I Deserve a Baby Too!

A mother's love smallIt is really easy to get caught up in our own pity party when we face infertility or have set backs in adoption.  We see women getting pregnant on accident, we stop watching the news because we can’t handle watching stories about abused children, we lash out at family members who are expecting a baby or complain about their kids being bad, and we cry at the sight of pregnant strangers in the grocery store.  Experiencing that grief makes us desperate and sometimes with desperation we lack reasoning skills.

Adoption is an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own, but then factor in the reasons you may have come to adoption; infertility, health, relationship status, sexuality, etc, and you may have extra emotions tied to the adoption journey.  While I have seen this many times lately in the adoption forums I go to, I am not going to claim I too wasn’t guilty of all the emotions that this entry is about.

Adoption isn’t easy for the expecting mother who made an adoption plan to place her child.  She is doing it for her own reasons.  She may struggle every day with her decision.  She may feel guilt that she cannot provide her child with the life she wants.  She may change her mind every day in the things she wants her child to have.  She may waiver on what she wants out of the adoption relationship.  But, let’s face it, it is her child.  It is her decision.  We have to just be willing recipients of the child with open arms.  And we need to know when it’s time to walk away from a match that is not going to work.

I know it’s really hard to do, but keep in mind this isn’t about what you are or are not deserving of… but it is about her and HER child. (Of course you deserve a child, it just might not be her child!) This is a super stressful situation for you when she begins questioning things in her adoption plan or her match with you. I experienced a disrupted match because the expecting mom second guessed all her choices when it came to us. We were matched very early on and as our friendship grew, so did her need to know things about me on a personal level and on a parenting level.  When an expecting mom chooses and adoptive family, she often romanticizes a life she envisions for her child as well as her future in your and her child’s life.  I could not live up to her expectations and the match dissolved.  It was devastating.  The expecting mother may be freaking out and the emotions she is going through are no less valid than yours. Even if she is second guessing some of the choices. She may have people in her other ear telling her she should have picked a stay at home mom or someone that lives closer or in a bigger house.  It my experience, the earlier in the pregnancy that she makes decisions, it seems the closer the time gets those decision start to waiver. (Obviously this isn’t the case for every early match.) I would much rather have a woman come to me with adoption as her choice and feel fully at peace, than trying to make the match happen because she thinks she’ll eventually be OK with it.

It’s really scary for us adoptive parents to go through, but we just have to accept what God gives us and remember that it isn’t another woman’s job to make us mothers. She is giving us to her child… not her child to us.


8 thoughts on “I Deserve a Baby Too!

  1. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been struggling this week with wait-frustration and this really helped me put it in perspective. It’s not about me, it’s about her and a child that will be part of both of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this post. After recently going through a heartbreaking failed match it has helped shift my perspective. I do have some thoughts though… Our journey to adoption began after 11 years of infertility, we currently have no children, biological or adopted. We were matched with an expectant mom in January of this year. She made it very clear that she had made this decision on her own and that this was the best decision for her and her family. We never put any pressure on her and even a week before the baby was born, I had said to my husband that although I would be devastated if she changed her mind, I wouldn’t want her to only go through with the adoption because she didn’t want to let us down. Well, the baby was born a few weeks ago and the following day the mom changed her mind. The heartbreak has been immense. After all these years we came so close to becoming parents. The nursery was ready and everything needed for a baby had been purchased. Throughout the pregnancy she referred to us as the baby’s parents and even introduced us as that to the medical staff at the hospital. Numerous times, not prompted by us, she assured us she wouldn’t change her mind (we clearly were a bit naive). I totally agree it is not the expectant mom’s job to give me a child, but I do question when does it go from being only “about her and her child”, to also being about the prospective adoptive parents whom she is promising her child to? I’m sure that sounds selfish. But often couples hoping to adopt have been through years of anguish at not being able to conceive – we’re not hard emotionless machines that it’s ok for someone to have no regard for in promising a child. Your post has helped heal my perspective as I navigate what we are going through, however, did it not also become about me (in addition to her and her child) the moment she said she had chosen me to be her baby’s mother?
    My point here is not that she should have to go through with it because of me, but I guess more that I’m wondering if expectant mom’s also have a duty of care when making promises. This is probably overly idealistic but maybe expectant mom’s need to be encouraged not to promise, but to use language like “I’m pretty sure I’m going to place my baby” or “I really hope to go through with this” (and of course if we ever get brave enough to try and adopt again we will be so much more prepared and not take a promise as a promise!).
    In the midst of my current pain (it’s only a few weeks since this happened), there is something that doesn’t seem completely right that it was ok for her to promise us for 5 months and then change her mind, leaving us with not only the heartbreak that came through her raising our hopes after all these years but also out of pocket for the thousands of dollars that went towards her expenses, and for me to have to just say ‘well it wasn’t about me, it was about her and her child’.
    (I do bless her in raising her baby and have prayed for her everyday since the baby was born).


