents.
            Biology does not trump everything. I have always maintained that if a child’s safety is in danger or if the mother doesn’t want to parent and no family members will step up, a loving home should be located for the child.
            If we go back to the very beginning I suggested that it would be great to get a program where VOLUNTEERS would open their home to young mother, whose families are either unsafe or have thrown them out, and help guide these women and help them with child care while they worked or went to school.
            Basically I would like to see young mothers supported instead of thrown under the bus. A few years of support will take away a lifetime of agony to mothers and their children from being separated.
            DO NOT PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH!

        • But your niece and nephew don’t “look, sound or act” like their adoptive parents how could they possibly have a bond with them or how could that possibly be good for them?

          Do you now understand how that statement can be seen as something that can be misinterpreted and led to me putting words in your mouth?

          As for your idea, there is a fine line between support and enablement. As long as it supports these families it can work. But if it enables irresponsible behavior then it’s hurts the child and benefits no one accept the mother who gets a free ride and pretends to be a parent.

    • Stephanie | May 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

      NO, you have it all wrong. They are THEIR child’s adopters. People who con a woman out her child via a fraudulent open adoption are SCUM. They don’t even get the title of adopter in my book.

    • You’re going to get flamed because it’s an ignorant comment. Did you ever think there is a reason that a 14 year old can GET pregnant in the first place? You know why it’s harder for 43 year old career women ?? Because it’s NATURAL. We are biologically programmed to BE mothers at age 14, not 43.

      It’s WS story and she got screwed.. so she gets to call the PEOPLE WHO TOOK HER CHILD ANYTHING SHE WANTS. She can call them KEEPERs or ASSHOLES or WHATEVER.. again her story, her kid. her CHILD.. not a Bchild..

      And your use of quotes around the word mother is insulting. A woman who gives birth, even at 15, is a MOTHER. I know it’s a hard WORD for you, but it’s true.

      • Am I understanding you correctly that whether or not a person is fit to parent is based upon whether their body allows them to produce a child? Before I comment I just want to make sure I am not misunderstanding you.

        Thanks

        • Victoria Gallegos | May 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm |

          If I am wrong, I am sure she will correct me, but I have read her stuff often enough to feel like I can tell you what she meant. I believe she meant that it is natural for women to be able to get pregnant at certain ages for a reason. It is a natural process. That an older woman who can’t have children whether it’s always been that way, or if it’s just past time for her, does not give her the right to take another woman’s child.

          I have never heard her or anyone else in these circles say that just being able to get pregnant means you can be a “mama”. I have heard them all day that a woman should keep and raise her child unless she is a danger to her child or she truly does not want or love her child. Does that make sense? I couldn’t really think how to put it into words the right way.

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

            Supposed to be “I have heard them all say…” I need to learn to proofread before I submit, not after. lol

          • I just don’t believe someone’s ability to produce a child has anything to do with their ability to be a parent. There are so many other factors that determine ones ability to parent that have a bigger impact. For instance a 28 year old drug addict who is violent is not more for to be a parent than a 21 year old with no drug addiction who is mentally stable.

            Maturity, financial stability, mental stability, responsibility and support system are the most important factors when it comes to parenting, not someone’s fertility.

          • Barbara Thavis | May 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm |

            Greg – Let’s be clear – There a lot of assholes raising their own kids. Go to the local bar and take one of their kids. Leave the single mothers alone.

          • Again Barbara you make more assumptions to support your agenda. Never once did I talk about taking single women’s children.

            But yeah I’ll go wait outside a bar and hope someone hands me their baby……lol. Should I turn it down if its a single mother outside of a bar?

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

            I have not seen anyone say that the ability to get pregnant makes anyone suitable to parent. But I have seen several comments about age being a reason you can’t parent. You’re right, in your scenario the 21 year old would be a better candidate for motherhood. But in my opinion, adopters that close off adoption are not suitable for motherhood, or fatherhood for that matter. If a 15 year old has a child and raises him, she doesn’t keep people that love her child away from the child ( unless it’s for safety) because they have no fear of losing that love. That makes them more suitable to parent than the 30.or 40 year old insecure adopter that cut her out of her child’s life because they are scared of not being number 1.

          • I agree Victoria the adoptive parents in this story were not ready to parent in this situation. They should have been more secure about themselves going into this situation or they should never have adopted.

    • Stephanie | May 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

      and who the hell are you to determine who is or is not fit to be a “mother”. Oh, that’s right, you are probably a self entitled adopter who get’s off to dictating what is right for someone else and THEIR child. Truly sick and despicable.

