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View Diary: Is Adoption The Better Option? (170 comments)

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  •  I was a social outcast who relinquished a child (20+ / 0-)

    In the 1960s girls like me (got pregnant at 17 the first and only time I had sex--the 18-year-old motherfucker told me he was "sterile" and didn't need to use a condom) were expected to relinquish their children.  We were sluts for having sex outside marriage and didn't "deserve" to keep them.  It was better to give them to parents who had wedding rings on their fingers before they Did It.

    We were told this was much, much better for the babies.  We were told to "forget" this had ever happened, and to carry our vile secret of unwed motherhood and nonvirginity to our graves.

    Well, my mother fooled the system.  She arranged for a relative to adopt my daughter. So it wasn't as bad for me as it was for some women in the sense that at least I knew where my daughter was, and could see occasional photos of her as she grew up and hear how she was doing.

    But I had total, lifelong depression until my I reached my fifties, when I found help through a nonmainstream religion (which is now my religion).  I didn't realize the depression stemmed from having relinquished my daughter--in those days, there was NO CHOICE--girls like me were relentlessly stigmatized if they kept their children and life for both mother and child was horrific.  Things are VERY different now that abortion is legal.  Now, girls who carry their pregnancies to term are applauded and mothers who keep their children are praised in some quarters.

    My daughter found me when she was about to get married.  I learned from her that being adopted isn't the bed of roses I was told it was.  She has abandonment issues to this day.  Neither of us knew quite how to explore or maintain our relationship, but after a rocky start we have become very close over the last 13 years.  She can't quite look at me as a "mother," considering that she didn't get to know me until she was almost 30, but she considers me one of her very, very best friends.  I love her and my grandchildren and have excellent relationships with all of them, as do my husband and our two sons.  

    For us, it worked out in the end but only after 35 years of extreme depression and self-destructive behavior on my part.  Thankfully, that is all long gone--water under the bridge.  But, like the writer quoted in the diary, every time I hear pro-lifers chant "Adoption is an option" I'd like to projectile-vomit all over them.  Being forced to hide in a maternity home because I was too evil to be seen by the public permanently damaged me, and the subsequent depression and feelings of worthlessness were something I wouldn't wish on a dog. I became an abortion rights activist in the 1990s, but now I'm just a pro-choice person who believes that sex education AND contraception are better than adoption or abortion.

    Equal "rites" for ALL Americans!

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 05:27:44 AM PDT

    •  The good old days (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, marykk, Womantrust, Otteray Scribe

      My husband often related to me how the prettiest girl and the most popular girl at his highschool got pregnant and had to go away and give their babies up for adoption. He seemed to think little of it since they came back, got married and had other children.  It's a very male view.  I thought it was tragic, diminishing, medieval.

      Now we have a movie like "Juno" setting up different expectations.  I wonder.

      •  it used to be the "way things were done" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fabian, marykk, william f harrison

        IN the mid 1970s, when my sister was in high school, girls who got pregnant were forced to drop out and take home schooling. I surmise so no one would be offended by their swelling bellies. When the baby was born, it was promptly taken away and put up for adoption. The girls had no say.
        Things changed drastically by the time I reached high school age. There was an explosionof teen pregnancy in my junior year and many of my classmates were walking around in maternity clothes (two got married while still in high school). Most of them kept their babies and parented themseelves.

        Your grievance shall be avenged.

        by GenuineRisk on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 06:23:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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