Prospective Adoptive Parents in the Labor Room for Birth is Just Not Cool
The other day, I was alerted to the public “A Letter to our Birth Mom” that I was told was making the rounds around various adoption sites. It is written by a prospective adoptive parent after the birth of a baby girl which the PAP’s attended as is common and acceptable adoption practice in adoption. The prospective birth mother of the baby opted to take the child home from the hospital and requested more time to make up her mind to relinquish and the prospective adoptive mother was hurt and upset, sending this letter, to the mother of the child, though the adoption attorney, about her feelings over this possibly, “failed adoption.”
Failed Adoption Placement Hurts Prospective Adoptive Family
Now, I will admit that when I first read this “Birth Mother Letter” I was quite horrified and my first desire was to rip it into shreds. I had planned to copy it all, in its entirety, and get all snarky on it. Then, I would, as my methods demand, make sure that the author of this was aware of my snark and somehow I would ” teach her”. Yes, this letter is one way trip on the guilt train and I wanted to send it back to its station of origin. Yes, this letter to the almost birthmother reeks of entitlement. I was angry, so very angry, upon reading this public letter. And I hated the person who wrote it. I hated that the mother of the baby had be forced to see it. I hated that this letter was garnishing attention and support for the family who “suffered this fail adoption.”
And then, I changed my mind.
See, blasting the author of this letter would not really do any good. She is upset and hurting as it is human nature when one is disappointed. And, in the end, while I do not agree with what is happening, she is another human being who has been hurt by the adoption industry. So blasting her would only make anything I had of value to say summarily dismissed and therefore, would be a waste of my time. My counter attack would only prove to hurt another person and possibly cause others to think, maybe even rightly, that I was cruel.
So instead, I would like to use this letter to point out how the adoption industry creates an environment where people have no choice but to be hurt, disappointed and face heartbreaking loss. Blaming her for being hurt is wrong. Blaming this woman for speaking of her hurt is wrong. The issue, instead, is that she was hurt to begin with, by adoption to begin with. And that, I can, surely understand.
Accepted Adoption Practices – Someone Must Lose, Someone Must be Hurt
I would like to use this letter to show that what is considered “acceptable” adoption practices are wrong, unethical and create a situation where someone, one party, is always exploited in the end. The enemy is not this couple that had their hearts broken. The enemy is the adoption industry who profits no matter who loses. I will use examples of this letter, perhaps not in order, to illustrate my point.
Issue number one, the prospective birth mother was 100% in her right to take home the baby, request more time to decide if she wanted to relinquish.
She “…decided she may want to keep the baby. She said she was taking the baby home from the hospital because she needed time to think and has not made up her mind yet. We were left wondering and waiting until Tuesday.”
There was an adoption attorney involved in this situation as the attorney is referenced, but this speaks of a huge failure on the part of the attorney and possibly an agency that did not make sure that the prospective adoptive couple understood that this was the right of the mom. Fully 100% her right. In fact, this mother did the right thing by taking home her child to make sure that she had adequate time to decide. Surprise and hurt should not be the outcome.
“I feel I have failed my children, myself, my wife and our family. I have failed in not giving them or myself the one thing we desire, a child, but I will not fail in hurting any of us any further. We cannot go another day wondering. Tuesday cannot come soon enough for those of us walking on emotional egg shells. Friday evening is as far as our emotions will last I’m sure; it is on that day we will sorrowfully accept the reality that the baby will not be coming home to us.”
If the adoptive family had been prepared for this reality, then their level of disappointment and failure would not be so encompassing. A child, a baby, is not something that any person should feel, on behalf of either the birthmother or the adoptive parent, to provide. There should not be addition hurt fostered upon people because of something that really is a good thing; a mother and child will not be separated.
“In a perfect world, we would be holding that beautiful little girl right now, but we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect people.”
Again, I blame out society and the adoption industry for allowing this woman to think like this. She should have been cautioned, educated, in the very beginning of the adoption process. In a “perfect world” mothers and babies find ways to stay together; are supported. In a perfect world, children do not require adoption. Adoption, while it can bring a child to lives that would not be able to have children, always begins with a huge traumatic loss to both the child and mother. When a mother and child are separated for any reason, it is a tragedy. Adopting is, at best, a patch job- not perfect.
“I am thinking back to the very first day you reached out to Lisa and I. I remember thinking this is too good to be true, it was God’s divine intervention. It saddens us that this situation has turned against us. We feel we have gone out of our way to meet your needs, make you comfortable and feel the love that we have to give your little girl. “
The emotional investment made by both parties in adoption pre birth is just wrong and exploitive. Pre birth matching is wrong. The adoption industry has set this up so that somehow prospective adoptive parents and the original families are pitted against each other and do not act as they normally would. Would the author and her wife Lisa normally go out of their way for a pregnant woman whose baby they were not intend to make their own? Probably not. And that’s not because they are horrible people or anything; it’s just because that’s not what normal people do under normal circumstances. Adoption, is just NOT normal! Did they go to doctors appointments? Do you attended sonograms off the street? Did they have weird stressful lunches? If they aren’t’ people that would normally hang out and just have fun together, then perhaps sharing a kid is not the best way to be pals. People should not be required to “go out of their way” and then be angry that their efforts did not result in the outcome they desired. Again, a failure of counseling, education and preparation by the adoption professionals here; this “situation; is not about the adoptive parents and what they wanted. It is supposed to be what is best for the baby involved, therefore it cannot “turn against” the PAPs.
Keep Prospective Adoptive Parents OUT of the Delivery Room!
