M.B. asks from American Fork, UT on May 26, 2012
Torn Between Whether I Should Keep My Baby or Give Her/him up for Adoption?
i'm 16 and 14 weeks pregnant, and i already love my baby more than anything. but I don't know whether being a good mom would mean keeping my baby or giving her up for adoption. the "father" of my baby won't be in the picture - he's married (which i didn't find out until i told him i was pregnant) with two other kids - and seems to want to pretend like me and my baby don't even exist. but i'm okay with him not being involved, i already know in my heart that i would rather my baby have no father, than one i would have to force into being one. i know being a single mom wouldn't be a piece of cake...but i'm confident i could figure it out. everybody seems to have an opinion - and also I am LDS (mormon) so the pressure from the church is big....everybody churchwise is telling me I should give her up and that i just won't be able to provide her with the same opportunities in life that an older, married, well off couple can. but I don't agree with that - i have my family behind my back either way, and either way I plan on finishing school and going onto college...so I can give my baby everything. I want to keep her/him...and all my friends think I should too - but I don't want to be selfish, I want to do what's best for my baby. i don't care about me when it comes to my baby, all I care about is my baby being happy. i love my baby so much and really want to keep him/her, but the church and some of the adults in my life seem to feel like the most selfless thing i could do is give her up - but i don't know if i could...the thought of it already kills me. i just need some opinions and advice from other mamas, please! thank you!
thank you for all the advice so far..and you all made some good points to think about - but i do want to make it clear that if i do keep my baby...i would NEVER let my mom take over, she would help me out, and babysit - so that i can finish school (and my college funds are taken care of...my parents are still planning on paying for college for me, what scholarships (if i can hopefully get one) won't cover), but when i'm home I will be the one taking care of my baby and wouldn't have it any other way...she would know who her mommy is. my baby WILL be my life...she already is!!! i can't stand when i see single moms who let their parents just take over either. and i know that i'm young, but i know i'd be a good mother - i just want my baby to have the best life possible and can't decide which way that would mean. i'd be okay without child support - my parents have already told me they will help me out financially, so it just seems easier on both my baby and me not to go after her "dad" - KWIM? my parents are willing to help me out as much as i need so that i won't need to be on assistance of any kind. just wanted to clarify a few things, thanks again.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks again ladies for all the advice and points you gave....I went on a little outing with my mom this afternoon, and we talked a lot of things over. Those of you who said you could tell I had already pretty much decided to keep my baby are right.....I love her more than anything and no matter how selfish some might think it is....I'M her mommy, and i'm going to raise her. :) my parents are going to help me out financially, and with watching her while i'm at school and at work - and i'm very lucky and extremely grateful to have them. i know this isn't the decision the church wants me to make, but i do have my free agency...and i know those at church will come around. my mom and i are going to work on finding a lawyer first thing monday - to make sure that her "dad" won't get able to try and go for custody (we have been looking into the laws in my state and are almost positive he'll be going to jail) and to get child support out of him if i can....bascially get everything concerning him out of the way. thanks again for all the advice - and i'll be coming here when i have more questions...i'm sure i'll have a lot! :) thanks so much again.
T.M. answers from Philadelphia on May 26, 2012
I would keep the baby. You can do it :) I had my husband, but we had no other help. We were 18. We are now 35, with 4 beautiful daughters. My oldest is one of my best friends, i cannot imagine my life without her!!
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A.G. answers from Provo on May 26, 2012
Coming from someone who has 'been there done that'...whatever you decide, it has to be your decision. It was for me. I completely disagree with whoever said that if you place your baby for adoption, you will always regret it. That is a serious assumption and I can assure you that I know of many many people that would be quite offended by it! I placed my baby for adoption almost 12 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I can actually say that I've never met somebody who has regretted placing a child for adoption. That being said, it was the hardest decision I've ever made. Anybody who thinks that placing a child for adoption is taking the easy way out is seriously delusional. It took a LONG time for me to decide...a lot of prayer, a lot of thought, a lot of weighing it out. To this day, I feel so at peace with my decision. I am extremely stubborn and was convinced that I would be able to defy all the statistics. And that may totally have been true...but I realized that for me to be the best mom possible, and for my child to have the best life possible - the timing just wasn't right. One of the hardest things (for me - again everybody is different)...was putting aside my pride. I wanted to take responsibility...I wanted to sacrifice for my child...etc.
