Babies are not dolls!Adoption is a wonderful thing. People who cannot take care of their children need an option. People who cannot have children in a traditional biological fashion, or who have a lot of love to give, are the perfect people to take care of those who are in need. But when adoption goes wrong, it's devastating.
Right now in New York, it's going horribly wrong. Vilma Ramirez, a Long Island mother, decided she could not take care of her fourth child, and put baby Esperanza up for adoption after her birth in February. An Upper East Side couple adopted the baby, changed her name to Isabella, and has been raising the little girl. But now Ramirez says she's changed her mind, and is suing the family to get her baby back.
This is so not cool, on so many levels.
I can't imagine what it would be like to give up your baby for adoption. But once you make that decision, why are you given a 45-day grace period to change your mind? A lot of bonding can happen in 45 days. A lot of crucial early childhood parent/child interaction takes place, and shuttling the baby back and forth is harmful for everyone involved.
I want to feel for Ramirez, but all I can see is an incredibly selfish woman who, after doing what she believed was right for an innocent baby, is now jerking everyone around who is involved. She claims she didn't understand that it wouldn't be an open adoption where she could see the baby as often as she wanted. If that's truly the case, I can see how she would be horribly upset. But if you decide you can't take care of the baby, you can't lease it out and have visitation whenever you like. Or, rather, if the law says you can -- how is that good for a child?
The parents who adopted the baby are surely wrecked right now as well. Not knowing if they'll be able to keep the baby they consider their own cannot be good for the home life of the new family of three. It's an all-around cluster **ck and creates stress on the baby. Babies are not dolls; they have emotions, needs, and feel stress. It would take an incredibly emotionally advanced group of parents to navigate this situation in the best interest of the child. This can and does happen, but clearly by heading to court, that is not the case here.
If you don't want to give your baby up for adoption -- don't. But changing your mind after the baby has already left to go live with another family is unfair to everyone involved. We've seen this happen again, and again. It seems that no one considers what's best for the baby -- only themselves.
Who do you think should have baby Esperanza/Isabella?
Image via alisharusher/Flickr