[personal profile] 7rin

by Rebekah Kuschmider on September 12, 2013

For many years, anti-choice activists have suggested that adoption is the kinder option than abortion. They argue that babies deserve life and there are families who will adopt unwanted infants. Recently, conservative pundit S.E. Cupp intimated it that it was a moral obligation of pregnant women otherwise considering abortion to instead carry babies to term so that families seeking children could have the opportunity to be parents. It seems like a winning combination: unwanted baby, family who wants a baby, woman absolved of responsibility for the baby.

Adoption should be an option. Only, I’m not talking about the babies-to-be. I’m talking about the mothers-to-be.

I do not wish to minimize the strength of character it takes for a woman and an adoptive couple to reach terms that allow a baby to be given the best home possible. That’s an admirable course of action. For a woman who is not in circumstances to raise a child, finding an adoptive family for an unborn baby can be a blessing of invaluable magnitude. But why should the mother give up a baby whom, studies suggest, she would undoubtedly love? Why should the mother continue to live in circumstances that preclude raising a child when her circumstances could be changed by the act of adopting…her?

Anti-choice families who wish to see women carry, birth and raise babies should bring those women into their homes. They should treat them as they would treat their own pregnant daughter. Provide them with food, clothing and shelter. Enroll them on their insurance plan and get them the best prenatal care. Find a school for the women to attend if they need education, assist them in finding work if they need work. Give them a car. Give them emotional support. Take them to church and social events. Make them a part of the life that they lead – a forever life, not just the duration of the pregnancy.

After the baby is born, give mother and baby the same shower of love, support and material goods that they would a grandchild. They should offer assistance with childcare so the mother can work or attend school, maybe subsidize an apartment if they want to have their own place. They should read stories to and play tag with the child as he or she grows, and welcome mother and child beneath the Christmas tree and at the Thanksgiving table every year.

Make having a baby possible. Make raising a baby possible.

Too often I read about Crisis Pregnancy Centers that counsel against abortion and offer pregnant women rudimentary help. Cast-off baby goods. Diapers. A sheaf of papers they can use to apply for housing or medical aid. But how much of a difference does that ultimately make? Does it break the cycle of poverty? Elevate women to true self-sufficiency? Does it prevent the next unintended pregnancy? Or is it a band-aid on a larger issue, measures meant to make sure babies are born? But what happens after? What happens to mothers who raise their babies within our limited safety net? What happens to mothers who relinquish their babies to adoption?

Yes, adoption is an option and no one is saying it shouldn’t be. But as a student of the nature of unintended pregnancy, my conclusions after reading about who the women who seek abortion is that it isn’t their babies who need to be whisked off to a better life. It’s them.
[personal profile] 7rin

On September 11th, 2013 at 8:07 PM
Krista said
I was unofficially adopted at 18 by one if my teachers my senior year and her husband. They didn't have any children of their own yet (biological or otherwise) so I was it. The most important thing they did for me was make me feel wanted. I ate dinner with them and was welcomed to their family parties, get togethers, and outings. They spoke of me as their own and bought me things that parents buy kids – clothes and little surprises here and there. They took the time to know my likes and dislikes and they engaged me in conversation. When they had a baby three years later, they involved me in her life (and now, 9 1/2 years later, I am someone's beloved Sissy!). They gave me boundaries and rules while I lived with them. They tried to understand my dreams and encourage me in pursuing them. They encouraged me to maintain contact with my grandma, to whom I was very close. And they loved me, regardless of what I did or said in my hurt and pain that came with needing new parents at 18.

Reply to this comment over @ http://offbeatfamilies.com/2013/09/adopting-a-teenager#comment-133879
[personal profile] 7rin

David Cameron has pledged to help 120,000 families turn their lives around before 2015. Amelia Gentleman gains exclusive access to three families on the list

Sometime after midday, Daniel Smith, 19, gets up from the sofa, where he has been sleeping beneath a grey, coverless duvet, and races upstairs to his mum's room, which is open because in a fit of unexplained fury last week he kicked the door off its hinges. The door is leaning against the wall, waiting for someone to fix it. He rummages through some papers on the windowsill and finds an appointment letter for a meeting with the Work Programme, the government's initiative to get people off benefits and into jobs.

