By Birthmother – My choice to give my baby up for adoption was met with an abundance of positive feedback. I get the impression that not everyone has this experience. Maybe it depends on your upbringing. I am an educated white woman from a middle class background; my friends and family mostly fall into the same category. So at least in the population of people who surrounded me when I got pregnant there was an instant understanding of my choice to give my child up. They had heard about adoption, not just the negative stereotypes but the full truth about it. Incase you haven’t heard the truth about adoption, here it is.
A healthy, normal woman can choose NOT to be a mother. This choice isn’t as rare as you might think! Do you think that a woman must be poor or desperate to give up a child? Do you think that a woman must be stupid to give up a child? Do you think that a woman must be sick or addicted to drugs to give up a child? I know these assumptions exist, but they are simply WRONG. Rich women can choose not to be mothers. Old women can choose not to be mothers. Married women can choose not to be mothers.
A woman may have hundreds or THOUSANDS of reasons for her decision not to raise a child. A woman’s reasons may be a permanent part of who she is. I decided at a very young age that I did not want to be a mother, and for the most part my reasons are still the same. I know many women who feel the same way. There are so many of us now, in fact, that there is a phrase for us. We are “childless by choice.” Look it up on Google. You won’t believe how many of us there are out there! We are happy without children, but this does not mean that we have never been faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Birth control is not perfect. Life is not perfect.
Most often, a woman’s reasons for choosing adoption are very temporary. Even a healthy woman who hopes to be a mother SOMEDAY may find herself in a bad situation NOW. Pregnancy does not wait for a good situation to come along! The fact that a woman hopes to be ready for motherhood in 10 years does no good for a baby who is coming into the world today.
So in a single specific moment a woman may find herself with a list of reasons why her child needs to be placed in another home. These reasons are HER reasons, and there is no guarantee that anyone else will understand or approve of them. In fact, I realized very early on that someone would disapprove of my unplanned pregnancy no matter what decision I made. But I also realized that the opinions of others were not relevant to what would be going on in MY household with MY child. If a child is brought into a home where it is not supported, it won’t matter how many people on the outside gave their precious approval! The approval of others does not automatically create a good situation for a baby. The approval of others is not enough to make a woman ready to be a mother.
The sad truth is: people who are very ready for a baby might be stuck without a child while unplanned or unwanted pregnancies pop up all over the world. But do you see how this doesn’t need to be a SAD truth? Women who choose adoption can balance the scales. And guess what! This choice doesn’t mean that a child has been “abandoned.” Quite the opposite: adoption means that a child has been placed in a loving home with people who HAVE chosen to be parents.
2 thoughts to “Birthmother: Reasons”
Yikes. This post is filled with so many blanket statements about all birthmothers and stereotypes I don’t even know where to begin. I encourage the author to not speak for all, even the majority, of birthmothers without some serious education first.
I’m sorry that the quality of my writing so completely failed to carry out my intent in writing this piece. I did list stereotypes, especially in the second paragraph, but my intention was to confront them, not to create a new one. I meant to offer an alternate picture by describing who I am and explaining that I am not alone. And when I went on to speak about women as a group, my goal was specifically to suggest that we ARE a diverse group and that we are entitled to our own individual experiences. As I said, “A woman may have hundreds or THOUSANDS of reasons for her decision not to raise a child” and, “These reasons are HER reasons, and there is no guarantee that anyone else will understand or approve of them.” Again, I apologise that I failed in my goal here. Thank you for not being afraid to confront me.