Megan Cohen is a renaissance woman with many gifts and talents. She is an adoption attorney who was admitted to the bar in January 2010 and was made a partner by 2011. She has received the Northern California Rising Star Award every year since 2011 for excellent service after taking over the firm in 2013. Megan has had a fire in her heart for helping those going through the process of placing a child for adoption. The reason why? Because she knows what it is like to have to make the heart-wrenching and overwhelming decision. Megan is a birth mother who chose to put her son up for adoption in 1988.
While Megan was growing a beautiful baby boy in her womb, something else was growing as well: her fears. Megan had just spent the last few years prior fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with cancer at age 17 and 19. After all the treatment and the long horrific process of fighting for survival, Megan’s doctor shared with her that it would be unlikely that she would be able to conceive children. Yet, at the age of 20, her rocky path had just intensified when her pregnancy test read that she was expecting a child.
Coming from a history where she felt emotionally alone, Megan was afraid to talk to anyone. She was like the black sheep of her family, while her other siblings were shining. The baby’s father had no way to support her and became absent. She feared being judged and told that she should be responsible. She thought others might think she should keep the baby, but she knew she couldn’t. For Megan, she was determined to do what was best for the child growing within her. It was a difficult process for Megan; she wanted to know that she was making the right decision. She felt so alone since she didn’t want to open herself up for the opinions of others. Megan stated,
“The thought of taking care of another human being overwhelmed me. I was in school. I didn’t have any money, and I was living with my parents. I knew my baby’s father wouldn’t help (I was right), and I didn’t want my parents to raise my son. I love my parents, but they had lost steam raising my sister. She was their fifth child born when the four of us were teenagers. But it was more than that. I had zero confidence in myself in just about every way. I didn’t think I’d be a good parent. I was too young, too selfish, too stupid. The thought of how badly I could screw up a child terrified me.”
Megan placed her child because she knew only she would be parenting her child. She felt emotionally alone, and she didn’t want to remain living with her parents because there would be no telling when she would get on her own feet to step out on her own. In her early life, she felt like she was standing on her own, an independent soul facing the world. Though her parents provided the basic necessities for life, her emotional state of being was often in the land of the lonely.
Megan knew adoption was her best choice. She placed her child for adoption because she believed it would open the door of blessings to someone who would love a child but could not have one. It would open up her life to become the strong woman her son could be proud of. She would also spend her life fighting to give others who were making the hard choice of placing a child for adoption the ability to have support and love throughout the process.
The day Megan gave birth to her son was the saddest and greatest day of her life. She was brokenhearted and relieved. She knew her son would be safe and grow in a loving home. She was going to have an open adoption and watch her son grow up and be involved wherever she could. Even though this life that had grown inside of her and had been part of her life for nine months, her child was going home in the arms of someone else. Megan shared,
“I no longer worried about whether my child would have the life he deserved. I knew he would. I didn’t worry about what I would do next with my own life; it was wide open and in some ways a clean slate. I had been through the hardest thing a woman could ever do, and I felt like a person reborn. I came out the other side of my grief and loss and felt I could accomplish anything. I wasn’t going to waste that feeling. I was determined to make my boy proud and to make a life for myself that he would be proud of (and he is!).”
Today, Megan is fighting to help women who are seeking to place their child for adoption. She offers them support, love, and free legal services so they can make the best choice for their lives and the life of their child. Megan has a wonderful relationship with her son, and every day is glad she chose adoption so that he could have the fullness of life. Today her son is proud of his mother and how she fights to help families experience support through the adoption process. Megan is married now, and she has two teenage daughters who know and love their half-brother. They visit with each other several times throughout the year. Megan wants her story to reveal that adoption can be an amazing choice for loving birth mothers who want what is best for their children.
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