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Guest carmen

Is Adoption the Wrong Choice?

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Guest carmen

Hi! I not too long ago was in apostion to give my baby away or keep her. I talked on the internet with Elizabeth from Abrazo, She was a very concerned, helpful, loving person. I had already chosen the adoptive parents for my baby. Then I went for my first sonogram and I prayed that GOD would make it easier for me to deal with all the feelings that I was having. I was questioning myself and the discussion that I had made. I felt that I was too old (40) and didn't disserve the blessing that was bestowed upon me. I even went as far as to get to talk with the adoptive parents, and in some ways I feel that I may have mislead them. I pray for them now, for understanding. I was confused, and scared, and didn't want this blessing. I prayed for days upon end about what to do. I vented to Elizabeth at Abrazo, and she gave me some words of wisdom. She reminded me that it was my choice to make, and that I needed to pray, and ask GOD for guidance and the right discussion for my situation.

Abrazo was willing to help me with all my pregnancy needs, and medical bills. I was in a finacial mess. I didn't know what to do. Then one day after seeing my baby move, and suck her thumb I realized that GOD doesn't give you a second chance to change your mind. He put this little life in my hands, (which aren't to good to be placing anything in) and he wanted me to raise this baby as my own. You"ll have to understand that I have 4 grown children, and 4 grand children, I didn't have time in my life for this baby to come along and change my life. All my children were out of the house, and my Baby daughter had just gven birth to my grandson two months before I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked and mad and confused.

Elizabeth e-mailed me, and visited with me on the phone. She was very kind and considereate. It's like she knew where I was coming from. I say that if my sistuation was different I would have given my baby up, and I would have felt good that she went to such a loving family. I know she would have been loved more than anything from her new adoptive family. I just was not ready to let go. Something in my head told me to keep this baby and everything would work out. And it eventually did. My marriage and our home life was in bad shape. I was feeling the effects of empty nest syndrome. I hated being all alone with nothing to do. I had the occasional visit from the grankids, but I was needing more. Then GOD gave me this baby that I thought would be a hinderance, but turned out to be a miracle. I don't believe that my dicussion would be right for everyone, but it was the right choice for me. Thank you Elizabeth for all you did during and after my pregnancy. With much love, Carmen.

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Thank you Carmen for sharing your story. There are always many different endings to each story. Your post demonstrates the support that is available at Abrazo. Your courage to reach out is remarkable and many can learn from your expereience.

Thank you for sharing a part of your story.

Many blessings,

Katharine

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Carmen,

Thank you so much for posting your story. You are such a strong lady and I know you have helped others who will read this post.

I am so thankful for Abrazo, because they are also there to lend an supportive ear to anyone no matter the circumstance.

Enjoy every moment that you spend with your little miracle

Warmest Wishes,

Melissa

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Dear Carmen,

Your thoughts are important for all to read. They bring improved understanding about the struggles birthparents face when they are in the process of deciding which path to follow. As an adoptive parent who experienced a disrupted adoption plan when the birthmother decided to parent her child, I can tell you that I never blamed her or had any anger toward her for the decision. I had a deep understanding and respect for her and knew that if the shoe had been on the other foot, I doubted that I would have the courage to place my child. If the adoptive family you spoke to is trusting God to fullfill their dream, they probably have a peace and understanding about your choice, too. God has a plan for you and your child. Perhaps your struggle initially was His way of helping you understand just what a blessing and miracle your child is. I appreciate your honest post. It brings light and understanding. How is your precious child? Blessed, I am sure.

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Carmen's post reminds us of a good point: adoption is not the right solution in every unplanned pregnancy. And good counseling is always about helping YOU find YOUR OWN best answers.

When is adoption not the best choice? For starters, adoption probably isn't the right answer if:

* you just want a way to "get back" at a guy who has hurt you.

* you're in a bind and otherwise wouldn't consider placing your child but need financial help

* you're being forced into the decision by somebody else (a boyfriend, relative, etc.)