    • I think an 18 year old has better ability to parent than a 15 year old because because of what they can legally do at that age. They can legally work, have a drivers license and rent a place to live. Also, they have already or are close to graduating high school.

      Whether they are more ready to parent is s

      • Whoops hit submit before I was done…..

        Whether the 18 year old is more ready to parent is a different story that cannot be generalized. My point is a 15 year old will have more obstacles to parent for reasons that have nothing to do with their support system.

        • Barbara Thavis | May 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

          Greg I think you are forgetting something. The 15 year old is the child’s MOTHER!!!!! Frankly I don’t think you give a damn about that little piece of information.
          Who are you to say who is ready and who isn’t? You are not God. Thank you but He’s doing a very good job allowing pregnancy to occur and creating MOTHERS. Any girl/woman that carries a child to term should be given every opportunity to parent her OWN CHILD. Adoption as Victoria stated should only be for women that are a safety hazard or simply don’t want to parent. And they will never know if they don’t take the baby home after delivery and experience it!

          • I never said who is ready and who isn’t. All I said is that a 15 year old has more obstacles. I said nothing about that they couldn’t overcome those obstacles or that they should relinquish so don’t put words in my mouth to support your agenda. I was just stating facts.

            As for god doing a god job…….lol who are you kidding take a look at the world we live in. I got news for you, god doesn’t exist. A couples ability to have a child has everything to do with nature and nothing to do with an invisible man. I am not infertile because god intended me to. I’m infertile because of genetics and what nature handed me. Just as nature handed me a learning disability that I have worked through my entire life and become a successful individual. I did that on my own despite what nature handed me. So please spare me the religious non sense.

      • Greg. Time to stop thinking.

  10. Ryan Schwab ADOPTION AGENCY HACK | May 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

    I just want to point out that open adoptions are actually legally enforceable in many states, and the trend is growing. This is probably due in part to people who have the courage to share their painful stories, like Amy has here. Just the other day Georgia passed a law making post-adoption agreements legally enforceable.

    • Victoria Gallegos | May 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

      That’s awesome! I agree it takes people speaking out to make these changes. Can you post a link to where it passed in Georgia? That is whereI, so I like to keep up with it. Thanks.

    • “Actually legally enforceable in many states,”? So what is your definition of many? Based on the 2011 numbers from the CHIG (https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/cooperative.pdf) I see about 1/5th of the states even covering the issue at all. The rest that do, have it that the open agreement must be writte, filed, and accepted by the court BEFORE the final adoption decree is approved.

      So who is going to tell these vulnerable mothers of their rights and how to protect them? Are we to trust the adoptive parents, who might not know either, or the lawyers? Or perhaps the nice adoption agencies like you, Ryan? Do YOU inform your mothers that the agreement must be in writing and filed with the courts ahead of time, sometimes? I doubt that considering that website LIES and says this:
      “In fully Open Adoptions, all of the choices are up to you. You have the right to:
      – Choose an adoptive family for your baby
      – Choose the amount of contact you would like as the baby grows up
      – Choose who you would like to have support you at the hospital”

      Oh, and most of the states that DO dare to speak about the enforcement of an open adoption agreement ALL say that no matter what, the adoption is NOT overturned no matter what and they have like the crappy HB 252 that Missouri has proposed, have a vague “best interest or determent” of the child clause, which we all know is really easy to use to keep birth parents away. But you know that because you are a professional child trafficker OR a really bad SEO hack.

      Which by the way, I pulled all your links out. You will NOT link to an adoption agency on my blog.

      • Laurel Ehrichs | May 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm |

        My question is what is legally enforceable? Is it fines, jail time, dismantling the adoption? I bet it still equals a whole lot of nothing.

        • Hhahaha.. jail time. You are so funny Laurel!!Of course not, its a whole lot of nothing!
          “With respect to postadoption contact agreements that provide for court enforcement or55termination or are silent as to such matters, any party, as defined in paragraph (1) of56subsection (d) of this Code section, may file a petition to enforce or terminate such57agreement with the court that granted the petition of adoption, and the court shall enforce58the terms of such agreement or terminate such agreement if such court finds by a59preponderance of the evidence that the enforcement or termination is necessary to serve the60best interests of the child”

          but….” only the adopting parent or parents may file a petition seeking-modification”

          AND….”All reasonable costs and expenses of mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and72litigation shall be borne by the party, other than the child, filing the action to enforce”

          yeah…

      • Victoria Gallegos | May 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

        So let me get this straight…Hypothetically, let’s say I have one of these agreements. And in that agreement it says I can have phone calls with the adoptive parents for updates and a visit every 6 months. I see my child’s and as he gets older he gets really emotional at the goodbye pat. He goes home and throws tantrums because he knows he isn’t going to see me for another 6 months. That causes disharmony in the adoptive home. The adoptive patent could take me to court because seeing me every 6 months is not good for the child’s mental well-being. And since their job is to protect their child, they can close it off?

