Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's a girl!

S. is having a girl. She called to let us know earlier this week. She still seems really set on us adopting her baby. I still have no idea about how the whole thing will play out.

We are thinking of retaining an attorney because a) if both S. and Dad (don't know his name) decide to place, we'll need one anyway and b) I don't want to have to be the one to tell S. that we can't help her when it comes to the situation with Dad. Well, let me rephrase, it's not like I am afraid of telling her. I don't want her to think we are throwing our hands up and walking away from her because we know that Dad is involved. She has the perception that we can affect the situation, if we choose to. Although I've tried to tell her that's not the case, I feel like she might interpret further communication about that to mean we don't care enough. I think, if she hears it directly from the attorney (who she has given us permission to release her information to) then she will understand the situation better and hopefully, the attorney will be able to give her sound legal advice about her options.

I really want to help S., if I can, regardless of whether she decides to parent or not. I'm just afraid there's not much more I can do.

A couple of people have asked how I feel about this whole situation. Honestly, I have really mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am so sad for S. and what she's going through. I mean, I am well aware that in a perfect world, she'd parent her daughter if she could. And I encouraged her to be sure that that wasn't still an option for her. So, I am proud of P.B. and I for trying to handle this whole thing as honestly and ethically as possible.

But if I openly acknowledge that S. would rather parent than not (and I do), and if she really feels like she has to place her for adoption to "give it a better life" [her words], then it's really hard for me to be happy for us. I mean, how can I celebrate the fact that she feels like she can't provide for her child?

By adopting the baby, do we take advantage of her situation? Or could I right just a little bit of the wrong by being sincerely and honestly open to whatever level of communication she wants to have with her daughter in the future? Is that the best case scenario given the shitty reality that she doesn't have enough money to provide for herself and her children?

And am I being a total ass by not respecting her right and ability to make this decision for herself and her child? Should I not even consider our role in "perpetuating" (not the right word, but I don't know what is) situations where mothers have to make these decisions? Is that, in and of itself, incredibly condescending to her as a mother?

I don't know. I just don't. I know there aren't any easy answers. I am torn between my self interested need for adoptions to happen and my uneasiness for what it means to take a child from its mother, especially if she's not entering into the situation because she doesn't want to parent, but because she feels like she doesn't have enough money or support to parent.

If you're still reading, thanks. There's really nothing new or interesting here, just some thoughts I need to get out, to struggle through and try to make sense of.


Yondalla said...

I commend your efforts to do this in a way that is ethical. It's difficult because we live in an imperfect, even unjust, world. Sometimes we just have to avoid the clearly wrong options, and do our best to navigate morally ambiguous options that remain.

You do the best you can.

And of course your desires will be in conflict. How could they not?

Dawn said...

It is incredibly hard and I have no answers to any of it. It's an ethical tightrope to be sure but I think ... I think you can only do what you can do and it sounds like you're wearing your ethical heart on your sleeve. Have faith!

Maggie said...

Wow. That's quite a situation. You certainly don't want to engineer the situation and make up her mind for her. This is too huge. Like Yondalla, I think it's wonderful that you're making sure your ethics are clear.