As a birth mom, I sometimes get really frustrated hearing other people talk about adoption. I really hate the language that is used sometimes. I hear things like, “I don’t see how anyone could give up their baby,” or, “It’s not adoption, it’s baby-selling,” or, my favorite, “The adoptive parents aren’t even the real parents.” It really is amazing at how people judge others no matter what they do. For example, an unwed woman becomes pregnant, and she is labeled a slut and immoral. Then if she decides to parent the baby, she is selfish and looking for a handout by getting on welfare. If she decides to have an abortion, she is a baby-killer. If she decides to place her baby for adoption, she doesn’t love her baby or want to take responsibility. It really hurts when I hear some of the things said about adoption and birth parents. I know that some who are searching for answers will read this, and my hope is that I can help clarify some of the adoption language.
Placing your child for adoption does NOT mean you are giving up your child. The idea that birth parents give up their babies does not even relate to placing a baby for adoption. There is A LOT of thought and LOVE that goes into placing a child for adoption. The process of adoption is strenuous and emotional. Whether an adoption plan is made soon after discovering the pregnancy or is not decided until after the baby is born, there is much emotional turmoil. In any case when parents relinquish rights to their child, it truly is an act of love. It is an act of hope. It is an act that says to your child, “I love you beyond measure, and I want to give you the best I have to offer.”
Birth parents receive a very modest amount of financial help for a few months during the pregnancy. This does NOT mean you are selling your child. Being pregnant is expensive. (Yes, it really is.) Being pregnant means missing work to go to doctor’s appointments, which we all know could be half a day of work. It means buying more food, specifically more fruits and vegetables, which we all know are the most expensive food items at the store. (Tomatoes recently went up $1/lb recently.) It means buying new wardrobe and shoes because a woman’s body changes during pregnancy. Not to mention all those vitamins that keep baby and mommy healthy, plus a co-pay for every doctor’s visit. There are no large sums of money exchanged between birth parents and adoptive parents.
In adoption, there is no such thing as REAL parents. There is the birth family and the adoptive family. The parents who assume responsibility for the child are the child’s parents. The parents who placed the child in their care are the child’s birth parents. There is no real, fake, better, temporary, or any other kind of parent involved in adoption. Parents and birthparents. That’s it.
I am proud to be a mommy and a birth mom. Like many others, I deal with the stigma of being a birth parent. Although I sometimes hear others negatively remark about either adoption or birth parents, I am okay with my role as a birth mom. I look back on my decision with pride. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength to make the decision to place a baby for adoption. It is a decision to be proud of.
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