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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Amanda has a question.

I don't know that there is an answer to her question in her entry titled Longing and Denial.

It is about people suffering with infertility. Longing for a baby and never having that need fulfilled. The question asks, 'Why won't more young women give their babies away, rather than killing them?'

I wonder this same thing. We have suffered through infertility and were blessed with a baby after much anxiety, years of heartbreak, dollars spent, testing endured and anger. (Although our baby then screamed for 6 months after she was born - colic. She's a lovely girl now :-)) I'm sure we all know someone, or know OF someone, bearing the burden of infertility. I know several and ALL would be worthy parents. Most are on adoption waiting lists. I don't understand why life works the way it does. Why are the babies given so easily to those who don't want them - or don't deserve them?

One possible answer to Amanda's question is that adoption is not being presented as a viable alternative. Abortion is easy, there are no consequences, it's not a baby. Most women in the predicament swallow that hook, line and sinker. It's not until afterward that they realize it's not so easy. There are consequences, feelings, regrets, sorrow. Their baby is dead and will never be forgotten. Years are marked. Thoughts are thought...my baby would be 5, 20, 35.

It's a shame that there isn't any emphasis put on alternatives to abortion at Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation. Adoption would be a very difficult choice, yes. Sometimes the difficult choices are the best ones.

13 Comments:

Blogger tshsmom said...

A LOT of unwed mothers keep their babies for the welfare.
In addition, in our small town alone, I see a LOT of parents enabling their teenagers. These parents virtually raise their grandchildren, while the parents live the carefree teen life: hanging out with their friends, going to prom, participating in NUMEROUS extracurricular activities, etc. Several of these teens have DELIBERATELY had more than one baby before they get out of high school!

28 August, 2005 08:47  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I agree that many teens who get pregnant deliberately set out to get that way. I have also seen the culture of babies being brought up by grandparents - it's expected and normal.

28 August, 2005 22:51  
Blogger Steve Donohue said...

Let's not overestimate the situation- in my experience, a lot more girls would much rather just have an abortion than go through the welfare trouble.

I have a very close friend down here in Champaign that gave birth to a child at 15. Was that a mistake? Yeah, definitely. But she could have easily had an abortion, and she didn't. At the same time, she spends a lot of time away from her child because she's down here while her kid is 3 hours away. Her parents do most of the raising.

Is it ideal? No. She shouldn't have gotten pregnant. But I can understand how she did, and if ifs and buts were candies and nuts we'd all have a wonderful Christmas. And her being in college earning her degree is a better long-term strategy than taking up a low-paying job and pushing through on her own.

My family has been on and off welfare all our lives, and I know many others in a similar situation. The number who have more children for more welfare is not nonexistant, but it is smaller than supposed.

Of course, none of that takes away from the dilemma Amanda is in. My theory is that if one brings a baby to birth it has undeniably become a child, and adoption somehow smacks as failure to provide for that child. But our modern sensabilities have determined that a fetus is not a baby, and so if a baby never exists, no harm was ever done. Do pray that such logic changes someday.

29 August, 2005 00:55  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Steven that is interesting that you see adoption as failure. It's a different perspective that I had not even considered.

I disagree of course.

Teen pregnancy and child-rearing and cultural pressures to become a mother while still a child really are separate issues though. I do agree that all is not sweetness and light, mistakes are made, choices are chosen and life is rarely ideal.

Adoption I imagine would be an extremely painful choice for the birth mother - emotionally and physically taxing.

What bothers me is the selling points of abortion - it's easy and has no consequences. Millions of women who have been suckered into the choice would disagree. Millions of worthy parents would have a dream come true just to have a chance at raising a child.

29 August, 2005 15:26  
Blogger tshsmom said...

I agree Monica! Sad to say, adoption has become a social stigma. Adoption, or a shotgun marriage used to be the ONLY options for an unwed mother. Now, things have turned totally around and these options are rarely considered.
There HAS to be a happy medium out there somewhere.

29 August, 2005 17:33  
Blogger CA said...

If you think about adoption in comparison to childbirth, the only real difference is the actual physical part of childbirth. In neither do you know the child beforehand. Bearing your own child is getting a complete stranger, the same as adopting. Both ways it will take some time to really know the child.

Maybe there should be an agency that pays a woman to give birth rather than abort the child and goes ahead and arranges for an adoption right away instead of after the child is born.

30 August, 2005 09:31  
Blogger MonicaR said...

CA - there are agencies who support adoption. I believe they help the birth mother and there are now many different types of adoption arrangements that can be made.

I would have had a terrible, terrible time giving my baby up for adoption. It is hard on the mother.

I've read that when women are given information about fetal developement many decline to get an abortion. It's NOT just a clump of cells...even at 6 weeks gestation.

