God Doesn’t Have A Baby For You

Mother holding her newborn baby after labor in the hospital.

It is happening more and more often now. Mothers who considered giving their babies up for adoption changing their mind after the baby is born and they’ve had a chance to hold them. This is the natural, to be expected outcome. Hopeful prospective adoptive parents, after such a disappointment turn to their faith to continue on believing that “God has a baby waiting” for them. Actually, God has already given them his answer through their infertility. Not every person is “meant” to have children. One less adoptee with separation trauma to deal with throughout their whole life. Today’s story –

“We experienced a failed adoption last week that was a total shock. Mom was on board up until she gave birth. I don’t know why mom changed her mind. She was excited to place her baby with us. She told us she wanted her baby to have stability and a good family. She told us we would be perfect parents to her baby. She said she didn’t want her baby to struggle like she does. She wanted a two-parent home. We went to appointments with mom, had professional pictures done, and did monthly check ins with each other. Mom and I had a baby shower and picked out a name together. Everything was ok and we had our nursery set up. This all went out the window when the baby was born. We all agreed to a birth plan but mom didn’t follow it. We didn’t get a chance to hold the baby. Mom didn’t let us. We left the hospital empty handed and it broke me. I couldn’t believe after all we went through we came home without a baby. Our family and friends were waiting to celebrate with us. After feeling devastated, I’ve been stuck feeling so mad about how much money we lost. I waited for years to be a mother and so much money was lost in the process. Of course we knew what would roll over and what wouldn’t when we signed the contracts, it just makes the wound sting more. I think some responsibility should be on moms if they don’t place. I don’t think moms that make adoption plans understand how hard it is on us when they don’t place. They get us excited about becoming parents then break our hearts when they change their minds. Moms are pulling a rug from under us. Just imagine investing and getting excited about bringing a baby home. Only for a mom to hurt you. Mom decides at the last minute to keep the baby that was emotionally yours when mom chose you. I think part of it is my personality but wondered if there was anything that helped you if this happened or anything you would recommend doing going forward. It’s so scary to think about this happening with another match. I know our baby is out there. I know God has a baby waiting for us. I know there has to be a mom out there who will follow through on her plan and place with us. There has to be one mom out there who won’t break our hearts and will make our hearts full. The whole process is exhausting and difficult to deal with”.

Not sorry but this is just one of those “adoption realities.” Every expectant mother has the right to change her mind, even at the last minute.

Trying To Do Better

Though fraught with its own challenges, Open Adoption is an attempt to do the process better by considering the needs of the adoptee and their original parents with equal compassion to the needs of the adopting couple.

Generally speaking, there will be a higher level of personal interaction among the parties.  This interaction may take the form of letters, e-mails, photos, telephone calls and visits.

Some of the pitfalls that may occur include an abuse of the trust that the original parents have placed on the assurances of the adopting couple.  Interactions may lead to a variety of disappointments.  When the adopting couple has invested in the unborn child, financially and emotionally, the original parents may feel obligated to go through with relinquishing the baby.  If the adopting couple changes their mind shortly before or after the birth, it may place the child in a state of limbo and cause a referral to foster care.

In agreeing to an open adoption, the adopting couple may find the original family has greater expectations than they anticipated in agreeing to the situation.  Within the extended birth family may be individuals who are not conventionally stable which may even be part of the reason the child was surrendered.

Some of the original justifications of closed adoptions have included fears that having duplicate mothers, fathers, grandparents and other extended family would make it more difficult for the child to assimilate into the new family unit.  If contact between the original and adopting families ceases for whatever reason, the adoptee could be left feeling even more rejected than is commonly the experience for adopted children.  There can be social complications for the child among their peers.

Identity and family history are the most important reason for open adoptions.  Denying the child access to that information violates basic human rights.  Adoption will never be the perfect circumstance for any child but trying to do it better does matter.