Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A reality Check!!!

I want to take a minute to tell you why I am so pissed with the whole Adoption system. 

These agencies that want to "help" pregnant teens, these agencies who want to help place their babies with loving couples - there is one in specific that I follow on Twitter, and I've started responding to their tweets with my own rebuttal. 

I won’t name the source, but I will list just a few of the Tweets that have started to piss me off. 

First, I've noticed that every day, they Tweet to their followers (for instance, I'll use my handle)

@TeeGurl83 we are a support group of moms who consider adoption. If you know a girl who is pregnant and considering adoption, DM us!

Ok, here is my issue with those tweets - 
Are you a support group for BirthMoms, or Adoptive Moms?
Are you supporting the BirthMoms right to choose, or the Adoptive Parents right to have the baby?
Are you offering all the support available to the BirthMom, or are you just offering them the option to place with a loving couple?
Are you offering support after the adoption, or just during the pregnancy?

Look, I’m sorry, I don’t care if the BirthMother is 13 or 31, and she has a right to know of ALL her sources for support. 

Have you told her about Woman Kind? That they will provide her with a crib, diapers, clothes, etc.?

Have you told her about the possibility of getting cash assistance from her state to help pay for some of the items she may need until she is able to work full time?

Have you hooked her up with a counselor who has been 100% honest with her about the ups and downs, and the grieving process?

Have you told her about the support she may, or may not have after placement?

Have you told her about her "waiting period" after Birth, where she can change her mind?

Have you talked to her about Foster Care, until she is on her feet?

Have you let her know about the laws in her state in regards to open adoption? Does she even live in one of the states that do enforce it?

Have you let her openly chose who will be raising her child, or are you pairing her up with who YOU think suits her best?

My adoption story is completely different that any I have heard, but I think every BirthMom - if they so choose - should have the option to have the type of relationship I had. My adoption isn’t perfect - none ever is; it’s not possible. But I think every woman who chooses adoption, every man who chooses adoption, every couple who chooses adoption - Birth or Adoptive parent - they need to know what the other party truly, honestly, expects. 

On the day my son was to leave the hospital, I sat on the edge of my bed, and I shared some thoughts with his Momma (H), and she cried with me, and she ensured me. "Patty, we will never cut contact, we know how hard this is for you, and I know how much you love that little guy. You are always welcome to come see him; you will always be a part of his life." 

But now, 5 years later, the contact went to several times a year, and pictures twice a year, to once visit since August 2009, and it is now March 2012. What hurts the most is when I e-mail them, and get no response, or when I call but no one calls back (I finally stopped calling). I've toyed with sending a letter in the US Mail, but I don’t want to come off as stalker-ish. I don't know if they have received the e-mails, I only know I haven’t gotten any response. 

<<Back in 2010 the (possible) BirthFather contacted them after his mother hired a private detective to find out who they were and where they lived. This all easily tipped off because my ex gave them identifying information that helped. I was horrified. His mother had been asking me for information, but I strung her along until I got in contact with Keaton's parents to find out if it was something they were willing to do. And of course, they weren’t, which I understood and supported 100%. I am also, almost 100% sure, that this is what caused the halt in contact.>>

Things change, his Momma (H) is a full time student, and his Mommy (R) works full time. In the beginning H was a stay at home Mom and R worked full time but was home for lunches. Now both kids are in school, and they are a busy, all American family. Things have changed. 

No adoption goes as planned - if one did, then I am sure someone would write a book about it and set the bar for future adoptions. 