Would it be wrong to give women a wide array of choices? The way it stands now there is a hard sell on abortion.

30 August, 2005 15:45  
Blogger Steve Donohue said...

Don't get me wrong, I don't see adoption as failure, especially if the other option is abortion. But I know that many girls would. And I don't think that the raising a children by their grandparents is prima facie evidence of neglect by the children. Sometimes, it's the best thing too.

What I will say is that, to some, abortion is less emotionally destuctive than adoption because adoption means that there is a living breathing child somewhere that with which you have abdicated your right to raise. I don't agree, but I know that sentiment exists.

I thought a while about ca's consideration, but let's follow that through. Agencies pay young girls to forgo abortion and give children up for adoption. Isn't this welfare without even the burden of having to raise the child. If we're worried about girls getting pregnant for money now, what about later. And what motivation would these agencies have to stop funding promiscuity, considering that the alternative is the abortion of an already conceived child. Not a bad idea, but disastrous in its consequences.

Charles Murray argues that if you cut off all funding of welfare for unwed mothers tommorrow, you'd have a significant drop-off in unwanted pregnancy 9 months from now. I agree, but I also know the consequences of the mother that makes a mistake and now has an unwanted pregnancy that she feels no right to destroy. I'm such a child. What we need to devise is a system that weeds out the deserving from the undeserving.

My proposals? These aren't entirely thought out, and it's late, but here are a few.

Partially subsidize only the first child of a mother. After that, we have a problem.

Enforce more strictly laws concerning paternal child support. My biological father currently owes more than $18,000 dollars towards my upbringing from over 15 years of neglect. Will I ever see that money, or my mother, who currently works 2 jobs + needs fod stamps to provide food for her family? Not likely.

And perhaps like ca's idea, fund adoption for the first child of a mother if proof can be provided that the child in question was not willingly created to be sold. I'm not sure how we do that, but I'll think about it.

31 August, 2005 00:33  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Steven looking at the possible solutions I feel disheartened. For one thing - to support only one child per family seems cruel. No matter that the parents might be unworthy the children certainly are not.

As for the child support I agree that that can be more aggressively pursued. I have known of horror stories from the fathers point of view in that area, too, though.

I think that private organizations are the way to go as far as helping make adoption a more palatable choice. I don't think that women should be paid for their baby. However - medical expenses and possibly housing (if needed) for the mother while pregnant is not too much to ask. In fact there are organizations out there who help in this way and I believe that many of them are religious orgs.

One thing that has bothered me is hearing about adoptive parents paying tens of thousands of dollars to a woman for a baby. If that's what you're talking about then I understand your concerns about paying women to have babies.

Two things are certain. There are millions of abortions being performed every year and there are millions of good people on adoption waiting lists. It's a shame.

01 September, 2005 00:39  
Blogger D.C. said...

Monica!!
So nice to find your blog.

This thoughful post and the concerned comments on the pro-life/pro-choice issue caught my attention.

I am a passionate mom, a caregiver... I love all kids as they come.
So, I have feeling about it too.


Sigh.

I understand so much all the emotions in here.

Giving birth is a huge for any woman. Raising them demands devotion.
Giving them away is an amazingly difficuly gesture.

Respectfully, I believe it is still a women's choice to decide what will become of her life and of the little life she is producing in her womb.

When knowing that keeping your baby is truly impossible, for whatever the personal reasons, giving this new born to adoption is a generous gesture for those who desire kids but can't have them.
Meanwhile, a woman still have to nourrish this life for 9 months until the gestation is over, while continuing to live, to work, to go to school, or simply struggling with other issues. A new emotional reality kicks in and it will be an event which no woman can never forget in her heart and soul.
It is also a risk a serious women will consider when she wants the best for this human life.
What will become of him or her?
What if this or that?
This will be a question for ever.

At 43, I have two wonderful children - 22 and 9 years old. I love more than any other and I protect ferociously as most of us do.

What would I do, if I got pregnant again, in grave circumstances which would never allow me to raise a third one?
What would another women do?
Is it for our societies to decide on what women will do with their entire life?

What I know, is that abortion is never a light decision, and most women who go through it, do not go at the clinic whisteling.
It's pretty traumatic, as life can be.

God Bless, my friends.

05 September, 2005 00:45  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I agree with you DC. Neither choice is a pretty choice.

I just wish that the option was given to more women. That's all. The way the choice of abortion is painted is not the truth in the matter.

As I said in an earlier response - adoption also leaves it's scars and I don't know that I would have been able to give either one of my girls away.

Perhaps in a different and dire situation I would have been able to do it.

05 September, 2005 13:09  
Blogger Toad734 said...

Apparently she is unaware that there are thousands of kids in orphanages who need homes.

06 September, 2005 13:55  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Where's the nearest orphanage, Toadie?

06 September, 2005 21:06  

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