When he sees the time of the appointment (11am) he swears and curses the programme officials because he has missed it. His mother, Estelle, who is lying on her bed in a pink leopard-skin onesie, looks at him kindly but doesn't say anything. Tara, the oldest of his three sisters, who is dressed and sitting on the bed, leaning against her mother's knees, stroking the family's black-and-white cat, says maybe he should call to try to rearrange. Daniel shouts that his benefits are going to be sanctioned and stamps downstairs in a fury, but does not make the call.

No one in the house is aware that the family has been placed on a list of the 2,385 most troubled families in the city where they live, Manchester; and among 120,000 across the country. Their key worker, Julie Cusack, is reluctant to tell them they are part of the government's troubled families programme, anxious not to alienate them unnecessarily. She tells them the council has decided to offer "extra support".

Read more... )
[personal profile] 7rin
Living through today
Some days are good days. And some days you just have to live through. This is my journey through life as a birthmother.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
How I try to make a small difference

My it's been a long time since I have posted here! My excuse is the holidays. Truth is we are just so very busy and I have been present in the moment with our boys and at work. Thus, the blog took a backseat.

I think so often "I should blog about that", but the moment passes and I don't sit down and get it done. And since blogging is just for me, I don't feel obligated like I do with being available to the children I am parenting and the job I work at.

However, yesterday I told myself that I would find 10 minutes today to talk about something that makes me very happy. It is the small way that I feel like I make a difference in the life of a child, specifically a child that has been able to stay with her family rather than be adopted.

First of all, the potential adoptive parents of this particular little girl are wonderful people. I met them. I liked them. I am even FB friends with the mother. They seem to be genuinely good parents. I enjoyed their company. If we lived closer I believe we would be friends.

But the little girl that they were going to adopt was never placed for adoption. Her mother decided that she just couldn't do it. Sadly I think that she saw my long-suffering as a birth mother and she knew that she didn't want the same fate. I also think that her mother's heart kicked in and she knew that while it would be hard, she could parent this child, just as she had the two teenage boys she was raising.

Yes, I'm talking about my Little Princess. Little Princess (LP for short) is the little girl who I have cared for every weekend since she was 4 months old. Her mother works on weekends as the sole provider for herself and her 3 children. So any hours she can get, she takes. Including weekend shifts.

The truth is, had LP been adopted by the lovely adoptive couple, she would never have a want. She would not need daycare, or weekend care. She would be raised by a very successful work from home mother and successful father. All of her needs and wants would have been met.

But LP doesn't know that. The truth is LP is happy. She has a mommy, two brothers, a daddy (who is crummy, but she doesn't know that yet), and she also has her Lisa and all of Lisa's boys.

If LP was my child, she would have more clothes. She would have plenty of toys. We would never wonder if we were going to run out of diapers before payday. But that does not mean that I should be her mother.

Just because I have more and can give more, doesn't mean I deserve to be her mother.

What it does mean to me is, because I have more and can give more, I should. So when I buy diapers, I buy a big box and give half to her momma. When we go shopping, sometimes I buy her clothes that I send home with her. And when the day comes that she wants to stay overnight at Lisa's house, I will keep her as often as I can. Because I do have the time to give. What is one more in my crazy world of boys?!? And the blessing I get, one more little one to love and to be loved by.

But I am not her mommy. I am also not their provider. I am LP and her momma's SUPPORTER. I love them both.

Because when I say that I believe that families should be preserved if at all possible, then I should do what I can to make sure that happens.

LP is the starfish I was able to save.

Her life will not be perfect. I won't be able to protect her from some of the realities of low income. But you know what she will have, HER MOMMY and HER FAMILY.

