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,

Noneya.

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

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A Case For Adoption

Every couple of years or so I go through the folder in my filing cabinet labeled “adoption.” This is where I store all pertinent papers in regards to my relinquishment of IKL. It is a “keepsake” folder of sorts, as I literally put every paper I received during that time in it. For 14 years a little purple book entitled, “A Case For Adoption” has remained in that folder and I’ve never even read it. I didn’t read it when I was pregnant and I didn’t read it after relinquishment. I acquired it on accident. Among some hand-outs and other “informational” paperwork I was given by my agency, this was left behind, in my home. I assumed it was meant to be left, and have all these years. Several months ago I decided to skim the pages with my newly “out of the fog” eyes. It appeared to be some sort of handbook on how to convince expectant mothers to relinquish their babies. Tonight I decided to read it from front to back and I just had to share it with you all.

There is no author for this little book, only a production company. On the back corner of the jacket, as well as in small print on the inside corner of the front page, it says: Bethany Productions, 901 Eastern NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503, (616) 224-7413. A quick Google search confirms that this was published by Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was published by them in 1996. This was the beginning of the mainstream open adoption era.

Bethany

Bethany Productions

Upon further investigation, this book is still available for purchase in the Bethany store. (EDIT: Shortly after the publishing of this post, Bethany has changed their store so that you must have a username and password to shop their resources rendering the link above non-functioning – going to store.bethany.org will redirect you here. I signed up for an account and FOUND the book in their store. However, the description for the book was no longer there. In fact, there was no description at ALL. Hmm……)

Description about the book is now missing. It wasn't when this blog was published less than 2 months ago.

Description about the book is now missing. It wasn’t when this blog was published less than 2 months ago.

Bare bones.

Bare bones.

Search results for the Bethany Store selling "A Case For Adoption." The link is no longer functioning.

Search results for the Bethany Store selling “A Case For Adoption.” The link is no longer functioning.

  On the website it is described as: “This booklet is written for people who counsel women and men who are experiencing unplanned, untimely pregnancies. Its purpose is to educate counselors about the option of adoption. Both the counselor (directly) and the client (indirectly) will benefit from this booklet, as the counselor becomes familiar with today’s adoption practices. Includes the eight myths about adoption, presenting the option of adoption, adoption planning options, role of the birthfather, and post-adoption services information.”

However, this is the “edited” summary of what the book is about. As with the changing dynamics of unplanned pregnancies, and adoption agency tactics, I’m pretty sure the original wording, used originally in 1985 and then re-published in 1996, would not be acceptable. I’ll let you read, for yourself, what that was. I will show the change of language in bold.

“This manual is written for those who counsel women (men left out in this version) experiencing unplanned (untimely left out in this version) pregnancies. Its purpose is to show how adoption can be presented as a positive, life-giving choice. 

The use of the word “manual” is the most troublesome to me. This is, essentially, a manual on how to coerce a woman into surrendering her child for adoption. They even say it’s a manual. Then there is the word, “presented,” not used in the new language they have on their website. A manual on how to present adoption one way – the positive way. How is a woman supposed to make an educated choice, in regards to her unborn child, if she is only presented one version of things? This is the “counseling” women are getting from Bethany Christian Services?

Foreword

Did you read the first page? The Foreword? They even admit to calling an expectant mother a birthmother, regardless of whether or not she ultimately parents. This is also a manual passed out to every crisis pregnancy center in order for Bethany to acquire more clients (see: more babies from expectant mothers who are facing a less than ideal situation). This manual was made, as is stated, to address the frustrations counselors were having “presenting adoption as a loving, responsible, and mature choice that MUST be considered as seriously as parenting or marriage.” (see: counselors were having a hard time coercing young mothers out of their babies so Bethany wrote a brainwashing manual)

See the stamp for the Crisis Pregnancy Center this manual originated from. It somehow made it's way all the way to Wisconsin and was left at my residence.

See the stamp for the Crisis Pregnancy Center this manual originated from. It somehow made it’s way all the way to Wisconsin and was left at my residence.

This manual is, literally, distributed nationwide to crisis pregnancy centers to serve as a guide into talking a woman, facing a difficult time, into surrendering her child for adoption. Or, at the very least, planting that first seed of doubt in her mind. “I’m in no position to raise a baby. Adoption seems like a great choice.”