* your baby has an involved, committed father who wants to parent and is truly ready to do so

* you're on the fence about parenting but will probably be ready in a month or so.

Can anyone else from the "been there/done that" crowd add anything to this discussion?

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I felt that I was too old (40) and didn't disserve the blessing that was bestowed upon me.  You"ll have to understand that I have 4 grown children, and 4 grand children.

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Carmen,

I became a first time mom at age 44 through the miracle and blessings of adoption! So no, I do not think 40 is "too old"!! I hope that this miracle of new life will only serve to draw your family closer together.

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Perhaps it would be helpful to put together some advice for those who initiate adoption plans but then decide it is not the right choice for them.

1) First, if you've been working with an agency or attorney or if you've already been involved with an adoptive family, it is ESSENTIAL that you let all parties know that you are no longer planning to place, as soon as you know in your heart this is true. This prevents you from being accused of fraud and prevents the other party from being unduly hurt. It is illegal for anyone to pressure you into placing if you choose not to, but it is also illegal to continue benefitting financially from maternity support if you know you don't intend for your child to be adopted.

2) Notify your baby's father of your decision, so he can plan to be involved in his child's life. Whatever your feelings about the birthfather, your child has a right to know him and to receive his support and guidance, as well. He must be present at the hospital in order to have his name added to the child's birth certificate, but failure to name him as the father does not mean he cannot have visitation or get custody of the child later on.

3) Do your homework! If you're not entirely prepared for parenting but know you need to try, look into every possible resource to find the help you need. Birthright is one organization which can help provide maternity and baby clothes, social service and housing referrals. For more information, see Government Assistance.

What other pointers would our readers add to this list?

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Out of New Jersey, a sad ending to the story of a young mom who considered adoption but decided to let her new boyfriend help raise her new baby, instead: Maybe Adoption wasn't the Wrong Choice After All?

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That is so hard to read! It breaks my heart everytime I see things like this in the news, especially knowing that there are so many loving couples out there waiting for a precious child to come into their lives. The worst part is the fact that the female allowed the man to convience her that he was good, and the fact that he blamed in on being drunk. You can still pick right from wrong even when you are drunk.........Just my opinion!

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That just makes me so mad and sad at the same time. I know others have discussed this on the forum in other spots. It is just terrible that a woman makes the difficult decision to place her child and then is swayed to not do so by someone that says they will help and they DON'T. Then to add to it he not only does not help he kills the child and says he was drunk! I know things like this happen all the time, but not necessarily ending in death. We know of a situation where the father actually abuses the child and CPS has been involved MANY times and still nothing is done. The child is just a way for the father to control things. The number one person who looses out is the child, the one that it should be all about. It is so sad that everyone has failed these children in situations like this.

I know there are so many factors that could be involved in any situation. Abuse, drugs, fear from so many things, not knowing options, not knowing things could be better, seeing the system fail others or themselves, and so much more that I have no idea about. I can only imagine the decision. I can see how a mother would grab onto any string of hope that would allow her to parent. How sad for her and any mother or parent that must deal with the emotions of loosing a child in this manner. How sad for any parent to have to deal with the emotions of not having a child lost in this manner, but actually see him or her grow up with abuse.

Every child needs to feel loved, safe, and secure. It is so sad to think that so many children do not have this. Some times I will start to think of how widespread it is and then I have to just back away from those thoughts. It just rips you apart.

lisa v

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That is so hard to read! It breaks my heart everytime I see things like this in the news, especially knowing that there are so many loving couples out there waiting for a precious child to come into their lives. The worst part is the fact that the female allowed the man to convience her that he was good, and the fact that he blamed in on being drunk. You can still pick right from wrong even when you are drunk.........Just my opinion!

Very sad....

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I hate these kinds of stories. I saw a movie about sliding doors once. It showed what would happen to lives if different choices were made at different stages. I wish more people would think through all of their decisions to try and see better possible outcomes for themselves and their loved ones.

