As you can see from my blog header, I’m a writer writing about writing and about life. Whilst online on Quora recently I found a question that I just had to answer. The question is given in italics below, and I’m writing the following just from my own point of view, having had 2 planned pregnancies myself.
‘Instead of abortion, why don’t women have the child and then give it up for adoption?’
I assume that a woman would want to have an abortion because she does not want a baby, or that the time or finances are not right for her to bring a child into the world. This is fine for that woman; it is her body, and she must do what she thinks fit. I am not against abortion at all, it’s just that I could never have aborted a baby of my own.
I have a question of my own to ask: Would a child that is born unwanted sooner or later feel the resentment from its parents?
I was aware of a bond forming between myself and both my sons even before they were born. Okay, both were planned, but even if they hadn’t been, to carry around a squirming, kicking baby for nine months, give birth to it, and then give it up for adoption is something I could never have done. I am full of admiration for any woman who could do this. All I can say is that her circumstances must be quite dire for her even to consider it.
Many years ago I once knew somebody, let’s call her Ann, who became pregnant at age 18 through incest. She went through with the pregnancy, and gave birth to a girl and subsequently gave her up for adoption. Ann went on to marry and have 2 more children. Thirty years later I heard through the grapevine that Ann’s daughter came looking for her mother, but Ann did not want to know. The daughter was therefore rejected twice by her mother. What would be the effect of this on a person?
What must it be like for a baby to grow up and discover that its own mother had to give it up for adoption? Do these people constantly wonder who their real families are and why their mothers gave them away? Yes I know there are many childless couples now happy because they’ve had their wishes granted by being able to adopt, and many children who would have otherwise have spent miserable years in orphanages if it wasn’t for their adoptive parents, so it definitely isn’t all doom and gloom. I’m just airing my thoughts.
Sam’s parents adopted a 6-month old baby, let’s call him David, back in 1966. The baby had the same Christian name as their own baby who had died of cot death in 1956 aged 4 months. David looks completely different to Sam and his siblings, and was raised in a totally different way by my in-laws. David was allowed to cop out of life, and to this day has never done anything that he didn’t want to do. If he didn’t want to go to school he didn’t have to. He hardly ever leaves the house, has never worked, and still lives with my frail 87 year old mother in law, who still tries her best to attend to his every need. He has never shown any interest in finding his real parents, but then again David is very secretive and plays his cards very close to his chest. I once asked Sam if he considers David as a brother, but Sam replied in the negative and said that David is just somebody that his parents adopted. I won’t repeat here what Sam’s eldest sister says about David…!
How do siblings react to an adopted child coming into the family? In Sam and his sisters’ case it was okay in their formative years, but latterly it hasn’t really turned out very well. In their absence, David controls their mother in many ways that I won’t go into, and always has the last say in what goes on, causing resentment and anger amongst Sam and his sisters.
So to answer the original question, I think one of the reasons abortion exists (of course there are many more) is because the baby is unwanted and many women could not go through a pregnancy and then give the baby up for adoption, even though they do not want the baby in the first place. For the ones who can, then in my opinion from what I’ve seen in Sam’s family it might be better for the child in a lot of cases if its adoptive parents keep it as an only child, or make it part of a family of adopted children.
What do you think? Could you give up a baby for adoption? Has a child you’d adopted tried to find their birth parents? I’d be interested to read your comments.