I realized today, that I have left out a big chunk of the “why adoption” puzzle in my story. I originally left it out because I did not want to make it sound like I was trying to garner sympathy or pity. I do not want either of those things. But today, a memory came to me and I was thrust deep into the throws of the “what ifs”.
I have severe asthma. I have had it since life began. When I became a teenager, it only got worse and from about the age of 15 I could usually count on going to the ER at least twice a year and being admitted into the hospital at least once. For many women, pregnancy exacerbates asthma. My OB told me that 1/3 of asthmatics will get better during pregnancy, 1/3 will stay the same, and 1/3 will get worse. I am sure stress had a lot to do with it, but during my pregnancy with my oldest son, my asthma got worse, much worse. At about the 6 month mark, I had such a severe attack that I was put on a ventilator and my doctors seriously contemplated taking my baby out early.
The first time I ended up admitted to the hospital during the pregnancy was fairly early on, right around the 2nd trimester mark. I had not told anyone I was pregnant yet, except the father. My doctor urged me to tell my mother as soon as possible. I was absolutely terrified.
On the day of my discharge, my nurse came in to talk to me. She was probably only a few years older than me, very pretty, seemed very together. My mother is a nurse, so I know how busy they are. She sat on the edge of my bed, took one of my hands in hers and started talking. She told me how she had an abortion when she was younger and then a year later found herself pregnant again. She told me how terrified she was and how ashamed she had been to be pregnant again. She asked me if I knew what I wanted to do yet. I told her I thought I was too far along for abortion, so I was not sure. She looked into my eyes, which were full of shameful tears, and told me I could do it. I could raise this baby. She explained how she was a single mother and although she struggled, she was raising her child and was thankful everyday for him. I don’t even think I said anything, just cried and nodded in agreement.
This nurse, who didn’t know me from Adam, took the time out of her extremely busy shift to sit and connect with me. To support me and encourage me.
I look back on that moment, before adoption entered the picture and I feel like such a fool. What if I had just listened to her? What if I had asked how she did it? What if, what if, what if.
That day, I was discharged from the hospital, and on the way home I told my mother I was pregnant. This is the moment adoption entered my life and any thoughts of raising my own child faded. Hello what ifs and goodbye what could have beens.
I said Goddamn I loves me some misinformation and deliberate withholding of the truth. It makes my innards tingle.
This is a chart on americanadoptions.com listing the differences and similarities between adoption and abortion.
|You can pursue earlier goals||You can pursue earlier goals|
|You can live independently||You can live independently|
|You will not have to parent prematurely||You will not have to parent prematurely|
|You will avoid being forced into a hasty marriage or relationship||You will avoid being forced into a hasty marriage or relationship|
|If you are a teenager, you can resume your youthful lifestyle||If you are a teenager you can resume your youthful lifestyle|
|Note: There are no similarities between parenting and abortion. One important similarity between adoption and parenting is that you can give life to your child and watch your child grow up.|
|Your pregnancy ends with giving life||Your pregnancy ends with death|
|You can feel good and positive about your choice||You may feel guilt and shame about your choice|
|You will remember giving birth||You will remember taking a life|
|You will have plenty of time to plan you and your baby’s future||Abortion is final; you can’t go back on your decision|
|You can hold, name, and love your baby||You will never know or treasure your baby|
|You can have continued contact with your baby||You will miss the opportunity to see your child develop|
Truth and Transparency Needs to be a Priority in Adoption Practice
So yeah the first half of the chart seems pretty accurate and straightforward. There are many positive similar outcomes between the two for women.
Scrolling down to the differences and bingo! Out comes the manipulation and outright lies. Let’s break it down.
First up, pregnancy ending with giving life versus death. A major point I need to get across is that no one is out aborting babies just prior to their birth. So really we’re talking about giving life vs removing a ball of cells. That is my personal view on abortion and I don’t expect everyone to agree.
Next we have feeling good and positive about your choice versus feeling guilt and shame about your choice. This one made me chuckle a bit. I’ve known quite a few women who have chosen abortion and none of them feel guilt or shame or even regret over their decision. It was a medical procedure they underwent, no complications, tiny ball of cells gone, carry on with your life. None of these women took the decision lightly, but all are fine with it. I have met many women, including myself, who have chosen adoption and all of them carry guilt, shame, regret, sadness, and lifelong negative consequences of their decision. What the chart should say is that although some women can feel good and positive about their decision, most deal with the reverberations of their decision for decades.
Continuing on, we have remembering giving birth versus remembering taking a life. Oh sweet jeebus, shut the christ up. This is similar to above. Yup I remember giving birth and it haunts me every single day. Knowing what I know now, I would have chosen differently.
