Thursday, September 24, 2009

"For reasons of their own they abandoned the baby"

A powerful fictional account, sadly based on a true story, of desperate birth parents relinquishing a child so she can receive the health care she needs to live:
The doctor cleared his throat, and in his most “professional” voice stated, “I’m sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but the procedure that your daughter needs is expensive, and is not covered by your insurance plan. Without this operation, her condition will certainly be fatal, especially as she has been born premature.”

Mr. Smith hugged his wife even tighter, as his wife sobbed. Tears rolled down his own cheeks … he knew that if he stopped hugging her, hewould b e shaking. The shock and trauma of maybe losing their beloved baby girl was almost too much.

“But I have good news for you,” continued the doctor. “There are many well meaning, wealthy people who have been waiting many years for a child of their own. They are on the waiting-list of the “Darling Miracles” adoption agency. This agency has an agreement with our hospital. There will be a contract drawn up between our hospital, the agency, and the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents will cover the cost of your daughter’s procedure, IF you consent to your child being adopted. There is a high demand for newborn girls, and tests have indicated that she has been born free of disease or genetic disorders.”

It was a few more minutes before Mr. and Mrs Smith could stop crying enough to look up at the doctor, when his words sank in, to understand that he was saying that the fees that the prospective adopters would pay from the agency, to obtain their daughter, would be used to pay for the treatment she desperately needed in order to save her life.

Their only choice: to lose their daughter due to premature death … or “consent” to lose their daughter. She could either die, or if they “allowed” her to be adopted by the wealthy couple, her life could be saved.

* * *

Twenty-five years later, the young woman opened up the envelope from the agency, containing her adoption papers. Her past was a mystery, hidden in the unknown a world away, born to people she never knew. She unfolded the letter, then read the agency worker’s careful hand-writing: “The child was born premature to a married couple. For reasons of their own they abandoned the baby…”
Click here to read the whole thing from Cedar at On a Little Island in the Pacific.

I'm struck by so much in the story, it's hard to think where to start. I could go off on the need to be providing affordable health care for all. I could rail at the law that would call that relinquishment "voluntary." But I'll limit myself to the topic I've already touched on this week -- not trusting the information given in adoption. I mean, how in the world does the forced relinquishment of a child in order to save her life become "abandoned for reasons of their own?"


Elizabeth said...

That one really stings when I consider the vague wording in my son's file. But then again, could one sentence ever really sum up those cirumstances?

Anonymous said...

"For reasons of their own they abandoned the baby"... I've read so many stories about parents with children with psychological problems who can't get help for their kids and end up having to give up custody of their children to the state in order for the child to receive help. This story isn't just about adoption.

Shari U said...

Oh my goodness. So much of this stuff is just so hard to think about. I'm glad you're putting it out there. It's painful and I don't know what to say, but I'm reading.

I knew it wasn't going to be like the "I love you like crazy cakes" book, I knew it could be complicated and messy, but wow, how can you even prepare yourself for some of this stuff?