There need to be more people who are aware of the connection that exists between a birthmother and the child that she has placed for adoption. It seems like it would be a natural conclusion for most people that she should, inevitably, love the life inside of her, for how could you not? For me, I knew in that very moment when I became aware of my pregnancy, that I loved my baby. And he is as much “my baby” today as he was then, since I will never give up that connection in my heart, even though I did relinquish the legal and emotional title of “Mom.”
Devin is eleven years old now, and the relationship we have is completely our own, existing independently of the bond I’ve formed with both of his parents, who I had the privilege of personally choosing. I have never interfered with the parenting methods they’ve used over the years, nor will I, because I am not his parent – I am his birthparent, and that role has responsibilities and privileges that no other role could ever fulfill.
For example, I recently received an evening phone call from Devin as he worked on a school assignment that required some knowledge of the students’ cultural heredity and ancestral background. Devin called me because he assumed that the teacher would prefer to know about his genetic history, rather than that of his adopted family. I thought it was prudent to remind him how lucky he is to have the option, and that his adopted family ancestry is just as important as any information that I could provide him with, but he still chose to use my knowledge to complete the project, and truthfully I felt extremely honored that he did.
So how is it possible that there are still people who seem surprised that a birthmother would want to continue that special relationship with “her baby,” when there is no one else who can truly fill the same role? It is not intended to diminish the child’s relationship with their own parents, but rather to enhance the life of a child who now has more people loving them than they might know what to do with! I wonder why it is not more commonly known that a woman who finds herself in an unplanned, yet still valued, pregnancy can assuredly keep “her baby” always in her heart, even if she chooses not to parent. Adoptions can be open or closed, but when they are open it is usually because of an abundance of love for the baby in question. And why should it not always be so?
Why is this not yet the norm in modern American societies, rather than the impersonal closed, agency adoptions that leave an ever gaping hole in the birthmother’s heart as large as that of any other pregnancy loss? Open adoption could be the cure for women who believe that they must abort their unborn babies, for fear of suffering the inevitable persecution from society. But that could only happen if open adoption is accepted as the best possible solution for all parties involved. Babies, parents and birthparents alike could surely all approve of a choice that benefits everyone. There are so many women who have never even known it as one of their options, and all because our society is not yet ready to fully embrace the issue of saving lives through open adoption.