        • There are other ways for the adoptive parents to handle the situation such as supporting the child. Understand why the child is crying and be there for the child. Taking away what is upsetting the child rather than confronting their hurt is not the answer. Eventually that hurt will come out again in an even more intense way.

          • Victoria Gallegos | May 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm |

            I know there are other ways. I’m just asking, off they don’t want to go the other route, can they use this to close an adoption even if the open adoption agreement is legally enforceable?

    • Barbara Thavis | May 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

      And who is going to pay the legal bills? If a woman is poor enough to let rich folk take her child, she won’t have the money to pay for a lawyer.

  11. Ryan Schwab | May 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |

    “Do YOU inform your mothers that the agreement must be in writing and filed with the courts ahead of time, sometimes?”

    Yep, we sure do. Then we help them file it.

    “And who is going to pay the legal bills? If a woman is poor enough to let rich folk take her child, she won’t have the money to pay for a lawyer.”

    Personally I agree with your sentiment, but I think its a problem with capitalism rather than adoption per se.

    My hope was to just contribute to the conversation, but if I’m just gonna be attacked with ad hominems I’ll go away after this. I’m bummed that its not apparent to everyone reading that we’re both advocates for the same rights.

    • ok…then why is this information not easily available on the website.

      I’m willing to have the conversations, but lip service just isn’t going to do it.

  12. I am an adoptive mom and this is still Very typical Greg.
    Unfortunately. Makes me sick, I am sorry Amy.

  13. I am a newbie to this blog– until I started reading here I didn’t know there was such a thing as being anti-adoption. I’m a grown adoptee who has always seen my birth mom as an abstract. A few facts on a type-written sheet of paper. I have sooooo many questions/ thoughts bouncing around in my head now. Greg– I’ve inhaled probably 80-90% of what Claudia has written here & so I know a little of your story too. Not to oversimplify, but in my mind you don’t need a woman to relinquish her child so you can have one. Why not go the sperm donor route? That is always freely given, never coerced, no stretching of your conscience
    required. I spent many years pre-kids teaching pregnant/ parenting teenagers life skills in a local school. (It’s state funded…hope that doesn’t offend your belief in everyone being self sufficient from the get-go…). The goal was to give young girls a fighting chance to parent successfully. If they were still pregnant, childbirth education, breast feeding, and car seat safety were part of the curriculum. If they were already parenting, we provided day care at the school and helped them with ‘life plans’ instead of adoption plans. These were children who had to grow up real fast so they could parent their own children. But a lot of them did it, not easily or painlessly, but with the extra help they made it. The funny thing is, I never saw it as a way to keep those babies from being adopted. I just never thought of it that way. My goal was to help the girls succeed on the path they had chosen, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • Laurel Ehrichs | July 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

      Um, sperm donation has the same amount of ethical issues as adoption. There is still a lack of genetic mirroring for the child from their paternal genetic heritage. There are still legal lies in the birth certificate.

      • Yeah, I guess you’re right…. But with sperm donation at least there’s not a grieving mother. Does that make it better? Today I called the adoption agency that handled my adoption (closed) in the 70’s. For $150 they’ll release info that was known at the time of my birth but not shared with my folks. All of it non-identifying, of course. For $600 they will initiate a search for my birth mother through a court provided PI. They told me not to even bother looking for my birth father, because “so many girls didn’t know who the father was or lied about his identity”. WTF? I didn’t even know what to say to that….

    • Cesta,

      Thank you for your feedback.
      You are correct that my wife and I don’t need to pursue infant adoption to become parents. Unfortunately our situation (like a lot of IF situations) is more complicated than just needing a sperm donor. Plus in order for a couple to pursue using a sperm donor both parties need to be on the same page. So while it is an option it’s not something we will be pursuing. Same goes for using a donor embryo.

      As Laurel pointed out there are similar issues with DC children as with adoptees. Although I disagree about the notion that there are lies on the birth certificate. You have to understand that DC children can wonder where half of their biology came from.

      Not that you need me to say it but you are doing a good deed in supporting young parents and eparents. You are right there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is supporting these women and not enabling bad behavior.