Let’s look at some excerpts in this manual.

“To relinquish a child for adoption can be a very loving and mature choice. A woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy must be encouraged to understand this fact.” Oh boy. This is a fact, eh? I thought a fact was something that could be proven. Ask the many birthmothers and adoptees out there that have been hurt by adoption if they agree that this is a fact. They will disagree. This is an OPINION. Yet, they are encouraged to present this as fact to young vulnerable pregnant women.

The introduction goes further by saying, “Those who work with these women must present the alternative of adoption in a positive and knowledgeable manner. Society as a whole must recognize adoption as a legitimate choice, affirming it as something good for birth parents and their children.”  This is a loaded statement indeed. Essentially, this is emphasizing that adoption MUST be brought up as the POSITIVE choice and that in order to keep obtaining babies for adoption society has to also see it as something that is good for birth parents and the children they relinquish. In other words, the illusion of how great adoption is will be key in its continuing success. Yes, I used the word illusion. How many adoptees out there view adoption as something that was positive for yourself and your birth parents? Smoke and mirrors, my friends…and a handbook to be successful with it. Here IS a fact, everyone. Adoption is not always something good for birth parents or adoptees. A lot of the time it is downright traumatizing. But, remember, they have to give the positive spin so they don’t go out of business. Also remember that Bethany was the same agency bragging that their “birthmother dorms” were completely full on their website. They were overjoyed that all these women, who were facing uncertain situations, were living on their property about to hand over their babies. Nothing about helping these women if they didn’t hand over their infants.  

IntroductionObviously I can’t post the entire 48 pages of the book here. I would like to give some excerpts. They are ALL so truly appalling that I don’t even know how to choose….hopefully you’ll get the idea.

I’d like to categorize this excerpt under “Why is it so important to talk a woman out of single parenting when many have been doing a find job of it.” I let you read these two pages for yourself. You can see my comments at the end.

Page 1

2

So, Bethany’s solution to the disadvantages a single mother may have is to take their babies from them instead of actually doing something to help the mother. Sounds about right to me. Exactly what I have been saying. The adoption agency wants the baby. A good Christian agency should be helping the single mother, the fatherless child, instead of taking the child and discarding the mother. Tell yourselves this is Christian all you want, it isn’t. Its self-serving.

The manual goes on to dispel “myths” in adoption. It guides the counselor through addressing concerns the expectant mother may have about “choosing” adoption. I’ll list the myths here:

1. A birthmother who cares about her child would not consider adoption.

The manual goes on to explain and emphasize (to the expectant mother) that choosing adoption is the most loving choice. It uses words like “be a birth parent resource” “affirm their choice” “affirm their love” “facilitate contacts (with prospective adoptive parents).” Yes, this is definitely a manual on how to coerce. This section right here should be entitled, “How to convince a mother that adoption is the loving choice and parenting is not.”

2. Birth parents will never know anything about their child and his or her adoptive parents in the following years.

As expected, this section goes on and on about open adoption and how secrecy is no longer preferred because we now know that it isn’t healthy for the adoptee or birth parents. This, as we know, is true. But then they lie. “The counselor can correct the misunderstanding about secrecy by educating the client about the range of openness common in adopting today. (goes on to explain different levels of openness) Exchanging non-identifying information, gifts, and pictures are activities that can also be suggested to birth mothers struggling with secrecy conerns. These will be discussed later.”  Nowhere, anywhere, does it say open adoptions can close and there is nothing a birthmother can do about it. Nowhere in this manual that was made to help people “counsel” expectant mothers into the choice of adoption. Lies.

3. Adoption is an irresponsible solution to an unplanned pregnancy.

This section goes on to explain that getting pregnant before being ready to parent was the irresponsible thing to do and can be redeemed by doing the responsible thing – adoption. Bleck. Ugh.

4. A birthmother will eventually forget the child she released for adoption.

This myth is accurate. The explanation on how to counsel a woman worried about the pain of relinquishment is sickening. Phrases such as “Explain the pain” “Show you care” “Focus on her needs” “Accept her sadness” and “Encourage bonding” are included for this myth. Remember, this is a manual on how to get a woman to relinquish her child. Doing the above makes her more secure in a decision to relinquish her child.

