Guilt, Coercion, Threats – A New Mom Changes Her Mind – SOS In Action

UPDATE: Almost $1100 was raised for Clara in less than 24 hours! You are all amazing!!

As some of you may know, we are in the process of legitimizing our grassroots organization called Saving Our Sisters (SOS). The goal of SOS is to help vulnerable women avoid adoption relinquishment. Over the past couple of years the organization’s brain child and front-runner, Lynn Johansenn, has helped dozens of women, that had decided to utilize adoption, to keep their babies and successfully parent. SOS offers whatever support is needed to achieve this. Sometimes the support is emotional, sometimes financial, and sometimes legal. Most people who have been helping with this are members of the adoption community themselves. They include birth/first/natural mothers, adoptees, and even a couple of adoptive parents. When the alarm call is sounded, this vast network of people contributes to what is needed and we always end up with enough for the new mom.

Initially, when hearing about an expectant mother who is set on an adoption “plan,” she is approached gently and given the encouragement she needs to know she is worthy of parenting her child and that SOS will do whatever it takes to make that possible. Each reason that a mother has to contemplate adoption is systematically removed with our wonderful network of donors and volunteers. Some harsh realities about the possibilities (probabilities?) in adoption are taught and then the ball is in her court. She is left with contact information, if she declines help at that time, if she changes her mind after the birth of the baby.

If a mother contacts us and needs help we will immediately send out a local contact to be by her side. This contact will go through the needs and even speak on her behalf to the adoption agency, attorney, or prospective adoptive parents so there need not be any awkward moments. We literally do anything we need to do to make the change of mind as easy as possible for the new mother.

More often than not, after the mother has changed her mind and the prospective adoptive parents have been informed, a series of harassment and coercion, coming from selfish people who will do anything to get their hands on the baby they think they have been “promised,” ensues. Prospective adoptive parents, in general, seem to think they are more worthy and more deserving of someone else’s child and will pull out all stops to coerce her, even threaten her, into signing over her rights.

I would like to introduce you to Clara’s* story. Clara is a young mother in Kansas who was expecting a baby within days. Help and information were offered to her. She originally declined but, after the birth of her baby, changed her mind and reached out for help.

Clara had already picked out prospective adoptive parents and was in the process of beginning a private (non-agency) adoption. Since there was no agency the prospective adoptive’s parents’ attorney was pretty much running the legal show. I have no information about how she came about picking this couple or if she was coerced during her pregnancy. I can only speculate. What I do know about Clara is this: She is a hard-working, frugal, single mother who does a kick ass job as a mother. She manages to provide with very little and does damn good with it. She is smart, level-headed, and loving. The father of the baby she just delivered ran out on her with another woman. He wanted nothing to do with the new baby. Clara’s story is so familiar. I’ve heard it time and time again. Are these ideal circumstances to bring a child into the world? Well, no, not really. Does that mean it’s impossible to successfully parent this child? Absolutely not. I’m sure Clara could think of family members or friends that would be willing to be a positive male role model in her child’s life. After deciding to parent she had an outpouring of support from family, friends and her community. Bottom line is this, Clara is worthy of parenting her child and her child is worthy of staying in his original family, of keeping that family intact. When this is a possibility it should always be this way. Adoption should always and only be a last resort.

I’ve discussed coercion, guilt trips, and all sorts of other fun stuff that goes on behind the scenes in adoption land. I often hear new birthmoms say “that doesn’t happen anymore” or “that didn’t happen to me.” Let this stand as a testament that it does indeed still happen, and often. Ask yourself how your child’s adoptive parents would have behaved if you changed your mind?

I did, indeed, make an adoption plan for my youngest daughter (the daughter that was born after my relinquished daughter). I asked the adoptive parents of IKL to adopt her. I changed my mind. When they learned of this change of mind they said, “You will never see IKL again.” Visits were stopped. That was 12 years ago. I have not seen her since. Initially they tried to talk me into giving the baby up. Telling me how it would be selfless and I would be giving her all sorts of things that she wouldn’t get with me. When that didn’t work they resorted to threats. Threatening to take IKL out of my life. When I didn’t relent they made good on their promise.

Meet Becky, prospective adoptive parent. This is her text message to Clara after learning she had changed her mind.

Screen shot number one.
Screen shot number one.
Screen shot number two.
Screen shot number two.

Guilt and coercion. “Look how upset we are. Please still consider adoption. We can give your baby what you can’t. We are more deserving. We’ll let you pick the middle name! See how great and open we are!” That is the message I’m getting from this text message. Notice she mentions Tom. This is the father of the baby. She is using Clara’s fear of a court battle (which she knows full and well would never really get to the point of “fighting” just based on custody laws) with Tom to attempt to sway her into handing over her baby. Pretty disgusting. But it get’s better.

Screen shot number three.
Screen shot number three.

When Becky’s attempt to coerce and scare Clara didn’t work, she resorted to having her sister text message Clara. More guilt. She even goes so far to call her selfish for parenting her child. Do these people not understand this baby is not and never was theirs? This is just more of the same, trying to get her to sign over rights via guilt and making her feel like a bad person – selfish – for parenting HER child.

Screen shot number four.
Screen shot number four. He meant to say, “if you are NOT willing to let the child be adopted.”

