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Facts & Arguments Essay

My teenage daughter's pregnancy

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Faced with the same situation at 19, I wanted her to know the joy she could bring a couple unable to have a child ...Read the full article

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  1. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: As the father of two adopted children who are loved and cherished beyond words, I wish that more would choose this option.
  2. Barbara in BC from Canada writes: Good story. I like the positive message. Parenting has changed, for the better it seems.
  3. Joseph Friesen from Vienna, Canada writes: Thanks so much for this article - it has a particular beauty to it - optimism, hope, selflessness and love.
  4. J Van der Woods from Canada writes: Many thanks for the wonderful article.
  5. Levap K from Canada writes: It was too emotional for an old guy not to cry. Thank you.
  6. Keile Keile from Toronto, Canada writes: Your daughter knows how to party!

    A kid at 19 AND she's giving it to charity?

    Like a birthday present, right?

    She's 'giving it a better life'. I'm sure that's what she'll tell it when she realizes, a few years from now, she may not ever get to see her biological offspring.
  7. Levap K from Canada writes: Keile Keile from Toronto, Canada writes: Your daughter knows how to party!
    A kid at 19 AND she's giving it to charity?
    Like a birthday present, right?
    She's 'giving it a better life'. I'm sure that's what she'll tell it when she realizes, a few years from now, she may not ever get to see her biological offspring.
    ----------------------------------------------
    You should go back and read it all over again. There is more to life, than just having children. You wait until those same children will not remember you as much. You have lot to learn, if you live long enough.
  8. Valkyrie 23 from Guelph, Canada writes: That was the most mature and utterly wonderful take on teenage pregnancy I have ever read. That father is a wonderful person. It is more than commedable how he stressed to his daughter that it was her choice as to what measures she was willing to take, but I'm also glad he was 'man' enough to talk to his daughter about such a personal issue and express his viewpoint in a mature way. What a wonderful family dynamic. Even the most responsible people can have accidents when it comes to sex/preganancy, but it's how you respond to it that denotes your maturity. What a great article! Thank you!
  9. Ken Cowan from Paris, France writes: Of course, she has the 'right' to choose, but the father quietly did everything in his power to influence that decision. Coming from a 'conservatively religious family', is it at all surprising that he is using his role as father to do everything he can to make his daughter go through with the pregnancy?

    One obvious point which the article CONVENIENTLY forgets to discuss, is the boyfriend's feelings about all this. From this article, HIS reactions to the pregnancy are not at all taken into account. And even if the kid IS given up for adoption, HIS role as father could see him being forced to make payments for 18 years to the kid's welfare. THAT is a legal aspect not mentioned here, but which is often entirely supported by the courts, as a recent article pointed out (where the original father PLUS two boyfriends were ALL obligated by a female -natch! - judge to pay child-support...three boyfreinds ALL paying for the same child!

    Another thing not mentioned at all in this warm, cuddly story, is the fact that the girl obviously doesn't know enough about birth control. Is this ALSO because of the 'conservative religious family' that she comes from? Didn't her parents ever have a RESPONSIBLE talk with her about how to avoid pregnancy in the first place?

    This entire piece is a manipulation of reason.
  10. Larry L from Southampton ON, Canada writes: Thanks for sharing a wonderful story. We are the adoptive parents of two wonderful people the 'boy' is now 41, the 'girl' 39. They were ten days old when they came to live with us and have given and received more love and care than we could have believed. We told both as soon as they were old enough to understand ( perhaps even before) that they were adopted and emphasized that their biological parents put them up for adoption because they loved them and wanted to give them a better life than they could at the time.
    Both our 'kids' have connected with their biological mothers and have formed relationships with them. They have become our friends as well.
    We love our grandchildren dearly and it gives great pleasure to read to them, work & play with them and help them grow up.
    Please don't ever overlook the adoption option. It is a win, win arrangement.
    Just a few weeks ago one flew back from Vancouver and the other brought his family to celebrate their grandmothers 95th birthday. we are all very much a family.

    Keile Keile think it over.

  11. Mark H from United States writes: 'Ken Cowan from Paris, France writes: Of course, she has the 'right' to choose, but the father quietly did everything in his power to influence that decision. Coming from a 'conservatively religious family','

    Where do you find that in the article? It says the father grew up in a religous COMMUNITY. It doesn't say anything one way or the other about his own beliefs. Two paragraphs of what you wrote hang on something that you didn't even read. And btw - being outraged that a parent tried to influence their child is a little strange. That's what parents are supposed to do.
  12. The Pinch from Toronto, Canada writes: My beloved Aunt passed away two years ago. Just before last Christmas, I was advised that Auntie, at 24, went to London to do some 'temping'. The 'temping' turned 60 on March 26.

    My entire first degree family is dead. But now I have a cousin, nieces, and great nieces in England that I knew nothing about. We have a lot in common. We even look similar!

    I believe - and I am soliciting the comments of other readers - that it is possible for a birth mother to maintain some contact with the birth child. I am sure this is full of issues, but then, so is life. It's the only regret my cousin has.