5. All adopted children will grow up to have serious psychological problems.

I don’t even need to address this one. I love how the words “all” and “serious” are used. That’s because a lot of adoptees DO have serious psychological problems. No not ALL have SERIOUS psychological problems. If you’re only concerned about SERIOUS problems, the odds are okay because not ALL will have them. If you’re not concerned about minor psychological issues…go for adoption! It will be interesting to see how my adoptee survey turns out in regards to this question.

6. A birthmother will have serious emotional problems if she relinquishes her child.

This is a myth? Seriously? Are they really saying birthmothers don’t have serious emotional problems after relinquishment? They didn’t even bother to add “not all.” They just said a birthmother wouldn’t. And that’s a straight up lie. Of course it is. Who in their right mind would relinquish a child if they knew it may cause them serious emotional problems. As we learned in my birthmother survey this is the rule and not the exception.

7. A child really doesn’t need a father.

Yeah, two parents are preferred…sure. And adoptive parents aren’t immune from divorce. Didn’t see an quips in there about that.

8. No one can love a child as much as the birthmother.

I have no doubt that most adoptive parents love their children tremendously. But I say they can never love their children in the same way as the person who gave birth to them. They simply can’t. It’s not possible. They did not carry them for 9 months so the bond is different.

Oh this manual.

The next section of the book is entitled, “Developing Adoption Positively.”

Essentially this is all about how to spin adoption as the best and most positive choice. It even includes a section on using appropriate terminology. Yes, agencies know that the terminology you use has an influence on how positive you see adoption. They use it to their advantage. It’s called coercion. Here’s those pages.

language

l2And did you notice, after the terminology usage, that they even have a section on style and timing of the presentation? It’s a damn elevator pitch for your baby!

Oh and then there is the pressure they are encouraged to put on. On page 34 it says, “When birthmothers do not initiate a discussion of adoption, the counselor will have to reintroduce the concept. The following introduction should facilitate a nonthreatening discussion:

We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about your plans to parent. Because this is such a tremendously big decision, I think it’s important for you to be informed about all your choices. So I would like to spend part of our time today, if it’s okay with you, talking about adoption.

Most birthmothers will agree to this.”

So, even when the mother is making a parenting plan, counselors are coached to introduce adoption. Sick, sick, sick. Again, this should be a manual called, “How can I guilt a mother into giving her baby to someone else by making her think parenting means she’s a shitty mom and doesn’t love her child and is irresponsible.”

And then they talk about birthfathers.

“Birth father’s rights are taken much more seriously now than they have been in the past. Although laws may vary from state to state, courts today generally make every reasonable effort to secure a birth father’s voluntary termination of his parental rights before a child can be legally released for adoption. For this reason alone, it is essential that a counselor discuss with the birthmother the birth father’s interest and intentions regarding their child.”

Um, ya think? For this reason alone….not because it’s right, just because the birth father may end up being a pain in the ass.

The end pages go on to encourage using birthmothers (ones who have actually placed, not expectant mothers) in order to convince uncertain young moms to place.

It goes on to say that one year is a good time period for contact to continue from the birthmother. Ugh.

The conclusion states, “There is no magical way to present adoption so a birthmother who lacks the ability or desire to parent will view it as an acceptable solution. However, a change of heart often begins when a counselor who recognizes the advantages of adoption presents it in a knowledgeable and sensitive manner as an excellent choice.”

Need I say more? What, again, is the definition of coercion?

She Will Be Happy

I just want her to be happy.  That doesn’t mean I want her to be without trials. That doesn’t mean I don’t want her to never feel pain. We grow and learn from pain and trials. But I do want her to be happy. Regardless of all of my wants and desires to have her in my life, if I just knew she was happy then I could find peace. After all, wasn’t it the whole reason I did what I did? I was promised she would be happy. I was promised this because they could give her all of the things that I could not at the time. I was promised happiness for my daughter. I have no peace because I cannot genuinely say, given her history and all that has transpired, that she is happy.  Her actions are not the actions of someone who is happy.  Her behavior is not the behavior of someone who is happy. Yes, it hurts to not have her.  But what hurts even more is the knowledge that she is not happy. She is not content. Sometimes I wonder whether it would have been easier to have never known the problems she has been facing all these years. The battle inside herself that is still raging. It would have been easier for me, yes, to not know. But I’m glad that I do. I’m glad that I can do my small part in advocating for her and helping her parents learn more about who she is when they learn more about who we are. This will only make it easier for her. And while my heart is breaking that she is not content, well-rounded and happy, it is a burden I will bear if it means that in some way, even the smallest, things may be easier for her.