  14. I also agree with W’s birth mom- from a medical standpoint immediately postpartum our hormones are going crazy. In a good way, if you’re intending to nurture your baby the way nature intended. Prolactin is an even bigger player in this ballpark than oxytocin, it’s the one that causes peaceful feelings when a baby is put to breast. Even puppies and kittens are supposed to stay with their moms for 6-8 weeks. Everyone knows that…. Help these girls with breast feeding in the first 48 hours, and then for the next 2-3 months, and I bet relinquishment rates would go way down.

  15. Here is scientific proof regarding pregnancy hormones – and how they can backfire – specifically oxytocin. This is what happened to me: http://www.dddmag.com/news/2013/07/love-hormone-has-dark-side?et_cid=3384080&et_rid=563505839&location=top

  16. i can’t help but wonder after reading this story, where were Amy’s parents? how did she go through this alone ( if she did) how was she able to consent to an adoption at 14? Was she given options or counseling about her pregnancy, i couldn’t imagine going through this as a grown woman nevertheless a 14 year old.

  17. What a read! I wish you had been around Barbara when I was 14, pregnant by a coercive older boy and bullied into having an abortion by my mother who didn’t ask any questions let alone listen or support. 45 years later I still wish I had had the strength to go against my mother’s bullying. Even after a forced adoption I might have been back in contact with the child who never was by now.

    • Barbara Calchera | February 21, 2014 at 10:27 pm |

      Murphy,

      I am sorry, but you don’t understand adoption. It is NOT the same as abortion. Stop comparing them please.

      I am sorry that you were forced to abort…. So sorry.

  18. I am a mother .I had 2 sons ,the older was 4 yrs old when my husband abandoned the 3 of us and took all the savings 11 yrs my senior I thought to make a good father and brother ,starting up a new family I was 24.No help heard from anyone -they ran thinking I would want to borrow their life savings and strict step father that didn’t like children even my 4 yr old son.The step father told me where to go all the while niave to what an adoption agency was,I thought it was a free clinic that could give me alittle help due to my odd situation as my baby was planned(like most all the rest) for nine ,nine and a half months the baby grew and moved,kicked,hiccuped even one of his limbs got caught or so I thought inbetween my rib cage,for one month of intense sharp pain going down my leg I went to the ER,they could not find the problem.I w as worried something happened to the baby as back in the 70’s we did not have all of todays high tech OBYN’S.No way of knowing gender-guessed’ and we got the rythym,the babys heart and mind -passing to him all my DNA traits.We knew one another from first sight.A knowing !!!!!Like the penguins finding one another in the sea of snow by the millions when they hear their own unique calling and the knowing.It was not long after having him that I had time to catch my breathe before the strangers came for my baby,the nun made them wait ,so she helped me into the hall way near a convient elevator where their was a table and place to sit.While standing the nun looked at me with her eyes blinking trying to say something,I knew she would hand me my baby,we bonded and I kissed his forehead and I said I’ll be back ,whispered so the stranger women wouldn’t hear.They just gave me a mean look and said read this and sign it.I was shaking.I wanted to take my baby and run but I knew the cops would chase me down like a hardened criminal.My older son was killed just 3 yrs ago by a truck while riding his bicycle 2011 he was 43 and loved life and wanted to find his brother as he had always wished for one .I remarried and I could not have anymore children ,my husband was sterile.When my son was in his 30’s he and wife had me a granddaughter .In the small town word of mouth got to the foster care lady that got 15 and had 3 of her own until she saw little 3 yr.old Jenna. She was taken by them I was never notified ,my inlaw never called either.The lady had kind of pull fostering then adopting 3 more.My Jenna is now going on 14 a Luthern church goer and avid reader,my son was a good teacher for Jenna but the lady full well coerced her as the lady R said Jenna cried for 3 months,I knew it was for being separated from her parents.I got to hold and bond with her before she was snatched when my son brought them to see me here in Florida.She remembered talking to me on the phone.Michaels mother in-law hated him ,she said she would find a lot of people to do away with him and accused him of a false charge that was dropped.She was a control freak,she did not like or want Jenna as her granddaughter,even though her daughter,my sons wife already had 2 children .He was a good father.The foster adoptor couple are in their 60’s to near 70 ,talk about old parents that won’t see their youngest child 8 graduate maybe as high as the cancer and heart rate is. It’s probably like having a parrot that will surely outlive themI had noticed that Jenna was edited every single phone conversation,she sounded shakey in her voice,she was afratd of them.She takes care of the two younger A siblings and all the way when she was old enough to wash ,clean,cook,and watch the other foster kids she got and at least 6 or 8 at a time.I heard her screaming at a boyfoster kid while I was on the phone and her DAD AP was watching what Jenna said,last spoke to her I asked”Why didn’t I get a xmas card,”I forgot” she said .That hurt,does that mean you don’t love me Jenna? She said No,I just got busy.I figure their keeping her busy from me and make her see her AP’s mother.Jenna is smart she knows they don’t allow her this or that if she mentions me too much so shes spacing things out.Things are getting weird as the older 30 something Roller derby or Ice Skate is for her sis posted up childrens (too Xrated for minors)called a comic porn showing 2 woman ,with one touching illegal for Facebook or some state laws,not all states have these because of tv being so open.I wrote sis name in box to her timeline it was open to public found out later,clicked her pic and it showed strange comics for FB and Jennas photo that A sis took awhile ago,I was bashed for me getting her photo.I’m not computer savoy,all I know is their gone where? Sis by a supposed mistake as anyone anytime could go there and she left open for public so shes telling Jenna how bad I am.Thank God Jenna is a church goer and maybe won’t see or experience anything xrated,wanted to report but laws not same every state,wish she was removed from those deceiving people,their very tricky

