- Posted September 4, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Married at a young age?
I was the baby from the teen pregnancy....
I have a point of view on this that not many others have....I was the baby that resulted from the teen pregnancy.
My mother was 16 when she got pregnant and 17 when she gave birth (I'm 35 now if you are wondering). She was convinced by her mother that she could not raise me, but was told she could not look for an adoptive couple outside the family... so she gave me to her Aunt and Uncle.
The entire family was dirt poor and my adoptive father was a coal miner. He also had severe mental problems from the Korean War and my adoptive mother was an untreated manic depressive for many years (she eventually got help shortly before her death). It was not a pretty family picture. This adoption was not monitored by any state agency, and under todays guidelines would never have taken place.
My natural mother went on to get married at 19 (not to my biological father) and have 2 small children before 23. She was divorced at 25. She went on to be what could be called 'An American Success Story' and the children she kept are happy adults.
I managed to put myself through college and have a nice family today...but I still have many problems. like many adult adoptees, I have struggled with depression, suicidal thought, abandonment issues and other problems.
Everyday I wonder what it would have been like to have been raised by my real mother. I'm sure it would have been hard at first, but at least I would have had her love, something I sorely lacked growing up. And with that womans level of determination, I would not have grown up in abject poverty. I also wonder what life would have been like if I had been adopted by parents who were 'qualified' to adopt and actually wanted a child instead of a couple who adopted out of 'Christian Charity' and soon lost any interest and to whom I became a burden.
Now when I run into a young girl who is pregnant, I encourage her to keep her baby. I give her my perspective as an adopted adult. I tell her to work hard, she can do it....and that even if she doesn't get rich or very successful, to just make sure that child knows he/she is loved. Sometimes that makes up for a whole lot else. As for marriage, I tell her that's her choice, but to think deeply about it if the young man has abusive tendencies, substance issues or just really doesn't seem that interested. There is help out there now for her to raise that child on her own.
To the young mothers who do decide to adopt out, I ask them to MAKE SURE that the perspective adoptive parents are of sound mind, make a decent living and actually want to be parents. I have run into some folks who want to adopt for all the wrong reasons, such as looking good in front of their church by taking in a random child, or to 'patch' a wounded marriage. I also tell them to be prepared for that child to find them one day and have some serious questions (and yes, probably some serious issues) about why they did not chose to raise them.
I know I have made some readers indignant about the fact that I am adopted and seem 'ungrateful', that's fine I have heard it all over the years:
*Be thankful you weren't aborted.
*You could have been put in a dumpster.
*Not all adoption is bad.
*Young mothers could care less who raises their babies.
*You are just upset because you were never wanted.
*Your mother loved you, that's why she put you up for adoption.
*God planned for you to be raised by that family.
That's all well and good, you are entitled to your opinion.
What I would ask of society is to ALSO take into account the children who are produced by these teen pregnancies are cared for. It seems many people think it's great that the girl decided not to abort (don't go yelling that I'm some radical feminist, I find abortion a very last alternative in any situation), but once that child comes into this world, the caring stops. Then the teen mom is not labeled as a 'hero' but as a 'little slut and 'unfit''. The child is then also labeled as a 'bastard', 'unwanted' and as a 'welfare statistic'.
PS. if you ARE an adoptee who did experience the bad side of adoption, you are not alone. There is an entire community of us at: