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"Why BIRTHMOTHER Means BREEDER" by Diane Turski
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dear birthmother letters


Single ("Unwed") Daughter Pregnant?

A Special Message for Baby's Grandparents - By Diane Turski

It is a shock to you as a parent when you first discover that your daughter is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. It might feel like a “crisis” to you if you believe that she is not “ready” to be a mother and that you are not “ready” to be a grandparent. However, nothing will “undo” her pregnancy and restore her life or yours to the way it was. She is now a mother and you are now a grandparent. What is most important is how you respond to your daughter’s unplanned pregnancy. Your response will determine the course of her life and the life of your grandchild. Your response will also influence the relationship that you will have with your daughter for the rest of your lives.

Rather than placing blame, worrying about what other people might think, or wanting to punish someone, consider what is the best course of action to address the future instead of the past. Your daughter needs your love, support and guidance now more than ever. She knows she has made a mistake and she is already suffering the consequences. She is feeling scared, confused and vulnerable. You might also be feeling scared, confused and vulnerable. This is a time when many parents feel so overwhelmed that they are tempted to turn the responsibility for deciding how to handle this life-changing situation over to others who they believe have been “professionally trained.” This is the time when your own vulnerability might cause you to make the mistake of believing that surrendering your grandchild to adoption will solve this “crisis.”

If you decide to contact an adoption agency for “professional” guidance, you should be aware that although they will claim to be a neutral party, they are not. They represent the interests of the adopters who are their paying customers. Adoption is a 1.4 billion-dollar per year business. Adoption agencies are in the business of taking babies from temporarily vulnerable mothers and then selling them to people who will pay their “service fees.” Don’t be fooled by a “non-profit” status.

The adoption agency will arrange for a social worker to meet with you. This “professional” has been trained to “sympathize” with your “crisis” situation and will encourage adoption. The social worker will tell you that if your daughter surrenders her baby to adoption it will give her time to grow up, get an education, earn some money, get married and have other children when it is more convenient for her. The social worker will not tell you that this child is irreplaceable. The social worker will not tell you that there are many financial and educational programs available to help single mothers raise their children while they pursue educational goals and become independent income earning adults.

The social worker will not tell you that 60% of mothers who have surrendered a child to adoption will never have another child. That means that you may never have another grandchild or an heir to carry on your family name. Your grandchild and his future generations will be carrying on a stranger’s family name instead of yours.

The social worker will bring a packet of adoption literature to give to you. This literature is very persuasive propaganda. As an example, the following information is contained in the adoption literature provided by Children’s Home Society of Minnesota. It contains a financial worksheet that has been deliberately designed to intimidate you into believing that your family cannot afford to raise your grandchild. The social worker will tell you that every child deserves two financially secure, older, married parents. The social worker will not tell you that there is no guarantee that these older couples will remain married, remain financially secure, or will even remain alive long enough to raise your grandchild to adulthood.

The social worker will tell you that these older couples will have better parenting skills than your daughter has. The social worker will not tell you that your daughter shares a natural parenting bond with her own child that adopters will never have. The social worker will not tell you that there are community sponsored classes in parenting skills that your daughter could independently enroll in.

The social worker will attempt to alarm you by telling you that children raised by young single mothers are sometimes abused and could end up in foster care. The social worker will not tell you that adopted children are also sometimes abused and could end up in foster care. The social worker will not tell you that adoption itself is emotional abuse of the child and of his natural mother. However, there are post adoption services listed in the packet that exist solely to deal with that indirectly acknowledged emotional abuse.

The social worker will tell you that there are many prospective adopters who are waiting to provide your grandchild with more material advantages than your daughter can provide. The social worker will not tell you that what every baby needs and wants more than anything else in the world is his own mother.