  19. I’m a birth mom as of September 23rd 2013 during my adoption process was pure hell it was so evil and unbelieving i would love to share my story with other birth moms as well as adoptees also I’m in much need of emotional support. My email is candyr882@gmail.com if you would like to hear my story.

  20. Open adoptions should be legally binding. Its ok for adoptive parents to lie and mislead but if a birth mom does it it’s a crime a felony to recieve financial help from agencies or adoptive parents and decide to keep her baby but it makes it ok for the birth mom to be lied to and coerced and and to be left in emotional distress how evil.

  21. Let me start this out by saying that I was adopted at birth. I know the rough details of what led to my adoption . . . but not the specifics. I am aware that it was probably a painful and a difficult process for my birthmother to relinquish me. I do not know what was going through her head at the time, or what her thoughts are now. What I do want to say though, is that I am extremely grateful and thankful that I was adopted. Yes . . . there have been times when things were a little rough. Yes it was hard being raised outside of an individual genetic and cultural environment, not knowing where you came from or where your roots lay. But I haven’t known any different. My life has been fantastic. It has been wonderful. With the Grace of Christ it has been a blessing every single moment (even during those times where life seems to curse you, but which end up teaching you the value of forgiveness), and I have grown and lived and hoped and dreamed. I can honestly say, and perhaps this will dishearten some of those out there, that without adoption, without the knowledge that I needed to find myself and my roots, I would never have searched for God, and He would have never found me. With that grace, I have felt called to the ministry, and have found a purpose in my life which might of been absent.

    Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know it was hard, I know it was painful. Thank you. Thank you for not having an abortion, thank you for giving me breath, and life, and the ability to be loved. Thank you so much.

    I hope to meet my birth family some day, and to form relationships, and grow, and learn, and see, but until then, I am content waiting. God has given me so many blessings (in disguise) and adoption certainly was one of them. Well, it was pretty good that I didn’t have extremely s**tty adoptive parents. Yeah, that was pretty good.

    • Adopted, I am sorry for your loss. Until you know the specifics, and hear them directly from your first mother, you don’t know – keep that in mind. You may not know what you’ve missed, and that too, may be ‘pretty good’.

  22. With all due respect, “Adopted”, please leave your god out of adoption. “God” has nothing to do with the separating mothers and their infants. It is a man made institution and a multi-billion dollar industry. Not a win-win for all. A win win for baby brokers and their paying customer.s

    • Thank you Stephanie. God doesn’t make ‘mistakes’ by putting babies in the wrong womb – people do by exerisising their free will – some to separate mothers and children and some to fall prey to those.

  23. Whose that girl I help girls like that mothers who have been hurt by people like that find their children. THEIR children. I don’t care I’m not a company not a business I am a private searcher I’ll find their under age child I’ll get that phone number that name that location I don’t give a Fk about the rules. I get the name the address the number its up to Mom and Dad to decide what they want to do about contact with their own child. Nothing should stand in the way of a mom or dad trying to communicate with their kid. I run a little background check if they were never convicted of anything violent toward a child then I help – and i mean convicted not just accused. Its all just public information anyway I’m just real good at figuring out where people are based on public info – free free free. Just for justice sake just for love’s sake. Just for the fairness of it.

  24. Greggie! My man! my main man! You don’t get kids! You get blog time with hurt moms! Hope you have enjoyed fighting with us and calling it “learning”. You’ve been hilarious.

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