Is Giving up a Child for Adoption Giving or Selfish – Selfish

Let me begin by saying that this was a fairly difficult debate for me to choose a side. My first hand experience had led me to believe that each side has a legitimate argument. However, I have chosen the side which believes adoption is a selfish act.

Before my husband and I were even engaged, we ended up offering to take over caring for my sister’s 6 month old son, due to her obvious inability to care for him emotionally or financially. At the time, she had 3 children, the first of which was born when she was only 15 years old. We took my nephew with the understanding that my sister was going to “get her life together” and the arrangement would be a temporary one.

A short time later, my husband proposed, and we chose to move nearly 300 miles away for a job change, and to be closer to my husband’s family. When we made this decision, I assumed that my sister would be livid at the idea of us moving so far away with her son. I was upset at the idea that she would refuse to let him go, but was prepared to hear just that. To my surprise, the opposite happened. She made absolutely no objection to us making the move and taking her son with us. It had only been about 2 weeks since we had taken him from her, and I was nothing short of shocked that a mother would be willing to make that sacrifice.

During the first month of living in our new location my husband and I found out that we were expecting a child of our own. Needless to say, we were blown away by this news. By the time I had reached the 6th month of my pregnancy, my nephew was nearing his first birthday. He was now calling my husband and I “mama” and “dada” and knew no other parents then us. I remember that allowing this to happen was difficult for me. We were not his biological parents, after all. This decision was actually made easier by the fact that my nephew had not received a single phone call or visit from his mother. Nearly 6 months, and not even a phone call.

On his first birthday I received a phone call from my sister. Her exact reason for calling after so long was appalling to me. “I’m really tired of the other kids always asking why ‘Billy’ isn’t here anymore! It’s so annoying! So, as soon as you guys can make the trip, just bring him back so they’ll shut up about it, OK?”

Well, we did not “make the trip”. He is now almost five years old, and by all accounts, is our first born child. It was very hard to see someone handle a situation the way my sister did. Yes, we fought for him. If she had her way, he would have been returned to her years ago. Returned to her solely for the purpose of “shutting up the other kids”. She took advantage of a situation with no intention of holding up her end of things. She made no attempt to better her life or the circumstances for her other children. I have never felt an ounce of guilt for handling things the way we did. The only thing I have felt guilty for is the fact that we were not able to fight just as hard for her other 2 children.

Almost a year ago, my sister gave birth to her 5th child. Her financial and emotional situation has by no means improved over the years, so she found herself unable to care for this child as well. I will never forget the day that my mother called me to say that my sister was giving up the baby for adoption. Her daughter was 7 months old at the time she made this decision. This child had bonded with her for 7 months, and was now being given to someone else because, and I quote, “I can’t stand worrying about buying diapers and food for another baby all of the time!”.

I am happily married with child number 5 on the way. We are by no means wealthy. We struggle every day to make ends meet, but I cannot fathom being inconvenienced enough to give up any of my children. There are certainly situations where giving up a child for adoption is a selfless act, not to mention necessary. However, in the case of my sister, and likely the case of most people who put their children up for adoption, doing so is a way of making life easier for themselves.

The couple who adopted my niece are both school teachers, have a stable relationship, and think the world of their new little girl. They often send pictures and letters to my sister as a way of keeping her in touch with her daughter. Each time she doesn’t write back, or take them up on an offer to visit, I am reminded of just how selfish she is. I am, however, thankful each and every day for the fact that I have my son, and they have their daughter.