Am I Ready To Be A Parent?

Are you kidding me?

Agency brochure to expecting mothers:

Am I Ready To Be A Parent?

If I had read this brochure when I was pregnant with my first child I would have absolutely freaked out. I would have been completely, over the TOP freaked out. As a matter of fact I read it NOW and rethought my decision to parent! *kidding of course*

Imagine your life before parenthood and how fearful you were about what kind of parent you would be. SO many questions….Will I be good enough? Do I have what it takes? Oh the list goes on and on. In real life we ask ourselves these questions over time. They don’t come to us all at once while reading some brochure. I mean are we really going to know for a fact that we will actually enjoy finger painting with pudding or how strong our ability is to withstand hours of purple dinosaurs, BEFORE we have kids? Do we know we have what it takes to parent alone if our partner decides family life just isn’t for them? Will our family fully support us? Are we sure we will be able to provide every single thing our kids need? No way can we know these things for certain.

I don’t think this line of questioning is fair and it bugs me that there are people out there who do. I mean an agency is comprised of living breathing human beings! Don’t they take issue with this?

As the parent of four kids now I can honestly say these questions answered themselves. Some had positive outcomes and others did not, but we made it work. We have four really great kids and have grown INTO the sort of stability they talk about in this brochure. There were/are hard times and there were/are great times but we make it work because that is what a good parent does. I can honestly say I would not have answered these questions sufficiently enough to be confident in my ability to be a good parent. As it turns out I am and I think that’s really important. Thank GOD nobody handed me this brochure when I was pregnant for the first time because I may not have made the choice I did. I can’t imagine my life without my son. It makes me ill to think about.

I kept thinking this brochure SHOULD read like one of those commercials: Fancy Designer Stroller 500.00 An Unlimited Supply of Brand Name Clothing 6000.00 Seeing your child smile for the first time: Priceless

The answers to some of these same questions directed at a PAP instead of a confused and frightened young mother to be would be viewed much differently. For example the question regarding the sex of the child. Wild isn’t it? I have been informed that PAP’s are asked similar questions but I suspect the effect is vastly different.

One of the profiles reads
-“Without you, families like ours would never have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.” It amazes me that people can still be confused by how fundamentally wrong a statement like this is. It blows my mind that society as a whole just doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with marketing like this to fearful expecting mothers. It shocks me that they couldn’t put themselves into the shoes of a young, pregnant mother and realize being fearful about your ability to be a good parent is just a normal part of the parenting journey. That so many of these mothers who have resigned themselves to adoption are doing so because all of these people circling her like vultures have convinced her she just doesn’t have what it takes. The thing is I’m not entirely sure I know everything it takes. I learn as I go.

I met the founder of this organization at a business meeting. She is an adoptee who does not at all have a problem with her chosen profession. I think her personal experiences are accountable for thinking adoption is THE answer. For professional reasons I wasn’t going to bring this bit up but since it’s front page news on their website I guess they don’t mind! Their handling of Angie Jolie’s adoption is something they are quite proud of I guess.

I am really kicking myself for not speaking up. The timing wasn’t appropriate but I still should have given her something to walk away with. I hate walking away from a situation feeling like there was probably one thing I could have said that would have made someone THINK. I said earlier “you can’t make someone grow a conscience” but I still feel like I passed up the opportunity to plant a seed of doubt about the integrity of the process that brings them all such wealth.

Spitting in the wind I suspect. Still, for my own well-being I should have said something because I was the one who lost sleep over it. The rest of them are probably sleeping like “better off” babies in cashmere pajamas.



Filed under Adoption Politics, Natural Family, Truthful Musings

14 responses to “Am I Ready To Be A Parent?

  1. suz

    ugh. just ugh. are your ready to parent? guess what? I am parenting two right now and I am still not ready. I still find situations that I am not prepared for and must learn to handle.

    there is NO good time to have a child and you cannot possibly ever be ready…children are not robots that come with instructions. they dont all act the same, look the same and are not always healthy.

    how can you ever be prepared for the total unknown?

    and fulfilling someones dreams? wtf? why is that my job to fullfill some strangers dreams? what about my own dreams? what about my childs dreams?


    And still it’s legal to advertise like this in America.

    I think it’s against the law to put pressure on people with door to door sales, there’s a long cooling off period too.

    When it comes to getting babies, people will do everything they can, make videos of themselves begging and pimp it, send out leaflets, make photos of themselves hugging children and put them on the internet, pay lawyers to find pregnant women for them, get their doctors to pounce on easy prey.

    It’s predatory and agressive, it’s the sales pitch that desperately wants to close the deal.

