What’s your image of adoption? If you’ve never had any direct connection, you’d probably be like me, and picture what Hollywood has told us. I’d probably think of Juno. If you’re unfamiliar, Juno is a movie about Juno, a high school who becomes pregnant and places her baby for adoption. This fits my stereotype. Unmarried, teenage girl, give up the child because she isn’t ready.
Well, the average birth mother is actually in her mid twenties. Many already have children. The thing about teenage girls is, well, they are still girls. Choosing adoption is a very adult decision. Plus, there are so many influences on her. Her parents, who may be pushing for adoption because they are worried about her future, or they could be pushing to keep the child in the family. This extends past just parents. Sometimes Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, maybe even an older sibling may be asked to take the child.
Then there is the father. Maybe he doesn’t want a child support payment. He may be not an adult yet either, and could be waffling. Friends can be compounding the situation. Perhaps they think its cool to have a kid. Don’t you know? Its cool to be 16 and pregnant. (at least that’s what MTV says)
The toughest is at birth. When you see that cute baby, and you can’t sign the surrender papers for 72 hours, how can you give them away? When you are 16, you don’t know how tough life can be. Heck, I have a good job, and I’m pinching pennies in anticipation.
The classes we’ve taken so far have really helped us to understand that there is no typical birth mother. We could get Juno, or we can get the mother who knows she can’t afford her 5th child. Be ready for anything.
My new lesson, Lesson #54. Don’t expect your expectations.