Originally posted April 16, 2014.
Here’s a guest post from Helen Philips, who counsels birth mothers about the issues involved in giving a baby up for adoption. As she says, it;s easy to be judgmental, but we can’t know what it’s like to need to make such a profound decision, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The first story is difficult to read. Do you think the first little girl is better off with another family?
“We have a one and a half year old girl. She was a mistake to be honest. She wasn’t planned… We both have absolutely no love for her whatsoever. I can’t explain it…We are both career minded and she is just getting in the way. So we thought we should just give her away to someone who cares and would enjoy taking care of her,” states Jack Dalad. Ever wondered, what your reaction towards parents (like Dalad) giving a child up for adoption, would be like?
Is it Right to Judge Parents Giving a Child Up for Adoption?
According to a piece written by Stuart Duncan- it turns out, that like most others, we also might be rather judgmental and critical towards them! “I saw this news story where a woman abandoned her 10 year old, severely Autistic son to a hospital. He was just left there to wander the halls. When they found him and talked to her, it turned out that she was bi-polar, unemployed, has 2 other children, going through a divorce and being evicted,” he narrates. Duncan notes here, that- while the authorities did not press charges, parents on the other hand-“were pretty quick to pass judgment. Many stating “you just don’t leave your kids” and “our kids aren’t throw-aways.” Unfortunately, those giving a child up for adoption may often be looked at similarly!
Duncan however, is quick to question this behavior. “The truth is … that not one of us has walked a mile in her shoes,” he states; adding: “… we don’t know how hard it really was for her, we don’t know for how long she struggled with this decision, who she talked to about it, what advice she was given, what her other choices were (or weren’t).”Counselors in the sphere, suggest that-a mother or parent, giving a child up for adoption- also needs to be assessed individually, before being branded as an ‘indifferent’ and ‘uncaring’ individual!
Reasons for Giving Children Up for Adoption
Unknown to most of us, parents or mothers- giving a child up for adoption, have many reasons for doing so! These may range from emotional reasons to financial ones.“Birth parents or a single parent may place a baby up for adoption if they lack the financial means to raise a child and may not be aware of resources available to low-income families,” Livestrong.com informs. Likewise, if a woman “is in an abusive relationship or environment, she may not want her baby to experience the related hardships, particularly if she doesn’t receive support,” it states.
These apart, the website also cites-‘mental disability among either or both parents; expectant mothers not wanting to be single parents; lack of financial or moral support from the birth father’s side; teenage pregnancies; late pregnancies that affect career and lifestyle choices; and, cultural and religious beliefs, that disapprove having children out of wedlock;’ as the main causes for parents giving a child up for adoption.
Giving a Child Up for Adoption May Be in His / Her Best Interest
Flora Richards-Gustafson, from ‘Livestrong.com’ -uses information provided by different adoption agencies, to decipher the basic intent of a mother, giving a child up for adoption. “When a woman places her baby up for adoption, she isn’t making the choice to give up. Instead, she’s choosing a life for her child…The decision for a mother or birth parents to place a baby up for adoption isn’t always simple. Nevertheless, it is an act of love that put a child’s needs ahead of their own desires,” the article states.
In many unique situations, Duncan feels that giving a child up for adoption, may be in the best interest of the child! “Adoption agencies are there for a reason. You can judge a person for giving up their child but for some people, they just have to. They aren’t you. The child may very well be better off with someone else than with a parent that only pretends to be a good parent… someone that may end up hating that child enough to do harm,” he declares.
This article was written by Helen Philips an adoption specialist, who educates birth mothers on giving a child up for adoption.