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Out of Malta, of all places, comes this sad tale of one young woman who decided against her priest's advice to place her unborn child for adoption.

She ended up marrying her baby's father, but is now being denied the right to end that abusive union, more than 20 years later, due to a governmental ruling that essentially says 'you made your bed, now lie in it'.

Read her story, here: When "For Better or Worse" Means Forever?

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Here's a story of a nineteen-year-old single mom with five kids, in Dallas, who has apparently never considered making an adoption plan.

CLICK HERE to find out why I think perhaps she should.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts!

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WOW! I agree that she should consider adoption however I bet no one has ever suggested to her that adoption is an option. It's obvious that it's the norm to have children at a young age for her. Those children are so precious and deserve so much better. I will keep them in my prayers that MAYBE, just maybe the cycle will break with them.

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Texas has the highest repeat teen pregnancy rate in the country, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Why aren't state foundations doing more to help this problem? Is there any education about adoption or long-lasting birth control?

I read both articles about Amanda and it just breaks my heart. She is giving herself no hope, and her children even less. I wish someone would talk to her and help her make a life plan!

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WOW, is almost all I can say. I wonder what Amanda's thoughts would be about adoption.

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I often find that parents who have nothing else (no career, no education, no home, no security) seem to view their offspring as their "only" asset and therefore cannot fathom why anyone would "give away" the only "thing" in life that truly "belongs" to them. In Amanda's case, with the government paying her $525 per child per month, I imagine that she is (unfortunately) financially dependent on her babies for her own survival. (No minimum wage job available to a high-school dropout would likely equal this, even if she were to place the quads to focus on raising the new baby on her own.)

Sometimes, unfortunately, alot of this has to do with the age-old cultural tradition of seeing children as "chattel" or property. Indeed, in America at the start of the last century, having children was often a necessary acquisition that was intended to generate extra (and free) help around the house or farm; in latter years, welfare moms have found that it was financially beneficial to acquire extra children to increase their assistance checks, leading to widespread welfare reform that hurt most the ones that truly needed the help most.

And frankly, there is a painfully-obvious double message in all of this: if society expects "responsible" parents to do whatever it takes to care for their children and "keep the family together" (as we obviously expect adoptive parents to do) why makes it "honorable" or right for disadvantaged biological parents to make adoption plans?

Here's my answer: because open adoption, done the right way for the right reasons, still enables loving, responsible parents to both care for their children and keep the family connected. It offers children born in less-than-ideal circumstances, whose first parents want more for them, to grow up with the best of both worlds; to benefit from all the love and gifts and opportunities that each has to offer, in order to become fully-actualized adults who just might one day pay it forward by positively changing the world for others, as a result.

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I often find that parents who have nothing else (no career, no education, no home, no security) seem to view their offspring as their "only" asset and therefore cannot fathom why anyone would "give away" the only "thing" in life that truly "belongs" to them.

This statement is very, very true.

I grew up in rural West Virginia (in the 50's and 60's), and in my county, at that time, I would estimate that probably 40% of the residents were on some form of welfare assistance.

My best friend in high school was the oldest of 14 children. Her parents and growing family subsisted on welfare and food stamps. When the Dept of Welfare offered to pay for her father to have a vasectomy (after child #7 or 8?) his response was basically the same....I don't have much, but I'm going to keep what I do have! And that was his ability to father children.

There were entire generations of families at that time drawing welfare, and it was a full circle effect. Entire generations of the same family would be on welfare, constantly having "one more child" in order to increase their benefits. I know with the welfare reforms of the 80's and 90's, that some of those programs are no longer in existence. And I realize that some people were truly in need of a helping hand, and received that help in the form of government assistance. But there were people who just manipulated "the system," and part of the way they did it was by having more children.

Agree with me or not........that's just the way it was.

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I know the system works that way. I just hate it. The system is broken. While more children bring more money, they also bring more expenses. It is a no-win situation.

There has to be a better way.

