Adoption is many things. While it is often times portrayed as rainbows and unicorns, those that have lived through the experience of placing, being adopted, or even adopting, know otherwise. Adoption is often beautiful, yes. It is also messy, challenging, complicated, and full of all kinds of emotions. And when an unethical agency or lawyer is involved, adoption can be brutal. As a birth mom first organization, we value the voices of birth moms and adoptees. We will share the beautiful, joyful stories and the heartbreaking, hurt-filled ones. What we do not want to do is censor the voices we value most to paint a more comfortable picture of what adoption is or is not. We have the privilege of being on the frontlines with these women and we will advocate for their voices to be heard, regardless of the truths they tell.

This is not our story. This story was shared with us from a birth mom who wishes to remain anonymous. She did not place through Shared Beginnings but her story deserves to be heard by adoption professionals and adoptive parents alike. At Shared Beginnings, our mission is to support these women at every step and help meet their needs regardless of whether they choose to parent or place. One of the ways we do this is by offering counseling, support services, and connecting them to community resources. We walk hand-in-hand with women in crisis to ensure they are confident in their decisions every step of the way. We are sharing this story to shed light on the many ways that adoption professionals and adoptive parents fail the women on the other side of these life-altering decisions daily, in hopes that we will all begin to hold others accountable.

I made the decision to place my son for adoption. If you asked me if I would do it again, the answer is no.

I found out I was pregnant at a young age at the doctors office. It was hard at the time due to so many unknowns. The doctor told me what my options were, which included adoption. I knew that I was going to have to make a hard decision. At that time, I had no clue what my decision would be. 

I truly wanted to parent my son. Unfortunately, I did look into adoption through an agency. I went to several sessions to talk about it. Outside of those sessions, I did research on my own to figure out how I could raise my son. I kept going back and forth on my decision. On one of the best days of my life, my son was born. I could not be more happy to finally have a son. What a wonderful gift. The adoptive parents were there and so was the adoption counselor. I was still not ready to make a decision. That is when my son went to foster care until I could make up my mind.

There were so many people who told me that adoption was such a great option and they recommended adoption. Due to financial difficulties, I made the decision to place my son for adoption. If you asked me if I would do it again, the answer is no. That was the biggest mistake of my life to place him for adoption. I have been through so much hurt and pain dealing with this adoption. It is so easy for people to try to control my life and tell me that I should place my son for adoption. They have no clue what I go through. Adoption is not natural and it is not the best option for everyone. I will have to regret this decision for the rest of my life.

 I have an open adoption. I used to see my son pretty often. Then the adoptive parents changed their mind and backed out of their promise on how often they would let me see him. I still get to see him but not as often. Every visit is for a very short time. I have heard too many stories that adoptive parents do not follow through with their promises. It feels like there is no one to stop that. Adoptive agencies do not care. No one holds them accountable.

My son and I have a great relationship. He enjoys seeing my family and me. I have plenty of pictures and videos to prove it. No one cares about what he wants. He has never got to decide how often he sees me. The adoptive parents get to make all of the decisions. When will anyone care about what he needs or wants?

If you are a biological mother considering adoption, please listen to your heart and not your mind. Do not listen to anyone else who tries to persuade you or coerce you. Do your research. Do no let the adoption agencies tell you false information and give you fake promises. 

I do not know what my future will bring with my open adoption. I can only hope that one day my son will be able to make the decisions and decide when he gets to see me. I can only hope that someone will do something about unethical adoption agencies.