I'm sorry that you feel a lot of pressure from church and some of the adults...I ended up working with LDS Family services and they were REALLY good about not pressuring me. The reasons that the LDS church generally encourages adoption...have nothing to do with their 'reputation' or not wanting single moms in church. There is simply a strong belief that a family made up of an involved mother and father gives a child the best foundation.
If there is anything I can do...please let me know. My situation and level of family support was very similar. I don't live very far from you...and I can understand what it's like being LDS and trying to make this kind of decision. I have a lot of friends that chose differently than I did - it totally is a personal decision. I promise I won't pressure you...but if you need somebody to vent to, talk to, unload...whatever...just let me know :).
ETA: When I mentioned that I did not know anyone who regretted placing their child for adoption...I wasn't really thinking about people who were pressured into doing it or who had the child whisked away immediately...I can see how that would be cause for regret! I was able to email my child's adoptive parents for several months prior to giving birth, I have gotten pictures, it's as open as we want it to be...and it has been wonderful. Anyway...I know you said you've already decided...but I just wanted to clarify that. I wish you the best of luck...and regardless of your decision, feel free to private message me anytime! I remember really wishing I knew someone who had gone through something similar when I was in the middle of it all! (And it's true...people who don't agree with you...including those at church...will come around...it's not their decision...and the worst thing that could happen is you making a decision that you feel pressured into!)
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R.J. answers from Seattle on May 26, 2012
This is going to be a hard thing to wrap your head around, so I'll tell you my side first.
I was absolutely NOT able to give my son everything older, established parents could have. Most young parents can't. It's a wealth issue, not a love issue. And by young, I don't mean teens. I mean under 30.
But I'm also the QUEEN of having my cake and eating it, too.
I knew from the outset that I dicnt have my degree, didn't have 5+ years into a job. Didn't have 20k in savings much less 50. Didn't have a house. Didn't have , didn't have, didn't have. wasn't, wasn't, wasn't.
That was my starting point. My son would NOT have everything he'd have if I waited 10 or 20 years to have him.
I bring this up because I hope you can avoid the trap soooo many people fall into by denying _____. Because the TRICK in having your cake and eating it, too, is knowing exactly what your situation is... So you can work around it.
Ex) there was no way in the world I could have afforded the AMAZING Montessori Preschool my son went to. How did he go? The university had a childcare subsidy program through women and family services (different from financial aid), that paid for 3 days a week lock stock and barrel. I found the program, applied, and got him into it. The school cut the preschool a check on a quarterly basis
Ex) there was no way I could afford daycare. 1600 a month for full time care (that's low for our area). I would have made less than daycare cost. Then daycare AND school? I'd never in a million years swung it (the community college didn't offer childcare subsidies). Money, nope. And I'd never have seen my son. Going to college, however, I only had to cover 10 hours s week for while I was actually in school, and then I studied while he slept.
These are just 2 of DOZENS of work arounds I did being a young, unmarried, broke mama.
For YOUR situation, should you choose to keep your baby, I hope you DO look at things realistically so you can come up with your own workarounds.
What I would do first off is QUIT highschool the moment the year is over (I'd say now if it was even 3 months ago). It's a liooooong day, and you've got a couple years ahead of you. Instead, look into HOMESCHOOLING. Most highschool students can do 1 year in 3 months. GET DONE with highschool BEFORE your baby is born by homeschooling. BUT don't 'graduate' until you're 18.
1) community college (or university) schedules are a FRACTION of the time highschool is. 2-3 hours a day, 2 days a week AND
2) highschool students can 'dual enroll' in college as long as they are under 18 and have NOT graduated For. Free.
((yes, college workload is heavier than highschool, but you can set your own schedule, not be gone from baby 8 hours a day, PLUS studying. Instead you're only gone for a few hours, 2 days a week, and you study during nap time and nights))
Get highschool over with prebaby, then start the much saner college schedule.
