17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Don't kiss your baby

Seriously? Horrible.

The doctor just told me I have a virus. One that I don't want to give my one month old son. It's not serious, but we don't want the little guy getting sick, right? So my orders were: keep nursing him, if he doesn't eat well or seems lethargic - check his temp, oh and don't kiss him. Fine. I can do that.

I would never have described myself as a "baby person". I'm not that girl at church or at parties that always wants to hold and kiss babies. I can look at them for 30 seconds and coo, but then I move on. That is one of the reasons I was scared to have my own baby. Would he get the attention he needed?

Well...guess what. He turned me into a baby person. I can't take my eyes off of him and can't stop kissing his cute little neck rolls, his funny little balding head or his scrumptious cheeks.

In talking to a friend a few weeks ago about the adoption process she was going through we talked about many horror stories we had heard. One example: some friends finally got a baby through LDS services. They were ecstatic, loving, wonderful parents. For two months. Then, the birth mother decided she wanted her baby back. Huh? Can you do that? Apparently, it was legal.

Now after having my own baby I can see how devastating and difficult it would be to give up a child. I always thought that it would be hard, but now...I think mothers who can do that are amazing and strong. Now I have a new perspective. After two months, how can you have your baby taken away? Is that what is best for the child? I didn't have time to research the laws in different states (I am too busy kissing my son now that I am better) so I don't have concrete information, but I wonder what you all think about what the law should be. I have heard that in some states a birth mother has 6 months to change her mind.

I never knew you could fall in love with someone so quickly. But the way I loved my son the minute he was born...it's indescribable. Having someone take him from me after two months...unbearable.
What should the adoption laws be? The child is most important, but after that, should the legal system be protecting birth mothers or adoption mothers?

Whatever kind of mother you are...never stop kissing your babies.


  • My parents adopted my youngest sister when she was 3. She had been taken away from her mother by the state when she was 6 months old. We had her in foster care for 6-8 months before the birth father signed away his rights.

    It is really hard on the adopting family to have to wait and to always be wondering if the birth parents were going to change their minds. But ultimately the birth parents have the rights. And I think that that is the way it should be.

    If for some reason (depression, lack of money, unable to care for them, whatever) I felt that I couldn't care for my child, I would love them enough to put them with a family that could. But if over the course of 6 months the depression lessoned, or I got a good job, I would want to be able to take my child back now that I was ready.

    I realize that this can be unfair to the family caring for the child. But you have to realize as an adoptive family the laws of your state, and how long the birth parents have rights. I know with my sister we loved her a lot before she was officially ours, but not nearly as much as when we knew it was final.

    Adoption is a taxing process for all parties involved, but you have to consider both sides of every situation.

    By the way . . . did anyone see Desperate Housewives on Sunday? There was a similar situation.
    posted by Blogger Trivial Mom at 5/04/2006 10:20:00 AM  

  • TM-I don't watch D HW, I am already desperate enough...I don't need any ideas. ; )

    I visit taught a gal who"adopted" a baby with very serious metabollic disorders...coupled with allergies and a host of other problems. Basically she is a walking timebomb and is hospitalized at least once a month. She adopted this baby a few weeks before I gave birth to my first.

    Fast forward 4 years and I moved to NYC and she moved into the ward where I grew up (my mom becomes her new visiting teacher). Small world ay? My mom learned that she still isn't officially adopted because she is too expensive (due to her health). As long as she is a child of the state, they will cover her health care costs. So for the past 4 years this woman has given her life (literally) for this sick sick kid, and she cannot adopt her, be sealed to her, or even use the name she has named her when she checks her into the hospital.

    Where's the justice?

    I have to say that having been adopted at age 12 and also having given birth that I feel for both adoptive and birth parents, and until something is final final final (which I believe is not for 1 year in most states), no parties involved should breathe a sigh of relief, unless they can all just be content with the uncertainty.

    And meliss, please, everytime a doc told me not to kiss my child, I had already kissed her like right before I went in to see the doctor. I am certain I kissed my baby the day I was diagnosed with viral meningitis, and she was fine...kiss away
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/04/2006 11:20:00 AM  

  • I have two points of view with the adoption laws. Back when we were in the adoption process, one service we were interviewing made it clear that if the birth mother changed her mind after the set amount of time (each state has a different length of time for the mom to surrender her rights, anywhere from 24 hours to 70 days), they would ALWAYS back the birth mother. Which was horribly painful for me to imagine. Years of infertility only to have a precious baby that you thought was yours taken away by its biological mother at the last minute? Sorry, I wasn't going for it and didn't continue with that agency. Foreign adoptions are a little different because often you are getting children who are orphans - no one is coming back for these kids.