These past 18 months have shaken me.  They have caused me to question my beliefs about who I am and what I know to be true. The truth has revealed itself to me, little by little, and I crave to learn all I can about every view point that’s out there in regards to what it means to be an adopted person. While no two adopted persons are exactly the same or share exact same stories, there are some undeniable truths that apply to many.  It is these truths that I need.  I need to learn, I can’t get enough. I must know every potential feeling she may be feeling.  I must know every potential thought that may run through her head. I feel like I am arming myself with knowledge.  It gives me just that much more of an inside look into what her life may potentially be like. I want to be here to make things easier for her.  I want to make sure she understands that, no matter what, I will always be here. I want her to know that it’s okay if she never wishes to meet us.  I will still offer and give her whatever information she may need.  I want her to know that it’s okay if she wants to try to have a relationship with us in the future and it doesn’t obligate her to continue a relationship if she feels its too much.  I want her to know, I want to scream, that I only wanted her to be happy. It was all I was thinking about.  It was all that mattered. I want her to know I am sorry. I am sorry if she ever felt rejected or unloved from the moment she came into this world. I am so sorry.  My love, you were never unloved.  You were always wanted. Everyday of my life my soul calls for you.  And it always will.

I hope that she can be happy in the future.  If I had a crystal ball and I could see into the future and see a happy life for her without emotional wounds, I would have peace.  Even if I knew that right now she was not happy. I don’t have a crystal ball, though.  None of us do. Even children we parent have no guarantee of their happiness in the future. The only difference is that I had a hand in raising my parented children to the best of my abilities and the comfort of knowing I did everything in my power to assure they were given the opportunities needed to have a happy life.  I do not have that comfort with her. I entrusted it solely to other people.  And while I am not saying I mistrust her parents, there is still that part of me, that deep place in my heart, that wonders…..what if?  It is torment of the worst kind. There is no resolution. Only question after question.

I will do my best to find peace in the situation and take the small comforts I am given with every new picture that shows a smile on her face. I will take comfort in knowing that even if she is not content or happy that, for now, she is safe. Safe from herself. I will pray and understand that none of this is in my hands, none of it is really in her parent’s hands.

For now I have my blog. This is my safe place.

The Revocation Period

Today we had a new mother come to our group looking for help.  She lives in Kansas, signed away her rights to her newborn baby that she delivered yesterday (yes yesterday) and immediately regretted it.  Let’s talk about revocation.

Revocation of Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) varies widely from state to state. Each state has its own rules and laws about adoption and time periods, who may consent to TPR, who may not, etc. These are all governed under the very broad federal law. In almost every legally binding contract you cannot be under the influence of narcotics or drugs or the contract is null and void. This is not the case for adoption.

If you’ve ever given birth (and I’m not going to assume everyone here has) you know about the horrible after pains – the contractions your uterine muscle still does while it is shrinking back down to the size of a fist as opposed to the big balloon it was during your pregnancy. These are not as painful as actual labor, but painful enough to warrant narcotics for a few days.  If you’ve had a C-section then you will likely be on strong narcotics for much longer (I never have so I cannot attest to the time period.  I believe it is a week or so).

This new mother we had come to us who desperately wanted help lives in Kansas, as I stated above.  Upon looking into the Kansas laws on revocation periods I found that the only time a revocation can be done on a TPR is if duress/coercion can be proven in a court of law.  This means that this new mom would have to hire an attorney and fight to prove she was under duress when she signed her TPR.  And what does that mean?  It means that this baby will remain with it’s hopeful adoptive parents while this plays out.  It means the hopeful adoptive parents have a huge lead on this new mom.  Why? Because the courts will decide “best interests of the child” even if duress can be proven.  We all know court battles are lengthy.  By the time any final decision would be made this child will likely be a year old, maybe older.  And the “only parents he’s ever known” will be the hopeful adoptive ones.

