Home birth story (adoption)

The birth was at home.  The birthing woman had a history of postpartum hemmorhage so it was important that she nurse the baby to prevent excess bleeding.  The adopting mother “caught” the baby—that was lovely.  Then, to my surprise, the birthing mother invited the adopting woman to strip down and get into the water tub to be with the baby. Both women were naked together in the water tub with baby between them and the adopting Dad was looking on.  Once the birthing woman had had a couple of hours of “baby velcroed to skin” time (in and out of the tub), the adopting woman took the baby into the next room in her robe and privately put the baby to breast (sitting in a rocking chair). There was about a 6 hour period of both families being together and then the adopting parents took the little girl home.  The adopting woman had already had one adopted baby and had breastfed fully.  We had started with an SNS feeding system (those bottles that you hang around your neck with the tubing that goes to the nipple). 

By coincidence (or not), the woman who birthed in this scenario had supplied breast milk for the adopting couples’ first adopted child a few years earlier.  For various reasons, she relinquished her second baby for this adoption.  She pumped her breasts and the adopting father drove daily to pick up her breast milk for the new baby.  I think the birthing mother pumped for about a month and then the adopting mother was able to meet all the baby’s needs. 

This adoption was a “win/win” situation for everyone involved except for the biological grandmother who was very heartbroken about her only grand daughter going to another family.  When the adopting parents were told about this, they simply said “Oh, she can be the baby’s grandmother. . . she can come over for dinner every Sunday, if she wants.”  Problem solved. 

These kind of events make me so happy to be a human being. . . people can be very great.

11 thoughts on “Home birth story (adoption)

  1. Oh, what a touching story.

    I hope the extended family unit can continue to have a harmonious and generous life communicating and sharing the joy of bringing up baby.

  2. It does give one faith in the human race! What a powerful story of love, compassion, and cooperation. Totally made me cry. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This knocks my socks off! When I hear stories like these, it just reaffirms my decision to become a midwife. I hope this family does fabulous and that child continues to live a life filled with love and compassion.

  4. Gloria,

    I cannot believe after posting recently about multi-billion dollar organizations controlling our decisions about various issues (vaccination, circumcision, formula) that you would post about how wonderful another multi-billion dollar industry is!! The adoption industry is a multi-billion dollar business of legally selling babies (via “legal” and agency fees).

    I completely disagree that this is a win-win situation. The only people who have won anything are the adoptive parents. The natural mother of this child is grieving the loss of her child, a loss that she may not have realized she was going to have because of the lies of the above mentioned multi-billion dollar industry. Natural Mothers (or prospective ones) are told all around them what a wonderful, giving, sacrificial thing putting their babies up for adoption would be, they are told how “loving” that choice is, all the while, there are line-ups of infertile people waiting to pay countless thousands of dollars to legally acquire that infant. She is told that while the loss may be hard at first, it will get better and she may feel a little sad around the babies birthday each year. She is told that only women who are mentally ill feel the loss more than that. That lie is meant to keep women silent. This mother who has lost her baby will grieve forever, it will not go away because the human is not meant to forget their child. She will watch her child raised as the child of another and she will feel her loss forever. As a homebirth advocate, you know about the importance of natural birth in the bonding process, as well as the importance of never separating a mother from a child, yet this is exactly what has happened here, but on a permanent basis! You know that a baby has been inside it’s mother for 9 months and needs to be held by her, nurtured by her and her alone. This does not change in an adopted baby. This baby has lost her mother and is now with perfect strangers. They may call themselves mommy and daddy to her, but they are not the mother that she lived inside of for her whole life so far, they are strangers, and biology being what it is, they will remain strangers to her forever, albeit they will become familiar strangers over time. Just like a baby who is taken from it’s mother for testing and warming etc in the hospital after birth, this baby feels lost and alone, this baby has just lost it’s whole world and she too will grieve alone forever. What has happened here is NOT a beautiful thing, it is a horrific thing. This baby will suffer from the usual problems that adoptees go through for the rest of her life, abandonment, resentment and loss. Studies have documented the problems behind adoption for decades, but because it is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the stigma behind giving your baby up for adoption, NO ONE SPEAKS UP!

