Thursday, July 19, 2012

Adoption Drama on Oxygen: I'm Having Their Baby

This evening on a fellow sister's Facebook page a question was asked that got me to thinking. It was about this new show that will air on Oxygen (7/23) that is called I'm Having Their Baby. I was coming here to give my thoughts on what I would like to see in the show, but in doing some research I found that if you go to Oxygen online you can watch the first episode.

Since I am a curious cat, I did watch that first episode so let me give you that thought now.

Two women, one who had an affair and became pregnant with another man's child. The other woman is young and gets pregnant with a man she barely dated. This will be a continuing show, because there are previews for more stories, but this is the one that you will see should you chose to watch.

Six weeks til the adoption. This is the first thing that I noticed. Instead of doing the countdown towards the baby being born, it is geared towards the event of adoption. Just my personal opinion, it should have said Six weeks til the baby is here. Or perhaps this, Six weeks til relinquishment. After all, you are trying to show what birth mother is going through ... right Oxygen?

Mary is a sweet gal who is trying very hard to come to terms with her marriage being in shambles and being pregnant with another man's baby. She is torn from the beginning, and I just felt for her. It seemed to me that she was trying to still please her husband in the hopes that they could have another chance at their marriage. But she treks on through the process of looking at profiles and choosing a couple that she liked.

All I know is I want to go to the church that Mary attends. Her preacher, a woman which I think is super, was AMAZING! Loved what that woman had to say and of course they edited it to the best of her ... but I was saying a hearty AMEN by the time church was finished. Just a sampling of what she had to preach ..."I wasn't ministry material. They called me trailer trash, but my God is in the recycling business." YES!

Mary feels disrespected when she invites the hopeful parents along for an ultrasound because she sees the adoptive mother is enthusiastic, perhaps too enthusiastic for comfort. These types of moments I think are good to show because adoptive parents, in all their joy, need to know that it is very, very difficult for the mother. I am going to spill some beans here, she chooses another couple which does not sit well with her social worker at all.

The one thing I will complain about, and that is the social worker Mary worked with. When Mary is in the hospital with the baby, rocking him back and forth in the bassinet, she is crying and talking about how she did not expect to feel the way she did. Mary is reaching out to her social worker, letting SW know that she is having doubts and very confused and sad, but the social worker says, "Well, I am going to give you some time and you can call or text me if you need me tonight, okay." Um, not okay. This girl is reaching out to you, telling you that she is hurting and needing support yet you are fast to get out of there without showing any emotion at all. I know your job is hard, probably exhausting, and I am sure gut wrenching work. However, this is the time you need to be there for her, not just the adoptive parents. 

And here is another spoiler, and I have to mention this because after all I expected to be disgusted with the depiction of the birth mothers in this show. That was not the case at all. I was disgusted with the social worker. After she left Mary that night, alone and crying in a hospital, she comes back the next day to have Mary sign the papers. Mary has decided to parent her child. This social worker made no attempt to hide her anger with Mary. She was shell shocked, and quite frankly pissed off with Mary. Sure, she said that it was great, good for Mary. But you could see that she was totally thinking about having to go out and inform the hopeful parents that this was not the day they would become a family. She could have cared less about what Mary wanted anymore, and that is just a shame. That social workers job, in all due respect, should be to help ALL parties involved ... not just the one paying. (sorry, it had to be said and I can speak from experience ... not every social worker in adoption is there for the right reasons.)

Okay, now that I have gone off about that ... we have run out of time (plus I need to cool off  a bit, blood is boiling.) I will return with my thoughts about Claudia in a day or so.

What are you thoughts on this show? Thoughts on what I had to say? Anyone else out there want to speak out on this topic?

Kels, why so aggravated about the social worker? Here's a little story for ya ... Satan's Sister


Kelly said...

I have to say, from the edits of the show you made a pretty accurate depiction. But, knowing all the parties involved in real life I can say that editing can do WONDERS for creating things that aren't there or exacerbating particular emotions. Knowing the social worker and Adoptive parents in real life, I can say that the last thing either of them are is uncaring or callous and it's a shame that they we depicted that way.

That being said, I DO think it's important to show that adoptive parents excitement, although good, can be hard for an expectant mom to see and to see all the conflicting emotions that a women goes through when considering placing her baby. I agree that it shouldn't have said "3 day's until Adoption" as that's not accurate. I would have like "3 days until birth" or "3 days until relinquishment". All in all, I thought it was a good show tho and will hopefully give "outsiders" a more accurate look into adoption and the experiences of birthmoms.

