Mom Who Abandoned Baby Years Ago Doesn't Deserve to Get Her Back

Heartbreaking 27

toddler shoesTwo years ago a mother gave birth to a baby girl and then three weeks later abandoned the baby to her stepfather. Now authorities say they've located that mother, and she may be returning to claim her daughter after all this time. Little Haddile has already had an unstable life. She was removed from her stepfather's care over abuse charges and has been living with a foster family. Her foster parents would like to adopt her, but they may never get the chance.

This story raises some uncomfortable questions about what rights a birth mother should have. If you abandon your baby, can you really return two years later and claim your child again? How long is too long to reunite with your child? What about the people who have been loving and caring for the child, and what about the child's attachment to them?

The case is even more complicated because while the baby was born in Sweden, the mother is French-Algerian and has been living in France. I have no idea what the laws in either country are, but I'm alarmed for the little girl regardless.

Haddile's case worker says he doesn't know what her birth parents' intentions are -- whether they want to take the girl back home with them, or if they just want to meet her. A DNA test was conducted to prove that they are indeed her parents, so that's not in question. We don't know why her parents abandoned her, either. Perhaps the baby was actually the result of an affair, and the mother fled because she was afraid her husband (the stepfather) would be angry with her. But still, why leave the baby behind?

So many questions. But the most important one is what's best for the 2-year-old. Kids are resilient, but her mother missed out on some key developmental phases. Haddile has lived with her foster parents for most of her life, so she's probably firmly attached to them. Tearing her from that family would be traumatic for her. Again, I have no idea if the birth mother wants to claim her daughter or not, but I hope for Haddile's sake, she stays with the family who wanted her all along, and who has been loving her all this time.

Do you think a mother should be able to reclaim a baby she abandoned years ago?


Image via imcountingufoz/Flickr

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Miche... Michelephant

If she never gave up her legal guardian rights then she should be able to reclaim the child. Reuniting a child with its bio parents is first priority as long as the parent has the resources to care for the child.

dirti... dirtiekittie

without knowing the circumstances of why this child was abandoned (it could range from 'mom didn't want a baby' to 'mom was protecting baby from an abusive home life' and everything in between) i can't really say. but i think @michelephant is right - if she didn't give up her rights, i would imagine legally she still has claim to her child. of course, not being the US, i'm not sure of the legality of the whole situation anyway. but i think something like this should never be addressed with a 'blanket solution', but rather each case would need to be looked at for the circumstances surrounding it.

Austin Keenan

Off the top of my head I'd say they shouldn't give someone more than 3 or 4 months to reconsider.  It's in the best interest of the baby and society to find her good permanent parents as soon as possible not wallow around trying to find a birth mother who isn't even bothering to check in on her.


bleed... bleedingheart8D

I'm sorry but she left her baby with someone who abused her. How is she a good parent, compared to the family that has been raising the baby and taking care of all it's needs. Just because she birthed this little one into the world doesn't mean she has it's best interests at heart.

chigi... chigirl1228

This is where foster parenting differs from adoption. The foster parents are not supposed to be a permanent home. Could they adopt? Sure, eventually, if the birth parents give up their rights but foster parenting, generally speaking, is supposed to be a temporary home into the birth parents get their affairs in order.

nonmember avatar Samantha

Idk, i can't imagine leaving my baby to chance, though she may have felt she was unfit, she may have had good reasons for leaving the baby. She may not have had a steady home for her. She may have been broke. She may have thought that man would take care of her well while she figured herself out. Maybe she had thoughts of harming the baby bc her hormones got the best of her or she was depressed. Maybe the baby was the result of rape. Maybe she herself was mentally abused to the point of being convinced she would be an unfit mother or she didnt deserve her baby. Maybe she was threatened into leaving the baby. There are so many unknown factors. I think she should do what is best for the baby, whether thats to take her or to leave her. If she holds love for her & can provide a stable home, i say let her have her baby.

ivego... ivegotrhythm

I was adopted so I know how wonderful that can turn out. However this American idea that children should be reunited with their birth parents at all costs is why many people (including my best friend) choose to adopt from foreign countries instead. It's a shame because there are children right here who need homes, but few want to risk domestic adoption with the risk of having a birth parent show up and rip their family apart.

Felly... FellyScarlett

Let the foster parents adopt the kid.

CPN322 CPN322

How is abandoning your child not giving up your rights?? Seems to me that the best thing for the child would be for her to be adopted by her foster parents. 

wamom223 wamom223

Agree with CPN322.  And chigirl it sounds like you are misinformed.  While you are right that foster care is intended to be temporary there are many foster parents that get into it to adopt.  Sadly I know many wonderful foster families that have had their babies taken from their REAL mother's arms to be placed with their egg donor that could care less about them.  We need to quit worrying about what is best for the parents and concentrate on what is best for the children.  There is no circumstance in the world where I would abandon my son.  Unless that lady had amnesia there is no excuse and even if that is the case it is not best to take that child from everything she knows to make the bio mom feel better.   

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