    On the flip side, now that I am a mother I know that I would fight to the death for my baby. I can't imagine giving up my child for someone else to raise and not turning around clutching to get them back. I have a dear friend who gave up her daughter when she got pregnant in college and it is gut wrenching to hear how she handed her baby to a social worker in a parking lot and went back into her bedroom to mourn.

    It's all painful - I don't know what is right...
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/04/2006 05:21:00 PM  

  • I don't feel so torn. I think that if a mother is going to give up her child, for whatever reason they should not be allowed six months later to say "oh never mind"... "Thanks for helping out for 6 months while I got my life in order". I know several people that have adopted, and they love their babies the moment they are put in their arms, but can't breath a sigh of relief til 6 months to a year later... that isn't fair at all. How can you really be the kind of mother you want to be if there is a possibility that the baby will be taken from you any moment, by an unstable person who chose to give them up in the first place? My DH and I have talked about adopting, and we are definately going to look into the foreign adoptions, because I personally could not go through that torment.

    posted by Blogger Zinone at 5/04/2006 07:32:00 PM  

  • Even though the acting is not actually the greatest, the scene on Desperate Housewives made me cry. I think it is because just the thought of having your baby taken away from you is just so heart wrenching and by far the scariest part of the adoption process in my book.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/05/2006 09:31:00 AM  

  • I think that there are two different cases: private adoption and foster/adopt.

    The first is the one everyone thinks about: birthmom looks through the books, picks adoptive parents, AP pay for the hospital etc., etc. This is meant from the very beginning to be permanent and I think that birthmothers in that situation should NOT have the option of comeing back 6 mo later to "reclaim" their baby. I think states that give that right should seriously rethink their policy. It's not fair to the adoptive parents, but more importantly, the baby. I tink that lawmakers should be more sesitive to that than the birthparent's wants. Give them a reasonable amount of time and no more.

    On the other side is the fost/adopt. These kids are placed with families because of problems (like trivial mom's scenario) and absolutely should have the chance to be with their birth families if circumstance permits. Often, as potential adoptive parents, we get attached to these children and are heartbroken when they are seemingly "snatched" from our arms. But this is part of the fost/adopt process and those who are not prepared to deal with that should reconsider adopting through the state. It's a very delicate balancing act...loving these kids with all your heart, but knowing they might leave. It doesn't make it any easier, akin to a child dying, but it's part of the risk.

    Kage- We are finalizing an adoption of a baby girl placed through foster care. She has health problems due to pre-natal herion exposure. Even after our adoption is finalized, she keeps her state medical benefits until she is 18, and after the adoption she will also be covered by our health insurance. I believe this is not just a state thing but a federal one (we keep benefits even if we move). Tell your friend to double check with social services or even a child rights advocate. There has been a real push to get special needs kids into permanent homes and there are all sorts of programs to make that possible. Sometimes social workers are just too busy to expalin all that. As you can tell I have a little experience and would love to help if I can (it's my own personal crusade ;).
    posted by Anonymous mimi at 5/05/2006 01:16:00 PM  

  • Actually, Desperate Housewives is what triggered the conversation between my friend and I. Wasn't that scene heart wrenching? Ugh. First time I cried during a TV show.
    I feel that there should be a smaller amount of time allowed by the courts for the BM to take the baby back. I think it would be detrimental to the baby to be taken from what they know as their home for six months and plopped somewhere else.
    Deciding to give your baby up would be the hardest decision of your life. But if you decide to do it, it's probably because when you are thinking clearly, you know that that is what is best for the baby and you due to whatever circumstance you are in. Once you make that decision, you should stick with it. Of course once you have the baby and have to part with it, you will rethink it. I think ANY mother would rethink her decision. But that is just not fair to the AP. And it's not fair to the BM either. She has already made the difficult decision and then to let her have six months to mull it over - it's too much. Plus, you are extremely emotional after giving birth...I wouldn't want to be faced with a life changing decision.
    What a tough thing for all parties involved.
    Mimi: good luck with your cause and thanks for your insight.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/05/2006 04:35:00 PM  

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