Culture and Identity

I am going to try and summarize a complex situation which could apply to others who might be reading my blog.

So a 17 year old got pregnant. A relationship that had lasted almost 2 years had broken up about a year before she got pregnant but they were still ”seeing each other” on and off. He wanted her to terminate, citing that he had a very traumatic childhood and was not ready to bring a child into the world, much less with someone he no longer wanted a relationship with.

She decided against it because she had previous losses and suspected infertility due to PCOS. As soon as she saw her baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound screen, she knew she didn’t have it in her to terminate. That child is now 4 years old and carries the woman’s maiden name.

So the father then shamed her for her decision and told her she would regret it, tried to convince her to “at least put the kid up for adoption so it has a chance at a good life” and she honestly heavily debated doing that as they weren’t the only one to shame her and try to convince her she couldn’t be a good mother. She was very lost, confused and scared but ultimately decided she would keep the baby and try to give it the best life that she could, prepared to do it all on her own.

Before giving birth, she met someone. She had a gut feeling that she was capable of having a healthy relationship with this man. He there for her throughout the pregnancy, cut the umbilical cord and helped name the baby. After getting married to him, she discovered that she was again pregnant. She thought about changing her first daughter’s name but wondered if that was the ethical thing to do because she technically had another parent.

Recently, she reached out to her daughter’s estranged father and discovered that they had both changed exponentially. However, the father still does not think it’s a good idea to have contact with his daughter. He thinks his presence would somehow “mess up” her life because he still has personal issues he needs to work on. Her father is indigenous and this mother doesn’t want her daughter to grow up not knowing half of her lineage. She feels that her daughter is missing out on the rich and beautiful culture that she descends from. She says that he is not a bad person at all.

One commenter said – You are asking the right questions. You’re approaching this with humility and a desire to uphold what is best for your daughter, even if there are “easier” solutions that others are pushing for. Consider allowing her to decide when she is of age, whether she would like to be adopted by her stepdad. Adoption can be a good choice WHEN the adoptee’s needs, desires, and AGENCY are fully recognized and active. It’s as big a choice as marriage (perhaps more so!), and it is a decision that no adult should make for her, especially since she may want to consider tribal affiliation in the future.

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