When society looks down

When society looks down upon something, isn't it sometimes for a reason? There's much discussion in adoption debate about young girls being supported in keeping their babies. That although it's not as shameful as it once was, it's still discouraged and these young mothers are encouraged to relinquish, or something. That the amount of support necessary to enable them isn't there, whether it be in the form of social assistance or familial aid. My question is, what if it was? I mean, birth control exists for a reason, right? Females of all ages at some point in their life fear/dread getting pregnant. I think I can safely say that most females in their teens fall in to this category. Why is that? Well, for me, it was likely first and foremost that my mom would have "killed me". Second I think it must have been I didn't want to have a baby I couldn't keep, like my biological mother. Other than that, I don't think I had a reason. I wasn't one of the people who had education/career goals. My biggest goal was moving out on my own. Another goal was to have a child someday, originally on my own because I didn't think I was marriage material, that I didn't need to have a father in the picture, and possibly I used to imagine I would adopt a baby who needed a home although this is not a concrete memory so I'm not positive I felt that way. I think I did at some point though. Having said all that, I can state that even though having a child was one of my biggest goals in life I did everything humanly possible to make sure I didn't have one when I shouldn't, and I didn't.

Now, what if I hadn't been afraid of my mom "killing me". Or if I'd not known that I needed the resources to raise a child, that if I didn't have them my child could be lost to me. I'll never know for sure of course but my bet is that there's a good chance I'd have gotten pregnant before I was ready and it's a crap shoot what would have happened after that. I have three friends that found themselves pregnant when they didn't want to be and one had an abortion, one relinquished, and one kept the baby. The one who kept the baby found herself pregnant late in life, at a time when she thought she was done with babies so it's not a surprise she had the child, kept it, and is living happily ever after.

So, here's my point, I'm wondering what would happen if it was okay. That it would be no big deal if females getting pregnant as soon as they're physically able (and that's young!) was completely socially acceptable, if they were embraced and supported by government and family here in North America.

Please know I'm not saying women shouldn't be supported in unexpected, unintended pregnancy. I'm all for maternity and paternity leave, parental leave, welfare assistance for those in need, child tax benefits, grandparents babysitting off and on, baby showers, high school programs for teen moms etc, and if my son messes up and becomes a dad before he is ready I'll help him, that's a no brainer. I'll "kill him", but I'll help him.

Can't wait to be a grandma!


  1. Campbell, no offense, but what is the point? You start out sounding like an add for adoption vs abortion and end sounding like a mom debating her own sons sexuality and sexual behaviors - way before he is ready.

    For me, abortion and adoption were not a choice, not ever. Even when I was being told "sign them or we will....." it was not a choice.

    I see something that is probably not real visible here - but I hear you saying you are glad your mother did not abort you and at the same time you are saying that you are not sure whether you support that thought.

    Of course, in the end, I also see you waffling to the "support young mom's" side of the board.

    So I have to ask these things:

    1 - can you accept that while all adoption experiences are not bad and/or good, the need for understanding who you are in the deepest part of you (the part that makes you who you are) is innate and necessary?

    2 - can you accept that not all mothers give up a child because they can't take care of them or because they are too young, or whatever?

    3 - can you try to see the other half - the cultural half (first mother culture) of the deal?

    4 - that we first mom's do see adoptive parents in two ways. First is the adoptive parent, the parent that adopts, loves, and is a real parent to our children. Second is the adopter, those that adopt like a collector buys a figurine, or a toy and there is no love or even the pretension of love?

    I guess you confuse me, it is as if you think you have to denigrate your first mother as some kind of demon to justify loving your mom. It makes no sense to me. Help me out here.

