I just met with a woman who is twenty years old, has three children, a 10th grade education, no job, and is living with her sister, who wants her to move out. Her three children are ages four, two, and seven months. She is considering an adoption plan for the seven month old. She had been thinking about adoption since before the child was born but decided to take the baby home to see if she could make a go of it. She said things are very difficult with three children, given her circumstances. I asked her how certain she was about adoption. She replied that she was about 70% sure.
As she was saying that to me, I was trying to imagine what kind of life could she possibly provide for three children, with a 10th grade education, and no job. She obviously loves her children. They were nicely dressed and clean. Her home was well kept, but loving a child is not enough. I know that we adoption professionals are not supposed to make judgments or try to persuade a woman that adoption is the best option for her and her child; however, after witnessing what I just witnessed, it is hard to imagine how the seven month old, or for that matter the other children, have any hope of life beyond getting up in the morning and trying to survive until it is time to go to bed in the evening, let alone a college education, a good job, and the opportunities that those can provide. For the birth mother, the chance of pulling her herself out of her current circumstance is very small with a 10th grade education and three children to support. What does their future hold?
There are so many wonderful families who would make any of these three children the center of their universe and, not only, provide them unconditional love, but also a future with the opportunity to achieve their full potential and become productive members of society. It is too bad that as an adoption professional, I cannot be persuasive with a woman like the one I just met and try to convince her that adoption offers both her and her child the best opportunities for a brighter future.
Postscript: Of her own accord, without any influence on my part, she contacted me a day later and informed me that she decided to make an adoption plan for the seven month old. She was ready to sign a consent to adoption but said that she was scared. I recommended that she take another day to consider her decision. I also arranged for her to speak with a counselor. After counseling, she said that she was no longer scared, and she confidently signed the consent to adoption. The seven month old is with his new parents.