- Family and Parenting»
Adoption – The Forgotten Ones
There are approximately 11,000 adoptions per year in the United States. That means 11,000 couples had their prayers or dreams answered when that birthmother choose them to be that child's parents. Paperwork, forms, and court dates follow in the next few months as the birthmother gives up most of her rights to that baby. The adopting parents have parties, decorate the babies room, and live in the enjoyment of finally becoming parents. They assume the roles of mother and father and begin to raise, love, and spoil their new son or daughter as if it were theirs from the beginning. As the old saying goes, they live happily ever after. Unfortunately there is someone that is forgotten in this fairytale ending....the birthmother. What ever happens to them? How do they feel? Was this adoption the best thing for them and their child? Many of these questions go unanswered and sadly, that birthmother begins to slowly fade away. This article will discuss the aftermath for birthmothers after giving up their child to adoption.
After hearing the news that they are pregnant, birthmothers have the decision of their lives to make. They truly only have three decisions, have and raise the baby, get an abortion, or give their baby up for adoption. Two of the three choices will demand that they take some responsibility due to the fact that they will have to carry that baby around with them for the next nine months. After deciding that abortion goes against everything they believe in, they decide to have the baby. That decision may have been the easiest for the birthmothers, the next will affect them for the rest of their lives. Most birthmothers who decide to have their baby struggle with the decision on whether to give them up for adoption or to raise them. This is where all the components of their life comes into play. Where is the father in all of this, how old is the birthmother, can she afford to keep the baby, will she have any support or help from relatives, these are the types of questions the mother is forced to answer when thinking of adoption or raising the baby. Once the decision to give their baby up for adoption becomes more clear it's at this point that birthmothers just want the baby out and gone. They try to bury their true feelings for their baby by simply ignoring the obvious that something is growing inside of them. For the first two to three months this technique works most of the time. However, there are plenty of times where they are thinking about their baby and if the decision to give their baby up for adoption was the right one.
The Thought Process
After about the six month of not feeling, seeing or noticing a huge change with their body or baby, something happens. The baby begins to grow and move. Now that the baby, in some sense, can be seen it's at this point the birthmother begins to grow more attached to the baby. That mother-baby connection is formed. They are more conscious of their diet, how much exercise they get and everything they do revolves around whether or not it's good for the baby or not. Birthmothers have now taken on the role of actual mother . The only difference between birthmothers who are giving up their babies for adoption and mothers that are keeping them are the baby showers, preparing the babies room and all the fun things to look forward to for the mothers to be. Birthmothers live with these dreams but also realize they may never come true. Imagine that disappointment of these realities. Imagine the depression that must set in after coming to grips with these types of issues. They begin to second guess their decision even more of whether or not the option of adoption is right for them. Many sleepless nights of thoughts of how they could raise their child. Would it be possible, what sacrifices would they have to make, and are they even capable of raising a child. Most of the time, all the answers to these questions come back with a definite YES. So why would they give them up for adoption? This is the question that most people ask and ponder about. The answer is easy...birthmothers, even though they have not yet had the experience of seeing or touching their newborn at this time, have that internal mother instinct of doing what is best for their child. They push forward and understand that depression and stress are not good for their baby. They again paint that perfect picture and smile when knowing deep down inside all they truly want to do is cry.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
Throughout the nine months the birthmother grows closer and closer to their baby all the while growing closer to the end. The day finally comes when the baby has decided to enter their new world. There in her arms lies the most beautiful baby she has ever seen in her life. Tears of relief and sorrow fill the room. The few moments of alone time allow her to explore the baby's round red face as she identifies all the features that show her that this is indeed her child. Same eyes, same nose, same face altogether. Fifteen to thirty minutes seem like only a couple seconds, then the knock at the door brings a horror over her entire body as she realizes the end is now here. In walks the adoption advisor with papers for her to sign, the baby must go now for basic testing and rest, the mother now has to sign her baby over to the adoption parents. The pain that the birthmother endured during her labor is nothing compared to the pain she is feeling at that moment. It's time for the ultimate sacrifice . Birthmothers are expected to release their babies to the adoptive parents and move on in their lives as if it never happened. Many times these brave women go through their lives and never even tell anyone of the sacrifice they have just made. Why? Many of these women speak of the guilt they feel of giving up their child for adoption. They also feel worthless due to people looking down on them with the idea that they should have kept their child and raised them no matter the cost. They live with the fear that once that adopted child grows up, will they understand the sacrifice their birthmother made or will they hate them for it. Thousands of women are keeping their children these days in order to dodge these feelings.
Hero's in this World
These women have made an incredible sacrifice in order for their child to have the life they deserve. Could they have raised their child, yes, but they knew deep down that their life and their child's life would be difficult. Imagine what it takes for a single mother to raise their child. First of all they would have to work, full-time, in order to have the finances available to raise their child. If she works, who will be watching the baby? More than likely some form of a babysitter, it doesn't matter who the babysitter is the mother will have limited time actually “raising” their child. In 2009 the poverty level, for single parents where the mother was the primary caregiver, was 33% and rising. Tremendous financial stressors arise for these mothers which in turn will affect their ability to raise that child and chances are that child will grow up and live at the poverty level as well. Even with this stated scenario, these women fight back the “what if's” that surround them everyday. In my opinion, they are hero's of this world. They have made a sacrifice that many people would never attempt nor even think about. I would like to say to all the birthmothers out there...thank you for your sacrifice and know that there are thousands of other women out there that know how you are feeling. Disclosing your feelings to others about this deeply felt issue will only help you. One more thing...your child will appreciate and thank you for the sacrifice you gave in order for them to be happy!