The social worker will further attempt to ensnare you with the concept of an “open” adoption. The “open” adoption literature contains pictures of babies together with their adopters and their natural families - presenting an image of one big happy extended family. There are also pictures of “entrustment ceremonies” where the baby is officially handed over to the adopters by the natural mother. The social worker will tell you that your daughter can “choose” the couple she will “entrust” to adopt her baby. The social worker will tell you that your daughter and the couple she “chooses” can write a “cooperative agreement” to govern your daughter’s future involvement in her own child’s life, such as visits, phone calls, and exchanges of pictures and letters. The agreement is not legally enforceable, but the social worker will tell you that as part of the adoption agency’s post adoption services, social workers will mediate any disputes that might arise after the adoption is final and your daughter has no legal claim to her own child. The social worker will tell you that “open” adoption is not co-parenting, so the adopters might decide to modify the agreement later if they feel it is in the “best interests” of “their” child. It will be their right to do that as the new legal parents of your grandchild.

Social workers no longer try to convince you that your daughter will eventually “forget about her child” and “get on with her own life” which was their common practice in the past. Instead, as part of their post adoption services, they offer grief counseling for your daughter and for you. These post adoption services are an admission that they know that your daughter will feel intense grief that can last for years over the surrender of her baby to adoption. They also acknowledge that you might feel grief and remorse over the loss of your own flesh and blood to be raised by strangers. In these counseling sessions you will receive reinforcement for your decision to surrender your grandchild to adoption. The adoption agency’s “trained mentors” (other mothers and grandparents who made the same mistake of surrendering their own family members) will assist you to join them in living in denial by reassuring you that your decision was in everyone’s “best interests.” Ongoing support groups are also available because adoption agencies recognize that “adoption is a lifelong process” for everyone. Grieving for the loss of her child to adoption will be a lifelong process for your daughter.

Social workers also know that growing up adopted is not the same as growing up in a natural family. There is so much information about human development available today that they have to acknowledge that an adopted child will suffer emotionally from being separated from his natural mother. Babies can only bond with their natural mothers. The best that adopters can hope for is that a baby will attach to them as their caregivers. Even that may not happen. Psychologists know how important the mother/baby bonding process is to healthy human development. You should ask yourself why that important process doesn’t apply to infant adoption. Does it make sense that only “planned” babies should be allowed to bond with their own mothers? If you are concerned about this discrimination against your grandchild’s emotional development, the social worker will tell you that the adoption agency’s post adoption services also offer many programs to deal with the emotional problems that your grandchild will experience from being forced to grow up adopted. Ongoing support groups are also available for the adopted children into adulthood. Dealing with adoption issues will be a lifelong process for your grandchild.

Post adoption services also offer damage control programs for your grandchild’s adopters who will need help dealing with their adopted children’s problems, especially with their identity crises. Again, ongoing support groups are available for them to address the difficult issues that arise during the “lifelong process of adoption.”

Finally, in some states, such as Minnesota, post adoption services social workers will search for the natural mother when the adopters have closed the “open” adoption. After your grandchild reaches adulthood, he can request a search. When your grandchild reaches adulthood your daughter can also request a search for her “child.” However, even if they reunite, they can never fully undo the damage that adoption has done to both of them. They can never reclaim all those lost years they spent apart. And, of course, there are various fees for post adoption services.

Before you make a decision that will forever affect the lives of your family members, consider the hidden price that you will pay if you decide to surrender your grandchild to adoption. At least wait until after your grandchild is born to make this life changing decision. When you hold him in your arms and gaze into his innocent, trusting eyes you will see him as a real person who is a valued member of your family, which is exactly where he belongs. He will thank you later and so will your daughter.

The alternative to supporting your daughter and your grandchild through a few initial maturing years is a lifetime of grief and anger over the traumatic loss of her child for your daughter, and a lifetime of low self-esteem and anger at being “given away” for your grandchild. As the parents of your daughter and the grandparents of her baby, you have the power to spare everyone from the emotional abuse of adoption. Use your power wisely to preserve your family and reap the benefits for the rest of your lives, or use it unwisely and suffer the disastrous consequences of adoption loss for the rest of your lives.

Copyright © 2003 Diane Turski. Please contact Diane if you are interested in reprinting this article.


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