She will be able to look at her momma's hair and know that is why she has unruly curls. She will know her two full brothers. When she is only 5 feet tall, she will know that is because mommy and grandma are the same size. She is with 'her people' as my sweet grandma used to call her family.

And when her momma is at work, she will have her Lisa. To hold her, love her, snuggle her, fix her hair, and feed her meals. She will grow up with our boys, who swoon over her. She will get kisses on her fat little cheeks from me. She will get time-outs from me too.

LP will know that I love her to the moon and back. But she will also know that she has a mommy who loves her endlessly too.

Little Princess has everything she needs. She has her family.
[personal profile] 7rin
Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences
Exploiting a Natural Experiment

V. Joseph Hotz, Susan Williams McElroy and Seth G. Sanders

We exploit a "natural experiment" associated with human reproduction to identify the causal effect of teen childbearing on the socioeconomic attainment of teen mothers. We exploit the fact that some women who become pregnant experience a miscarriage and do not have a live birth. Using miscarriages an instrumental variable, we estimate the effect of teen mothers not delaying their childbearing on their subsequent attainment. We find that many of the negative consequences of teenage childbearing are much smaller than those found in previous studies. For most outcomes, the adverse consequences of early childbearing are short-lived. Finally, for annual hours of work and earnings, we find that a teen mother would have lower levels of each at older ages if they had delayed their childbearing.

Received October 1, 2002.
Accepted July 1, 2004.
© 2005 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
[personal profile] 7rin
Each One Help One
@ http://www.values.com/your-inspirational-stories/1306-EACH-ONE-HELP-ONE
My husband and I, grateful for our own circumstances, met a young woman and her baby son 16 years ago. They had a rented room, but not much support in their lives. We were childless. We moved to a bigger house and became a family. The woman was able to get off of public assistance, get some experience and get a job (...and now is a very experienced bookkeeper and office manager). Our young boy, now 16, was able to go to school and get a solid foundation that now supports him in high school. We got the best gift...the joy of a little boy running to us when we got home from work, a Christmas morning with a child, the hope for the future in his eyes. After five years of living together, the woman and the little boy got their own place and continued their growth and development. They have allowed us to remain in their lives. Kind of godparents, kind of grandparents. Four lives changed forever from a chance meeting and a willingness to be open to give. We made a choice - they made a choice - and everyone (including the resources of the government) benefited. Although we gave them a place to live, some financial assistance and some needed support, we GOT way more than we GAVE.

Orphan Foundation of America @ http://orphan.org/
[personal profile] 7rin
These notes refer to the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (c.38) which received Royal Assent on 7th November 2002

Section 112: Acquisition of parental responsibility by step-parent


Section 112 inserts section 4A into the Children Act 1989 to enable a step-parent to acquire parental responsibility for a child of his spouse. This may be acquired either by agreement between the step-parent and the parents who have parental responsibility for the child, or by order of the court. This measure is intended to provide an alternative to adoption where a step-parent wishes to acquire parental responsibility for his or her step-child. It has the advantage of not removing parental responsibility from the other birth parent and does not legally separate the child from membership of the family of the other birth parent.

Fostering in the UK @ http://www.baaf.org.uk/info/lpp/fostering/index.shtml

Special guardianship @ http://www.fassit.co.uk/special_guardianship_orders.htm

The Special Guardianship Regulations 2005 @ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1109/made

Private fostering in the UK @ http://www.baaf.org.uk/info/lpp/pf/index.shtml

Residence orders @ http://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/Resources/CLC/Documents/PDF%20N-Z/Residence%20leaflet.pdf

What are the effects of a residence order?
A residence order will automatically give parental responsibility to the person or persons who have the residence order in their favour. Residence orders are often used when a child lives with their grandparent as a way for them to obtain parental responsibility for their grandchild.

Parental Responsibility @ http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/ParentsRights/DG_4002954

Supported Lodgings Scheme (UK) @


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