So, why should she be able to revoke? The Kansas law says she can be TPR’ed 12 hours after giving birth.  That’s it. 12 hours.  That’s not even enough time to recover from a hardcore night out on the town.  But it’s enough recovery time, according to the state of Kansas, to decide the fate of your child’s life forever.  Are you getting where I’m going with this?

Why is it not mandatory that there be a 30 day wait period for TPR? The baby certainly isn’t going to go anywhere. It’s not like if TPR isn’t signed within hours after birth the baby will turn into a pumpkin.  If the mother is really totally sure that she wants to choose adoption for her child, that it is the best option, she will still think that in 30 days, correct?  Having women sign TPR within hours or days after birth is to ensure the goods are got.  Women are very vulnerable, most times on painkillers, after delivering a baby.  Everything you thought through while you were pregnant goes out the window and you start again after the baby is born.  And that is how it should be.  No one knows exactly how they will feel after they actually meet their child. The reason that 30 day wait periods are so unpopular is because there would be TONS less babies actually available for adoption.

But, where will the baby go in those 30 days? The baby can go home with the hopeful adoptive parents. Simple as that. If mom changes her mind they return the baby.

But wouldn’t that be devastating for the hopeful adoptive parents? Sure. But wouldn’t it be more devastating for the mother who has lost her child when that isn’t what she really wanted to do?  And no, you can’t compare the two. The hopeful adoptive couple DOES NOT love that baby the same way that the mother does.  No one can convince me otherwise.  They did not bond with that baby for 9 months.  They just want a baby. Any baby will do.  Sure, they got their hopes up and that is really hard. I totally sympathize and understand. But if you knew, going into it, that this baby would not for sure be yours until 30 days after birth then you can really prepare yourself for that. Not that it would take away the let down, but it would definitely soften the blow.

Any baby will do?  Yes, any baby. Since they cannot have a child that is genetically theirs any healthy (and sometimes unhealthy – there are some people who truly don’t care) baby will do.  On the flip side, any baby will not do for a mother delivering their biological child.  If this was not the case then women would just give birth and be randomly given a baby at the hospital.  No bands would be necessary to identify mom and baby. Any baby will do if you are unable to have a biological child. Any baby will NOT do if you are the one giving birth to your child.  So, yes, it would be a huge let down for hopeful adoptive parents and probably very painful.  But not nearly as painful for that mother living with regret for the rest of her life because she made a decision when she was not emotionally, psychologically or physically equipped to make one of that magnitude.

Well, why not just let moms TPR like they do, hours or days after birth, and make sure there is a 30 day revocation period in place?

Because that doesn’t work.  Revocation is something you have to fight to do. Many mothers aren’t even aware they have the right to revoke in states where these laws exist.  And I have personal friends who have told the social worker they changed their mind, well within the revocation time period, only to be told they could not revoke or their other children would get taken away or it was too late or some other lie. Yes, this STILL happens regardless of what you have been told or made to believe.

Revocation periods, obviously, still need to exist because the laws are not perfect and need serious reform.  The laws right now protect adoptive parents. Plain and simple. They do not protect the adoptee and they certainly do not protect mothers considering placement of their child.

I wonder how many of the people making and enforcing laws that have to do with adoption are adoptive parents themselves? Wouldn’t that be considered a serious conflict of interest? Nevertheless, no one even asks or thinks to change that because the lawmakers themselves are most likely adoptive parents.  Case in point, Justice John Roberts of the Federal Supreme Court – Adoptive Father.  Recently ruled against the father in the Veronica Brown case.  He sided with the hopeful adoptive family.  How is this not a conflict of interest?

My best advice – If you are considering adoption for your child, no matter HOW sure you are during pregnancy or how sure you think you still are after delivery, do not sign ANYTHING until 30 days have passed.  Your baby will not turn into a pumpkin, you don’t have to take the baby home with you, no one will die…but you WILL be protected.  You are in control.  You simply tell your caseworker you will not take no for an answer but you will not be signing TPR until 30 days after delivery. Then inform them that they should get together whatever paperwork you need to sign to let the baby go home with the hopeful adoptive parents while you take your time to make your final decision.  This protects you from being like this poor girl that came to us today.  There is pretty much nothing we can do to help her.  It’s heartbreaking.