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Very interesting... The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is reporting that a recently-released study of the effects of abortion availability on adoption rates shows no correlation; that neither increased abortion prices, parental notification laws nor decreased Medicaid funding for the procedure have any quantifiable effect on raising the the number of infants relinquished for adoption, because for many poor women, abortion or parenting are still both seen as being preferable to surrendering a child to be adopted. (This may be of small consolation for those who have long insisted that abolition of abortion would somehow result in a greater number of newborns being made available for adoption.) Read the abstract for free, here.

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Sites that will help you find other resources and support:

Keep in mind that just because you are considering adoption, or are making an adoption plan, YOU are still your child's mother. You have the right to investigate other options, and ultimately you have the right to change your mind up until signing relinquishment papers.

Need to know facts for teen parents: http://www.teenparents.org/

Emotional support for young/single mothers:

http://www.girlmom.com/

http://www.youngmommies.com/

http://cybermoms.cyberbeach.net/

http://www.parentswithoutpartners.org/

http://www.keepyourbaby.com/single_parenting_myths.html

Support for anyone feeling pressured to place:

http://www.keepyourbaby.com/

Confronting the trauma that comes after placement:

http://home.att.net/~judy.kelly/thesis.htm

http://www.originscanada.org/adoption_trau..._they_knew.html

http://www.birthmothers.info/abstracts.htm

Housing help for mothers without many resources:

http://www.mommashouse.org/

http://www.singlemom.com/Housing/SingleMomHousing.aspx

http://co-abode.com/

"Grandma's House."-houses up to 10 young women and their babies. Open to women up to age 19 and they can stay with their babies up until the babies are 1 year old. They help them with school and career choices and daycare for the babies. They are currently working on opening a facility for Moms with toddlers as they see a need for continued mentoring of these young women. A place they can come to if they are overwhelmed or in a bad situation for themselves or their children. Contact: Grandma's House of Central Oregon, Inc., P.O. Box 6372, Bend, Oregon 97708 (Woody Medeiros, Executive Director 541-383-3515)

http://famcent.phila.gov/sos/ServiceDetail...ceID=2015839176

Support for fathers:

http://www.dadsadventure.com/

http://www.fathersworld.com/features.html

http://www.teendads.org.nz/fatherandchild/...rs/teendads.htm

http://www.fatherhood.org/

http://www.fathers.com/

There is a lot of conflicting information out there on the effects of adoption on children, this, like deciding whether to place, is something you have to figure out for yourself. Good luck, this is the toughest decision you'll ever make, be well informed.

Edited by kristal

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Questions to ask yourself before developing an adoption plan

1. Do I want to keep and raise my child?

2. What is/are the reason(s) I am considering adoption?

3. Am I aware of the help/assistance that is available to help me during my pregnancy and to help me raise my child? Have I explored all the sources of help available to me?

4. Do I have supportive family members who want to help me raise my child? Have I asked my family members to help me?

5. If not, do you need someone to help you/guide you through the process to find assistance, mentoring, support emotionally, financially and physically? Have you looked for someone to fill this need?

6. If you choose adoption, are you familiar with the research of the long-term effects on both you and your child?

7. Do you understand the difference between a closed adoption and an open adoption?

8. Do you have legal representation from an attorney independent of the potential adopters and the agency?

9. Have you had professional counseling, from a professional independent of the adoption agency or prospective adopters, who understands the world of adoption, during the decision making process ?

10. How would you feel not knowing anything about your child or their well-being?

11. There are no “perfect” parents. How would you feel knowing that the adoptive parents might raise your child in a manner that you would disapprove of, and you would be powerless to do anything about it?

12. How would you feel if you never have any other children?

13. If you surrender you child, you will feel tremendous grief, anger, and loneliness. How will that affect you? How will you deal with it?

14. If you're considering an open adoption, what is your legal recourse if the adoptive parents break the agreement?

15. How are the hormones of pregnancy affecting your ability to make the decision that will affect you and your child for the rest of your lives?

16. How will you feel if you never find your child, or if she/he never wants to meet you when she/he grows up?

17. If you surrender your child for adoption, your child may feel grief and loss over being separated from you, and may feel that you abandoned him/her. How do I feel about that? What can you do about about it?