The next one cracks me up. I actually don’t think these two things even belong together but you know how those crazy christians are. So a woman can have plenty of time to plan for their baby’s future or they can have an abortion which is FINAL. Here’s the thing, BOTH decisions once made, are final. If they were comparing parenting to abortion I’d agree with them, but adoption is not parenting dumbasses.
Of course you can hold, name and love your baby. Yes, I held my baby and didn’t let the adoptive parents in the room. I also named my baby, which the parents promptly removed and then renamed him. And yup, to this day I love him, but it isn’t a happy love. It’s loving someone who you can never hold, talk to, express it to. It’s a sad love. Yes I knew and treasured him for those 2 days but that is it. I don’t know him anymore although I still treasure him.
And the most deceptive statement at all comes at the bottom of their chart. You can have continued contact with your baby. Well I don’t. Countless women who thought they would, do not. I have blogged about open adoption deception before so I won’t get all the way into it again, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Carrying a Pregnancy to Term for Adoption Purposes has Risks
Of course this simplistic chart gives no actual negatives to adoption but plenty of negatives about abortion. This is so misleading. The sole purpose is to con women into giving up their babies. Is it really so much to ask for a little truth and transparency in the adoption industry? Can’t we agree to fully inform women of all the negative aspects of adoption? Oh I guess we can’t since that would probably result in more abortions or *gasp* single women parenting their children.
I weep for the the young women today who are talked into adoption by lists such as these. Give these women access to other viewpoints for fucks sake.
I would venture to guess that most women choose abortion because they do not want to be pregnant. Pregnancy itself carries far more risks to a woman than abortion alone. In 2007, the rate of mortality for legal abortions was 0.6 per 100,000 procedures*. By contrast, the rates of mortality from pregnancy in the US in 2010 was 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births**. That number does not even take into account women who died during pregnancy before childbirth. Why don’t they talk about that on their pro life websites?
*World Health Organization. Unsafe Abortion: Global and Regional Estimates of the Incidence of Unsafe Abortion and Associated Mortality in 2003. 5th edition. Geneva: WHO, 2007; http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241596121/en/
**source: Centers for Disease Control
Labels are everywhere. You’re either prolife or pro choice, republican or democrat, capitalist or socialist, pro adoption or the dreaded(dum dum DUM) anti adoption. Black or white. No room for gray in these waters, right?
So what are you??? WHAT ARE YOU?!?!
Here’s the thing…labeling myself any of these things implies that I know everything I ever need to know about any one of these subjects. It also implies that whoever embraces the other half of the label is my enemy and completely ignorant and baseless in any of their feelings or beliefs.
I do not consider myself an expert in any of these fields but I do lean (sometimes almost falling over onto) towards a side on most issues.
Since I write my blind rage induced vents, also known as views about adoption here I think it would be helpful for anyone who lands here to know my stance on the anti adoption movement.
I am against domestic infant adoptions. I don’t hate all adoptive parents, especially the ones who read and educate themselves on the corruption of the system.
I am opposed to any institution which only serves the needs of the haves (APs) and ignores the needs of the have nots ( first mothers and adoptees).
I will never be convinced that separating a mother and child simply because of temporary circumstances is in the best interest of anyone.
I have tremendous empathy for anyone who is infertile. I can not imagine what that feels like. However, infertility gives no one the right to raise another’s offspring.
It is my staunch belief that MOST domestic infant adoptions are the result of coercion and withholding of vital information from first mothers. Yes, even in today’s modern adoption practices.
At this time I hold no opinion on foster adoptions and international adoptions because I am woefully uneducated on these institutions. I hope to be able to educate myself in the near future.
I will always welcome EDUCATED opposing views. That does NOT mean a personal subjective story of yourself or someone you are BFFs with being an oh so happy adopter or adoptee. That’s like telling me smoking isn’t bad because your Great Aunt Fanny smoked since age was 16 and died at age 101 by getting hit by a bus.
Now here’s a shocker for you, I am pro choice.
Wait…wha…but I though you chose to give your baby up for adoption instead of abortion?!?
Nope. I chose between having an abortion and carrying my baby to term. I then chose between raising my child and giving him away. Although I don’t know if there was much choice there for me in that last sentence, but I digress.
I’m agnostic, so until god himself comes down from the heavens and tells me abortion is wrong, I’m sticking with pro choice.
I’m open to different ways of thinking on issues. If there is new evidence to back up an opposing view point I’m all ears. I can’t say that I will always identify with the anti adoption label but for now that’s the side I’m leaning towards.