“When we saw her face for the very first time our hearts beat with love. When I cut the cord it felt as though Mya was leaving your family and joining ours. I watched her find her way into this world, and breathe her first breath. Watching the tears she cried flow down her rosy cheeks, leaving the only comfort she had known; only made me want to love her that much more. I knew from the moment I held her in my arms, she was my daughter.”
But she wasn’t. And I don’t say that to be mean, I say it because it is the truth. When PAP’s are in the delivery room they are essentially watching a stranger give birth, a stranger be born, and they have no place there. It is not good for either party. At this point there is still so much uncertain and the mother of the child, in the heights of physical distress that is labor and so emotionally vulnerable, should not have to worry about ‘making memories’ or ensuring that there is adoptive parent bonding or whatever. On the same vein, if the prospective adoptive parents were not there, then they would NOT have that additional emotional connection to a child that they would not have. It’s like falling in love with a $3000 dress with 20 bucks in your pocket. Why go shopping? Wait until you have the money or child is actually free for adoption, but the adoption industry isn’t there to protect the feelings of the PAP’s or make sure that Emom is really doing the “right thing” or has a true choice.
“At your reassurance, we tried to remain confident, that she was coming home with us, and we tried to give you the space you needed. If you could take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of Lisa and I, you would see that our lives are put in your hands. Every decision you make affects not only your life but ours, your family and our children’s lives as well. “
Can’t we see the tactics and unethical practices here at work? Bring these parties together in a most venerable time for all. The industry wants the expectant mom to know that the happiness of the other family is on her shoulders and her shoulder’s alone. They want the adoptive family to be adding that pressure on the mom to move her along towards the outcome of adoption. It is not about the adoption industry protecting or doing what is right for any of them. It’s about making the adopting go though and this contact usually means it usually will. The fact that this mother asked for more time alone is amazing as so many birthmothers do not. They bite the bullet and sign off other relinquishment consent knowing that they did have second thoughts, that they might not want to relinquish and they live in regret form that moment on. The “reassurances’ here were probably only to gain space, to get this prospective adoptive family out, to let them down gently. And again, it shouldn’t be that way. The emotional happiness of one family should not be hinged on the pain of another.
“Your mother pushed us aside and whispered sweet confidences of, “Grandma’s here” as she kissed Mya’s forehead, and I knew then our dreams of Mya coming home with us, were gone”
Again, if the prospective adoptive parents were not in the delivery room then this actual act that completely signifies the coming together of the original family support and love and the pushing aside of the need for adoption would not be a real memory of hurt and pain for another human being. A grandmother should not have to push people aside to love her granddaughter. A person should not have t feel pushed aside. The birth of a human should not have opportunities for bad feelings, but should be completely surrounded with love and acceptance on all sides.
Money and Profits Drive the Adoption Industry; Industry Wins
The letter goes on. It speaks of the investments made by the adoptive family in terms of time and intrusion, feelings and money. A lot of money”
“It is not an easy decision to take out loans, spend your children’s college fund, and all of your savings, hoping that someone will choose you to raise their baby and if they do not, then all your money, faith and hopes are gone.”
I can’t help but to wonder what this couple was told. Where they reassured by the adoption professionals that this mother seemed “really sure” upon a possible placement? Or were they just so thrilled to be “matched” that caution was brushed away? Did anyone say to them “Hey, you have other children to think about.. don’t spend their college education… this is a risky investment and you might not get what you want?” Or was it just a slow steady stream of fees, additional expenses and payments needed, by drips and checks, until they were in so far that only a baby would make it all worthwhile? The desire for a child and the access to cash was exploited by an industry that did not care about the feelings of this family at all. The adoption industry got what it wanted. Their banks accounts are dry.
Yeah, I Hated the Letter; but I am in Agreement
“We need to reevaluate the adoption laws and process. Adoptive Parents are not protected. We have lost all of our savings, and now must spend thousands on counseling to heal our broken hearts.”
We do need to reevaluate adoption laws and process. It is wrong that this happened. It is wrong that a family was hurt. While I can rejoice that in this case a mother and child were not separated. That this mother was spared her own broken heart. That this grandmother will know the joy of watching her granddaughter grow up. That Mya stayed where God placed her, with her mother, it is wrong that another family lost all their savings and were disappointed by the adoption machine.
Despite my initial disgust at this letter, I have put that aside and realized that I cannot fault the author for the same mistake that so many of us, that I myself, have also made. We trust the adoption professionals. We believe the marketing messages that lie. We believe what we want to hear. So I can only hope that when these people have healed and have some distance, they realize that it was not this mother that wronged them, but the adoption industry that lead them down a path where someone had to be the loser.
A more ethical adoption placement would occur where the PAPs’ were not in the hospital with the mother and family and there was no pre-birth contact between them. In this way the mother of the child would be free to make her decision without intervention and outside influences. Then, if she did decide to relinquish, she could after birth on her own time. The prospective adoptive couple could then be notified after the relinquishment consent was signed and after the revoke period had passed, when the child was completely free and available for adoption. Then, they could rejoice without fear and their funds could have been used to pay finial legal fees and not just wasted, put in the pockets of the adoption industry who are now free to do this, yet again.
ETA: I wanted to share the feedback form the author of the letter as it was shared on her Facebook page with a link here to this conversation as I REALLY DO appreciate that she has been able to understand the point of this post as it was intended.
I would like to share a members feedback on my article, “A Letter to our Birth mom”, she has what I believe to be a critical point of view, not so much toward me, which is how I initially felt, but towards the adoption industry. I had to read this with an open mind and believe me when I say it was a challenge not to feel attacked; however, I commend her for her strong views and firm stance. She and I really are not different we both see a need for change. Please read her Blog about my article. Thanks for sharing.