  2. I guess I don't see the scenario of "what would happen if it was no big deal if females became pregnant as soon as they are physically able to" as being just about adoption. That is part of it, of course. I imagine there would be less adoption, which many would say would be a good thing. But there are many other ramifications to this scenario which have NOTHING to do with adoption. Mainly, many girls and women would once again be absent from college and careers. How many would go to college at 18 if they already have 2 kids, even with supports in place? Even if you don't want to go to college, you still have to find a way to support yourself and your child and there is no government in the world that can afford to support huge amounts of unemployed mothers and their children. (And there would be more if it was "OK" to get pregnant at a very early age.) Despite what I grew up hearing in the 80's, you can't "have it all". No one can. There are no easy answers, which is why the whole subject of adoption is so complex. My daughter's first mother was not young (she is older than me) but had no choice but to relinquish for other reasons. This scenario wouldn't have chnaged a thing for my daughter or her mother.

    I do think we can do a better job of encouraging young women to parent their child and as a society make it more possible and acceptable for them to do so. But to make it "completely OK" for a 12 year old to have a child?? I hope that day never comes. Just my opinion.

  3. Oops, wires crossed here. When I refer to my mom I am referring to my adoptive mom. And "killing me" is what I, (I think others as well) say when they're going to get in trouble as a kid. Like, oh man, if I'm late my parents are going to "kill me".

    I'd never denigrate my first mom. And my son is going to be 20....

  4. Yeah Kris, it's not just about adoption. It was just a thought about society and how sometimes when things are frowned upon there's a decent reason. It's true adoption doesn't just happen to young girls/women, my birth mom was 25 when I was born.

    I had the thought because in adoption discussion/debate there's so much talk about teens keeping their babies, how they make fine parents if they're supported, that it should be okay. The post isn't really about adoption aside from the fact I'm adopted and that influenced my decisions regarding sex and having a baby before I was ready and that adoption discussion was what got me thinking about why it is that society looks down on teen parents.

  5. Hi Campbell,

    I just wanted to say thanks xox
    Thanks for being brave.
    Thanks for trusting in this process, and in yourself.
    Thanks for choosing Love instead of Fear.
    I Support You.
    Even if I don't agree with your words, I will never attack you.
    I look forward to your sister's Words.
    Thanks for finding me xox
    Mama K.

  6. Hello Campbell,
    Interesting post. I like how you think out loud, and make good points about what you are contemplating. Adoption raises so many mixed emotions for just about anyone. Everyone will have an opinion, or something to say about it. I for one love talking adoption because without communication, what would we ever learn?

    I write often about how society perceives pregnancy, especially teenage pregnancy. I think there is a huge catch 22 in this country: sex and sexiness is at an all time high with media, yet they get angry when women get pregnant out of wedlock. Our kids are in a world that is too politically correct, too ashamed to stand up for what they think is right (rather choosing to blame others for the injustices of the world, ei: suing because coffee is too hot, suing because someone used the constitutional right to voice their opinions, parents that rely on the school system to RAISE their children because they do not want to be bothered by it...) and WAY too instant! I can remember waiting FOREVER for my mother to get off the phone so I could call a friend. Society has many ideals, many wishes and many comments about what is "right" and what is "wrong".

    I understand you thoughts, and I say keep them coming. It is good to explore that which makes us wonder, what would the world be without great minds? I think you are strong, very strong.

    Thank you for the post,

  7. Kristina and Kelsey, I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

    It's my feeling that you both were brave and strong presenting your points of view on the blog where I discovered you. It's not easy when people refuse to believe and seem to twist something that's obviously been well thought out and comes from the heart.

    Obviously every adoption situation is unique but I did get a feeling of sameness between both your feelings and what I believe my birth mother's are/were and it felt encouraging.

    Kristina I'm very impressed with how you say you're handling your daughter finding you and how you asked that she let her parents know. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

    Kelsey, I pretty much agree with all you've said here regarding my post. I think "society" is definitely sending mixed messages that could be combated if we'd just put more effort into parenting our children, giving them confidence, a safe place where they know they're loved, teaching them about personal responsibility, patience and integrity.

    I have to chuckle at waiting for the phone. You remind me that as a teen I ended up getting my own phone line put in that I paid for with my waitressing and babysitting money.

    I look forward to peeking in on your blogs and likewise, if I feel the need to disagree I will certainly do so without attacking.


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