    If you are infertile then you have to accept that and not try to get someone else’s baby.

    If I can do that then so can you.

    The difference between me and someone out there agressively trying to get a baby is that I choose not to do that. It’s that simple. Stop hunting for babies.

  3. Chrissy

    Ugh is right. Dissemination of that kinda stuff really should be illegal -it IS absolutely predatory.

  4. “I want to know the answer to a very important question; Do they give this SAME “test” to perspective adoptive parents?”

    The answer, for us, was “yes.” That doesn’t make it right to ask an expectant young woman, as we were not in a potentially coercive situation, but yes we had to answer all of those things and provide evidence for some of them.

  5. Mia

    Yea Suz, imagine if we waited until every duck was in a row to have kids. There would be a lot more childless families out there that’s for sure.

    Agreed Kim and Chrissy, predatory and agressive are two good descriptions.

    Abebech I suppose it’s good that they are asking PAP’s but I guess the point here is I’m not sure ANYBODY could answer these sorts of questions with complete certainty and truthfulness. Particulary if they have never been parents before.

  6. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! I’m SO not ready to parent. I guess I should place the bee for adoption. Reading that makes me realize I’ll never really be ready to parent, so I guess I’m screwed.


  7. As an aparent, yes we did get loads and loads of questions just like these.

    Still, I’m very offended that they do this to young pregnant women because it’s coercive. Those questions would be like psychological torture for someone who may be doubting herself to begin with.

    I don’t think anyone meets all those criteria. If everyone waited until the “right time” or until they could be “perfect parents” there’d be no more human race.

  8. That is so very wrong.
    I’m feeling very ill.
    Parenting – you work things out as you go along – end of story.
    And more often than not – you all do a very good job of it – thank you.
    If you actually look into those questions too deeply – and take them too seriously – many disappointments will occur – nothing with children EVER goes to plan.
    What a complete load a CROCK.

  9. Amy

    Its funny. A girlfriend of mine on the ranch had to deal with that in front of her son and husband. The crisis pregnancy center was where the local Medicaid office sent her. Back when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was not married. I had to use medicaid. In fact the doctor that I had originally started with was a black market baby dealer. He was arrested a short time after I had my daughter. I am glad that I switched to another doctor in the office at the last minute. I was eight months pregnant when I switched. I would have absolutely freaked if I would have even been given a pamphlet by DHS department or had him convince me to give up my daughter. Let alone had a doctor take her from me. I would have gone totally bullistic as would my husband. We had already picked her name out shortly after we figured out that I was indeed pregnant. I guess maybe that is why I am a little sensitive to this issues for mother. Another reason was that a first mother ( unknown to me) was a dear friend to me at that time. She held my daughter for a little bit. It was after that when she told me about her child. I think I mentioned that I was adopted. It was then that she told me that she felt like she didn’t have the right to search for her. For that moment in time I was her child and she was my mother. I will never ever forget that. She is one of the major reasons why I fight so hard for the rights of Mothers of all kinds and adoptees. I don’t anyone to feel that way. I wish I knew where she was.

  10. rob

    I think what bothers me with this is not the flyer itself or the content (during our home study period, Marie and I often remarked that what we had to do should be required of everybody having to parent because they were valuable things), but the failure by the agency — at the same time — to show the other side.

    Where is the flyer that asks: “Are you prepared to be emotionally devastated for the remainder of your life as a result of giving up your child?”

    “Are you prepared to be promised to be able to have contact with your child, only to have the adoptive parents refuse you that later?”

    “Are you prepared to abandon your child with the prospects that he or she will have no means to find you, no means to adequately determine his/her medical history, or that he or she will have abandonment and identity issues for the whole of their lives?”

    There are some valuable things to think about in this flyer if one is considering keeping a baby OR adopting a baby.

    I agree that it is coercive, but only because it makes it appear that if adoption is the selected option, then after the baby is given away, everything will be just fine.

    For a young mind, this is unconscionable, as far as I am concerned.

    And, then I have another interesting thought (well, to me, at least). I could see this flyer being handed out by religious based adoption agencies as acceptable. Imagine how such an organization would react if such a flyer was handed out at an abortion clinic?

  11. This is coercion, pure and simple. How incredibly sad that this what we have allowed agencies to evolve to.

  12. Rob, I actually think that’s a very interesting thought, and a real problem.

  13. Mia

    It really is interesting. Actually its kind of profound.. I’m still mulling it around in my brain trying to process it.

  14. Mia

    What I want to know is how these agencies get to call themselves NON PROFIT?!?!?!?!?! How many millions of dollars need to be made before we question the integrity of the words NON profit?

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