today is a new day and unfortunately after last night, life is looking and feeling bleaker than ever. i’m trying to pull it together to write so that i can update all of you who have been so kind and caring and supportive but i’m having a hard time putting the words together, so bare with me on the delivery (and rambling!). it was a lot of information to absorb. and i could go on and on and on, but, i’m trying just to give you the basics and anyone interested in further info and details not included below, please don’t hesitate to ask, i’m happy to share. message me, text me, email me, whatever. i just don’t want to bore everyone.
i’m going to start at the beginning. while i’ve been devastated over losing the baby that i was supposed to be adopting in the next few weeks, after last night, i realized that all of the berating of myself i’ve done over the past 4 months was for nothing. i WAS right to plan on adopting that baby. regardless of how unconventional it may have seemed to you, i KNEW that it was the best and possibly only option for me to become a mommy and that it was the best avenue to pursue. i don’t or haven’t regretted it at all, i just hate that i was deceived and lied to the way i was. and any regret or “i told you so’s” that are in my head, went away the minute i walked out of that meeting last night. i now am certain that i was trusting my gut, hoping for the best and knew that it may be my best and only chance. i knew what i was doing. sad, but true.
ironically, at last night’s meeting they said, word of mouth adoptions like i was going to do is THE MOST popular since they don’t do closed adoptions anymore in light of social media and a change in society understanding adoption and what it’s really about. you would be hard pressed to find a birth mom not wanting SOME kind of information about the birth family.
the facilitator did not go into it, but she called these “independent adoptions” and there ARE legal attorney’s out there that do them, but mainly there are sheisty lawyers who do this and those are what we all have come to learn are black market babies. the attorney solicits young, unwed pregnant moms and promises them x amount of dollars in order to get them to hand over their baby to them so that they can then hand the baby over to the adoptive parents who essentially have just bought a baby. likely an attorney like this would offer the birth mom $50k for her baby, and all expenses paid, and charge the adoptive parents upwards of $100K-$200K so they can make their profit.
it is 100% illegal to give a birth mother ANY MONEY DIRECTLY. (this is the route that the birth mom i was working for chose to pursue after she as approached by one of these “lawyers” and he promised her $45K and living expenses. (speaking of which, living expenses are often your responsibility as the adoptive family should the birth mom not be able to work due to the pregnancy, but that’s generally only a month or two at the end of the pregnancy, and they have to show LEGAL PROOF of need, and any bills that the agency deems warranting of this kind of coverage, are paid DIRECTLY to the payee (ie landlord, car loan co, power, etc) the cash is not handed over to the birth mom. so any time you hear of a birth mom receiving money or being supported in the above way, you can be sure it is not a private adoption, it’s a black market baby in essence. or independent adoption. this includes any gifts or large items that an adoptive family may think they’re helping the birth mom out (ie one time she had a client who wanted to buy a used car for the birth mom so she didn’t have to take the bus everyday while pregnant and that’s as illegal as handing over cash).
that all being said, last night’s meeting was anything but promising. the nervousness disappeared as soon as i arrived on the premises. everyone was very kind. there was no introducing ourselves or telling our story which was my biggest fear since i’m self-conscious about being a single mom and i was unsure i was prepared to discuss my botched adoption publicly, but there were MANY women there without their husbands. so i didn’t stick out like i sore thumb. phew.
i got my registration packet, i sat down, and before the speaker even began, i literally started to cry when i looked inside the folder. i wanted to leave. i should have left. my dear friend kate told me last night that it’s great i stayed, i conquered a fear and that it’s another step in my personal growth. and she’s right. and i thank her for that gift she gave me of validation and compassion. i needed it, i was a mess.
there are A LOT of factors that have me discouraged and positive that this is not going to move forward at this time, potentially not at all. at least not through this avenue. i have been educated on a few other avenues and i may explore them, but last night brought out some of the still unhealed wounds from my loss in march, and, hearing that they only place 10-12 babies A YEAR, does not give me great hope AT ALL. that’s less than one per month, and they have 60 potential “families” they work with at a time. so if they have 10-12 babies and the birth mom’s have choice of 60 families, odds are not good. i’m no math whiz, but that seems fairly obvious.
they do not solicit their services out in the community to birth mom’s or safe haven drop offs, so, they only really work with mom’s that approach them. thus the odds are not great, AND their main suggestion for finding a birth mom is to network and reach out to everyone you know and tell them to keep their ears open for any mom’s that may be pregnant and not wanting to keep their baby. well, since that’s what i went through once before, i’m sure you can all understand i’m not sure i can do that again. at least not now. i can’t emotionally get involved with another birth mom only to have happen what happened to me in march. again, this is when i wanted to run out of the meeting and hide. too many wounds that just aren’t healed yet.
