Monday, September 14, 2009

Sixteen: Keep My Baby or Give Up for Adoption

Q: My best friend is 16 and about 5 months pregnant. Before, she had her mind set on adoption, but now she wants to keep it. I am strongly against this because I believe it is going to ruin her life as she knows it as well as her future. I know that she needs a lot of support and someone to be there and listen to her, but I don't think I could bare to allow her to keep it. Should I intervene? And if so, how should I do it?

A: As I write this, my four year old sister and three year old brother are getting time-outs for being bad (this time it was a small fight over a toy). They are both adopted, and we have what's called "open adoptions" which means we keep in touch with their birth families (send pictures, even visit sometimes), they both come from different mothers in different cities, but in our state. Before we adopted Rose, my sister, we had a baby boy named Adam for three weeks, and then his birth mother changed her mind and we had to give him back. That was the most heart-breaking thing that I've ever been through, and probably will ever go through.

I realize this probably doesn't mean much to you, but I should tell you right now, there is no way anyone can really know what would be best for your friend and the little child inside of her. Anyone but God, that is. But I urge you to try to see both sides, especially from her point of view. This is going to be maybe the single hardest decision she will ever have to make, and she'll have to live with it for the rest of her life, whether she keeps the baby or decides to adopt.

From the adoption side, I look at my little brother and sister and can't even imagine life without them. They are the most wonderful things that have ever happened to me, even if they get on my nerves sometimes.

But from the mother's side, I look back on those three weeks my family had with Adam, and I wonder: If letting a child you love THAT much go after just three weeks is as hard as it was for me, then how hard must it be after nine months?

I can't tell you that it would be better for the mother to keep the child just as I can't tell you that giving the baby up for adoption would be any better. I don't know what kind of situation your friend is in or if it's a good environment to raise a child in or not. But I can tell you that that baby, that tiny little child, is a miracle, though it may not seem like it.

You say you're worried about your friend's life and your friend's future, but there's another person to add to the equation. We should respect and consider that life as well. I'm sure your friend was well aware that her decision to have sex could possibly result in a child, and in making that decision, she chose to take on the responsibly of her actions. Although, to be fair, there are many teenage mothers out there who have graduated high school, probably even some that have gotten through college. It all depends on how committed the mother is to a good life for both her and her child. It also matters that there are people around(family, the father, close friends) who will help her emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially as well.

What kind of goals does your friend have for her life, her future career, and possible future family? Are her parents supportive of her through this pregnancy? Where is the baby's father in all this? Can she handle the responsibility of someone twice her age? These are some very serious questions that you can ask yourself and her. The answers factor a lot in if it would be wise for her to keep the baby.

So I suppose your answer in a nutshell is this: You can try and explain these things to her and hope and pray she will make the best decision for herself and the child. But the fact remains, this child was made by God for a specific reason, and God's plan beats all in the end.

I hope you have found this helpful, please pass my congratulations on to your friend for her holy gift. My prayers are with you all.