Friday, May 22, 2015

BMB Reform Blog: "Birthmother Homes"

I recently came across a post in Facebook about an agency that is opening a new "Birthmother Home."  For those that don't know, birthmother homes are places expectant mothers considering adoption go to as a "safe place" to house them during their pregnancy, and to have their babies.

The first problem I have with this is their inaccurate use of the term "birthmother."  Now, I personally don't call myself a birthmother anyways, but I understand that some use the term.  However, with that said, I think calling an expectant mother a birthmother prior to relinquishment of her child is highly coercive.  To call someone something before they become that puts added pressure on them to "follow through" and not change their mind.  And their choice should be free of that pressure.  In the instances of these homes, that is exactly what they're doing.  In the commercial I had seen for this particular home, they even had the pregnant women referring to themselves as birthmothers.

The other problem I have is the coercive nature of these homes themselves.  They make no reference to helping pregnant women make parenting plans if they happen to change their minds, it's strictly adoption.  What do they do with these women if they start to question adoption?   I would think that moving into a home that is strictly for adoption would put a lot of pressure on a pregnant woman.  I know, for me, it would make me feel like I have to follow through.  That I am obligated to relinquish my child, and no other avenue is available to me.

What are your thoughts on "birthmother homes"?

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1 comment:

  1. I agree that this is a highly coercive practice; I was not aware that there are still "birthmother" or "maternity homes" around! You would think that they would have gone extinct by now--what with the way adoption is so gloriously described these days, so-called "open adoptions" and all. Are these "homes" promoted by any particular religious faction or are they all across the board? Wow. That is disgusting.
    On the same note, is anyone aware of the wording behind Florida's "choose life" license plate law? That is pretty coercive, too, when you learn about it.