    Thank you for reminding us of this very humane and lovely option.
  13. Michelle Moon from Toronto, Canada writes: Thank you, Ken Cowan from Paris, France. I too felt that the piece was self-serving and justificatory with a thin veneer of selflessness and good-doing in the name of making the best or using the worst in order to arrive at some transformative experience. The need for eveything to be positive - or regarded as such - is pathological in North-American societies these days. Furthermore, I would like to support your arguments: firstly, that the pregnancy should not have happened to begin with in a time and a day suffocated with talk and mechanisms about prevention, birth control, and STDS. That was never explained in the article, conveniently jumping to the options to resolve the pregnancy. Secondly, that boyfriend, the other party is never considered, never made part of the discussion. Thirdly, the father's manner of resolving the situation is highly manipulative: his daughter is nicely coaxed in choosing from the basket of options made available to her BY HIM according to HIS rationale. I sense something far from wonderful and selfless in this story: patriarchal logic according to which the daughter reacts nicely coerced to believe she;s exercising her own will in order to justify a different logic, maybe one of rigid religiosity or one of irresponsible parenting justified as 'liberal' where everything is possible and commendable. Everything should not be possible at 19 unless the pregnancy is desired and bringing a child to full term does not immediately and irrevocably become someone else's responsibility.
  14. IS N from Canada writes: Don't see one bit what's so wonderful about this essay, except the last bit about the older couple being pregnant. Other than that, all I can say is, sad, very sad. So babies are made just to be given away, are they? And since when is 19 too young to have a child??? She's an adult!
  15. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: Ken Cowan writes: 'HIS role as father could see him being forced to make payments for 18 years to the kid's welfare.' etc.

    Ken, FYI, in an adoption, if the father is known and desires any relationship with the child, he has full legal standing in the adoptive process, and the child would not be adopted without his consent. Further, if the child is adopted, he or she becomes the full responsibility of the adoptive parents and no support whatsoever is due or possible from the birth family.

    Further, many adoptions of this sort these days are open adoptions where the birth family is known and many times has an ongoing relationship with the adoptive family.
  16. m a from Toronto, Canada writes: I kept thinking that this article was a joke and waiting for the punch line. Are you kidding me? What kind of father tries to convince his daughter to give away her baby? Does not even take into account her boyfriend's feelings about what would happen to his child?

    Taking nine months out of your life to have a baby at nineteen (or any time) going through all the physical, mental and emotional changes that entails, without a future with your baby to look forward to, and then experiencing the trauma of giving that baby away... I can't even imagine how horrible that would be. The right to life people go on and on about the trauma of abortion, I think it's nothing compared to the regret and pain you see all the time with parents who have given away a baby.

    And what kind of self serving dad outs his teenage daughter's pregnancy in a National Newspaper so that he can write a self congratulatory article like this one? Please, G & M, no more of this writer.
  17. Jane P from Toronto, Canada writes: I wonder if anyone who has commented on how horrible it is for a mother to consider giving her baby away has EVER been faced with the realization that they could not provide their child a good life.

    Or if they've EVER experienced the pain of infertility. If they've ever read a story about a newborn being abandoned in a trash can to die and wept because they could have given that child a LIFE, and loved them so hard.

    NO. Didn't think so.
  18. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: M.A. For some reason, some are assuming that the boyfriend did not or would not have any say in this. This is patently untrue. First, legally, the boyfriend has a great deal of say in the matter. Secondly, the call received near the end of the article was from the boyfriend's house, at least indicating that the boyfriend probably may well have had an ongoing part in this story, though not mentioned by author. Finally, just as much as the boyfriend might have wanted an ongoing relationship with the child, he may have have been utterly unprepared for the responsibilities of parenthood and felt also that adoption was a viable and a good alternative. Why assume all the negative and castigate the father and daughter for this?
  19. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: T LM - While birth family involvement was rarely a part of adoption in past times, this is no longer the case. Many domestic adoptions are now open. Our son's birth family has had as much, if not more contact with us than some in our biological family. His birth grand parents are full grandparents not only to our son, but to our adopted daughter also, who has no birth grandparents. His birth mother is his 'Angel Mummy'. While his birth father was unwilling to meet us at first, he has received regular updates and pictures and we will meet him and his family when they are ready. Our family has just become bigger and more inclusive.

    And I completely disagree with you that only a mother can love her child like a mother. I have felt love so strong in my heart for my children that it is almost a physical pain. I do not believe I could love my children any more even if they were my own flesh and blood, and my wife feels the same way.

    Adoption is a wonderful choice where the birth parents are unable to provide a safe and loving environment for their child - and many times this is very much the case.
  20. Roland Charbonneau from Canada writes: 'I could tell from the cadence of my wife's voice and her line of questioning that something was wrong. There had been a spontaneous miscarriage, and there would be no baby after all.'

    Yeah right, totally spontaneous, I'm sure...
  21. Like Sooo Really from Canada writes: Hmmmm.......... A(bort) D(eliver) Option. What a eff'ing system we have.
  22. Rob Tremblay from ottawa, Canada writes: nice story

    whats with all the negativity??? You people have undoubtedly displaced anger in your lives towards the young couple described in this story. i suggest a little introsepction.
  23. Like Sooo Really from Canada writes: Sometimes adoption is for those who wanted to but couldn't go through with terminating the pregancy.

    Speaking from experience on both sides...Once the decsion is made to terminate or give up child to adoption - there is a break in the mother - child connection. So even if this young woman was to keep the child - the bond has been compromised because of termination/adoption consideration.
  24. Nature Lover from Canada writes: The way the writer sees it, he's supporting his daughter's choices. However, to run around promising an unborn child to people YOU KNOW facing infertility is a little creepy. This is controlling an adult child to the degree that she can not truly become an adult. Plus, the boyfriend is again left out of the equation, just like he himself was, and that's okay? Thiis is not a cloud with a silver lining story, it's a 'Look what a good Dad I am' story, self-serving with a large dash of entitlement.
  25. Man of La Mancha from Canada writes: Ken Cowan from Paris, France writes: .....One obvious point which the article CONVENIENTLY forgets to discuss, is the boyfriend's feelings about all this. From this article, HIS reactions to the pregnancy are not at all taken into account. And even if the kid IS given up for adoption, HIS role as father could see him being forced to make payments for 18 years to the kid's welfare. ......

    Ken - you don't get it. The male has no say in the matter. Don't you know that it's the woman's right to choose. The male role is to shut-up and pay. Is it a wonder guys are unwilling to 'commit' these days, when 'commitment' will quite possibly wind-up being a commitment to pay with very few associated rights.
  26. Jane P from Toronto, Canada writes: 'This is sad, I was 17 when I had my first child, and now she has a child of her own. If I would have given her up for adoption, I would never have known my grandchild.'