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Ok,I'm going to go out on a limb here and disagree with everybody. Maybe it is because I have lived on both sides now,I don't know but something is wrong when we can sit back and say this woman "should" place her children for adoption because somebody else can give them more. I still totally disagree that you should place a child for adoption because of financial reasons. I still think no matter what, adoption should be a last choice. I don't care how well "open adoption" is done and works it does not replace parenting a child. In our society we believe it is easier to take this child (or children) and give them to somebody more fortunate then to help the mother learn how to earn a living and take care of these children on her own. Why are we willing to drop so much money into adoption and not into biological parents? Instead of welfare we need to develop a better situation. What I don't know,but something. Let me ask how many of you out there would be willing to place your precious children for adoption if you hit a financial hardship? HONESTLY???? If you lost everything you had,no family,friends,money or house or job? But if you could provide for those children,with a little goverment assistance so you could keep them would you still place them? Of course most of you out there can sit back and say that would never happen to me,and it probably won't....but what if?? What about all of our single mother's out there? What if somebody said "those kids deserve so much better?" "They deserve a father". Everybody can look at a situation and say they deserve better. Many of you make a good living and have alot, but there is always somebody out there who can give your child "more". Maybe adoption should only be for the very wealthy who can buy their children ponies and take them to France every summer and give them piano lessons and feed them steak and shrimp every night. If you truly believe that somebody should place their children for financial reasons you have NO IDEA what adoption and separation does to somebody. YOu may say that you know it is hard but you have no idea. Even in a so called "perfect" open adoption,it can not replace being with your biological family. People look at this woman and her grandmother and feel sorry for them,maybe at times they feel sorry for themselves. This grandmother has been raising children since she was very young and probably will do so untill she dies. I have been raising children since I was 17 and I am now raising two granchildren. It is hard and stressful and demanding and financially draining etc... But all I know is when they leave in March it is going to kill me.Do you honestly think that her placing her children for adoption will make things improve? The child or children she places will have "more stuff". The mother will have less to care for but still no money,no job, and no hope!!! And now major grief to deal with also. Why not try and help her to improve her situation? All these people who want to adopt,all they want is a possesion too!! Sorry but that is the truth. If not they would go out and adopt a disadvantaged family and help them and be a part of their lives and help them to stay together. They could sort of have a reverse open adoption. But that's not good enough!!! But that is what you expect a birthfamily to do. Give me your baby and I will give it everyting it needs and you can come visit every once in awhile and everything will be OK!!! BULL!!! I don't see many adoptive families out there willing to adopt the whole family and pay for the mother's schooling and babysit the baby while she works to help her get on her feet so her children can stay where they belong. But you are willing to turn her life upside down, and provide for the child. And now she is left to grieve and in the same situation she was in the first place. And I admit her situation may or may not improve in the future. But it may or may not improve with her children too!!! Adoption should never be a permanent solution to a temporary situation. And I am still not AGAINST adoption in the right situations. I just think that we look at it from the wrong perspective. Adoption is a HUGE business. Lots of people want babies and there are alot of poor people having them. That is the TRUTH!!! Like it or not. I am so sorry if I offended anybody but I had to say something. And one more thing,I don't think people who have nothing view their children as their only "asset". My children were my only sense of joy and hope. Totally different!!! They were the only thing that made me happy,I could escape everything when I looked at them and they smiled at me and told me they loved me. I could forget about my situation when I sat down for a tea party to play or to paly in the sprinkler during the summer etc... I did the same things with my kids as other people do,they brought me happiness. They were not my assets and never will be and I take total offense to that!!!

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Jada,

I understand your frustrations, but I don't think we meant adoption the way you think we did (at least I didn't). I meant adoption is an option to HELP Amanda make her life better. If she didn't have to worry about raising these children, she could focus better on herself. She could seek more education, training, etc. I looked at if from the perspective of helping her, not just "giving" her children everything and leaving her behind.