18. How would you feel if my child needed family medical information and you were unable to get it to him/her? Is there anything that could be detrimental that your child would not know if adopted?

19. Financial problems are likely temporary. In a few years, when you have a stable job and good home, how will you handle knowing that you've permanently surrendered rights to your child?

20. How will you tell family and friends that you surrendered your child to adoption?

21. If you surrender your first child to adoption how might it affect your relationship with future children you might have?

22. Would you seek a reunion after being separated by adoption from your child? How would you go about this?

Basically from http://origins-usa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=71869

Edited by kristal

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Bumping this for W's Birthmom and others looking for info prior to placement.

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Questions to ask yourself before developing an adoption plan

1. Do I want to keep and raise my child?

2. What is/are the reason(s) I am considering adoption?

3. Am I aware of the help/assistance that is available to help me during my pregnancy and to help me raise my child? Have I explored all the sources of help available to me?

4. Do I have supportive family members who want to help me raise my child? Have I asked my family members to help me?

5. If not, do you need someone to help you/guide you through the process to find assistance, mentoring, support emotionally, financially and physically? Have you looked for someone to fill this need?

6. If you choose adoption, are you familiar with the research of the long-term effects on both you and your child?

7. Do you understand the difference between a closed adoption and an open adoption?

8. Do you have legal representation from an attorney independent of the potential adopters and the agency?

9. Have you had professional counseling, from a professional independent of the adoption agency or prospective adopters, who understands the world of adoption, during the decision making process ?

10. How would you feel not knowing anything about your child or their well-being?

11. There are no “perfect” parents. How would you feel knowing that the adoptive parents might raise your child in a manner that you would disapprove of, and you would be powerless to do anything about it?

12. How would you feel if you never have any other children?

13. If you surrender you child, you will feel tremendous grief, anger, and loneliness. How will that affect you? How will you deal with it?

14. If you're considering an open adoption, what is your legal recourse if the adoptive parents break the agreement?

15. How are the hormones of pregnancy affecting your ability to make the decision that will affect you and your child for the rest of your lives?

16. How will you feel if you never find your child, or if she/he never wants to meet you when she/he grows up?

17. If you surrender your child for adoption, your child may feel grief and loss over being separated from you, and may feel that you abandoned him/her. How do I feel about that? What can you do about about it?

18. How would you feel if my child needed family medical information and you were unable to get it to him/her? Is there anything that could be detrimental that your child would not know if adopted?

19. Financial problems are likely temporary. In a few years, when you have a stable job and good home, how will you handle knowing that you've permanently surrendered rights to your child?

20. How will you tell family and friends that you surrendered your child to adoption?

21. If you surrender your first child to adoption how might it affect your relationship with future children you might have?

22. Would you seek a reunion after being separated by adoption from your child? How would you go about this?

Basically from http://origins-usa.org/Default.aspx?pageId=71869

Ladies Considering Adoption,

I placed 5 weeks ago and I think #15 has a lot to do w/ my situation.. I was having marriage problems, pregnancy guilt, I had stopped taking my anti-depressant b/c of the pregnancy, I felt desperate and I believe if I was a little less clouded I would have kept my son. I started back on a low dose of anti-depressants 1 week prior to delivering him and now I have been on them for 2 months and my hormones have leveled off.. I have a sense of clarity now that I didn't have before.

Some would say this is "mourning a loss" and it is a loss, but in my situation I believe I had an untreated medical condition that should have been treated before such a BIG decision was made. What I do about it now?? IDK!

I hope this helps someone considering adoption and it may give them something to think about!

Monica

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Oh, Monica... big hugs to you. I know you are struggling to come to terms with the decision that you made, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with others.

It's very common for women who have placed to seek to rationalize their decisions afterwards, especially when they are under pressure from others who may not agree with the plans they have made. That's not to say that hormone changes don't impact women during pregnancy (clearly they do: read more, here.) But every woman who places is impacted by stress, by hormones and/or by depression, frankly-- and in the end, it's up to them whether they wish to view their own adoption decision as having been the "right" choice or not.

There is nothing in Texas law that enables parents who place to undo an irrevocable relinquishment based on hindsight nor hormones, which is why even the relinquishment document requires all affiants to confirm before signing, by their own initials, that they know they should not sign the document if they are not thinking clearly because of "illness, any substance or medication, my emotional health or any other reason."

