A Glimpse Into the Past: Meeting Ana’s Birthmother

When I started the process to adopt from Guatemala, I knew that there was a strong possibility that I would meet the birthmother. The majority of Guatemalan adoptions are relinquishment cases where the birthmother gets to know the in-country facilitator or attorney. I was excited about the prospect as I thought it would be good for my child to know something about her birthmother.


Unlike some other countries, Guatemala has no minimum-stay requirement. All of the processing has been completed prior to the arrival of the adoptive parent and the adoption is legally complete. All you need is a day in Guatemala City to go to the U.S. Embassy and apply for a visa for your adopted child. The visa is issued that same afternoon and you are free to return home as soon as you can catch a flight. With such tight timing, there’s not much room for a Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

Dads be Damned! or…


wonderwoman…..how I am destroying American civilization as we know it.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am not a girl known for being in vogue. I’m not the kind of woman who, when you pass me on the street, elicits words like ‘hip’ or ‘stylin.’ I’m not big on trends. I generally have no desire to be the first person to have the latest gizmo or gadget, preferring to wait til they work out all the kinks…and the price goes down. I often will not do something I was considering if it becomes trendy in the interim, like getting a tattoo. I rather consider myself the anti-trend.

I also consider myself an ‘armchair feminist.’ I believe in women’s rights. In equal pay for equal work. That women are still treated unfairly and in some cases detrimentally in many sectors of our society, and certainly around the world. Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

The Back-Up Plan – not that one

Lately, the subject of single mothers by choice has been all over the media because of a movie that recently came out, starring Jennifer Lopez, in which her character becomes pregnant with the help of an anonymous sperm donor, only to fall in love with Mr. Right immediately afterward. I haven’t seen the movie, and, as a “real” single mother by choice, I’ll never have the time to see it, but I have viewed some of the recent TV news stories and discussions about it. And while it’s nice to have a celebrity like J-Lo showing single women that they do have options, I can’t say this movie is anything like my life—nor is “back-up plan” an appropriate term for the process by which I came to have Jayda.

I never pictured myself as a single mom; but then again, I didn’t always picture myself as a mom, period. Unlike Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

Waiting for Cristina: The Family Tree gets a Romanian Branch

I was exhausted from the four-hour car ride and from the emotion of the day. But then I saw her—my beautiful little daughter was being wheeled toward me in a stroller by my agency director. He placed her in my arms and left. I expected bliss—I was wrong. She started screaming at the top of her lungs, “Nu! Nu!” (“No! No!”) and slapping me on the face. We walked through the airport with her screaming and hitting me and me telling her everything would be alright. Later my agency representative would tell me that the screaming and hitting was a good sign. It meant that Cristina had been attached to her foster family, and therefore she would become attached to us.

Back home she cried for an hour and a half and then fell asleep. Then my son starting whimpering and saying that he wanted her to go back. He Continue reading

Not bonding with newly adopted child

Dear SMCS,

I’m struggling with feelings I never thought I would have for my newly adopted 4-year-old son. It took a few months to come to grips with the fact that I do not love him the same as I do my 8-year-old biological son. It had not occurred to me that that was possible. It was somewhat therapeutic just recognizing it for what it is worth. I would like to think this difference will fade with time.

Responses from Our Wise SMC Forum Members:
“I hope you can give yourself a break. A 4-year-old comes with his own history, complicated by the whole issue of transition, further complicated with whatever trauma might exist related to his previous history and post-institutional stuff. The chances are very strong that the boy you are parenting now will be very different once he develops the confidence to know that you are his mom Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

My Circuitous Route to Adoption

I became a thinker and joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) at age 39. People encouraged me to move forward, but I was stuck. I wanted a husband, then kids—the traditional family. At 40, I met someone I hoped could be Mr. Right, who turned out to be Mr. Autonomy Issues. At 41, I broke it off. I was devastated. I went into a depression, sought counseling and was stuck—I wanted biological kids, but I also wanted a traditional family. I kept thinking.

Looking back, I see how uneducated I was about fertility for women in their 40s. Despite the many women in the news having children well into their 40s, I didn’t know these women used donor eggs—not their own. So, with my eggs growing older by the day, I continued thinking.

Finally at 42 (and 10 months), I made what I thought was the most difficult decision of Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

I was Never a Thinker

 

Today is my son’s 9th birthday. It still boggles my mind.

There are mornings when I wake up and it strikes me all anew—there’s a child in the room next door and that child is mine. I’M A MOTHER. I want to scream it to the world. The word single doesn’t really enter into the equation. Yes, I’m a single mother. Yes, I did this on my own, consciously choosing to have a child who wouldn’t have a tangible father in his life. And we’re a family, a perfect little unit that suits us just fine. His friends know he doesn’t have a dad and sometimes they ask questions—but most times they don’t.

I was never a thinker. This has always been my destiny. Motherhood was in my soul. Sure, it’s hard, but I look at my married friends with kids and you know what? Their life is hard Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

Welcome to Our Blog!

I am pleased to announce our blog for the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) organization. I started SMC in 1981, soon after I gave birth to my son, Eric. I wanted support from other women like me (37, single, educated) and although this was before the Internet, by the miracle of networking and word of mouth, several of us found one another and began meeting in my NYC living room.

We were all in our 30’s, and were in varying stages of the process (thinking, trying to conceive, pregnant, adopting, new single mothers by choice). We realized quickly that although we were from differing backgrounds and points of view, we had an important bond — we wanted to share our experiences as new single moms who were parenting alone, and also wanted to provide support and information to women who are thinking about or working on becoming single mothers by Continue reading

Published
Categorized as adoption

“I joined when I was in the Thinking stage. The forum was exactly what I needed to research the SMC experience. I felt more confident with that support and information, and am now a mom to a baby boy!”

– Anonymous