To me, adoption is about helping EVERYONE in the situation. Unfortunately, as adoptive parents, we can't financially support our BP's past placement. We can't pay for them to go to college, buy them cars, or do anything of substance for them. All we can do is be cheerleaders for them. Personally, I think that is part of my job as a good AP. I researched scholarships, schools, and financial aid for my BP to go back to school. I encouraged her as much as I could. I didn't want her to suffer the loss of a child without gaining anything herself. I wanted her to have a chance at better things without worrying about caring for her child. We can't "fix" her life, but at least we can take away a little of the worry by taking care of her child.

And no, we are by no means rich. We are an average family with average income. We are plenty blessed, but we are not eating steak and shrimp every night. I don't think more money makes a happier home. I think it just makes more problems.

I know adoption is horrible for the first family left behind. I can only imagine the horrific pain involved. I don't know what I would do if put in the situation you described. I would like to think I would do what was best for my daughter, regardless of what it cost me personally, but I don't know if I would have the courage.

I'm sorry you were so offended by these posts. I don't think any of us looked at it the way you did.

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I think Jada makes a very good point that I have often struggled with. And please correct me if I am wrong about what you were trying to say Jada. I think that one of my concerns with adoption overall is that it has been a system that has mainly supported families of a certain means in their desire to become parents. I don't mean rich, but I beleive that most of us would certainly say that we are comfortable. The majority of parents who adopt formally are white, married, and middle-class. I know that we can say that we were able to participate in the miracle of adoption because we had the financial support to complete the process. In fact, in many ways that adoption system in set up so that those with more money, generally have more choices in terms of type of adoption and even the "type" of child that they would like to adopt.

I think that an inadvertant (or perhaps not) message that comes along with the system of adoption is that good parenting and socio-economic status are correlated. Also that the solution to poverty ridden families is adoption. One piece of support that I will offer for this is the relationship between welfare reform and adoption. I would have to look back at my notes for exact bills involved, but I believe it was our adoption tax benefits that were orignally attached to a bill limiting welfare. So, in effect one bill limited poor families access to government funds to assist in raising their children and gave more priveleged families a financial incentive to adopt. Is this really a coincidence?

I have to say that when I read Jada's post, I was conflicted between feelings of agreement and for lack of a better word- defensiveness. I wholeheartedly agreed with Jada's perspective on money and adoption and parenting- and concerns about why we think that a person should place a child for adoption, as well as ideas about how these families could better be supported. What I struggled with was the comment about supporting these families financially, so that these children can grow up where they belong. My gut reaction is that my daughter belongs in my family. I begin to respond as I do anytime anyohne insinuates that in essence "blood is thicker than water." Because I truly don't believe that it always is. I push against an agenda that says that money equals the best family for a child, but I equally struggle against the concept that genetics equals the best family for a child. But I think that when I get to heart of what Jada is saying, ultimately I have to say that I agree with her. I feel convicted about what my family can do for families struggling financially that would make the difference for them in staying together. WHile I cannot legally do this for our birthfamily, they are millions of other families that I can make a difference for. And ultimately if I am honest, my main reason for adopting was because I wanted a child. I can come up with all the platitudes that I can think of, but ultimately I wanted to be a mom. The money that I spent could have helped other families, but I used it to achieve my dream of a family.

Please do not mistake what I am saying. I would not want a child to be adopted by a family who was adopting to better the world, etc... I believe that every child deserves to be wanted in their own right. But I have to admit my role in the whole system, and a part of that is that above everyone else's needs and desires, I placed my desire to have a child. And to be honest, if asked to do it over again, I believe that I would do the same thing. So what can I do now. I have really struggled with what I do with this knowlege and conviction that I now have. I really believe that adopting my daughter has given me the responsibility not just toward her and her birthfamily, but to work on the system overall. The system of injustice that results in families being separated because of poverty. This is my own struggle and conviction and it definitely colors how I see and hear conversations like the one that we have been having. I think the first thing that it brings me to is the conclusion that I need to recognize my own privelege and how it has colored my view of the world.

