10 Really Bad Reasons to Keep Your Baby

I often read the blog The No So Secret Life of an Adoptee. I find it interesting and educational. However, a recent post really had me shaking my head: 10 Reasons You Should Keep Your Baby. Her items are the numbered ones. My responses appear below each item.

1. Your baby will love you no matter who you are, what you have been through, or what you have.

Probably true, but not a good reason to keep a baby. Can you be the parent you want to be? Can you be the parent your child deserves? Sometimes, the answer to those questions are “no.”

2. Your presence, touch, and voice calms your baby. You are just that important and special (smile).

Babies are pretty darn good at responding well to any attentive caregiver. Jackson and Cassie were both perfectly content and calmed by our presence, touch, and voices.

3. Your baby is going to look into your beautiful eyes for strength and courage to fight through obstacles because you are the sign of strength.

Not a good reason to keep a baby! You have to be strong and courageous first, not become strong and courageous by having a baby.

4. Your purpose intensifies with newfound ambition for work, school, goals, and dreams.

Not necessarily. For some people this is true. Some people find themselves pregnant and do a complete 180, finding their purpose in life. However, there are 400,000 kids in foster care in the US. How many of those parents thought that their baby would be their reason to shape up?

It’s really hard to go to school, work, and be a parent, which is what is required for anyone who hasn’t graduated high school or college. It’s hard enough to just work and be a parent. New parents need a lot of resources and support, even more than usual if they are still in school. There’s a reason why about 50% of teen mothers never finish high school and less than 2% have their college degree by age 30.

5. Smiles will never go out of style.

You could also say “Babies are cute.” It doesn’t mean you should be a parent.

6. You will have the chance to be a real life superhero, not just on Halloween.

Parents aren’t superheroes. Any parent who thinks of him or herself as a superhero is delusional. Parents can be awesome people, but we are mere mortals. We make mistakes. If you go into parenthood thinking your kid is going to idolize you, you just might need counseling. By the way, neither of my parents were ever my heroes. I will be surprised if Jackson or Cassie says either of us are their heroes. I don’t think we should be. I think we’re parents, and that’s enough. (Upon reflection, if you are a firefighter, police person, doctor, or belong to another profession that regularly saves people’s lives and/or the world, then you might not be delusional if you think of yourself as a superhero. And your kids probably should idolize you.)

7. You can be yourself.

I can be myself with my husband. People can be themselves with their best friends. Being one’s self has nothing to do with parenting. In fact, I’m not myself when my kids are around. I have to watch my language, for one thing. I don’t talk about things that interest me or share deep dark secrets. Maybe I will when my kids are older, but for now, when I’m with my kids, I am in Mom Mode ™.

8. Free entertainment – The smallest moments are priceless.

Oh hell no! First, babies aren’t free. It costs an average of $250,000 to raise a child in the US. Second, while babies and children are entertaining, they are not here for the purpose of entertaining you. You want entertainment, rent the movie Clue. Babies are adorable and cute and giggly. They are also frustrating, easy to damage, and energy sapping.

9. Your hugs and kisses are everything to your baby. Only you can provide the real deal.

Nope. Anyone who loves a child can provide real hugs and kisses. You don’t need a biological connection for that.

10. YOU GET TO BE A KID AGAIN without having to make up excuses!

Once again: Oh hell no! If you are not a grown up, you have no business raising a child. Now, I know what the author meant. She meant, you get to play with toys again, go to the park again, see Disneyland through the eyes of a child… Yes, all of that is really fun. I get to play with Transformers now! But I also have to be the one who knows when it’s time to put the Transformers away. I have to put my foot down about bedtime and eating sweets and watching too much TV. I have to pay the bills and make the dinner and do so many things that children should not have to worry about.

I might be able to come up with 10 Good Reasons to Keep Your Baby, but that’s another post.

Thoughts?

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “10 Really Bad Reasons to Keep Your Baby

  1. I read this list too and shook my head. Your responses are spot-on! Although I will say I found myself coloring with Cadet yesterday, which did make me feel like a kid again. Too bad it only lasted a few minutes until he decided to “color” the dog.

  2. Hm, her post probably could have been really good if she’d stuck with the first item on the list (which is true, for sure) and elaborated on how and why this is important. The others don’t really make a point. That said — and this is kind of a huge point I am about to make (if I may say so myself, haha) — no one needs a reason to justify keeping their children, and it is a problem how the adoption industry normalizes adoption as a solution to SOME problems associated w/ raising kids. The only reason anyone needs to keep their kids is that that’s their kid.