I believe every BirthMom goes into the adoption thinking the following

- My baby's parents will keep me updated as we discussed (whatever the BirthMom feels comfortable for)
- My baby's parents will never shut me out of his/her life
- My baby's parents will always let me know when anything important happens (medical, mile stones, etc.)
- My baby's parents will always be a part of my life
- My baby's parents will _________________________________________. 
(fill in the blank and leave it in a comment, I would LOVE to know what you always expected from your child’s parents)

I believe every Adoptive Parent goes into the adoption thinking the following

- This is our child now, and we are going to love it more than anyone.
- This is a blessing to our family, we are so happy to have this child in our home.
- The BirthMother will have to understand if we chose to change the openness of the adoption.
- The BirthMother doesn’t need to know everything; after all she placed instead of keeping.
- The BirthMother knew what she was doing; she had access to all her support options. 
- If the BirthMom wants to contact us, she will. 
- This child is ours now, and _______________________________________________.
- The BirthMom ________________________________________________________.
(If you’re an adoptive parent, PLEASE, leave comments below. I am a BirthMom, and I can only go by what MY personal thoughts are.)

And right now, I won’t even venture to think of what my son, or any adoptee would think, but please, post comments below. 

What do you remember about when you found out?
Did you always know?
If not, how old were you when you found out?
Did you have contact with your BirthMom?
Was the contact a positive or negative experience? 
Did you have photos of her?
What about you’re BirthFather?
Did you have contact with him?
Do you know anything about him?

Back to the tweets -
This whole rant was to prove, no adoption goes as planned, and all parties need to know that, even the adoptees when they are old enough!!!!

But sometimes, adoption agencies make the BirthMom feel like she has no other choice, or like adoption is the BEST choice for the child. But what if the BMom would utilize the available resources and could raise the child? 

It makes me sick when people, agencies, or groups make it seem like. "Your child will have such a better life if you place it with this couple who had a 6-digit income" No, bullshit. My daughter lives with my fiancé and I, and our total income is less than $22K a year (that includes our food stamps and my state-disability check). But I can’t tell you how many times I have read comments, or blogs that make me cry thinking, I've cheated my daughter out of some amazing life. 

It makes me feel like a shitty mom because I kept her, and gave Keaton this amazing life. I've even sat there and thought "I wonder if R&H would take Kathleen? I wonder if they could give her the kind of life she deserves to have.

WTF?!?! Are you serious?

YES! I am serious!! This is what a BirthMom goes through. These are the thoughts that go through my mind. Not all BirthMoms have children prior to adoption. But I did, and that’s how I feel when I read some of the post by agencies and groups. 

And here are some of them from the group I mentioned on Twitter.
(Most of their tweets cut off, so if it looks cut of, it is exactly how I copy and pasted it.)

"Adopted children are more likely to live in neighborhoods that are safe, that have amenities and are in good physical condition than are..."

>>> Seriously?? My fiancé and I live in a great neighborhood where Kat is safe to play at the park, and even walk to the corner store on her own.

"Birth mothers are no more likely to suffer negative psychological consequences, such as depression, than are mothers who rear children as..."

>>> Nope, if you’re going to finish that with "as their own", that’s crap. I went through postpartum depression and it lasted a few weeks to a few months. But I placed over 5 years ago, and I still spend days crying, missing him, and wishing he were here with me and my family.

"Birth mothers have higher educational aspirations, are more likely to finish school, and less likely to live in poverty and receive... "

>>> Receive what? Cash assistance? It’s the only thing I can think that would fit as a rebuttal to the term "poverty". I personally would LOVE to know what group of BirthMoms you’re studying. Because according to the US census, d I’ll quote the US Census report from 2012 (pg. 14) “The official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent—up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points, from 12.5 percent to 15.1 percent”. You can’t expect me to believe that any part of this census asked the question “Have you, in the last 10 years, surrendered a child into adoption?” So how do you know what percentage of BirthMoms is, or isn’t living in poverty?

“100 percent of all birth mothers have the right to choose the amount of openness

>>> That’s not true. Only 20 states have laws about open adoption, and not all of them enforce it. The open adoption laws are to protect and help nurture the child, not protect the rights of the BirthMom. When we sign those papers, we have NO RIGHTS to the child, or updates. An open adoption is based on hope and faith, the child’s life, and ours, is now in the hands of the Adoptive parents.

“Well over half of all adopted children eat dinner with their families at least six days per week.