    If you would have had an open adoption, then yes, you would have known your grandchild. Most domestic adoptions are open adoptions.

    'What kind of mother is this...she is 19...giving it up doesn't show responsibility...it shows selfishness'

    What is selfish about wanting to give your child a better life? What is selfish about giving a childless person a chance at parenthood? Suffering through 9 months of pregnancy and childbirth is hardly selfish.

    It is selfish to keep that child if you are resentful of their existence, constantly thinking 'what if' -
  27. mary wells from Canada writes: T LM.............17 and had your first?....Well i hope you had a job to support your child or did you rely on taxpayers funds to pay for him/her?Personally, i dont care if you have one or a dozen as long as you have the responsibility to support them.The shame is not in having the pregnancy, but in expecting society to pay for the child.It does NOT take a village to raise a child, it takes the parents.
  28. Anton Norbert from Brampton, Canada writes: Thanks for sharing the story Mike. Real issues effecting real people.
  29. Cathy Kotzé from Nanaimo, Canada writes: I agree with Larry L, C.C. from Calgary, and many others. Our daughter adopted our precious little granddaughter and we know only too well how big the sacrifice is that her birthmother made. From her perspective abortion was not an option. She knew the little one had a very small chance of having a normal life in her specific community, and opted for something that she hoped would be better. She chose her daughter's forever mom carefully. To see this little one soar, and to experience the positive effect that she has on everyone she comes into contact with, makes her mother's sacrifice worthwhile. It would have been a sad loss for many if our granddaughter's life was snuffed out at the very beginning.
  30. Bob Cajun from Canada writes: a from Toronto, Canada writes: I kept thinking that this article was a joke and waiting for the punch line. Are you kidding me? What kind of father tries to convince his daughter to give away her baby?

    No kidding, as ticked off I would be should I find myself in his shoes, my attitude would change 180 degrees the second the word 'grandchildren' are mentioned.
  31. lynz b from Canada writes: honestly, i dont know why people write stories to the globe and mail. there are so many people out there who only find what is wrong with an article opposed to finding something good.
  32. Sue Shewkenek from Eckville, Canada writes: As a birth mother who'gave' my son up for adoption over thirty years ago, I feel you still have it all wrong. I lost my son 30 years ago, no one explained about the nights I wouldn't be able to close my eyes because all I could think of was my son. How my arms ached to hold him, and how my heart is still today breaking as if it happened yesterday. I was lucky and 'found' my son approx 8 years ago - but he is now someone else's son - not mine. He should have been mine.... but I was young and naive enough to believe I was giving someone else my son to raise - something I was told I couldn't do properly. I could have raised him and loved him, just as well if not better than his adopted parents. Adoption is not a solution to teen pregnancy. Being a mother is!!!!
  33. T LM from Canada writes: Mary your shallow...seems if you can come up with the idea that everyone who is 17 and has a baby and keeps it is on the system. Well let me tell you something...I had a husband..who worked...and I have a been through college...myself..so yeh I could have taken the easy road and gave my child away..but I loved her too much and knew the best life was with me. Hard for you to swallow..well it isn't imposible and if you think it is..well then lets all give up our children.
  34. Cathy Kotzé from Nanaimo, Canada writes: Adoption laws have changed. Many adopted children now have a relationship with their birthparents from the very beginning, and this is good. Even dads become part of their child's new, extended family. I have the highest regard for those who keep their babies, and know that their hardship will be worthwhile in the end. Grandparents are always a valuable asset, and can play a significant role in that child's upbringing. In short, there are many options available. Some may require sacrifice, others may cause heartbreak. Please also keep this little one's very existence in mind. He/she might just someday have an awesome influence on society!
  35. it's a fact from Canada writes: Roland Charbonneau from Canada writes: 'I could tell from the cadence of my wife's voice and her line of questioning that something was wrong. There had been a spontaneous miscarriage, and there would be no baby after all.'

    Yeah right, totally spontaneous, I'm sure...

    what are you insinuating? a lot of women miscarry in the first three months spontaneously.... it is very very common. I believe that it happened as it has happened to me.

    Jane P: great posts. as usual, I'm totally in agreement with you.
  36. Chris Farley Ratcliffe from Ottawa, Canada writes: I write this as a birth father who along with my girlfriend at the time made the choice as a teen to place our child for adoption, as a parent and as a sexual health educator.
    1. This father presented his daughter with information about an option which she had not seriously considered and which he had personally chosen when faced with the same situation.
    2. He does not appear to have imposed his views. Rather he presented information about an option and trusted her to make a decision that was best for her.
    3. We don't know about the opinion of the birth father, but can presume that he agreed with the decision as they continued to be a couple at least until the miscarriage. Absolutely the father has rights and responsibilities in this decision and there is no reason to assume that they were not respected in this case.
    4. Not everyone is prepared to parent and we have to right to judge whether or not they made the right decison for themselves about what to do with regards to this unplanned pregnancy.
    5. Being pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. It means supporting an indivudal's right to make the choice that is best for them. This father did not tell his daughter what to do. He gave her the information and let her make the choice and we should respect that choice instead of second guessing it based on what we would have done or think they should have done.
    6. Placing a child for adoption is a valid choice for the birth parents and for the child.
    7. Teen pregnancy is not shameful. People of all ages have sex and people of all ages face unintended pregnancies and as a result the decisions about what is best for them.
  37. Mike L. from Canada writes: C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: 'As the father of two adopted children who are loved and cherished beyond words, I wish that more would choose this option.'

    I second this, but from the point of view of one who was adopted in infancy!

