Tuesday, March 06, 2007

adopt.

Today I spoke to Candance about adoption.

I was just curious if she had thought about it. Any teenage girl that gets pregnant at my school ends up having and keeping the baby. None of the girls seem to consider adoption or even abortion. I thought perhaps it was because they didn't have enough information on the options.

When I've spoken to Candance about it over the past couple days, she hasn't seem very excited about the prospect of having a kid. I guess I don't know what to expect out of a teenage mother, but she seems sort of neutral about the whole thing. When I asked her if she was excited about picking out baby clothes she told me she wasn't. "I don't really like shopping" she said "I'll just wait until people give me things for the baby shower"

This made me want to talk to Candance more about adoption. I tried to talk to her casually about it. I talked to her about if she thought about not keeping it. "Well, I don't believe in abortion," she said "so I knew I wasn't going to do that. But my grandmother wanted me to get one at first" I asked her about adoption and she told me she didn't want to do that either. "I'm not going to give my baby away! What if the family is mean?" she said. I told her that there was all sorts of ways that adoption works and that you can even choose the family your baby goes to "You can even interview them." I told her. "Well thats a good idea." she agreed.

Later on I showed Candance a website that talked about open adoption and how a birth mother could even set up visits with the baby and be a part of their life. Candance really liked that idea. She thought it was great. On the website I showed her, you could even scroll through families that were looking to adopt and look at pictures. "There are a lot of white people." Candance observed. "Yeah." I said.

After school I called Candance's grandmother. I thought she might be an ally for me in this adoption idea. After all, she had told Candance that she should get an abortion. She was really nice on the phone. She seemed really concerned about Candance and she kept saying how it was a mistake, a terrible mistake, that she had made. I spoke to her gently about adoption. I told her that I had showed Candance a website about it and that even though Candance seemed nervous about adoption it was a really good option. I told her grandmother that I could help with anything and even drive Candance to meet with a counselor.

"You mean giving the baby up to another family? Oh no! We are not doing that. We do not want to give the baby up for adoption." She said "We have plenty of family support and the baby is coming home with us. Her mother, my daughter, is excited about a baby and I am too. No one else is getting the baby." She told me firmly. "I thank you for your concern, but we have it all taken care of" she said. I told her I wouldn't press the issue "I just wanted to make sure Candance had support at home" I told her.

I felt embarrassed. I imagined Candance's grandmother talking to Candance about it, telling her about my phone call and what nerve I had calling her house. I felt stupid. I felt as though I had overstepped my bounds. Who was I to call home? I shouldn't have called her grandmother. What if Candance was considering adoption and I had blown it, drawn attention to it? Or what if Candance doesn't trust me anymore now? What if she won't come to me with her concerns with the baby, afraid that I will call home about it?

She belongs to a different culture than I do and I don't understand it. If I had, I would have known not to call. I wouldn't have brought white ideals to her grandmother and expected her to accept them. I wouldn't have spoken so confidently about something I know so little about.

I am an outsider.

6 Comments:

Blogger absolutegray said...

Don't feel stupid. You tried to talk to her about a wonderful alternative then struggling to raise a baby. I think it was wonderful of you to extend yourself and try to help. As a hopeful adoptive parent, I applaud you. I wonder how many girls at your school have abortions and it's just something that's not known in school or among friends?
That's something that will just be an unknown.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I am an adoptive parent, and I admire you for reaching out to this young girl. I don't think that adoption is truly understood, and any with accurate information trying to educate young women about adoption should be embraced. Children raising children is problematic in any setting and families need to think about the pregnant mother and what her life will become if they keep the child. Good for you for presenting her with other options.

1:40 PM  
Blogger teacher said...

thanks.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

I am glad you felt stupid, I think separating a mother from her child is an awful thing, and not to be encouraged.

3:08 AM  
Blogger kim.kim said...

I think you are wrong trying to talk a student into giving away her child. Here is an obvious family that has NO interest in having a member of their family going off to strangers.

Why don't you start finding out how the young mother can continue with her education while parenting. There must be part time schools or places that provide child care for students?

Perhaps it's you that needs to change and not this family.

My daughter was adopted when I was eighteen and I never got over the loss. Thankfull we are in reunion now but if I ever see the social worker who pressure me into choosing adoption she will not be so happy to see me.

You are a teacher, your job is not to tear families apart.

Have you read any of our blogs? Maybe you might get a different perspective about adoption.

I understand your intentions are good but I believe what you are trying to do is very very wrong.

2:09 PM  
Blogger kim.kim said...

p.s.

Those adoption websites are designed to make adoption look attractive. Open adoptin is not legally enforceable. And if you read the blogs by mothers whose children were placed in open adoption you will find they are suffering the same feelings of grief and loss as us "old timers".

Those websites love to say how we get over it with the right counselling and how we get on with our lives and are "at peace".


The people who make those websites make a lot of money from adoption. It's a billion dollar industry. So it's in their interests to make it look as attractive as possible.

2:14 PM  

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