>>> Again, not sure where you are getting these statistics, but of all the kids I know (none of which are involved in adoption) through my daughters school class eat dinner with their parents every night. I for one make sure, even if her Dad is working, that Kathleen and I eat dinner together every night that she is home. So I would venture to say, well over half of children who lives with their biological parents eat dinner with their families (parents) at least six days per week. <I hate that this group is trying to make adoption look so glamorous for the children.>

“Nearly 3 out of every 4 adopted children ages 0-5 are read to or sang to every day, compared with only half of non-adopted children who...

>>> Kathleen & I’s favorite thing to do is read together, and her favorite thing for me to do is sing to her at night. And she is 9 years old. Guess what? Every day (except for the birth of my other children and caring for my AH son) I sang to her, and read to her. I started reading and singing to her when she was just days old. Baby Einstein was my FAVORITE!!!

“There is…nothing to suggest that mothering cannot be shared by several people.” - DM us if you are pregnant and considering adoption <3

>>> But there is. It’s called the law. Once we (BirthMoms) sign over custody it is, like I said before, by hope and faith that we get to share that child’s life with their Adoptive Parents. There is nothing except for our dreams, which tells us we can share parenting. But let’s be honest, when we place, we KNOW we are no longer that child’s parent. And yes, I use the word “Parent” the same as “Mothering” because Mothering is taking care of a child, being a “Mother” can mean anything from giving birth, to raising a child. We, as BirthMothers, know we are giving birth (Lord knows we go through all the emotions from a positive test, to pushing, to holding the child if we choose), but after we sign those papers, we know we will no longer parent those children. And while we may want to take part in the parenting, and we may want to be involved with that, the honest truth is, we won’t be.

“Your children need your presence more than your presents.” – Jesse Jackson, adopted child

>>> I wish someone would drill this into adoptive parent’s heads. I know I chose R&H because they were (and still are) amazing from the day I met them, and still were at our last visit. I remember telling R at dinner one night, “I keep waiting for something to show up that makes me want to change my mind, but I cant. You’re perfect.” Her response? “Well, stop looking!”  But now, I look back and I think of the ups & downs of our life and relationship, and I just think, “How could they do this? How could they cut the communication back to so little? How could they think I would ever do anything to harm Keaton?” Well, the truth is, I chose them because I knew they would always do what they feel is best for him, and I have to trust them. At this time, my presence isn’t as important to them, but I wish they knew how important it was to me.

“Every child deserves a family, love, home and a great life. If you are afraid you cannot provide that for a child, consider adoption.

>>> If you are afraid you cannot provide that for a child, let’s talk about the resources that are out there which could help you. Let’s sit down and logically and realistically think about how much help your family is willing to give. If neither of those things are feasible then let’s explore Adoption, and what that looks like, realistically, not through rose colored glasses.

And these ones really get me;

“We love you mommies who are pregnant and considering adoption. If you direct message us, it is a safe place for you to talk with fellow moms

“Ladies who are pregnant and considering adoption, how are you feeling? Direct message us.

There is no doubt in my mind that being adopted affects parenting in a profound way.

>>> Tweets like the three above really bother me. It’s almost like they are pulling in the pregnant teens in to show them this wonderful, amazing, beautiful world of adoption. But in reality, it’s not like that. There are ups & downs, and there is depression, grief, loss, all associated with placement. Someone needs to be open and honest with these teens.

Side Note – these are all since March 9th (just 4 days)

But now, I have to tell you, in my own experience, from a BirthMom who is 100% completely open and honest about my journey; it is the most emotional rollercoaster I have ever ridden, but knowing my child is being cared for in a way I wasn’t able to, and loved by two people who I chose for him, it is the most amazingly tragic thing I have ever done.

Amazingly tragic because, while I would NEVER change my mind, there is always something I think about, that I wish I had done different.

Like what? I’ll make a blog of it; I don’t think it fits here with this one.

But I hope, and pray, that pregnant teens, or any pregnant woman considering adoption reaches out to various resources to really understand, and get a real view on life as a BirthMom.

Search blogs! Research different blogs! Read Books!

And I encourage Adoptive parents to do the same.