    Life is so much more grand as seen from the position of the 50 y.o father of three teens that I have become, than for a few seconds from the bottom of a pathology tray.
  38. Peter The Not Quite Great from Canada writes: As a recent adoptive parent I can say that it is possible for birth parents to maintain contact with their child. This depends on the good intentions and follow through of all involved. Some adoptive parents may not maintain the contact but often it is the birth parents who 'fade away'.

    That is understandable at first since seeing the child may be very painful but it is in the child's interests to know her full story and her birth parents.

    The story is heartwarming and adoption can be a very good thing but it is painful. Birth parents will grieve for not being able to raise the child and adoptive parents grieve for the biological children they never had. Out of this pain a new family can be created and very good things can happen but adoption is never easy.

    Unfortunately the idea that placing a child for adoption means you will never see them again is still very common. Open adoption is a good option for some people and this choice needs to be properly explained and promoted.
  39. Anne Dupont Salter from Canada writes: A wonderful story about how a less-than-ideal situation can be turned into a good one. Yes, at the end, it's sad, because that child is lost.
  40. varun xm from toronto, Canada writes: Michael - thanks for sharing your story and for the positive approach to it. many many thoughts around this, but I guess you dont need the validation. Just wanted to shake your hand. you're a good man. :-)

    I am glad you shared there are many people around who are trying to have children and would adopt (no questions asked) if given the chance. it is extremely hurtful to read these stories of abandoned babies found in snowbanks, in stairwells, in dumpsters... if only they knew.
  41. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: Mike L - Thanks for your post - because our adopted children look very different from us, we are often approached by adoptees who have been loved and cherised by their adopted parents and express that to us. But we have also been blessed by our kids so much - we feel like we are the lucky ones - watching these two little lives grow and expand and bring joy to us and to those around them. We hope when they are 50 that they will appreciate life as you do. Thanks again.
  42. ginny smith from Canada writes: Mark H writes: 'And btw - being outraged that a parent tried to influence their child is a little strange. That's what parents are supposed to do.'

    Really? The woman - and yes, she's a woman, was 19. Not 12. Not 10. But old enough to drink, to vote, to go to war - all those markers of adulthood. She's also old enough to make her own decision.

    Absolutely, the range of decisions should include adoption. But this father suggests that he was being open, when actually, his goal was to get her to carry the fetus to term, and give the newborn infant up for adoption. He wasn't really interested in giving her a choice, unless it was his choice.

    This woman's choice was hers. While her dad could be supportive, his role is not to influence her or to put pressure on her. It is to listen to what she has to say (if she wants to say it), and to accept the decisions she makes.

    As for birth control - it fails. Even the best planned birth control fails - ask my neighbour who got pregnant just under ayear after she had her tubes tied.
  43. Tula Tam from Selkirk, MB, Canada writes: Teaching your child birth control would have also been an option.
  44. ginny smith from Canada writes: Chris Farley Ratcliffe writes: 7. Teen pregnancy is not shameful. People of all ages have sex and people of all ages face unintended pregnancies and as a result the decisions about what is best for them.

    Bravo. It needed to be said, and I'm glad you did.
  45. Peter The Not Quite Great from Canada writes: Some people seem to be making a lot of assumptions in their comments.

    The boyfriend was 'left out' of any decision. How do you know that? Ultimately it is the woman's decision but since she called form her boyfriend's place when she miscarried it's obvious that some kind of relationship still exists. So you could just as easily assume he was involved in the decision to not raise the child.

    Many others are still operating from the 'I would have never seen my child again' paradigm. That is no longer automatically true, domestic adoptions are open.

    And far too many judgments are being made here. This is a very personal and difficult choice. It will be different for each person facing it and since you don't know all the facts you have no basis for judging.

    And what's with all the bashing of the girl's father? We all have values and morals and we try to teach them to our children. If he opposes abortion (which we don't actually know) of course he will suggest adoption as an alternative. That's not wrong. If you see your child considering a course of action you think is wrong or harmful of course you try to influence them away from it. That's why we get concerned if our kids have friends who do drugs or drive dangerously. And all you quick to judge types overlook the fact that he said he would support his daughter no matter what choice she made.

    Cut everyone in this story some slack. They were dealing with a challenging personal dilemma not some theoretical debate.
  46. farmer girl from Canada writes: Great story! Nice to hear that the parents didn't kick her out. So many parents abandon their kids in this time of need.

    As Ken Cowan writes.....Another thing not mentioned at all in this warm, cuddly story, is the fact that the girl obviously doesn't know enough about birth control. Is this ALSO because of the 'conservative religious family' that she comes from? Didn't her parents ever have a RESPONSIBLE talk with her about how to avoid pregnancy in the first place?

    Give me a break! Did you know that it takes 2 people to have a child? This is not just the 'parents' of the young lady's resposibility. The boyfriend has parents too. Did you also know that condoms and birth control pills are not 100% effective? Look in the mirror before you judge other people. Or, better yet, read up on facts before you post so you don't sound like an idiot.
  47. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Sue Shewkenek from Eckville, Canada writes: '...I was young and naive enough to believe I was giving someone else my son to raise - something I was told I couldn't do properly. I could have raised him and loved him, just as well if not better than his adopted parents. Adoption is not a solution to teen pregnancy. Being a mother is!!!!...'

    My condolences. It is certainly a strange society in which those who are poor and lack influence are coerced to give up their children to affluent middle class couples who cannot conceive.

    Says something about all of us.
  48. Michael Geisterfer from Chelsea, Canada writes: I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this article would raise such a firestorm of debate. Pregnancy is such an emotional issue, which was sort of my point. When my girlfriend bcame pregnant back int he day, I didn't feel I had a choice. Abortion was not an option in the deeply religious community that I was a part of back then. My daughter, by a different token, did not feel she had a choice. A quick abortion was the only option that presented. I wanted her to know that she had a choice. There are a full range of options when something like this happens. Yes, I had a preference and I made it clear to her. But she is an adult and would have done precisely as she pleased regardless of my opinion. And I would have supported her in that decision.