    • Hi KLS!
      Wow, I soooo understand where you are coming from. I was there too! Wthanj you for sharing your story. I think society wants us to just walk away and not feel the pain that a failed placement leaves us with. And while I wouldn’t say she owes us that child, since it is hers to decide to parent, I think more counseling is often needed when these women are going above and beyond to tell us we are the parents of their unborn child. Almost like they are doing it not only to ease our fears and include us, but also convince themselves that they will follow through with their adoption plan. Our first match sounds so incredibly familiar to your recent match. While we never made it to the hospital with her, she would refer to me as mommy of the baby, even every night texting me “Eliza says goodnight mommy”. At the time I loved the bonding I felt it was giving me to the baby, but with our next match, I felt very grateful that those lines were never blurred. Our second match talked openly and honest with me about her feelings and she did tell doctors who we were, but in a more “clinical” sense. Not in the “mommy” type language. Agreeing with you that they should indeed take our feelings into account when they say these things to us, I have to try to keep telling myself that while my infertility sucks, their situation must be so much harder. In short, a failed match/placement is a terrible experience and I hate that adoptive parents ever have to go through that after all the other losses they’ve suffered. But, I still have to believe it all happens for a reason and the baby will be best with his/her first family, if that’s the way it plays out. I have to believe that.


  3. What journey life is! I wholeheartedly agree this baby is hers and she has every right to decide to parent her child. My last paragraph wasn’t saying it doesn’t seem right that she gets to change her mind, it was listing out all the things we experienced and saying that in light of all these things it doesn’t seem right that we just simply have to say “well it wasn’t about me, it was only about her and her baby”.
    I appreciate there have been abuses in adoption with expectant mothers being coerced into placing their baby. This is so wrong. I am mad this has happened to vulnerable expectant mother’s. However I think trying to perpetuate the attitude that it is only about the expectant mother and her baby is going slightly too far the other way. In correcting a heinous wrong we can’t afford swing to the opposite end of the spectrum.
    I have been surprised, almost shocked, watching “I’m having their baby” at the number of instances where as close as 3 or 1 week from their due date, the expectant mothers say they haven’t thought about what it will be like leaving the hospital without their baby. In all cases they had already selected prospective adoptive parents. To me this is showing a lack of regard towards the lives of the AP’s who are putting a lot on the line (yes not as much as the mother but we still can’t ignore the realities of their journeys).
    I do feel there has to be at least a small recognition that once an expectant mother chooses adoptive parents to place her child with, that it is no longer just about her. By this I mean that before getting to the point of selecting prospective AP’s she needs to have thought through all aspects of her decision, thought about what it will be like leaving the hospital and if this is really something she can do, carefully thought through the implications of not raising her baby (and yes I appreciate no one enters into this lightly, and no one can fully know in advance, however the program has highlighted how ill equipped many expectant mothers are in this area). This goes beyond the ‘they should take our feelings into account’ that you mentioned in your reply.
    I would love to see agencies be more thorough in this aspect of the process. Even encouraging expectant mother’s to watch programs such as I’m Having Their Baby, to help expose them to some of the realities. Obviously after this she still has full right to change her mind, that choice can’t ever be taken away from her.
    Do I think an expectant mother owes prospective AP’s her baby? Not in the slightest. But I do think she owes them a duty of care, which involves considering at length the realities before she chooses to tell a couple that she will give them her baby to raise. I don’t think this is currently happening to the degree it needs to, nor will it happen so long as the mindset held is “it’s only about her and her baby”.


    • I 100% agree with what you are saying. I think that is why in some other countries it is actually illegal to match an expectant woman to an adoptive family prior to birth. It raises a lot of ethical questions and includes far too many new emotions to the already emotional situation. Yes, pre-birth matching is nice for getting to know one another and seeing if the match is a good fit for a long term, open adoption. But it also can act as a form of coercion because she then feels she owes them. The adoptive parents have invested time, money and much love into the child that they hope to parent and then we are supposed to just move on if it doesn’t go through. Sorry if it sounded like I was trying to devalue the pain we ad adoptive parents feel. I know it all too well… speaking of I’m Having Their Baby… we were on that show and I loved watching the first season with our expectant mother we were matched with… but once on the show, the reality of it was not very real. hahaha!


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