Friday, July 02, 2010
Unexpected and Unplanned..Reality Check
And the same thing seems to permeate our culture when it comes to child-bearing. You need to have a house at least partially paid for, be established in your career and have a college fund started before you even go off the pill. So sayeth the experts in families. Yeah, right. Life is like that, now isn't it?
If every pregnancy were planned, that might be doable. But there is the little hitch that nothing is perfect and neither is birth control nor human passion. Unexpected and unplanned can be problematic in a pregnancy. But to equate that with an unwanted child is ridiculous. Only my last child was planned. The first three were not planned but, when those little ones emerged into the world from my body, they were definitely wanted..by ME, their Mother.
I am doing a bit of a follow-up on yesterday's post about money, the industry and the disparity between the way poor parents and well-off adopters are treated. Sometimes, that little tadpole and that little egg have a mind of their own. Sometimes, a young couple can get swept up in passion without proper precautions. Sometimes, those precautions fail. Not every pregnancy can get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for timing or be a Martha Stewart "good thing" for preparedness.
These are the pregnancies that make prey out of a mother-to-be. I know of one mom whose social wrecker sat down with her and went over some figures on raising a child to adulthood. It all comes back to the money. The fact that a young mom is not self-supporting or a young couple starting out doesn't have a big 401K should not mean that they don't deserve to raise their own child.
In ages past, all children were unexpected blessings. It is the cruel and judgmental nature of the patriarchy that put the onus on unmarried pregnancies. We should have, as a society, matured past that antiquated idea, but it seems we haven't or the adoption industry wouldn't be pulling down the big bucks.
An unexpected pregnancy, if the mother chooses to carry to term, should be an occasion for a family to draw closer, close ranks and make room at the table for one more. It's not going to kill the American tax-payer for a young mom to get WICK, ATDC and state Medicaid until she gets on her feet. And to the grandparents, how many of you were planned? The joys of being a grandparent far outweigh the work. In helping your daughter keep her child, finish her education and make something of herself for the sake of her child, you are being a real family.
A young, unmarried woman usually doesn't plan to become pregnant. Couples with dire financial woes don't just sit down and say, "Hey, let's have another kid!" But people are human with all the urges and drives and needs that are part of the human condition. To penalize these people for the fact that they are not well-to-do and that the pregnancies are unexpected is counter to everything our Constitution says. When did we become the Land of the Big Achiever and the Home of The Financially Elite? There are many horribly worse things than a simple life.
With my youngest, we were not in the greatest financial shape, but we had a home, jobs and worked hard. Why shouldn't we have had the right to have another child? Who is it that is making all these rules about who may and may not raise children?
Every time a new mother surrenders her child to adoption, I always wonder if she was offered that permanent "solution" for a temporary problem. I wonder where her family and the father of her child are in the scheme of things. I wonder if anyone who "counseled" her tried to offer her ways to keep her baby, finish her education and look to the future rather than drowning in the problems of the present. Chances are great that she will not be in the same position even a year down the line. I wonder if anyone told her that great truth, that this, too, shall pass and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel?
Probably not. They probably wanted that womb-fresh infant too badly to give her impending motherhood a positive spin.
And that is NOT a good thing.