    For the record, I am pro-choice, and as someone already put it, that does not mean pro-abortion. A choice implies that there are options.
  49. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Michael Geisterfer from Chelsea, Canada writes: '... For the record, I am pro-choice, and as someone already put it, that does not mean pro-abortion. A choice implies that there are options...'

    None of which included keeping her baby, your grandchild, so what kind of choice is that?

    Unless I'm wrong?
  50. Petras Vilson from Ottawa, Canada writes: A nice story touching on a parents love, a daughters choice, and a potential gift with enormous impacts on two families and a new life of course.

    This Christmas Eve, friends of mine, a childless couple who have tried for 10 years, finally adopted a baby girl from a young 19-year-old student mother. It was an open adoption allowing the mother regular updates and future contact with the child.

    Their joy as new parents was enormous ! Their only sadness was the knowledge.. that eight other couples had lost out in the bidding. The young mother had reviewed nine family profiles before making the selection. This is apparently common. Adoptions remain too rare and too difficult it seems.

    I've read that there are approximately 90,000 abortions for convenience (non-medical, no rape) each year in Canada, and an estimated 200,000 couples looking to adopt at any time.

    Surely, this situation is a tragedy ?
  51. Bobcat 64 from Halifax, Canada writes: When I was 19 years old I got the shock of my life. My mom received a phone call and quickly went into her bedroom to take it. She started crying and shaking and when I finally got her to tell me what was wrong what she said floored me. She told us that 24 years previously she was forced to give up a baby girl for adoption and that her daughter had tracked her down. I was ecstatic I had another sister but extremely hurt that my mom kept it from us. What I finally came to realize is she came from a different era. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother died when she was young. She certainly did not have the type of family I was accustomed to growing up with. When my sisters got pregnant young she also explained the options open to them, but deep down she wanted them to keep the babies so they would not go through the misery she did, not knowing how her baby was. They both kept their kids and are now grandparents themselves. In this day and age we do have choices. In other generations that decision was made for you. I commend the father in this story for being man enough to let his daughter decide while trying to presuade her based on his experiences. That is what we do as parents. 25 years later my big sister and I are extremely close, as she is with all of us. She had a wonderful relationship with our mother who sadly passed away this December. My mother's life changed dramatically the day she found her daughter and I am so glad they had each other for the past 25 years. I think when the choice is taken from you it just makes it that much more difficult for a young girl. Remember, the mother and father have to live with it the rest of their life, no one else. It should be their decision and no one else.
  52. Aretha Franklin from Soul City, Canada writes: Domestic adoptions have the option to be open with the agreement of those involved. However, many adoptions through CAS are not open, for the safety of the child.

    And for all those righteously pointing out that the boyfriend should have a say in any adoption process: would all of you have pointed that out if this was a story about abortion?
  53. Like Sooo Really from Canada writes: is an 'open adoption' code for lets get some suckers - I mean a couple who can't have children to subsidize the life of a child - who will then convinientlyl drift back to their biological parents - when the adopted parents are no longer of any financial use.

    open adoption - what a scam. Give up your child to adoption - should mean signing away all access - for both parents.
  54. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: This pretense of 'choice' between death and estrangement is troubling.

    I find it impossible to believe that any mother who carries to term is over joyed about giving away HER BABY. More so if the reason is economic and social pressure.

    Not that arguing 'god's will' was ever anything but a projection of one's own desires, but aren't religious advocates compounding their hypocrisy by ignoring 'god's will' in deciding that those barren couples shouldn't have children?

    Bearing this in mind I notice that there are tens of thousands of foster children without real homes throughout the country.

    I guess they're not cute little babies though hmm?

    So to fulfill their own dreams they leave the needy to the side but prey on the young insecure mothers to steal their babies.

    Better hope there isn't a god.
  55. T LM from Canada writes: Jane P...yes it is still selfish...if your keep the child and are resenting the child for being born....instead of yourself for not taking precautions in the first place.
  56. Seajay Jee from Canada writes: This girl's choice was made for her...she didn't have to make a heart-wrenching decision. Choosing abortion may seem like the easiest solution to an unplanned pregnancy but the personal repercussions are lifelong. What if, by some medical chance, this was the only pregnancy she was able to achieve in her life...and years later bitterly regretted terminating the life of her only child? Even if she had a houseful of children by then, thoughts would always return to the wilfully terminated one.

    Abortion is NEVER the answer. The courts may have given women the right to play God with another human life but that will NEVER make taking another's life right. Human life is sacred, even in the beginning stages. A mother who would kill her unborn child possesses the qualities attractive to potential mates? How is this so?

    Women have a choice, but it exists before conception, not after! Killing the unborn for convenience is not the right reason. A pregnancy brings instant responsibility for the life of another...whether one likes it or not.
  57. mary wells from Canada writes: T LM...........Married at 17???????Quite rare, but i'll believe it....College??????????judging from your spelling and grammatical errors ,i dont think so.Also, being on 'the system' is cyclical so children of parents or parent that are on 'the system'see this as an acceptable way of life and tend to follow suit.This is a failure of parenting skills.Oh, and its been my observance that those who are cynical of my ideals,are usually on some type of social assistance.Shallow,maybe, but i am also hardworking and pay huge taxes.Best wishes to you and your family.
  58. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: Philosoper King in your Ivory Tower - yes you are in an ivory tower. There are many fully legitimate cases for adoption - from the adoption of children abandoned by his or her parents, to birth mothers caught in drug addiction or in prison to many others. Of course there are borderline cases, but your argument of so many children in foster care only argues against you - they are there because their families are so challenged that staying there was not an option, in spite of intervention. Of course the best resolution is that parents could be supported enough so that they could give a safe and loving environment for their children, but in the real world this is not always possible for whatever reason. In these cases, why not have the child go to a home where he or she will be loved and cherished rather then end up down the road in foster care?
  59. Ground Working from Canada writes: Overall, a good story. It not an easy task for a parent, and it's nice to see that the father points out to the daughter there are ethical problems with abortion. People make mistakes; how we handle those mistakes is what's important.

