Recently I received the following email from an expectant mother:
“I am 4 months pregnant and was thinking about adoption. The problem is I have a 7 yr old and he is very excited he is going to be a big brother. So how do I know if adoption is right when it affects the life of my other child as well? Thanks for the help.”
Here is how I responded:
“You raise a good question. In my opinion, as the parent, you must do what is best for you and your son. Ultimately, you are responsible for you, him, and the unborn baby. As your 7 year old gets older, he will have many ideas of what you should do as the parent. Would you buy a new house, because your son thinks it is good idea? Would you tell him that he does not have to go to school, if he would rather not go? For that matter, would you let him decide whether or not to wear a coat on a cold winter day or whether or not to brush his teeth at night? If you would not let him make those relatively minor decisions, letting him decide what is best for your unborn child is probably an easier answer than you first imagined.
Additionally, you could use the adoption as teaching opportunity to show your son that sometimes people do what is best for others rather than themselves. You could let him know that you and he would be giving an incredible gift to a family that cannot have a baby themselves.”
It occurred to me after I sent it, that if she, as a mother, felt that she could not adequately provide for her unborn baby, making an adoption plan for the unborn child would not only be in her unborn child’s best interests but also in her 7 year old’s best interests.
I tried not to sound patronizing. I just wanted her to realize that a parent must make decisions for their child(ren) based upon what they, the parent, deems best. The first obligation of a parent is to provide for their child(ren). Sometimes, children do not agree with their parents’ decisions, but that is not a reason for a parent to do anything other than what they believe is best for their child(ren).