A mother writes –
I am the mother of 2 daughters. My rights were terminated and my children have been adopted by their step mother. I lost on a technicality. Originally, I had a shared custody with my ex. He took off and I couldn’t find my kids. I couldn’t seem to find the right help or didn’t have the $ or connections. Finally, I found them [many many years later] and went to court.
The judge literally said “I believe you but I have to rule on the law and you didn’t provide support for the last four months.” [How could I ?, since they were on the run].
I found out that the girls father and step mother were divorcing. Something told me I should try again. So, I called him. He said he would ask my girls if they wanted to see me. He held true and my oldest daughter said “no” but my youngest said “yes”.
He made me agree that I would not tell them what really happened. My children have been completely brainwashed. I am not allowed to defend myself [not that I want to bash anyone – that isn’t healthy either] but I am trying to build a relationship. My daughter just doesn’t trust me at all. And she is very back and forth. I don’t want to push her and I want be there for her.
I have also found out that my children suffered a lot of abuse from both step mom and dad [dad was abusive with me as well when we were married]. I’m trying my best to prove myself without over stepping their father’s rule. I fear he would just yank her back from me again. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy.
I’m just trying to figure out how to handle this appropriately. It’s a hard line to walk but I’m willing to. My younger daughter is almost 15. I have completely respected the older daughter not wanting anything to do with me. I just pray maybe one day she will change her mind [she is almost 18].
Sadly, I don’t believe this is a unique story. Just one of a multitude about how children become separated from their mothers.
The world already has enough people. More and more, deciding to remain childless is an option people are choosing deliberately. My husband and I don’t even know whether our sons will ever marry and/or have any children. There will never be pressure from us in that regard.
The decision to have children occurs within a pronatalist social context. When I was a senior in high school in 1972, I knew I was going to continue getting advanced education, work full time, get married and have children. No wonder I failed. Some women may excel at the SuperWoman effort but I did not. I never got a degree, I ended up divorced and financially unable to provide for my child. But I have had to work at some kind of revenue producing effort all of my life.
Why do those that cannot have their own children think that domestic infant adoption is another way to build their family? I suppose because it has been promoted as a good thing and socially acceptable for decades now – at least as far back as the 1930s.
Our culture views parenting as an essential part of achieving fulfillment, happiness, and meaning in life, and as a marker of successful adulthood. When my husband told me that he wanted to be a father afterall (after 10 years of being grateful I had been there and done that and no pressure on him), I was a bit shocked and it was not an easy path for us. I am still grateful medical science had a way to make it possible, even if it involved some non-traditional sacrifice on my part. Having children did deepen and expand upon our relationship as a couple, making us a family. As we are aging without any other family nearby, we are grateful our children may be there for us.
Remaining childless by choice (AKA childfree) is still an outlying path, a move that raises questions and is met with prejudice and even moral outrage. This is particularly true for women, whose gender identity and social value have long been tied to fertility and motherhood. Thus, women who decide to not have children are commonly viewed unfavorably.
Though I now see the problems and emotional fallout of adopting children, I also do recognize that a mature person can love any child genuinely. It is not necessarily a selfish motive or ego stoking decision. Children are easy to love for most well balanced and emotionally healthy persons. Sadly, there are people who are not that and should not have children. Personally, I respect any mature person who knows themselves well enough to know they shouldn’t take on the responsibility of raising a child. There should be no negative perceptions from anyone else towards those who make such a choice.