    I remember reading about the 'myths of abortion' once. A Toronto 'women's clinic' had on their website a number of 'myths about abortion', followed by a rebuttal. One of the 'myths' was that getting an abortion can prevent you from getting pregnant again. This, of course, isn't true. But the website dispelled the myth by pointing out that some of their clients have gotten two abortions in the same month!!

    It's one thing to be pro-choice. It's another thing to think of abortion as if it's like getting a haircut. I thought the father did well to instill a balanced sense of the decision in his daughter.
  60. T LM from Canada writes: Mary, please...to have you insult me anymore about my life...you can keep going because it obviously makes you feel like a real big person. Kudos to you for admitting your shallow. I will try to explain my point again..it IS posible to take responsibility of your pregnancy without social assistance. Ginny Smith says it best :)
  61. T LM from Canada writes: Spell check Mary..I spelled 'possible' wrong...hahahaha
  62. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: C. C. from Calgary, Canada: I'm not arguing against adoption.

    I am arguing against coercing young women into giving up their babies.

    The fact that there are tens of thousands of adoptable children that languish in foster-care tells me the primary concern of many couples who can't conceive is there own wish fulfillment, not the welfare of children.
  63. con hack loser PM is bad for Canada from Canada writes:
    Mary - you're an idiot. Enough.

    As for the article, very thought-provoking, and good that this particular family in this particular situation was able to proceed this way.

    Abortion, however, needs to be relieved of the stigma and restrictions thrust upon it by the religious dogma types. Then, and only then, can we have real 'choice'. Choice means ALL choices. No one, but the hardcore radical psycho types would view keeping the baby or putting up for adoption as unacceptable. Most, like myself, would applaud it.

    But few, if any of the anti-choice zealots would show the same decency.

    That is the crux of the firestorm that this issue always brings up.
  64. mary wells from Canada writes: con hack loser.....ditto...
  65. Ground Working from Canada writes: 'Abortion, however, needs to be relieved of the stigma and restrictions thrust upon it by the religious dogma types. Then, and only then, can we have real 'choice'. '

    What restrictions exist on abortion in Canada? None.

    And the stigma attached to it stems from the fact that it is ethically tenuous, not for religious reasons, but because it's quite clear from a scientific standpoint that the moment of birth, when the law accords rights to the baby, is physiologically arbitrary.

    Most people recognize that abortion is a difficult ethical issue, save for the nuts at the fringes.
  66. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: I don't like abortion, but in a society that prizes individual choice to the point where it is prepared to allow children to live in abject poverty, it must remain an option.

    If we lived in a society that took responsibility for its members even while requiring responsibility of them, then I would be steadfastly against it.

    In realtion to this, I notice that no one considered the raising of children to be a good growing experience and/or consequence for the young lady in question.
  67. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Ground Working from Canada writes: '... Most people recognize that abortion is a difficult ethical issue, save for the nuts at the fringes...'

    Absolutely. In fact Canadians are quite in agreement for the most part.

    Through polls we know that most Canadians at least tentatively accept abortion in the first 12 weeks, but starting growing progressively more uneasy or flat out against it beyond this point.
  68. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: Adoption is a super duper idea.

    I have never known, or even heard of, an adoptive family who was abusive or had the child starting life 'from behind'.

    Adoption good.

    A.J.
  69. D Burns from Toronto, Canada writes: Most of the posters here have brought their own personal biases and opinions, and read the story through those distorted lenses. For those of you who acuse the father of offering advice and guiding his daughter based on his worldview and personal experience I have a word for you -- its called PARENTING. Would it be better if he said 'I completely disagree with this advice but here you go, Oprah recommends it.'?

    This scenario works both ways, i've seen parents encourage their children to have an abortion when the daughter wanted to keep the baby too. Life throws curve balls, as long as the parent is playing an active role with good intent that's the best a son or daughter can ask for.
  70. C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: Philosopher writes 'So to fulfill their own dreams they leave the needy to the side but prey on the young insecure mothers to steal their babies.'

    Ok, on this one, you are way out of line with reality. In Canada and in most western countires, there are strong regulatory frameworks within which adoptions are processed. The government agencies do a pretty good job of scrutinizing the licensed agencies and organizations that deal in adoptions and in examining those that wish to adopt. And they continually update their procedures to guard against misuse of the system.
    In addition, all domestic adoptions are also processed through the court system and so examined also by the legal system. Maybe it's time to step out of the ivory tower...
  71. Reality Check from Canada writes: I've read quite a few of the posts here, and I'm pretty surprised at some of them. Most of all, I find that 'Seajay Jee's' post is major BS: 'This girl's choice was made for her...she didn't have to make a heart-wrenching decision...' ((No? This choice was made FOR her? How so? Generally, I would like to think that a 19 year old girl deserves a little more credit than that, seeing as she is definitely her own mind and person. She was merely exposed to another way of seeing it, that doesn't mean that she was brainwashed or forced into making a decision she may or may not have made on her own!)) 'Choosing abortion may seem like the easiest solution to an unplanned pregnancy but the personal repercussions are lifelong. What if, by some medical chance, this was the only pregnancy she was able to achieve in her life...and years later bitterly regretted terminating the life of her only child? Even if she had a houseful of children by then, thoughts would always return to the wilfully terminated one.' ((Seems like the easiest solution? Perhaps, only as long as you're on the outside looking in. The fact is making ANY decision about an unborn child is going to be hard. Probably one of the hardest a woman, a couple, a family will ever make. Everyone is effected, but it comes down to your own conscience. I know that it's possible for adoption to go right, as I've seen it first hand. Life deals unexpected hands, and you've just got to do what you can. Learn your options: hold, fold, call it, bluff... I know that for myself, from my own family's experience, I could never let my child go to someone else to be raised. My mother is adopted, and when she had her first daughter - she broke down. She looked down at her beautiful baby girl, her eyes, her smile - and she couldn't understand why anyone would be able to let their baby go.))
  72. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: 'What kind of father tries to convince his daughter to give away her baby?'
    .
    .
    .
    The realistic kind...who realizes that the kids life AND the parents liufe would probably be sht if the daughter kept this baby.

