DO I NEED AN ADOPTION AGENCY
It wasn’t all that long ago that a woman considering adoption would grab the Yellow Pages, you know that big book everyone used to find a business listing. They would turn to the section “Abortion Alternatives”. They would see many different professionals they could contact via phone and get their answers and concerns voiced. They could feel how they were respected or not, how they were judged or not. It was a feeling expectant moms would describe to me when I asked why you chose ASC. “I felt heard, I just felt good, I felt safe. I felt no matter what I chose for my baby, they would support me and be there for me long term”. It would be obvious right away the reasons to work with an adoption agency.
Last week I was doing my first in person education seminar on adoption.
In attendance was the OB nurses that care for women as they bring their babies into the world. It is a job like no other. It takes the upmost positivity, energy, and the love of all thing’s woman. The three times I gave birth were the most vulnerable I have ever been in my life. I remember each nurse vividly that sat with me as my husband snored on the couch next to us. She cared for me and knew what I needed before I could even try and figure it out. For this reason, I love to speak to them and thank them for what they do for all women. During this meeting, I learned about this hospitals most recent adoption. When these nurses heard the story; they all knew exactly what I was feeling too. That vulnerability we feel during pregnancy. Everything is so delicate and for anyone to take advantage of this time in a woman’s life, no matter her age or circumstance, is a crime in my opinion.
This patient was 16 and considering adoption for her baby.
Her mom was by her side and supportive of her decision. Not forceful or coercive, but supportive. The prospective adoptive parents lived in Michigan, and the expectant mom found them through social media. They shared their story, as sad as it was, and it tugged at her heart. She wanted to help. She had a baby and they wanted one desperately. She and her mom sent a private message.
Now let’s go back to The Yellow Book era.
They would have looked at the professionals, the agencies that were licensed child placement agencies. The ad’s stated lifetime support, no judgment, educated families, open or closed adoptions. She would have a social worker that would have walked her through things, let her know what she was entitled to request and to receive. She would have been presented home study approved families that were educated on ethics in adoption. She would have known that anyone wanting to skirt ICPC is going to skirt something else too. If the attorney is willing to skirt ICPC then the attorney does not have YOUR back, even if they told you that you were being represented, you were not.
Social media said none of these things to this young mom.
Instead, she got a bunch of promises that her dreams would come true for her child. She was told they would keep her in their life and update her. Two weeks after she signed the papers, they blocked her from calling and texting. The attorney cannot reach them, or so he/she says. This birth mom had zero representation, she trusted, she allowed social media to vet them. How many likes they had; how many people Hearted their sad, desperate story.
Why you should work with an adoption agency, even if you find your “perfect family” for your baby on-line is to ask the agency to support you, to vet them for you. If that family will not call the agency, assume they will skirt you too.
This young mom will show up at our birth mom support group and ASC will support her and do our best to get her services. I will leave numerous unanswered voicemails on the attorney’s phone. All I hope for is he or she never “represents” another expectant mom.