Saturday, February 6, 2010

Missouri and Adoption

I read an article recently that not only caught my attention, but prompted me leave a comment. The headline was "Adoption Issue Stirs Emotions." Adoption is not a cut an dry issue, it is not something that can be controlled by a system, it is not going to change without some serious avocation. I ran across this article while searching adoption and I was intrigued by the headline. I had no idea that it was an article written in my home state of Missouri. After reading all of the comments, I have to put my two cents in.

"I was 19 when I discovered I was pregnant in the late 80's. I grew up a child of divorce and saw first hand the toll that it took on my mother to be both parents, to raise me on her own. I also grew up with awful abandonment issues caused by the thought that my father did not love me enough to stay with us, I was sure it was my fault because I was not a good enough child for him. My background played a huge part in my decision to choose adoption for my child. I was committed to giving birth and having enough strength, courage and confidence to face life as a mother without a child. I knew that I wanted the best for my child at that time, and for me that choice was adoption.

I found a lawyer and told him that I had met a couple that I would like to place with and needed help to do it legally. My adoptive parents did all kinds of home studies by the State of Missouri, we all had countless interviews with the State of Missouri, and I know that there was money paid to all parties helping to make the adoption happen which included the State of Missouri. We were all ready to go. One month before my due date, the State of Missouri stepped in and TOLD me that I could not place with the parents that I chose, I would have to choose an adoption agency, a new couple and I was to have no contact, none whatsoever with my child for the rest of their life. They claimed that I had done everything illegally, I had no rights as a mother and I would do exactly as they told me to do with my unborn child. I was devastated. I was scared to death that they were going to take my child from me. I was stunned that the state in which I lived was treating me so horribly, so unbelievably disrespectful to me regarding my decision to try and do what I thought was a very honorable thing to do. What a slap in the face it was. But I am best when I am down...

I fought to keep the parents that I chose. I called countless adoption agencies and finally found one that would agree to meet me and the parents separately to discuss the possibility that my child could go to the family that I wanted her to go to. I fought tooth and nail with social workers, lawyers, counselors to raise my voice and have a say in what I wanted for my child. It was a horrible experience, I cannot begin to express the stress that it produced in that last month. It should have been a time for reflection and coming to terms with my decision but instead it turned into the fight of a lifetime. There were so many rules, so many idiotic clauses and bylines, that it made no sense why there had to be such confusion, such difficulty in something so good. The worst part of the entire experience was the attitude and cruelty of the social workers. In fact, I have since met two birth mothers who had the same exact social worker that I did and she was just as evil to them. Is this the way someone should be treated at such a pivotal point in their lives? Should the State be able to step in, uproot so many lives, so many plans, and claim that they are just doing what is best for the child? Absolutely not. We, meaning birth mothers, are not criminals. We are simply asking for help when many others would chose not to. Regardless how you feel about adoption, you have to know that there are people who truly degrade and ridicule these women into thinking they are very bad people for making such a bold and brave decision.

It was a long fight, but I did eventually place with the family that I chose. I have had written communication with the family and my daughter and I are now good friends, no kidding! We have a wonderful relationship because of the faith, support and acceptance that her parents had for me. They never hid anything from her, they were always honest with her and we are all the better for it. No question has gone unanswered so far and it has been a joy to see her grow into such an amazing young woman. But the scars are still there. The treatment of myself and other birth mothers that I have met from Missouri is in a word, inhumane. It is a bold statement, but it is true in some cases. You wouldn't think any less of someone who has lost a child, yet many think unfairly about birth mothers because we chose our pain, we chose to let our hearts walk without us. The decision to adopt is a difficult one, no matter what side of adoption you are on.

I think it is fair for those adoptees to ask for their information and they should be able to access their parents information for many other reasons. I know that not all birth mothers have had the positive experience that I have had, and I do want to remind you that I am not trying to speak for all birth mothers out there. I also think it is really sad that the State of Missouri has not made any advancements in adoption in the last 20 years, at least that is what I have gathered from what I have read here and other places. There needs to be so many changes in adoption for the peace of mind for all involved."

If you would like to read the article, please follow this link. The comments are pretty interesting.

The Best For You


Kristina said...

Wow Kels!! Is this YOUR story?!?!?!
Fo Real Mama!!! Sounds like you could join forces with this Braveheart and sue MO for Damages!!! They HAVE to be liable...It's TIME!!!
I can only imagine what u thought and felt when u came upon Love U. xxxooo
K. ~Always & Forever your Braveheart Buddy!!!

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thanks Krisitna! Let's hope that MO, and many other states for that matter, make changes in their system to HELP birth mothers as well as adoptees.

You always put a smile on my face!