    Lemme guess....you think a parent is always the best caregiver for a child? (even if they make 9.00/hr...hate the kid because it ruined their friday night drinkin......resent the kid....can't spell difficult words or do math themselves....hate the kids grandparents on the spouses side.....and hate the spouse because they hold the parent to their responsibilities..... and the like?

    Are you one of those?

    Raised in an environment of abject: failure, resent and misery is best for a child? (for real?)

    I would have thought that giving a baby to a family who WANTS a baby..and can AFFORD to give the baby a life of open opportunity would be the best play....no? (no resent, no being raised by an unprepared family who resents eachother..and all that negative sh
    t)

    Just my 2 cents
  73. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: 'In Canada and in most western countires, there are strong regulatory frameworks within which adoptions are processed.'
    .
    .
    It's too bad they dont do such stringent background checks, preparedness checks, and screening for parenthood 'in general'. Far too many families out there have kids and make you wonder what the f they were thinking!! (Of course; they were NOT thinking in many cases.....just giving in to their instincts and temptations)
  74. Jane Edwards from Calgary, Canada writes: To Non Partisan,

    To say you know of no adopted children who have been abused only shows how naive you are. It happens all the time - adoptive parents have as many emotional issues as biological parents. Being adopted does not make a child 'safe', it makes him or her change their name and identity. I also know that few open adoptions remain open.

    Dealing with adoptive and biological families is like handling dynamite. Sooner or later it explodes!

    I have a child I relinquished years ago and now have a good relationship with, BUT it is difficult for both my family and my child's adopted family to remember we are all on the same side. Jealousy and fear play a big part in destroying biological parents' relationships with their children after adoption. It is not easy to maintain a healthy relationship.
  75. Andrew House from Victoria, Canada writes: I'm with Reality Check. Reading through the Comment sit seems to me that more than a few people are focusing too closely on what they believe or they believe to be 'right'. No one here is required to agree with this young woman's decision, nor are they required to agree with or sympathize with (some may be able to empathize with, but that' s another story), her father's position or actions. Fact is, when a woman gets pregnant and, for whatever reason, does not feel that raising the child herself is a viable choice, then carrying the baby to term and then giving it up for adoption is an absolutely reasonable alternative. So is an abortion. The choice between these two is personal, individual, and unique and those who would criticize either choice, condemning the choice they don't favour, are simply out of line, and out of touch.
  76. Moe J from Montreal, Canada writes: moving article.

    God bless for the good intentions
  77. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: 'I wonder if anyone who has commented on how horrible it is for a mother to consider giving her baby away has EVER been faced with the realization that they could not provide their child a good life'
    .
    .
    They only realize they are not fit to be a parent when their child tells them so on siad childs 18th birthday.....around the same time they goto jail...or move out to get away from the negativity of the household. (not in all instances, of course, but often)

    Most 19 year olds think they are ready to be the best parents and provide everything a child may desire. (Because--they just--dont know any better)
  78. Quinn Barreth from Canada writes: It's interesting to read the comments here.

    In some places you hear reason, and in others the cyber version of a kid standing in the corner, eyes closed, fingers in ears, shouting their opinion as loudly as they can.

    Nice.
  79. Stephanie B. from Canada writes: Non Partisan writes, 'Adoption is a super duper idea. I have never known, or even heard of, an adoptive family who was abusive or had the child starting life 'from behind'.

    Well you haven't been looking hard enough, because I have meant plenty of adopted people who have either been abused or not treated so well by their adoptive families. You can count me in as someone who was emotionally abused by an adoptive 'father.' There are plenty like me out there. I have met them.

    Like So really writes |open adoption - what a scam. Give up your child to adoption - should mean signing away all access - for both parents'

    How mature are you? The shift towards open adoption recognizes that their is in the child's best interests to know their biological parents. Children are not simply some commodity to be bought and sold. Who has the right to give up the right of a child to know his or her biological parents in exchange for food and shelter for the first 18 years of their life?
  80. TheWorld IsNuts from Ontario, Canada writes: Michael & family - thank you for sharing such a personal and emotion-filled story with the rest of us. I commend all of you - your daughter and wife, yourself, your daughter's boyfriend - for facing such a difficult situation with such bravery and open mindedness. It is a very rare thing to find, which is very apparent from the tone of some of the posts attached to this article. I hope someday, when the time is right, your daughter can experience the joy and happiness children can bring and you can enjoy spoiling a grandchild or 10. I hope everything worked out okay with your friends' pregnancy.
  81. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: C. C. from Calgary, Canada writes: '... In Canada and in most western countires, there are strong regulatory frameworks...'

    Of what value are society's regulations when based on the presumption that taking babies away from their mothers is a better idea than supporting the maintenance of this most sacred relationship?

    The best mother to a child is its own mother.

    Adoption is a wonderful thing for the orphaned or abused, but for children that have parents, economics and social stigma is a lousy reason to separate them.

