I was 21 when my first son was born. I was a naive and very young 21. I was not an addict, I did not come from an abusive home nor was there abuse in my past. I was irresponsible with birth control.
When I finally told my mother I was pregnant, she was upset. There were fights and things said between us that should never be said to any human being. But ultimately, instead of trying to figure out a way for me to raise my child with support, her stance was that I should give the baby up for adoption. I know she thought it was what was best for me and my child. I was so broken at this point in my life that I just went along and “drank the kool aid”.
I met with a counselor at Catholic Family Services who seemed kind and genuinely concerned for my well-being. She offered me counseling and showed me PAP files. I was continually told how wonderful adoption was, how I was giving a wonderful gift to a family who desperately wanted a child, how my child would have the best life, a life I could not provide him. I was NEVER seriously offered the option of keeping my child. Oh sure, I knew I could if I wanted to, legally. But then I would be poor forever. The baby would be unhappy because we were poor. There was never any real support for keeping the baby offered beyond the cursory, “are you sure you want to do this” nonsense.
I met the AP’s once and only once. Which was fine because I felt like a science experiment gone haywire anyway. I was not my true self, I was broken. I was so disconnected from the entire adoption process that I finally settled on a AP who had the same first name as me feeling it was some sort of cosmic connection. Ugh, makes me want to barf thinking about it.
I signed all the pre birth, pre adoption paperwork, not really reading any of it. After all, I had already made my decision, it was out of my hands, I couldn’t disappoint my family or the adoption counselor, or the AP’s.
I stated that I would like periodic updates on my child’s life including photos on a yearly basis and letters about his development and personality, it was agreed to.
I gave birth with my mother and father in the room. They were supportive, the staff of the hospital not so much in my opinion.
I held my baby, my mother held the baby. I loved him, I breathed him in. I would not let him go for the 2 days I had him. I signed paperwork. I had absolutely NO counseling whatsoever about what my options would be if I decided to keep him, other than it was my right to do so.
I was unsure whether or not to have him circumcised and was told that OF COURSE I should and then they whisked him away and I never saw him again.
Since that time, I have received exactly two sets of photos of him unprovoked. The first was about 3 months after he was born and the second was about a year after. No letters that I was promised, no photos since then.
That was 14 years ago. I drank the kool aid they fed me in their laughable post-adoption counseling. I was great, I was a saint, I was selfless, he was better off, what a gift I had given.
2 years ago I searched on google with what information I had on the adoptive parents. I found them and emailed the mother asking for photos and/or an update. She provided it. That was it. I found an article written by the adoptive mother about her adopted son. She said she didn’t want the birth mom in their life but when he was 18 it was his right to contact me, yada yada yada.
Well that’s my story. I have stopped blindly regurgitating the selfless, saint model of who a birth mother is supposed to be. I don’t know for sure that I would have accepted help had real support been offered to keep my child. I hope that I would have. But as so many others have written, coercion negates any real choice.