Friday, May 6, 2011

Continuing on from Yesterday: Considering your Choices..let's be real then.

Well you know what they say…..write something that everyone will have a strong opinion on and discussions and traffic will go up.

Apparently there was something that stuck out from my post yesterday because by this morning my traffic had tripled and had quite the comments on facebook and in my inbox.

I decided to make a part II and break down some important points [to me] that I think people should think about. And no this post is not to retract anything I said yesterday. I still believe every word I typed out.

There is a difference between ‘real’ questions and ‘supposedly’ real questions:
The page I posted for everyone to see in regards to ‘are you ready to be a parent’ from yesterday’s hot topic book had some regular ‘real’ questions but as I said, there were trick questions in there because obviously a young 18 year old or even 20 year old will probably say NO to a few and then will start to self doubt.

Let’s look at another brochure an online friend of mine fwd. to me to look at. Because it’s a link and not a picture I’m going to reiterate the “real” questions and then dissect why THESE are better questions than the ones on that other book.

Adoption support at Parker Hospital

✻ Am I ready to be a parent?

Everyone really should ask themselves this question. It is a fact of life; parenting will change your life even if you’re “planning” for it. Sometimes even when you plan, you don’t realize how it will change you.

✻ Can I afford to be a parent now?

This is just asking a question, no page of lists of magical thousands of dollars to overwhelm a person with.

✻ What would it mean for my future if I had a child now?

Smart to know that one may have to give up the dream of going away to dorm at a college and need to look at what is around and what one might *need* to do now as opposed to what you *magically want* in the future.

✻ Can I accept someone else parenting my child?

WOW…..yes, seriously, a real question that I don’t see being asked very often. Because yes, it will be SOMEONE ELSE BESIDES YOU and your family usually raising your child. Can you live with someone’s different denomination? Religion in general? Beliefs in discipline? I’ve seen parent profiles; they don’t usually list what their discipline methods are.

✻ Is someone pressuring me to choose adoption?

BINGO. A real question…..can a young person usually answer honestly….and will they like the answer? [will you like the answer as a parent to a pregnant daughter?] And if you don’t, what does that say?

✻ Will I be able to cope with the feeling of loss that I may have?

I may kiss this brochure. Many adoption agencies only talk about the selfless act of placing a child for adoption and that the mother is a hero… one talks that adoption always begins with loss and grief.

✻ Do I have people in my life who will help me through the pregnancy and adoption process?

One will need help and support if adoption is the route one chooses. They need to have people to look up to….(BUT NOT pushed towards adoption)

✻ How do I feel about other women who choose to place their children for adoption?

Good question…..better yet, how does one’s FAMILY feel about other women who choose to place? Are there subtleties that lean towards loose women who spread their legs? Or ‘those’ women? Or women who have problems? Because if that’s the attitude, I’m concerned that this is how a young woman would then start viewing herself or how she thinks her family views her which can lead to problems later on down the road.

✻ How important is it to me what other people will think about my decision?

Basically a continuation of the above question.

****These are all important issues to think about. You may want
to discuss your answers with your partner, someone in your family,
a friend, a trusted religious advisor, or an adoption agency counselor.****

Yes this brochure still has a positive vibe to the whole thing just like the book I talked about yesterday did, but in a different sense AND can you now see why I had a big problem yesterday? This brochure which is also talking about the option of adoption, asks the ‘real’ questions, but they aren’t trick yes/no questions….they are open ended questions and a much better indication of what one has to think about in regards to parenting as well.

Information, tough and real questions, NOT coercion. Everyone will have a different story or know about different situations and have a comment about that. However, I hope we can think about how sometimes even now in the age of information and non-shame (well at least I’m hoping it is better) the subtle coercion tactics are still there. Let’s not be a part of that mess.

Now let’s talk about that other page I hated about the book yesterday….the $ page. Ok the first number is in regards to housing. Um…..last time I checked, my rent/mortgage is the same and not higher since a child entered my house. And if one has a support system like a FAMILY, one would hope that the housing would be there until there can be a time to move to an apt. or small home. Either way, one has to pay for housing whether or not you have any kids (see why I hated this book….scare tactics 101) Food….um one still has to eat and last time I checked Mac&Cheese, rice, beans, pasta is still relatively cheap and again there are resources to help augment your food bill (hint, hint WIC….don’t be ashamed, it’s not a sign of defeat and it doesn’t pay for your every need) Transportation….oh you mean we magically walk until the day we have a child? Really? I don’t get that cost. Someone please enlighten me. Clothing….Ok yes this is a real cost and should be taken into consideration….so does coupons, sales, looking at cousins and seeing if one can score some clothes as well….healthcare….many programs are out there besides Medicaid that are low cost and cover the child, investigate your state programs. Same with childcare…I know where I live some Jr. Colleges have daycares on a sliding scale so you can attend classes. There will always be miscellaneous expenses…..the point is, was the random $$$$ really a necessary page to overwhelm an already overwhelmed young person? Or would it have been better to list alternatives and where one can find x, y, z? Then a woman can make a better and more informed decision with having everything laid out at her feet.

My hope is that whoever has stumbled on these posts from wherever will think about it and take what I’ve had to say with some new information to think about. Thank you all for the comments, e-mails, and face book dialogue.


Thanksgivingmom said...

Okay, these two pamphlets are night and day. The one referenced today? MUCH better job of asking the questions without such a pointed bias. Also, and for me equally important - it treated women like WOMEN, as opposed to cartooned teenagers thinking about adoption in bubbly pink and purples.

In today's brochure, one woman looked happy, one looked content, and two looked deep in thought. I'll take it!

I think that there are so many ways that agencies can use subtle and not so subtle marketing techniques and it's really something that needs to be looked at more consistently, seriously, etc.

(For the record, I still do have some issues with today's that it tells eMoms they can get expenses paid, gives then an out for not contacting the birth father, etc. But I haven't found one agency's material that's "perfect" yet!)

Also - I blame you for giving me a little project to work on.... ;)

DannieA said...

TG, I love thee. You Know I have pink and bubbly thoughts emitting to you right now HA! :)

Anywaysnow I'm all about waiting for your little project. Let me know when it's done ;)

Ticia said...

I'd plan another trip to Cali but jeff can't get the time off this summer

Seeing th questions from this brochure does make the other look much worse

Oh and my theory on housing and transportation Uou want to move into a better house. And cars, kids are messy so in theory they wear it down faster

Last Mom said...

I think understanding that adoption means grief and loss - always grief and loss - is so important. I think that doesn't occur to many.