Rest assured, Monica, that you are currently in the midst of continuing hormonal fluctuations during what some professionals call the "fourth trimester", and that this continues to impact your current thoughts and feelings-- and yes, the post-adoption grief experience, as well.

That doesn't mean that what you are presently thinking or feeling is not "real" but it is to say that this may not be the most appropriate time to try to permanently evaluate whether or not you made the right decision for your son's welfare. (Hindsight is always 50/50, as they say.) Every mother with an untimely pregnancy can only make her own best decisions on what she knows at the time, hormones or stress or depression or not, and I hope in time you will be able to trust that you, too, did the best you could, given your circumstances at the time.

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Oh, Monica... big hugs to you. I know you are struggling to come to terms with the decision that you made, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with others.

It's very common for women who have placed to seek to rationalize their decisions afterwards, especially when they are under pressure from others who may not agree with the plans they have made. That's not to say that hormone changes don't impact women during pregnancy (clearly they do: read more, here.) But every woman who places is impacted by stress, by hormones and/or by depression, frankly-- and in the end, it's up to them whether they wish to view their own adoption decision as having been the "right" choice or not.

There is nothing in Texas law that enables parents who place to undo an irrevocable relinquishment based on hindsight nor hormones, which is why even the relinquishment document requires all affiants to confirm before signing, by their own initials, that they know they should not sign the document if they are not thinking clearly because of "illness, any substance or medication, my emotional health or any other reason."

Rest assured, Monica, that you are currently in the midst of continuing hormonal fluctuations during what some professionals call the "fourth trimester", and that this continues to impact your current thoughts and feelings-- and yes, the post-adoption grief experience, as well.

That doesn't mean that what you are presently thinking or feeling is not "real" but it is to say that this may not be the most appropriate time to try to permanently evaluate whether or not you made the right decision for your son's welfare. (Hindsight is always 50/50, as they say.) Every mother with an untimely pregnancy can only make her own best decisions on what she knows at the time, hormones or stress or depression or not, and I hope in time you will be able to trust that you, too, did the best you could, given your circumstances at the time.

Hmm.. I definitely don't agree with some of this. Your perspective as well as mine can be broken down and analyzed in different ways. Everyone has their own opinion and every "birth mothers" situation is separate and different. Though the laws state certain things doesn't mean they are right or shouldn't be clearer! I would absolutely say there should be a longer waiting period before any papers are signed. How long IDK! I am just stating facts of MY mental clarity during and after my pregnancy. I was on antidepressants for a very long time before my pregnancy, stopped them, when in my case, the benefits would have outweighed the risks. Shoulda, coulda, woulda... Hindsight is 20/20 and it's sad in this type of situation.

I find it funny that the sentences I "initialed" that asked me about my mind set, medications, etc were even asked.. If you don't know your judgement is clouded and your mental state was off balanced until you're on medications that level out those chemicals then those ridiculous questions have no meaning, but to give leverage in court if needed. Period!

Anyway... Have a nice night. wink.gif

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Hi Monica,

Sorry to jump in between you and Elizabeth...but I just wanted to say that I have a teenage daughter who takes meds for depression. It has not been an easy road, trying to find which meds work, during the ups and downs of her illness and so forth. But life continues onward so we make the best decisions we/she can at the time, depending on what's most critical and how's she's doing, coping etc. She has not experienced an unplanned pregnancy (which I know is way more critical) but nonetheless there have been decisions made in the past, which would or possibly could be different today (maybe).

She and I were just discussing what a difference a year makes. Where she was a year ago is totally different than where she is today in terms of her recovery/treatment. She is doing great at this moment.

Some of the differences I've observed has to do with how she copes with everyday life. Stress is a huge trigger, too much and she tends to withdraw or fall apart. So finding a good balance (for her) is something we continuously work through together.

I feel your pain, we've had some pretty painful times too. But what I try to do for me and for my daughter is to not get stuck in those painful times. Everyday things change, thankfully. When she's down, I know there is a better day coming, that's just how God balances everything out (in my opinion).

There is no magic, just one day at a time. There are better days ahead for you too. I am sorry you are experiencing deep grief right now, it won't be this intense forever, because God is seeing you through. You are not alone, ever.

