Saturday, August 9, 2014

BMB Reform Blog: An Expectant Mother's Rights

Howdy folks!  It's me again, with another BirthMom Buds reform blog.

When I started this blog, I received an email from a momma I've known for awhile now bringing up a couple pretty valid points in terms of reform:  An expectant mother's right to change her mind, and the timeline of signing the TPR (terminating parental rights.) 

To quote:  "One of the things I have seen on many of the sites is slamming an expectant mom for changing their minds. I keep seeing nasty remarks about girls having to sign away their rights before the baby is born. NOT.  But, I believe instead a woman should have the right to change their minds for up to 6 months after signing, I believe a girl should not be able to sign for 6 months after the birth giving them ample time to decide that it is the right decision for them."

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I also agree that a woman should have ample time to make this life altering decision, without coercion or outside influence.  So many factors come into play when signing early, like post partum depression, drugs during labor and delivery, and the emotional state of a woman when she's given birth.  In any other legally binding contract, all of these things would nullify said contract, but not in adoption.  I think a woman needs time to make this decision without those factors influencing her state of mind.  It also makes her easily persuaded and I would like to think that people would want her making a decision like this when she's of sound mind.  

And I cannot tell you how much I agree with not slamming a woman for changing her mind.   Speaking legally here (because I believe a woman is a mother for life), when we give birth we are mothers until that TPR is signed.  We have the RIGHT to choose which course we take.  Pregnancy and considering adoption are two very confusing things to a woman faced with an unplanned, but very much wanted pregnancy.  I think a lot of people could use some lessons in patience and compassion during this time, and respect should be given whether she chooses adoption, or chooses to parent.  Judgement just adds to the coercion.

So, readers.   What are your thoughts on this?  Remember to keep it respectful please!

If you have any comments or suggestions for a reform blog, or if you would like to be interviewed please feel free to comment below or send me an email!

1 comment:

  1. First, just because a woman (or man for that matter) *can* sign TPR 48 hours after the baby is born doesn't mean s/he *must* sign TPR then. I think this is a huge misconception. Lawyers, agencies, social workers, etc. should be required by law to stress that the time between birth and when TPR is allowed is only a MINIMUM. A new parent can take as much time as s/he needs to sign TPR. Some people *know* after 2 days, some need more time, even a lot more time. And that should always be OK.

    That said, 6 months is way too long for a family and baby to be in limbo. If you're talking about the best interests of a baby, then I don't see how it's in the baby's best interests to not have a permanent family for the first six months of his/her life. Just from a practical perspective, who makes medical decisions and other parenting choices? And if a parent does change his or her mind, and chooses not to sign TPR, a 6-month old knows his/her parents as the ones who have been caring for him/her. It's not easy for a baby to transition at this time.

    I wrote my own opinion on TPR on my blog, if you're interested: