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Loving My Baby Enough to Give Her Away

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Dr. Meg Meeker

I was wondering what suggestions you have for me for a situation I am dealing with. My 21 year old daughter is pregnant and has decided to allow the baby to be adopted. She is only 12 weeks along, not married and the father and her are trying to work their relationship out. It was kind of a Juno situation according to my daughter. She is my oldest and my only girl. I had her at 21 and I wasn’t married. When she was 6, after I had her 1/2 brother, I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and given 2-5 years to live. My son’s father left me when I was pregnant for another woman. My current husband and I have been married almost 15 years. He joined the Army about 2 years into our marriage to provide medical care for me. Fast forward 15 years, our family has seen 4 deployments, all during my daughter’s teen years. My husband adopted both of my children and to them, he is Dad, but PTSD has reaked havoc on our lives. With adoption looking like my daughter’s choice for her child, I’m finding people have so many opinions and keep saying, “Why is she giving up?” I find myself stuck and I know there are resources for her, but are there resources for me?

Dr. Meg’s Response:

Your daughter is a brave, smart young woman. She has put the welfare of her child before anyone else and I applaud her for that! Her baby needs a father and a mother so when folks say “why is she giving up?” you need to help her respond that she is doing the exact opposite. She is doing the hardest thing of all which is to surrender her baby to a loving couple. Giving up implies that the decision is all about her and it isn’t- her decision is about her baby.

I would encourage you to find a pregnancy care center in your area and pay them a visit. Ask them if they know of anyone who could help you- grandma- cope in this tough situation. But I want you to think about some things here. You sound as though you are struggling with a lot of guilt and you need to let it go. First of all, every one of us Moms does the best we can. Yes, your daughter had a tough road with your husband but that doesn’t mean that you (or he) are responsible for her pregnancy. She is a grown woman and made the choice to become pregnant on her own. Second, you clearly did a lot of things right since your daughter has the wisdom and selflessness to give her baby up for adoption.

I would also encourage you to reach out to someone in your church or parish if you have one. If you don’t have one, find a good church nearby. There are many kind folks there who can help you and give you guidance. Now is a time when you need some good women friends to help you and encourage you and given the fact that you’ve moved so frequently, I suspect that you may not have many close women friends. One of the best things we can do for ourselves as mothers and grandmothers is to find a few good women to lean on.

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