There is a true stigma around potential adoptive couples paying for expectant mother/family expenses. Many people look at it as the hopeful couples “buying a baby.” The truth is, there is money involved in adoption. A lot of it. Couples put every ounce of faith they have into each dollar that is given, but I have never met an expectant mother who didn’t appreciate every single penny that these families, never knowing if their families will be complete, have put in the hands of the agency. We, as expectant mothers considering adoption for our babies, are humbled and humiliated by this thought.
Not every potential birth parent wants financial assistance. In many cases, some women are actually ashamed that they have to even consider taking assistance from a family they do not (or hardly) know. Some feel as if they are “selling their baby.” But when a woman finds herself in a situation where she has to consider adoption, you have to imagine that her life is not exactly close to comfortable. This feeling is increased when the uneducated ask questions like, “How much did you get paid for giving your baby away?” (I shudder even as I type this.)
Numerous expectant mothers are able to obtain medical assistance through a state program based off of their income, or lack thereof. If she has private insurance, a request for assistance with monthly appointment copays is something that is commonly requested through the facilitating agency. When these costs are added up, and you consider a woman making minimum wage, this money could mean the difference between a checkup for them and their baby or food for the week. Many low-income women who are not considering adoption do not receive needed prenatal care for this reason.
Some women are homeless or living in motels, paying three times the amount of “normal” rent, and trying to survive week to week. Government assistance programs such as WIC and food stamps do supplement, but they do not get them by. If the expectant mother has other children, the stress of feeding them can compact her struggle, and she is sometimes forced to go hungry so that her child(ren) have a full belly when they go to bed.
Most of these women have very hard and stressful pregnancies. Stress from life. The life that has led them to consider or even fathom placing their child with another family to love and raise as theirs. The moment an expectant mother begins the adoption process, adoption is a stinging pain that she thinks about each and every day of her pregnancy. The stress from her pending decision is something that impacts her daily life, sometimes resulting in missing a tremendous amount of work. If she is lucky enough to keep a job through the pregnancy, she will miss time for medical visits and regular illnesses. Some young ladies are still in school and cannot work to support themselves. Many women find themselves ostracized from their families because of their pregnancies, leaving them to fend for themselves and find that they have nothing. Even though many of us even hate to think of the fact that we are asking a perfect stranger to assist in keeping us safe and healthy during our pregnancy, it is sometimes necessary.
Birth mothers are aware of scammers and what they do to ruin these families financially and emotionally for their own gain. We despise what they do and what they bring to the stigma of birth families and financial assistance. We are not them. Although I’m sure my little article will not change the minds of many when it comes to expectant family expenses, I hope that it sheds a little light on the struggle that many to most expectant moms considering adoption go through. We are grateful for everything that we receive from our adoptive families. Unconditional love, concern, and friendship are the greatest gifts that we receive through adoption, but we are also grateful for the adoptive family’s sacrifices to assist us in the hardest walk of our lives.