    • Her post was geared towards women experiencing unplanned pregnancies who are considering placing. The overarching problem with her post is that it essentially says, “Love is enough. Love conquers all.”
      But it doesn’t.
      There are many situations in which a person should consider placing her child, but doesn’t, specifically for the reason “This is my child. It is my right to raise him/her.” And that is true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in the child’s best interest.

      • Yeah, I get it, I do.

        But … the child’s best interest isn’t even a legal factor anymore. What I mean is that until somewhat recently, children in foster care, for example, would stay with the foster parents if it was in the best interest of the child to do so. However, the legal system has changed, as has society. Right or wrong, the current attitude is that children belong w/ their parents, and failing that, with other relatives or family friends, etc.

        I think the best argument against the adoption industry (and yeah, I am referring to the industry around adoption, not the actual practice of people placing kids or raising adopted kids) is that there are millions of dollars going toward adoptions and very little toward helping people raise their children.

        I am not naive enough to believe that money is the only reason people place their children for adoption, nor I am naive enough to believe that every pregnant woman has an awesome mom/sister/aunt/friend who is ready and willing to raise her child.

        However, speaking from personal experience w/ *several* adoption agencies, I do think the adoption industry sends the message to pregnant women that they may not be good enough for their child if they are poor, if they are single, etc,, and that it is in the Best Interest of Their Child to be with a two-parent, white, affluent family who take trips ’round the world and live in a huge house in the ‘burbs (can you tell I have seen tons of PAP webpages? 😛 ).

        But again, of course there are many situations in which children truly would be in jeopardy if they stay w/ their family of origin, and adoption is an excellent alternative in that case (especially since most of those children would wind up in the foster care system eventually anyhow, which would be terrible).

        • I’m not talking legal here, though. As the original post was directed at expectant moms considering placing, I think the number one question they need to ask themselves is “What is in the best interest of the child?” I think that’s morally right, even if it has nothing to do with legality.

          The fact that there are 400,000 kids in foster care says to me that more people should consider placing their children for adoption, but don’t for so many reasons.

          I do agree with you that many agencies (it seems to me especially the very religious ones) stress the importance of a two (heterosexual) parent household, and do offer bogus reasons for placing.

          The money that is spent on adoption is private money from people who want to start families. There are organizations that help women who want to parent but need help to do so. Yes, they need more funding, but where is that funding going to come from? Personally, I think the government (and therefore, we, the tax payers) need to spend far more money on education. The more educated a woman is, the fewer children she’s likely to have, among other things.

          But that’s a whole other series of posts…

  3. I know you weren’t talking legal stuff, but the legal standards have changed to reflect the prevailing moral standards of our society, which it is in a child’s best interest to be with their family of origin unless unsafe.

    >>The money that is spent on adoption is private money from people who want to start families. <<

    Yes, and this corrupts the system because it means that for agencies to thrive they need a steady (and ideally increasing) stream of women to place their babies for adoption. IMO all adoptions should go through child welfare and should not involve any money changing hands.

    • I disagree that it’s always in the best interest of the child to be with his/her bio family unless the family is deemed unsafe, partly because the definition of “unsafe” changes from state to state, county to county.

      I also disagree that all adoptions should go through the state (child welfare system). That also, is another post… I will never be able to stop writing! 🙂

      • Re: the best interest thing, it’s obvious you disagree, and I honestly can’t say I don’t disagree either. I am just citing the current belief that our society holds, which you certainly don’t have to buy into.

        To be clear, I don’t think the child welfare system is awesome and flawless as it is now, nor do I think it will take over adoptions any time soon (in the U.S.). But I definitely, definitely believe that the exchange of (enormous sums of) money in adoptions — as well as other questionable and finance-based practices unique to private adoptions (like “birthmother expenses”) — absolutely corrupts the system and ultimately taints and brings into question the whole concept of adoption.

  4. >>absolutely corrupts the system and ultimately taints and brings into question the whole concept of adoption.<>absolutely corrupts the system and *is what* ultimately taints and brings into question the whole concept of adoption.<<

  5. When I read this post, on this adoptees blog, I laughed. As a birthmom, who is not over the moon about adoption, nor am I angry and bitter, I realized when I was pregnant wth my baby, who would not always remain a baby,she was going to need and deserved many things that I just could not provide and I am not just talking financial! To me, this is true love. I know I would of been good enough, my self-esteem was never the issue. It was never about me and that blog post was so about self and not about the best interests of the child. I also don’t think just because I was in an unexpected pregnancy and I wasn’t making very much money that I deserved a big, fat hand out from anybody! That ridiculous!

Tell me what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s