placing blame, worrying about what other people might think, or
wanting to punish someone, consider what is the best course of
action to address the future instead of the past. Your daughter
needs your love, support and guidance now more than ever. She
knows she has made a mistake and she is already suffering the
consequences. She is feeling scared, confused and vulnerable.
You might also be feeling scared, confused and vulnerable. This
is a time when many parents feel so overwhelmed that they are
tempted to turn the responsibility for deciding how to handle
this life-changing situation over to others who they believe have
been professionally trained. This is the time when
your own vulnerability might cause you to make the mistake of
believing that surrendering your grandchild to adoption will solve
If you decide
to contact an adoption agency for professional guidance,
you should be aware that although they will claim to be a neutral
party, they are not. They represent the interests of the adopters
who are their paying customers. Adoption is a 1.4 billion-dollar
per year business. Adoption agencies are in the business of taking
babies from temporarily vulnerable mothers and then selling them
to people who will pay their service fees. Dont
be fooled by a non-profit status.
agency will arrange for a social worker to meet with you. This
professional has been trained to sympathize
with your crisis situation and will encourage adoption.
The social worker will tell you that if your daughter surrenders
her baby to adoption it will give her time to grow up, get an
education, earn some money, get married and have other children
when it is more convenient for her. The social worker will not
tell you that this child is irreplaceable. The social worker will
not tell you that there are many financial and educational programs
available to help single mothers raise their children while they
pursue educational goals and become independent income earning
worker will not tell you that 60% of mothers who have surrendered
a child to adoption will never have another child. That means
that you may never have another grandchild or an heir to carry
on your family name. Your grandchild and his future generations
will be carrying on a strangers family name instead of yours.
worker will bring a packet of adoption literature to give to you.
This literature is very persuasive propaganda. As an example,
the following information is contained in the adoption literature
provided by Childrens Home Society of Minnesota. It contains
a financial worksheet that has been deliberately designed to intimidate
you into believing that your family cannot afford to raise your
grandchild. The social worker will tell you that every child deserves
two financially secure, older, married parents. The social worker
will not tell you that there is no guarantee that these older
couples will remain married, remain financially secure, or will
even remain alive long enough to raise your grandchild to adulthood.
worker will tell you that these older couples will have better
parenting skills than your daughter has. The social worker will
not tell you that your daughter shares a natural parenting bond
with her own child that adopters will never have. The social worker
will not tell you that there are community sponsored classes in
parenting skills that your daughter could independently enroll
worker will attempt to alarm you by telling you that children
raised by young single mothers are sometimes abused and could
end up in foster care. The social worker will not tell you that
adopted children are also sometimes abused and could end up in
foster care. The social worker will not tell you that adoption
itself is emotional abuse of the child and of his natural mother.
However, there are post adoption services listed in the packet
that exist solely to deal with that indirectly acknowledged emotional
worker will tell you that there are many prospective adopters
who are waiting to provide your grandchild with more material
advantages than your daughter can provide. The social worker will
not tell you that what every baby needs and wants more than anything
else in the world is his own mother.
worker will further attempt to ensnare you with the concept of
an open adoption. The open adoption literature
contains pictures of babies together with their adopters and their
natural families - presenting an image of one big happy extended
family. There are also pictures of entrustment ceremonies
where the baby is officially handed over to the adopters by the
natural mother. The social worker will tell you that your daughter
can choose the couple she will entrust
to adopt her baby. The social worker will tell you that your daughter
and the couple she chooses can write a cooperative
agreement to govern your daughters future involvement
in her own childs life, such as visits, phone calls, and
exchanges of pictures and letters. The agreement is not legally
enforceable, but the social worker will tell you that as part
of the adoption agencys post adoption services, social workers
will mediate any disputes that might arise after the adoption
is final and your daughter has no legal claim to her own child.
The social worker will tell you that open adoption
is not co-parenting, so the adopters might decide to modify the
agreement later if they feel it is in the best interests
of their child. It will be their right to do that
as the new legal parents of your grandchild.
no longer try to convince you that your daughter will eventually
forget about her child and get on with her own
life which was their common practice in the past. Instead,
as part of their post adoption services, they offer grief counseling
for your daughter and for you. These post adoption services are
an admission that they know that your daughter will feel intense
grief that can last for years over the surrender of her baby to
adoption. They also acknowledge that you might feel grief and
remorse over the loss of your own flesh and blood to be raised
by strangers. In these counseling sessions you will receive reinforcement
for your decision to surrender your grandchild to adoption. The
adoption agencys trained mentors (other mothers
and grandparents who made the same mistake of surrendering their
own family members) will assist you to join them in living in
denial by reassuring you that your decision was in everyones
best interests. Ongoing support groups are also available
because adoption agencies recognize that adoption is a lifelong
process for everyone. Grieving for the loss of her child
to adoption will be a lifelong process for your daughter.
also know that growing up adopted is not the same as growing up
in a natural family. There is so much information about human
development available today that they have to acknowledge that
an adopted child will suffer emotionally from being separated
from his natural mother. Babies can only bond with their natural
mothers. The best that adopters can hope for is that a baby will
attach to them as their caregivers. Even that may not happen.
Psychologists know how important the mother/baby bonding process
is to healthy human development. You should ask yourself why that
important process doesnt apply to infant adoption. Does
it make sense that only planned babies should be allowed
to bond with their own mothers? If you are concerned about this
discrimination against your grandchilds emotional development,
the social worker will tell you that the adoption agencys
post adoption services also offer many programs to deal with the
emotional problems that your grandchild will experience from being
forced to grow up adopted. Ongoing support groups are also available
for the adopted children into adulthood. Dealing with adoption
issues will be a lifelong process for your grandchild.
services also offer damage control programs for your grandchilds
adopters who will need help dealing with their adopted childrens
problems, especially with their identity crises. Again, ongoing
support groups are available for them to address the difficult
issues that arise during the lifelong process of adoption.
some states, such as Minnesota, post adoption services social
workers will search for the natural mother when the adopters have
closed the open adoption. After your grandchild reaches
adulthood, he can request a search. When your grandchild reaches
adulthood your daughter can also request a search for her child.
However, even if they reunite, they can never fully undo the damage
that adoption has done to both of them. They can never reclaim
all those lost years they spent apart. And, of course, there are
various fees for post adoption services.
make a decision that will forever affect the lives of your family
members, consider the hidden price that you will pay if you decide
to surrender your grandchild to adoption. At least wait until
after your grandchild is born to make this life changing decision.
When you hold him in your arms and gaze into his innocent, trusting
eyes you will see him as a real person who is a valued member
of your family, which is exactly where he belongs. He will thank
you later and so will your daughter.
to supporting your daughter and your grandchild through a few
initial maturing years is a lifetime of grief and anger over the
traumatic loss of her child for your daughter, and a lifetime
of low self-esteem and anger at being given away for
your grandchild. As the parents of your daughter and the grandparents
of her baby, you have the power to spare everyone from the emotional
abuse of adoption. Use your power wisely to preserve your family
and reap the benefits for the rest of your lives, or use it unwisely
and suffer the disastrous consequences of adoption loss for the
rest of your lives.
© 2003 Diane Turski.
Please contact Diane
if you are interested in reprinting this article.