Linnea said...

I had never heard of this show but read a few paragraphs you wrote and turned it on then came back to read the rest. I too felt like you did. I am an adoptive mom. We have done a domestic sn adoptions and now are doing both an international adoption and a foster care adoption (sn). I feel for APs who have to get the call and hear it wasnt their time but I also feel for the birthmoms and never want them to make a decision for the wrong reasons or just to spare someone else heartache. I volunteer for an adoption agency and take pictures of birthmoms and their babies. I also take pregnancy pictures of all the girls. I have gotten to know them very well and even was there during a placement once. The birthmom fell into my arms sobbing after placing her baby. All I could do was pray over her. I did not want to say anything that was offensive to her feelings. She had a right to feel the way she did.

I felt like Mary would have regretted her decision to place her son because she was doing it to keep a man who didnt want her. I am glad she kept him. You could definitely feel the anger from the social worker and that made me sad. She had no right.
Anyways there my my 2 cents. Thanks for hookin me on a new show :)

be blessed

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thank you Kelly and Ashlee, I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Kelly, I especially thank you for sharing what I did not know. I am sure the social worker is a great gal, but as you said editing can make a difference. Perhaps in a future show they will not choose the scenes that make her look uncaring. I also want you to know I understand that it is hard for those parents to hear they will not be a family and I am not knocking any behavior they may have on the show. After all the heart cannot be tamed nor be told how to feel and there is really no way to know how one will react to any situation.

I liked the show, I really did. For the first time ever I saw birth mothers portrayed as women ... not just freaks or attention hogs. I applaud Oxygen for seizing the opportunity to show what it is like for birth mothers in a TRUE sense. (and again, I know you can only fit so much into an hour, but what they chose to show was accurate when it comes to feelings before, during and after relinquishment.)

I think there is hope with this show, and I am eager to see the next episode.

A side note, I will be writing in the continuation post that what I would really like to see in a birth mother reality show is not just new moms, but seasoned mothers as well. I want mothers everywhere to understand that adoption is an EVER evolving journey that will take a lifetime to understand, heal from and accept. It is the voices with experience that I want to see on a show like this. SO much knowledge from older birth mothers that could be shared with many who may need to hear the realities.

Kacy Merritt said...

I am so glad I read your post today on the show. I, too,, watched it and I feel the same way you do. I was not disgusted as I thought I would be. But I feel the SW in Mary's case was a bit callous. We shall see how the rest of them play out.

Kristine said...

I too am a curious cat and just may go check it out for curiosity sake. I'm not a fan of reality TV in any way, but since the majority (it seems) is, hopefully they can keep surprising everyone being better than expected.

I don't like that kind of countdown either. I don't like the "# days until relinquishment" either because it's so negative. She can still change her mind.

It's funny too how everyone on each side of things feels about things. My opinion in general (being an adoptive parent) is that social workers put most of their time/efforts/focus on the expectant parent and not the hopeful adoptive couple. With both of our adoptions I felt they didn't care much about our feelings, just the first parents. I guess the grass always seems greener...

Thanks for sharing your insight! Makes me have a little faith restored (a little...) in the media.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Thanks for an interesting place to start thinking. I think that all of the thoughts and stories would fit into the contest I am running (if you want to enter yourself, just go here:

I think that the changes from closed adoption being the only option, to open adoptions being the only kind of adoptions that soem agencies will even consider, that there is a huge range of adoption options, and that can be confusing for people who have no been involved in an adoption, ultimate or otherwise.

I think it is good to help the "general population" get a better sense of what adoption can look like today. If the 1960s was the last time someone has been impacted, or known someone who participated an adoption process, I think this will at least give them a better reference point to start with!

I have been thinking about you and your daughters a lot this week. If you want to email me your snail mail address, I would love to send each of your daughters a hand made card.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

I keep losing my comments. Sheesh. Hopefully this will go through.

I think this is an especially important educational opportunity for women and men to understand that adoptions pre 1960s-ish, and open adoptions that are more common today, are VERY different. While the SW wasn't going to become a nominee for a Mother Teresa award, she does seem to be doing her best to listen to everyone involved.

I love the stories all of you have shared here. Please go to and make a comment so that you can be entered into the contest, just do the backlink to the comment(s) you made here. The 24th is almost here, but the cards are pretty cool that you get as a prize!

No matter what else happens,I believe that open adoptions are a MUCH better option, in almost all cases that don't involve abuse or violence in some way.

I have been thinking about you a lot this week. Would you email me and send me your snail mail address so I can send you a card?