I wish I could do more than a cyber hug (((Monica))).

Karen

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Hi Monica,

Sorry to jump in between you and Elizabeth...but I just wanted to say that I have a teenage daughter who takes meds for depression. It has not been an easy road, trying to find which meds work, during the ups and downs of her illness and so forth. But life continues onward so we make the best decisions we/she can at the time, depending on what's most critical and how's she's doing, coping etc. She has not experienced an unplanned pregnancy (which I know is way more critical) but nonetheless there have been decisions made in the past, which would or possibly could be different today (maybe).

She and I were just discussing what a difference a year makes. Where she was a year ago is totally different than where she is today in terms of her recovery/treatment. She is doing great at this moment.

Some of the differences I've observed has to do with how she copes with everyday life. Stress is a huge trigger, too much and she tends to withdraw or fall apart. So finding a good balance (for her) is something we continuously work through together.

I feel your pain, we've had some pretty painful times too. But what I try to do for me and for my daughter is to not get stuck in those painful times. Everyday things change, thankfully. When she's down, I know there is a better day coming, that's just how God balances everything out (in my opinion).

There is no magic, just one day at a time. There are better days ahead for you too. I am sorry you are experiencing deep grief right now, it won't be this intense forever, because God is seeing you through. You are not alone, ever.

I wish I could do more than a cyber hug (((Monica))).

Karen

Karen,

You are right.. One day at a time!

My reasons for getting on anti-depressants about 7-8 years ago were for anger related depression. All this crying and up and downs are a little new to me. I'm almost 33yrs old. I never thought I would ever be in this place in my life and it is a huge adjustment. I have always been the one people went to for advice and I always had a level head on my shoulders, but to be on the other side is definitely a change! I know it will get better, I know life will move forward, I know I have to think about my 15 and 10 yr old daughters, but I also can't stand to feel like a mental case by people!!

Everyone saying it's your hormones, it's grief, etc.. I understand that and I acknowledge it. It's just not a good feeling to have all your feeling devalued by these labels. I can say "I have a headache" and you can respond "it's probably allergies", but it doesn't take away the fact that I have a headache and it hurts!

Thank you for your ((HUG)) I'll take one of those any day! (:

Monica

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Monica,

Your pain and loss is very real. I am sorry that you are hurting.

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Monica, it is OK to say you are dissatisfied with your adoption decision. I also agree with you that there should be a longer waiting period before a mother can relinquish rights and that initialing next to something stating that your mental state isn't clouded doesn't make any sense because if your mental state is clouded you wouldn't recognize/care. I'm very sorry you are in this situation.

I started a thread on regret (which I was actually logging on to write in.) You might find it up your alley. http://abrazo.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=4419&hl=regret&st=15

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Everyone saying it's your hormones, it's grief, etc.. I understand that and I acknowledge it. It's just not a good feeling to have all your feeling devalued by these labels. I can say "I have a headache" and you can respond "it's probably allergies", but it doesn't take away the fact that I have a headache and it hurts!

That's so true and such a clear way to convey how that must feel. Nothing takes away the pain. Everything you're feeling is valid and real. Nonetheless, I'm so sorry you're feeling it. You do have a great head on your shoulders and I know you wrote in another thread that the adoptive parents you chose are exceeding all of your expectations. You're doing the same for them and the son you both love!!

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Monica, it is OK to say you are dissatisfied with your adoption decision. I also agree with you that there should be a longer waiting period before a mother can relinquish rights and that initialing next to something stating that your mental state isn't clouded doesn't make any sense because if your mental state is clouded you wouldn't recognize/care. I'm very sorry you are in this situation.

I started a thread on regret (which I was actually logging on to write in.) You might find it up your alley. http://abrazo.org/fo...hl=regret&st=15

Kristal,

Yes, I do regret my decision sometimes. I have learned about some things, but not sure if I'll act on them!! I will check out your thread!! (: Thanks!

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For parents or parents-to-be who may be interested in the research about the effects of parenting under less-than-optimal conditions, this is a very balanced and highly-respected academic journal that examines the impact of what the experts refer to as "fragile families."

(Or CLICK HERE and scroll down to read the entire journal online.)

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