Sunday, March 16, 2014

How Not To Handle A "Failed Adoption"

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Unfortunately I will admit that this post is a little bit passive aggressive. I think it needs to be said.

This has happened twice in a month, with two different couples, that I have seen personally.

An expectant mother chooses a couple.
The couple is excited.
The expectant mother changes her mind.
The couple writes a nasty blog post and is not careful about said expectant mother's identity.

First let me disclaimer that I understand emotions run VERY high in the adoption world. A failed adoption comes with a mix of emotions. Never should that mean you are in turn rude to or about the expectant mother.

While I am "Pro Adoption" I am very "Pro Choice" That means I think an expectant mother should have the choice to do whatever she wants, unless that mother is putting her child in harms way.

That baby is not yours until the papers are signed. That does not make a failed adoption any less painful but those are just the facts. A couple is supposed to 100% always be prepared for that to happen.

Now, if this does happen you are to handle it with grace, kindness, and understanding. This does not mean you can't be sad, but you can not be mean.

A lovely example of this would be my friends Shauna and Angie…BOTH ARE HOPING TO ADOPT… Both have recently gone through a failed adoption. Both handled it with grace and kindness. Never anything bad about the birthmother whether it be direct or passive aggressive. They were sad and devastated. But they were kind.

Here is why you should not write a blog post that is anything but kind (as if i should even need to write a list):

* It will deter other birthmothers from ever choosing you if they read that and/or have any sense.
* It makes you come off as a heartless human being, even if that is not what you are, thats how it comes off.
* Think about that expectant mother and all the pain and anguish she is going through with the decision. In 99.99% of cases it is not something she is taking lightly
* No expectant mother should ever be either directly or passive aggressively berated for her decision that she ultimately has every right to make.
* It doesn't make you feel any better. Maybe in the short run…but not in the long run. IF you do need to write something make it in your own little journal in your own bedside table. Don't blast her name and profile pic all over the internet. NOT COOL!

What you should do in a failed adoption:
*Grieve. You absolutely have the right to grieve. Just do it properly. Not writing emotion filled blog posts about the situation.
*Send a little gift for the baby to the expectant mother with a note wishing them good luck.
*Go to the spa, get a massage
*Do some Yoga, Meditation, or Work out
*Go on a mini vacay
*Get yourself back out there. Seriously. Even if it is hard. Network yourself.

I love you all. Emotions are crazy. Adoption is a roller coaster. People make mistakes. Let us learn from our past mistakes and move forward to be better today then you were yesterday.


Tamra said...

i want to say that i do feel so much for parents who expect a child and then don't have those expectations met, whether it be a failed placement, miscarriage, death of the child, or just the inability to conceive. i feel i have a pretty good sense of empathy about those situations as a birthmom. i also know something of that loss. it hurts. any who have experienced it, i hurt with you.
that said i would also counsel that if you are waiting for a placement, decide now that you love that women independent of the child she is carrying. we all fear being viewed as a walking uterus by you who we love so deeply. if you love her, it seems you can grieve for yourself and still support her. that's what i decided to do. in my pain, i was still happy for them and to be honest, that was so soothing to my hurt.
another unfortunate side-affect of the scenario's Jessa's described is that a bridge is burned and the woman who may have gone back to the decision she'd originally had peace with (which i've known to happen) is now very unlikely to do so. it's like when you break up with someone and their worst reveals itself in response. it just confirms your decision.

Tamra said...

PS- before you judge a woman for not willfully separating from her offspring, ask yourself if you could do what you're requiring of her.

Unknown said...

I am grateful in some sense that my placement of my daughter 35 years ago was closed. I did not have to deal with the pressure of letting someone down if I changed my mind. I didn't know who that person was. At the same time when we adopted later in life we had two failed adoptions. I am still grieving for the child we had for 2 weeks and then had to give back. That was a tough one. I wasn't really angry persay I was so wrought with sadness. I dont understand the posting of nasty stuff about birth mothers. That makes me so very angry.

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