    This situation that you have mentioned is actually highly coercive to the natural mother, not beautiful in any way. As you know, during and after birth, the body releases hormones that bond mothers to their babies. So, before birth, this mother may have thought that adoption was the “best” thing to do for her situation, but after birth must come to the decision again, this time forcing her mind to overcome her heart and “do the right thing”. This is why quite often women will change their minds about adoption after the birth, but because of the way this birth was set up, this mother did not have the choice to change her mind. Even if she wanted to, she would have felt obligated by the commitment she had made and the fact that the adoptive parents were there.

    There are a few on both sides starting to speak up and just as you said recently that sometimes the side that isn’t making the money and is fighting against the multi-billion dollar industry is the one fighting for truth, I ask you to please go through these websites with an open mind. They represent the two sides of this win-lose-lose situation that many people forget, the natural mothers and the children themselves. Also, it is not hard to find the countless mental health articles online regarding the higher suicide, adhd and mental health issues that adoptees have, so please research these as well.

    http://www.exiledmothers.com/index.html
    http://www.bastards.org/

    This link is specifically about “adopted child syndrome” but please peruse the entire website:
    http://www.amfor.net/acs/

    thanks for listening :o)

  5. I love this story, thank you so much for sharing! I have had the privilege of working as a doula with birthmoms and adoptive couples… always in hospitals. This is a wonderful testament that an adoption scenario can be this peaceful, natural and beautiful! I hope to see a homembirth like this someday!

  6. Lindsay,
    I have been friends with MANY people that have given their babies up for adoption, and MANY people that have been adopted. YOUR assessment of the situation is cruel to both parties. You have taken a choice that these women have made, and treated it as though they were not really in control of their experience, and were ‘coerced’ into making what they genuinely feel is the right decision. And for their sake, I say how dare you. I have no doubt, that as with ALL situations, some turn out badly. Perhaps without appropriate support of family, loved ones, and society for the decision THEY have made. I have never ONCE heard anyone say that a woman experiencing grief after placing her baby was a sign of mental illness. I have, in fact sat in on several support group meetings where women are counsled on the fact that they WILL grieve, and that the time that it takes for them to complete that process vary’s from months, to years, to decades. They are not, in my experience, lied to. Grieving is not a bad thing, and grieving and suffering do not always go hand in hand.
    So, I have to ask, Lindsay, what do you personally feel ought to be the solution for women that get pregnant, and are not in a position to raise their babies? How about women that do not want to? What then? And please, don’t regurgitate some website link to me. I want to know what YOUR solution is, since you know better. I am also hoping that you won’t bring abortion into this, because I can run circles around any argument you might have that would justify that as a better option for the sake of eliminating grief and feelings of loss.
    This story that Gloria posted is a beautiful example of how we are all mothers, we all choose to mother in our own way. And some mothers loving choices may include recognizing that she wants something other than herself for her child. Please, don’t devalue that, or insult that choice with your jaded opinion.

  7. I relinquished a baby for adoption when I was 17 y.o. and unmarried, not ready for parenthood.

    I will be eternally grateful that her adopting parents were able to take my daughter. I have reunited with her and am grateful for that. No money has ever changed hands re the adoption.

    In the story I related, the adopting father hired two separate lawyers for the bio mother and his family. He paid those legal fees and that was it.

    I know there can be incredible weirdness around adoption. I’m grateful that I have not experienced that.

  8. I have a story that I want to tell you. When I was 16 I was pregnant and my baby girl lived about 2 years before dying of a bad illness.  During the time she was sick, I had gotten pregnant again with another little girl who only weighed 3 lbs when she was born and was in the hospital for 2 months and then came home and passed away about 7 days later of sids and that was the most awful thing that I have ever had to deal with. My husband at the time made me get my tubes tied and I can no longer have babies and every day I live with losing my girls and never seeing them grow up.  Now, I am with the man of my dreams of 13 years and we want to adopt a baby privately. We’re loving,caring people with a good stable home and security and lots of love to offer a baby and we want to do it private so the birth mom can get to know us and it would be more personal and open if they want that. So please contact me and let us know and please try not to be mean we have dealt with so much hurt already.

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