Stories from Women who Chose to Make an Adoption Plan
At the age of 24, I left the health department and felt like a huge failure for the second time in my life because I was again single and pregnant. When I was 19 years old, I became pregnant and married my child’s father because I thought it would be the best thing for my child to have two parents living together. That child, Noah, was born in 1996 and within the first year of his life, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and then autism later on. His father and I had married for all the wrong reasons and the difficulty of parenting a child with special needs was more strain than our marriage could handle so we split up.
I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be a birthmother. I saw women placing their child on television and never once took the perspective of the woman who carried the child for nine months then placed their baby girl/boy into the hands of a hopeful couple. I like to think I am great at placing myself in other's shoes and taking perspective on situations, but I think the media had shaped me to think more about the adoptee and adoptive parents because no one really talks about birthmothers.
I chose adoption because I loved my daughter very much and I wanted her to have everything that I couldn’t provide for her. I was twenty-one when she was born. I had full family support. I could have raised her. But my daughter would not have had a father, and that was very important for me. She wouldn’t have had a two-parent home right from the beginning, and that was very important to me. I wanted her to have those things.
When I was 15 years old, I made some bad decisions and found myself pregnant. Before I became pregnant, I had already thought about what I would do if it happened. I didn’t want to have an abortion because I believe that life begins at conception, and I didn’t want to hurt my baby. Initially I didn’t even consider adoption because I felt that there was no way I was going to be able to live my life knowing my child was somewhere in the world without me. So the only choice, I assumed, was that I had to keep my child and do the best I could to raise him.
My pregnancy couldn’t have come at a darker and more chaotic time in my twenty-two year old life. My parents' thirty-one years together had come to an abrupt halt, and my mother moved out and became estranged.