Once your daughter is pregnant, any choice she makes will impact her the rest of her life. One she delivers a child she IS a mother and will... forever be a mother, whether she parents or not. If she places her child for adoption, she may experience LIFELONG grief. This has been verified in many studies (see tinyurl.com/universal-grief
Adoption does not guarantee a better life, only a different one. Adoptive parents divorce, die and even abuse children they are entrusted with.
Open adoption - watching someone else be called Mommy etc. - often exacerbates the grief, regret, guilt and shame for her, and also may deepen confusion for her child trying to come to terms with shy he was given away, and his lifelong feelings of rejection. She needs to prepared for the fact that he or she may hate her for placing him...and your daughter may well hate you for encouraging it
Finally - be sure that your daughter is prepared to give away what may be the ONLY child she will ever have. Studies indicate a higher incident of secondary infertility among mothers who relinquish. And if she is fortunate enough to have other children, how will she explain this to them? Will they fear they could be given as well? Or will she try to keep it secret and make matters worse when they find out and feel betrayed?
Adoption doesn't make the "problem" of an unintended pregnancy and birth go away it just adds different aspects to it than parenting does.
Celeste Billhartz shares her feelings on the subject:
©2008 and ©2010 Celeste Billhartz
I wrote The Mothers Project after I came to grips with my failings as an adoptee who didn’t “get it” about adoption and the incalculable sorrow felt by my natural mother ... who was lied to and taken advantage of so that my infertile adoptive mother could buy a child.
I had a good life, a generous adoptive family and many advantages. I have lovely relatives. My rants are not about them, nor about my adoptive parents. They did nothing wrong. Adopting is legal, beloved, treated as the best thing since sliced bread.
My adoptive parents and millions like them, then and now, bought, loved and raised millions of us whose own grandparents would not risk society’s censure for their daughters and themselves. Middle-class girls having babies out of wedlock was not allowed, back in the old days and in the decades after. It still isn’t, really.
Today it is tolerated, but many mothers still don’t support their unmarried daughters’ desire to keep their babies. Often, they push for open adoption, insist on it, refuse to provide any financial help, thus making it impossible for a young mom to support herself and her child.
That is despicable. I understand the heartache of thinking your daughter will “ruin her life” ... by keeping her child, but I think it is despicable that mothers and fathers/families do nothing to help the pregnant daughter or niece or cousin, that they do everything in their power to make sure that baby doesn’t come home with her.
Your refusal to help your daughter and your grandchild is, truly, heartbreaking. I understand it, that need to look good to family and friends and to save your daughter’s reputation, but I also know that such a demand will be devastating to her. She will never get over the loss of her baby; never.
She may not ever tell you that, but I know about that heartache from late-night conversations and emails and phone calls. I know about it from the girl/mothers of 40 years ago, and those of the 70’s, and of recent years ... the many young moms today ... frozen in place, limited to a few photographs, cut off from seeing their sons or daughters by the adoptive mothers who, of course, don’t want the competition.
What I don’t understand is why any woman talks her own beloved daughter into one of these open adoptions and has the gall to tell her that it is a good thing. Herself a mother ... surely she knows that no woman who buys a child and presents him/her to the world as “mine” is going to tolerate one bit of bonding between the child and his/her natural mother. It ain’t gonna happen. All that will be tolerated is the bare minimum ... and the child’s mother damn well better be cheery and respectful or the lines will be darkened and the contact limited, cut back, or ended.
Why do mothers of the girl/mothers pretend that the open adoption is best? Why do they demand that their daughters surrender their precious babies?
I think they don’t know, or don’t want to know, the truth. I think they want to stay in the little white middle-class envelope of lies:
1. Good girls from good families don’t have sex until they are married.2. Girls who “give up” their babies will get over it, put it behind them and marry a nice fellow, someday.3. Babies who are surrendered and adopted will not remember their mothers and will adjust to their new families.
Unlike the girl/mothers of past generations, who were shamed into surrendering their babies to closed adoptions, today’s young mothers are schmoozed and befriended into open adoptions and promised ongoing information about and periodic contact with their child.
Fat chance ... unless the young mother stays on the good side of the adoptive mother, who bought the baby, fair and square, and is not about to share the mother role. If the open adoption succeeds it’s because the young mom knows her place and stays in it, for all time.
Please, if your daughter is pregnant and young and unmarried ... please, help her keep her child. Surely, you and other family members can all pitch in to get her through her rough times. Surely, you want to know that you did your part to help her ... and your grandchild.
I think women who adopt infants and toddlers are taken advantage of for their money, but not as much as the girl/mothers who are shamed and schmoozed into surrendering their infants.
Most woman who lost their infants to adoption in past generations never got over the loss. We know that, now.
Why don’t we presume that most girl/mothers will change their minds, no matter what their own mothers want them to do, or how much they like the proposed adoptive families, or what agreement they signed when they were terrified and pregnant? Most have no idea how motherhood will change their minds.
Why don’t we forbid adoptions to happen until the young mother has had sufficient emotional and financial support and she — and her family — have had two months with her child?
Well, of course, we know why. Adopting is about money/donations for the adoption business or agency. Adopting is about women wanting a baby and having the money to get one. And, as in the past, adopting is still about mothers-of-young mothers not wanting to raise another child. It is rarely about a young mother not wanting her child.
This is why I urge women to not adopt infants and toddlers. This is why I say, adopting is woman’s inhumanity to woman. Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.
I urge grandmothers-to-be ... to support their daughters and not force them into lives of regret. You — who demanded/insisted that they surrender their babies years ago — owe your daughters an apology.And, I hope to God you haven't demanded/insisted the same of younger women in your family. I hope you have the courage to speak up ... tell them to keep their babies ... help them to keep their babies.
Ed: Help save YOUR GRANDCHILD from being raised by strangers...and a lifetime of regrets!