Abby: Adoption may help grandmother
Dear Abby: I am writing this in response to “Un-Grandparent in Ohio” (Aug.), whose pregnant teenage daughter has decided to place her baby for adoption.
My daughter and son-in-law adopted their newborn daughter in an open adoption. Each summer the adoption agency sponsors a picnic that is attended by birth and adoptive parents, grandparents and other family members — and, of course, the adopted child. During the rest of the year, our daughter sends the birth mother photos and letters, going through the same agency.
I can only imagine the sadness Un-Grandparent is feeling. I hope her daughter has chosen an adoption agency like this one so she will be able to share in her grandchild’s life.
Dear Grateful: I welcomed feedback from readers about that letter and, as always, they provided Un-Grandparent with thoughtful advice. Read on:
Dear Abby: I am a grandmother and an attorney. I’ve done a lot of guardianship work over the years and would like the grandmother to know that in many cases similar to hers, it’s the grandmother who adopts the baby. This is often the best solution for everyone — especially the baby.
Most states favor adoptions by family members. It could be a wonderful ending/beginning for all concerned if that could happen in this case.
Dear Abby: I went through this with my daughter, who was not in a mental or financial position to keep the child. I was in the delivery room for the birth of all my grandchildren, but in order to distance myself from this child, I allowed the adoptive mom to go into the delivery instead, because it was important for her to bond with the baby. It was easier, in a sense, to distance myself from this child because of my daughter’s circumstances.
I think about my grandson all the time, and I get pictures from the adoptive family. When the time is right, he will meet his biological family. My hope is that Un-Grandparent can trust the adoptive parents to be the right ones and that they will do the right thing for the child.
Christine on The West Coast
Dear Abby: I was neither willing nor emotionally able to raise my 13-year-old daughter’s child. There was an open adoption, with a family that had five children of their own, but neither my daughter nor I took the opportunity to get to know this child or his new family.
My parents (the baby’s great-grandparents) made the effort to keep in touch and were welcomed with open arms. My parents brought ALL the children Christmas gifts, and my mother wrote to them often, visiting when they had a chance.
So, if this is an open adoption, there’s still a possibility for you to have as much contact as everyone is comfortable with. There’s no such thing as too much love!
Kathryn in Texas
Dear Abby: I have been dating “Brenda” for three months. For the most part it has been amazing. I know she’s the woman I want to marry and be with for the rest of my life.
I would do anything for her, which is why I’m having a hard time. We had a great sexual relationship until a week ago, when she decided she wants to wait until we are married to have sex again. For me, sex is an extremely important part of a relationship. I feel close to Brenda physically and emotionally through sex. Now that she’s refusing, I don’t feel as close to her.
Brenda cites her religious faith and setting an example for her kids as the reasons she now wants to wait. I’m having a hard time understanding her point of view and am looking for guidance from you on coping with the loss of something so valuable to me. Obviously, I am willing to wait until marriage, but how do I deal with this until then?
Disappointed in Reno
Dear Disappointed: If you are confused about your lady friend’s “180,” I think you’re justified. If her religious beliefs prevented her from having sex before marriage, she wouldn’t have jumped the gun — and I’m assuming the two of you weren’t making love in front of her children. Her change in behavior may be an attempt to hasten the date of your wedding.
However, because you no longer feel as close to her, put on the brakes and start premarital counseling. The first subject on the agenda should be a frank discussion about sex and what it means to both of you. It will help you understand each other better before you commit for a lifetime, because three months isn’t very long for a couple to date, and you really don’t know Brenda very well yet.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.