Selfish

I was reading the adoption.com forums, when a prospective adoptive parent explained that the expectant mother with whom she’d been matched would be getting a copy of their home study before the emom relinquished. All last names and sensitive information were removed. However, she still felt that was too much information. Could she ask for the info to be removed?

The title of the thread is “I Don’t Want to Share Information with Birthmom.” Almost all of the replies were variations on a theme: This woman is considering placing her child with you. She deserves as much information as she can get.

The original poster explained her true motivation:

I am the one who will be raising the child. And I selfishly don’t want to share the mother experience. … The information will still be available with the court and agency for the child to later obtain. That’s not my issue. But, btwn birth and 18 I don’t want the birthmom involved.

Selfishly.

That’s a perfect word.

What this woman doesn’t get is that she will be sharing the mother experience, regardless of whether or not the child’s birthmother knows who the family is.

Adopted children have two mothers and two fathers. None of my children’s birth parents are directly involved with us on a day-to-day basis. That is, I don’t talk to them everyday. I don’t even see their Facebook posts everyday. But I share the mother experience with two different women. I don’t mean just that I share updates about Jackson’s and Cassie’s lives. I mean, by definition, by the simple fact that these two women gave birth to the children I parent, I share the mother experience with them.

I share it when I see Cassie make a particular expression that I know Laine makes.

I share it when Jackson grasps a ridiculously complex math concept.

I share it when I acknowledge that neither of my children looks anything like me.

There are so many ways and moments when I know I’m not my children’s only mother. Occasionally, that does annoy me. Sometimes, it makes me proud of their birth mothers, proud to be their mother, or both. Most of the time, it’s just the way things are. I can’t say that I feel like I’m any less of a mother because I am not my children’s biological mother. I certainly feel that my children are “my own.” (Remind me to write a blog post about that phrase, ok?) But yes, I share them.

It pains me to see PAPs who so clearly do not understand the complexities of adoption. The birthmother will be involved even if she’s never seen or heard from again. I’ve never seen nor spoken to Jackson’s birth father, but he is involved in our adoption. Jackson asks about him, he wants to know who the guy is, wants to know why he can’t talk to him. No matter what, this woman’s child is going to have questions about his or her birth parents. If this post accurately describes how she views birth parents, then she is not going to have open, honest dialogues about them with this child. She is not prepared to parent an adopted child. She’s not thinking about the best interests of the child.

She is, in a word, selfish.

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4 thoughts on “Selfish

  1. I think there are things as a new mom it is natural to want to experience alone. I wished I didn’t have to share the hospital experience with D; however Baby Girl has two mothers and I HAD to share that experience with her. I never denied D’s visits and tried to embrace them as it was what was best for D and Baby Girl. However if what was best for the two of them wasn’t enough what would I say to Baby Girl to explain my selfishness once she is old enough to ask? There is a line between having the desire to be alone/experience things alone and then there are your actions. In hindsight I really enjoy all of the memories of D and her family in the nursery with us.

    I hope this new Mom has an agency that will help her see that part of being a good Mom is being selfless. Its about your child and not you anymore. If all identifying information was taken out what is there to hide? This woman is CONSIDERING YOU to be the mother of HER child.

    I prefer our adoption land where Adoptive parents like you realize the importance of “sharing” our children as children are not possessions (I have a post on that – maybe I should finish it 🙂 ).

    • I probably should clarify that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with *not wanting* to share the mother experience, but there is something selfish in giving in to that want. Does that make sense? I think we’re saying the same thing.

      And yes, you should post that! 🙂

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