So here’s where things get “Are you kidding me?!” This is the bio father’s text message to Clara. Here’s what you need to remember. Clara did NOT give her contact information to Tom (the bio father). He attained this message through the adoptive parents somehow, most likely their attorney. As you’ll remember from the first text message, Becky was trying to convince Clara to give up her baby to protect the baby from Tom (bio dad). If Becky was truly concerned about the baby’s safety would she be giving out Clara’s contact information to Tom? Even if it was through a third-party such as her attorney? Of course not. This is, yet again, another tactic to scare Clara. This time with direct threats from the bio dad. When Becky’s text message didn’t work, and then her sister’s didn’t either, she now tried FORCE. Coercion and guilt wasn’t working, right? Let’s FORCE her hand into giving us her baby. Let’s scare her…even if it really does put the baby at risk. Who cares. We want what we want and we’ll do anything to get it.

This is the face of adoption. Expectant mothers heed this warning. The same people who are nice to you, that you feel “connected” to, that you LOVE SO MUCH, I would estimate 90% of them would turn into this if you changed your mind. They have one goal in mind – to get a baby. They are shameless and will stop at nothing to do it.

Dear Becky,

Go fuck yourself you entitled piece of shit.

Dear Becky’s sister,


Dear Tom,

Go ahead and try. I dare you.

Where does this leave Clara? Well, none of this is working on her, thank God. The ONLY thing Clara needs right now is her rent of $500 paid since she was not able to scrape that together being at the end of her pregnancy. We don’t usually ask for monetary donations straight up but, in this case, it is needed greatly. Her rent is due on the 1st. As of now we do NOT have tax exempt status so your donation would not be tax-deductible. However, if you would like to donate to the PayPal account that is being used to help Clara with rent next month (and if we get enough rent NEXT month as well) it would be greatly appreciated.

To donate to Clara please message Lynn Johansenn on facebook HERE.

What Clara is doing is #bravelove.

Adoption is #notabravelove

*Name changed to protect new mother

21 thoughts on “Guilt, Coercion, Threats – A New Mom Changes Her Mind – SOS In Action

  1. Reblogged this on Letters to Ms. Feverfew and commented:
    “Bottom line is this, Clara is worthy of parenting her child and her child is worthy of staying in his original family, of keeping that family intact. When this is a possibility it should always be this way. Adoption should always and only be a last resort.”

    If only I known this twenty years ago, instead of buying into the craptastic coercive lies of LDS bishops and the LDS culture. At least Clara and her little one are together, though. I can be grateful for that tonight.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As an adoptive mom, I am shocked. It’s so weird…We bemoaned the fact that for the 60-90 day period during which birth mom or dad can change their mind, the child goes to foster care. We were saying why can’t the child stay with the bio parents and if they totally say no, then go to adoptive parents. We were very willing to take the ‘risk’ that bio mom would change her mind becase we believe the best place is always with the family of origin (Except of course if birth mom was abusive etc, but this is about newborns…) So..

    HOW DARE THESE PROSPECTIVE parents want to shame and blame and guilt her into giving them HER baby? As my husband said, if the mom changes her mind, that’s great! Even better! One less ‘broken’ child, wondering why him/her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thandilocks! You are the best. I love what you said. You and your man are unselfish and loving. Thank you so much!!!!!


  3. So glad they are remaining whole as a family. I wish I could help with a donation, but I can offer moral support if needed. Best wishes to Clara and baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is very sad. It reminds me of the situation I encountered when contemplating adoption for my daughter. I decided to place with family on a trial basis. Two weeks later, when I decided I couldn’t go through with it, my family threatened to fight me “tooth & nail”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d like to encourage people to use the phrase “she has made the decision to parent” instead of “she changed her mind and wants to keep”. When a woman “changes her mind” it ‘proves’ she is ‘too emotional’, ‘too immature’, ‘flighty’, ‘selfish’, ‘wishy-washy’ and every other derogatory thought possible. Adding fuel to the rage of the denied PAP.
    To make a decision is a rational, thoughtful and informed action.
    A decision is certain, unambiguous, unquestionable, unmistakable.
    A decision is free from hesitation or wavering.
    A decision is resolute and determined.
    The words we use are important. How we say things influences others.
    When a mother decides to parent she has not changed her mind. The mother is the parent. When a mother decides to parent she has made the decision to not relinquish her child. When a mother decides to parent she has decided against adoption.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I gave my son up 1969 thru Catholic Charities not because I wanted to but because my mother & step-father were both alcoholics. I felt a whole in my heart my whole life. then I found him only to discover he had been molested for years as a young child by a family member. I did not know my legal rights and applaud any birth mother who retains her child.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wish more people would consider adopting a waiting child instead. These are the children born into poverty and all of its trappings so they weren’t candidates for adoption attorneys at birth. They and their birth parents had to attempt to navigate an impossible social system and these valuable lovely little humans are left waiting. Many say a new infant helps them bond and won’t have so many problems. Humph – sounds like a problem with the parents courage and heart rather than the child. I will tell you that no infant is born with greater value than another except in the world of adoption and this is what has lead to the tragedy of many birth moms in private infant adoption

    From adopted
    “The Number of Waiting Children. Each year more than 20,000 children age out of the foster care without being adopted. Today there are 102,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted ranging in age from less than a year old to 21.”


  8. Read the short comment of bio. father. Interesting enough for me to suspect they arranged to get her deliberatly pregnant. For the baby traders to contact the ‘sperm doner’ for thats what he is, no resemblance or idea what a father is. I home mum has her infant & a happy outcome.


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