ALSO start writing for grants and scholarships now. Aim for 1 per week. Being under 24, you're still tied to your parents income, patent or not (only the military get an exemption). Once in school those scholarships pay for living expenses.
Ditto, if you have to work, instead of 'real' job, get a student job. 15 hours a week, employeers req through the school to work with your school schedule, and ideally... Make it a paid internship. This is instead of the 'nirmal' (established older patent) 40 hours, living salary, great daycare, etc. or the 'shoot myself in the foot' option for 40 hours at crappy job and full time school and gramma raising your baby, because youre gone all the time. With scholarships, grants, dual enrollment, and a student job/internship you're looking at 25 hours, instead of 60-80
These are just a few workarounds... But it ONLY works if you look at things how they are.
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L.L. answers from Rochester on May 26, 2012
You are 16. Single. Of COURSE a married couple will do a better job. This doesn't reflect on how much you love your child at all, but just the reality of the situation.
I am adopted. The one thing I am most grateful for in my own life is that my single, young mother put me up for adoption. That showed her love...that she knew someone else would provide better for me. And it's not all about money, etc, but that DOES come into play.
How do you plan on being a mother, finishing school, working, etc?
What would God want you to do?
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M.P. answers from Pittsburgh on May 26, 2012
I don't think there is any question that you should keep your baby. If you give it up you will regret it for the rest of your life. You sound like you have a level head on your shoulders, you have the support of your family and friends and most of all you have already bonded with your baby in the way that mothers do. With all of this I do not feel that your baby has a better shot with someone else. It will not be an easy road ahead of you but it absolutely can be done and it seems as though you are going to be able to handle it well.
7 moms found this helpful
S.S. answers from Los Angeles on May 26, 2012
Keep your baby.. why? because you love him/her! that's more wealth than a lot of children have growing up with two married adults!
Keep it!! you wil be a great mom! I can tell by the level of love you have for this child.
BUT YOU BETTER MAKE THAT MAN RESPONSIBLE! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TALK TO HIM, JUST GO TO COURT AND ASK FOR CHILD SUPPORT, THEY CAN ORDER A PATERNITY TEST IF HE WISHES. DO NOT LET HIM OFF THE HOOK, HE HAD HIS FUN, NOW YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL BABY WHO NEEDS HIS FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
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J.A. answers from San Francisco on May 26, 2012
If you keep the baby you NEED to file for child support! That is what is fair to your parents and the baby. Other than that it's all up to you. Having a child is a lot of responsibility and a TON of work, make sure you are prepared to give up the life you once knew! But I could not imagine giving up a baby either, my daughter is the best gift ever! Whatever you choose, just do not let that man get away with not paying for his choice! You will need the child support for the next 18 years.
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D.. answers from Charlotte on May 26, 2012
M., I think that you are learning hard lessons in life awfully young. Being only 16 is terribly young to be a mom. The fact that you are wrestling with this question means, though, that you are learning from your mistakes and trying to take responsibility.
Giving up the baby to a loving couple is as responsible as you can get. Giving that child the leg-up in life that he or she wouldn't have with a teen mom IS selfless. The fact that it kills you to think of it means that you are a good person. However, being willing to do it means that you love the baby more than you love yourself.
I hope you are strong enough and love this child enough to do the hard thing, adopt out the baby.
I just know that you are not going to make any more mistakes with any other guys, right, M.? You have a lot more growing up to do that has nothing to do with older men and sex. Now you know what this gets you - a whole lot of heartache and trouble.
Get your diploma. Go to college. Get a career. You'll be so much happier with a guy your age when you are older, taking your time to find a gem rather than a dud.
Good luck, M..
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S.R. answers from Washington DC on May 26, 2012
If you want to consider adoption, which of course is your choice, you should look at open adoption. This is where you set the rules up front with the adoptive family about how often you can visit, etc. You can still be a big part of your child's life - even if she doesn't live with you.
By the way, the bio father has to sign adoption papers before you give her up - is he willing to do this?
Personally, knowing what I know about raising children, I don't think I could raise a child alone. We only have one and it seems like it takes both of us to coordinate everything.
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