High light spot –

When I was pregnant, I chose a couple before I chose an agency (another blog I will write), and once I got hooked up with their agency (about 4 weeks after communicating with them), the agency then hooked me up with a BirthMoms support group.

The groups name is BirthMomBuds. They are, for lack of a work that fits, amazing, fantastic, incredible, encouraging, supportive, and loving. All those words wrapped up, and then some.

Again, that’s a Blog I will write, according to my own personal experience with the group.
In the end, please, if you are pregnant and don’t know if you can care for the child, look into your resources, and don’t let anyone push you into adoption. You always have the right to change your mind. And you have a right to choose.

You are LOVED,

TeeGurl83 on Twitter


  1. I am 23, and my job involves talking to women who are pregnant, usually unintentionally. I plan to adopt, and it is through my job that I got to meet some wonderful directors of awesome pro-birth mom rights adoption agencies.

    They pretty much said exactly what you said; that a lot of agencies paint adoption through rose-colored lens, and say some pretty manipulative and subtly harmful things to birthmoms (ex: you can't give your child the world, these people can. It would be selfish for you to choose to parent, and selfless for you to give up for adoption, and they almost always use language like "give up" - which is also problematic). And, like you said, usually use false statistics, or very manipulated statistics. They paint it as this sunny road, and forget to mention the clouds.

    From the get-go a lot of the big agencies are there to coerce, not to inform, or empower. That was what turned me off from adoption orginally - as a hopeful going-to-be future adoptive parent. The agencies I was finding had pages full of statistics on how many placements they had, and assurances that once a birthmom was selected for us (UH WHAT?!?! ISN'T SHE SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE!?!?! I said when I read this), that the agency would make sure the adoption went through. (UH, so she isn't allowed to change her mind?! That's horrible! I said when I read this.) I guess this can sound reassuring to hopefull couples, who are terrified that at the last second they will "lose their baby" - but it isn't respectful of the birth mom, who does have 24 hours to 72 hours (depending on the state) after the birth before any papers can legally be signed.

    Anyway, I work at this options hotline, we give referals to abortions clinics we know are safe, adoption agencies that are pro-birth mom, and government agencies and non-profits that can assist in pregnancy and parenting.

    The pro-birth mom agencies are mostly Adoption Access Network and Spence-Chapmin members. Ones that will not force a pregnant woman to sign anything before the birth itself happens, ones that allow birth moms to choose the parents, ones that allow LGBTQ and single parent adoptions, and ones that make sure to give the woman ALL the information about abortion, parenting, and adoption, ones that provide pre and post adoption support for ALL parties involved, no matter how long ago the placement was, and ones that are pro-open-adoption.

    I always make sure to explain to the women on the phone who express interest in adoption what their rights are. Spence-Chapmin has a birth mom bill of rights, and I find it super empowering.

    Birthmom Buds is also a referral I like to give.

    Wow, long comment! Sorry about that, haha. I really hope I keep in mind all of the birth mom perspective, as you detailed here, when my husband and I officially start the process. I already know I want to go with Adoptions Together, (Choice Network in Ohio is a close second though, even though I no longer live near there.)

    I really don't want to raise a child I adopt as "mine" and ignore that the child has blood ties to another woman, and that those ties should not be hidden. The one woman from an agency I talk to through work told me that she was an adoptive parent, and that her adopted daughter grew up always knowing she was adopted, and was shocked to find out not all children know, and that the children who do know don't always know who there birthparents are. I want an adoption like hers, where the adoptee always knows that his/her birthmother is thinking of them, loves them, and can (on the birthmothers terms) meet them.

    I hope things with R & H get better, soon! <3


    1. Phew!!
      I was so scared when I saw such a long comment, I thought "here comes the BirthMom bash" But your spot on. And I'm so glad a potential Parent has such great access to outside resources that enlighten you to the BirthMom's journey as well.

      I really think the level of openness should be agreed upon between both parties, before any papers are signed. But, I also think the Parents have the right (as parents) to change that plan. But it needs to be done with a reason, and an explanation.

      I greatly appreciate your comment!!
      Thank you so much!