there’s so many other factors, not necessarily bad, just discouraging and not at all how i envisioned finding my baby and the birth mom finding me. they are the most well-known agency and have been around for 105 years so they are AS reputable as one can get. my cousins adopted through them 8 years ago and my friend’s brother was adopted through them over 40 years ago.
i just don’t think at this time i will be continuing down this road. not because i don’t want to. not because i wouldn’t qualify, it just doesn’t seem right to me. and the odds being so slim, i just can’t pursue this just to get my heart-broken again down the road.
hence my devastation returning. it was like losing a baby all over again. and OF COURSE, with the “baby” due within the next 30 days, it’s on my mind constantly and maybe i’m just too emotional right now to think clearly and objectively. the 4th was supposed to be my last holiday without a baby. my birthday was supposed to be my last one without being a mommy and that’s all i can think of right now. i wish i was better at forgetting dates. and forgetting in general. but i guess when i a lifelong dream blows up in your face, you’re expected to have a hard time digesting it all.
i am very interested in researching adopting a Safe Haven baby, and that meeting is in august. i’m going to go to get information, but there’s ALL SORTS of other, different issues related with dealing with the county. starting with they disqualify anyone they want to just because, as where this agency i was working with, does not. they explained that most birth moms don’t want perfect, non-flawed adoptive parents, they want someone who’s like them, and most likely they too are flawed, human.
the information i DID get that i had been misinformed previously on with the last adoption is:
1.) the birth mom only has 2-3 weeks to change her mind, and through the agency, they don’t ever have that happen (or so she says). and it takes that length of time mainly because it takes that long to get the paperwork filed with the courts (of course LA County Courts take twice as long as anywhere else!). but that at the time of birth the mother’s rights ARE terminated and in theory the baby is turned over to the agency until the adoption is finalized. the adoptive parents can stay in the hospital with the newborn the first night and when you leave you DO have a temporary birth certificate and you can apply for multiple copies.
2.) After 6-9 months the adoption is finalized in the courts (could be faster if you’re working in another county, like Ventura County by my parents for instance). Once you get your adoption day finalization, you also get a revised birth certificate which shows YOUR NAME (my name) as the mother of record and the birth parents no longer show up anywhere on file, YOU are the mom and/or dad. 🙂 The only reason it takes 6-9 months to finalize is because it takes that long to get a court date, but in smaller counties or states it could be as quick as 3-4 months.
3.) a birth father can surrender his rights before the baby is born and if he is no longer involved with the birth mom it is strongly urged to do everything related to the birth father before the last trimester so that he cannot hold up the adoption just because of logistics and separate filings necessary. in the event the birth father is unknown or completely out of the picture, the agency does the due diligence to find him, ala newspaper ads, etc, and after a certain length of time, his rights are terminated in absentia. all of which like i said can and should be done before the birth unless he’s going to be involved in the birth and then he would sign his rights over at the same time as the birth mom.
so i guess, it WAS informative. mostly validating that all of the red flags i’d noticed along the way with the previous birth mom, and some i hadn’t even known about. but extremely discouraging in every possible way otherwise.
i feel numb again.
like i’m suffering that loss all over again, and i apologize, i don’t mean to be negative nelly or debbie downer but it’s very disappointing ESPECIALLY when we all know how many children there are in the system these days that need loving, caring homes. it was not at all the outcome i expected and certainly did not walk away from there feeling like i was ready to move ahead.
…….and as i write this, it dawns on me, i was so critical of all these international adoptions, mostly by the celebrities, but now i understand it.
i will keep you all updated of course, and as i said, i AM going to go to the orientation with an agency that works primarily with safe haven babies (those are the babies that are relinquished at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked). generally those babies, while you don’t get really any background on them, they already have had parental rights relinquished so you aren’t dealing with that part. and in theory it WOULD be a closed adoption. but, again, there’s lots of red tape, including, i am of the belief, but could be misinformed (hence i am going to the meeting in august) that you have to foster these babies first, and i’m not open to being an ACTUAL foster parent. mainly for two reasons. first and foremost, i don’t know that i could bond and raise a baby for 6 months or any amount of time and then just have it taken from me. it takes a special person to do that, and i know after what i’ve been through this year i cannot do that. and secondly, and maybe more importantly, i cannot bring a child into the lives of the children that i watch only to have them bond with my child and then have the baby just taken away. not fair to them and way too hard to explain to them and something from the beginning of this process i’ve said i would never do to them, they are my family too. i guess i’ll find out the truth behind that next month.
for now, i will continue to allow myself to grieve as i need to.
i will allow myself to be disappointed as i need to be.
……..and eventually i will pick myself up and will move on like i always do.
i’ve wanted to be a mommy for over 30+ years. i’ve waited this long, i HAVE TO believe this is all happening for a reason and at some point and time i’ll understand why that is. for now, it just all feels sad and surreal. but life will go on. ❤