This is a long, rambling, circling post that I am sure will be mis-interpreted. It comes from reading a story written by a Christian father whose daughter chose adoption. I cannot understand the mindset and this is my response.
I read a really sad article written by a Christian whose “unwed” daughter made the decision to place her child for adoption and they all thought it was the right decision, after much family discussion. Note she was a teenager but not a young teen. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t the right choice but my point is families do not give their family members away, not without a fight. Or they aren’t really a family.
Perhaps I am just noticing this but it seems like there is a growing trend among Christian families that if their “unwed” daughter gets pregnant, the baby should be placed for adoption. That the parents will not help their daughter start on her road to be a parent. That they raised their kids and are not willing to help raise another generation, their needs come before family. How can anyone think this way? Yes, she will have to grow up quickly. Yes, she will have bumps along the way. We all have to grow up at some point. So how is it is okay to watch your child place her baby for adoption and recognise the life-long grief that she will live with daily, rather than help her grow up and become responsible? And yet instead they talk about that it will be hard to consider adoption but that the mother must consider the baby and what is best for the baby. Telling her how hard it is to be a single mother. Yes, she will be a single mother but what about her parents and other family members? She is not on the streets, alone and living in poverty or abusing drugs, she has a family.
And yet the underlying message is that the baby should be placed for adoption and the mother will be redeemed of her sin. That the parents will then not have to feel shame that they raised a child who became a single mother. That they can hold their heads up in their church and say their daughter (or son) did the right thing and chose adoption. By their words and actions they have basically told their daughter she is not good enough to be a parent and her child is not worth fighting for. That there are families out there that would be better than she. That it is the right thing to do…
Sorry, that is not my definition of family. Family is family. Families help each other and do whatever it takes, however long is required. Families are not selfish. Families are not cruel. Families don’t give away other family members unless there is no choice. Before you make the decision to parent you need to realize parenting does not end at 18, that quite likely you will be called on to help the next generation, that it is part of being a parent. That yes, you may be needed more for the first couple of years. And that help is for your grandchild!!!
Perhaps my attitude can be blamed on the values, ethics, morals and actions of my parents. They cherish, value, take care of, step up to the plate and do whatever is required for family. Family is family. The first six months I was home the majority of the day my grandma rocked me. Day in and day out until I stopped crying and got used to my new home. Mom could not do it all the time because she had two other toddlers and many many chores. Grandma did not turn her back on us, family is family, you do what you have to do. As a youngster growing up, I cannot count how many trips we made to visit family and it wasn’t just visiting. It was helping get things done. Trips were timed to ensure we were there when they needed a hand. It was a family committment. It did not matter if you weren’t a close relative, one of my grandma’s was in reality my dad’s sister’s husbands mother – but that did not matter – she was family. And if you are a parent you are a parent for life. You don’t stop being a parent when your child reaches 18, you are still their parent when they reach 50 and beyond. It works both ways and is the right way.
And if you are an adoptive parent who tells their “unwed” daughter to consider adoption. What is that phrase that is so popular these days? Forever family? Consider what your words say about your definition of “forever family”…
I hope adoption never again becomes the only solution like it was when I was surrendered, but some days it seems like the past is rising up again. I hope adoption never becomes a mainstream way to create a family and adoption only happens when there is no other choice. Families need to get back to being REAL families, and learn to thrive in the good times and survive the bad times together, as a family.