I am immensely priveleged. Even in times of past, when my family struggled financially, we never reached the level of poor that many in out of this country have lived with their entire life. I have never wondered where my next meal is coming from or whether I will have a place to live. I have no authority to say what I would do in that situation and I wonder if that also means that I should not make a judgement on what someone else should do in that situation.

I guess another thing that I have struggled with in reading this conversation is the idea that Amanda should be able to see what kind of life she "could potentially have." My question to that is how should she be able to see that. If she has never experienced anything different in her life, why should she believe that things can be different? I think that this view borders dangerously with the idea "pull yourself up by your boot straps." Or the idea that America is the land of opportunity and we all have equal potential to have a piece of the pie- I believe that the demographics in this country say otherwise. If things really were equal, Amanda would have the same opportunites that I do when facing an unplanned pregnancy. However, the family that I grew up in, my education, my relationships, my earning potential all say that we do not have the same opportunities. Many would say that the opportunities that I now have are a direct relation to the choices that I have made in life versus the choices that others have made in life, however, I would add the caveat that privelege offers more choices than non-privelege.

I am not sure that I have made much sense, but I think that my overall message is that I struggle with the idea that those of us who are so priveleged offer so many opinions about what others who are not as priveleged should do with their lives. As someone who struggled with infertility, there is a part of this conversation that is really scary to think about. If we as a nation had solved the problems that cause children to be in out of home care, and no children were placed out of their homes without real concrete and equal choices to the contrary, how many of us would not have children. The idea of not having children of my own in my life (not nieces and nephews to dote on) is terrifying. And I have to be honest that I have really struggled with why some people can so easily become pregnant when I disagree with the way in which they parent, while others can never become pregnant and I believe would be GREAT parents. I have even struggled with why God is blessing us with a third that we did not ask for, while many of you and my other friends are wanting desperately for ONE. But I also struggle with the idea that my wants and desires would dictate public policy and be seen as a priority over the wants and desires of others, because of my privelege.

My heart is with all of us as we struggle with this issue. Thank you to everyone who has had the courage to speak up. Thank you Jada for speaking your heart. You continually challenge my thinking and I believe that you are a refining iron for me. I hope that I hear you well.

Bobbi

Edited by MFTMOM

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Jada,

As always, I so appreciate your view point on these sensitive threads. You do have a different perspective than many of us on the forum, and I always respect your viewpoints, but I must say that I disagree with this statement:

"All these people who want to adopt,all they want is a possesion too!! Sorry but that is the truth."

I would never, ever even pretend to know what you or any birthmother has gone through. I believe that until you walk in someone else's shoes you truly cannot understand their feelings. The same is true with adoptive families Jada. Not ALL adoptive families, I agree, but the majority of the families here as Abrazo does have a criteria for the adoptive families to have documented infertilty. Our struggle with infertility has changed our lives in ways you may never understand. We are not wealthy people. We can't afford trips to France or steak and shrimp every night as you put it. I clip coupons everyday, we live regular lives, but the one thing we can't have is biological children. I would never consider my daughter a posession. But my passion to be a mother runs as deep as yours or any birthmothers. That I can say. I still grieve the babies I have lost in early pregnancy. I know loss on a different level as a mother. Please don't lump all adoptive parents together. I believe in my heart that the majority of adoptive parents feel they are doing the right thing. The right thing for the CHILD, not for themselves or for a birthfamily. My daughter's birthmother chose adoption not because of financial reasons. This was not an issue. But she chose adoption out of love for her child and her other children. She grieves everyday and shares this with me but she feels it out weighs what she HAS given her daughter. Just because she may be able to afford to have kept her (food and shelter) in her home does not mean that it would have been in the best interest of her child. She wants a better life for her child than she could forsee being able to give her.

Thank you for posting your views. I know I have learned so much from your posts, but please try and remember that we as adoptive parents (at least my husband and myself) are trying to do the right thing for our daughter and her birthfamily and this has nothing to do with the adoption business or posessions. I also don't believe anyone here was trying to be insensitive and I'm sorry if it sounds that way.

Donna

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