    This strikes at the core of family values and what it means to be human.
  82. Cooler Head from Big Smoke, Canada writes: Do some of you actually read?? In the article, Michael says, 'I want you to know that I will support whatever decision you make. I just want to make sure that you know you have a choice.'

    I took that to mean, had his daughter said, 'I want to keep the baby' he would have been committed and supportive.

    She did not. She said, 'Well I'm not going to keep it.' True to his word, his answer was neither judgemental (something some of you could learn) nor directive. He said, 'But there are other options'

    Options implies choice. Having accepted that his daughter would not keep the baby, he presented the other alternatives.

    To the ideologues in the thread remember the line 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone.' I am pro choice. I have many friends who are not. I respect their right to their decision, and they mine. I do not accept their right to impose their views on anyone else.

    To Michael and his family - good for you.
  83. m a from Toronto, Canada writes: Hey Non-Partisan,

    If it were my kid, I would make sure she had all the facts about all her options. I would tell her the decision was hers and I would support her no matter what. Then I would put in my 2 cents by recommending an abortion as the best option. 2nd best option, keeping the baby, distant third, giving the baby up for adoption.

    If found this article shocking because this dad is clearly living in fantasyland. I don't think giving away a baby is as easy and carefree as he makes it seem.

    If you bring a child into the world, then you are responsible for that child. Giving it away is probably a better choice than keeping it in many situations, but in that case it's the Hobson's choice, the best of a bad situation. (And BTW, for those thinking that adopted children are never abused, please remember Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum who killed their 6 year old daughter Amy.)

    I do feel for people who can't have children and want to adopt, but no one has the right to a child. The world is incredibly overpopulated already, why is that not a consideration?

    To blithely suggest, as this author did, that a nineteen year old should happily have a baby, give it away to friends as though it would not have incredibly serious repercussions for her and her boyfriend and the child is irresponsible.

    And I repeat, what kind of dad outs his daughter's pregnancy in National Newspaper? Creepy. I have my doubts about his daughter's 'spontaneous miscarriage' as well.
  84. Nature Lover from Canada writes: D Burns from Toronto, Canada writes: Most of the posters here have brought their own personal biases and opinions, and read the story through those distorted lenses.
    -----------------
    Absolutely, this is the point. It is a volatile moral dilemma. We all have our personal views on this, as does the father, the wife, the pregnant daughter and her boyfriend. I don't know that the father was outlining choices any more objectively than anyone else could have. That the preganacy ended as it started 'unintentionally' tells how much control the parents of this daughter really had over the situation. There is no one right answer and nobody has it anyway. If she's still calling daddy when her car doesn't start, is she ready to be responsible for a child? Or are the parents expected to step in and 'rescue' their children by rasing their grandchildren?
  85. Reality Check from Canada writes: Stephanie B., I understand. It takes alot for people to see past convenient beliefs, and I admit that I too have been one to fall behind them at times. In the circumstance you've mentioned though, I hate to think of it. There's just no nice way to put it - it sucks. Kids who are given into adoption, in the hope that they may have a better chance with a family of a more stable income (or for whatever the reason may be), plain stabs me in the heart. What is a kid supposed to do, when their 'adoptive' or foster parent abuses them? Call CAS? I've seen some of the kids in the care of CAS, and I wouldn't be the first one to say that even the care they receive from them is... marginal. The point is, adoption is a bit of a 50/50 draw. It's a bad way to put it, especially because most of the time these days there is a lot of investigation into a potential adoptive family. Financial stability, family mental health, etc.. It's not just a pick up and go business anymore. But bad people still happen to bad things, and unfortunately that is just a disgusting part of human nature that we will probably never get to breed out. Your experience is important, and I'm certain the pain was unbearable. But, at least we (hopefully) feel a bit better about the kids who are adopted through legitimate, meticulous agencies who do everything in their investigative power to ensure that these kids are getting something they truly deserve.
  86. Jane P from Toronto, Canada writes: 'The fact that there are tens of thousands of adoptable children that languish in foster-care tells me the primary concern of many couples who can't conceive is there own wish fulfillment, not the welfare of children. '

    Foster-care is temporary, and as far as I am concerned a terrible situation for children to be in. Just because a child is in fostercare does not mean that they are available for adoption. Often, they're not - they're stuck in a bureaucratic limbo. I want to be an ADOPTIVE parent - I think what a child needs is stability and permanence. It has nothing to do if the kid is back, white, or polka-dotted. I really don't care. I just don't want to be a revolving door. Really, REALLY - I'm not picky. But it's easy to judge if you've never experienced the heartache at being left out of one of life's greatest joys.
  87. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Nature Lover from Canada writes: '... If she's still calling daddy when her car doesn't start, is she ready to be responsible for a child? Or are the parents expected to step in and 'rescue' their children by rasing their grandchildren?...'

    Then again this could be the learning experience which changes that dynamic as well. Who can say?
  88. Seajay Jee from Canada writes: Reality check: the choice was taken from her by the occurrence of the miscarriage, no one was negating her ability to make her own choice.

    As for being on the outside looking in...my own personal choice when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, nor does yours, have any bearing on the ethics of abortion as a birth control modality. There are better choices. The unborn have a right to life as much as you or I. Anyone who disagrees should be grateful your mother did not choose to terminate your gestation!
  89. urban ranger from Vancouver, Canada writes: An interesting article.

    I would suggest that adoption is not necessarily as wonderful as various posters would have us believe. As in any family, there can be problems. However the literature tells us that adopted children tend to have many more psychological and psychiatric issues than biological children.
  90. K R from Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Not that arguing 'god's will' was ever anything but a projection of one's own desires, but aren't religious advocates compounding their hypocrisy by ignoring 'god's will' in deciding that those barren couples shouldn't have children? Bearing this in mind I notice that there are tens of thousands of foster children without real homes throughout the country. I guess they're not cute little babies though hmm? _______________________________ There are several moronic 'stats' thrown around here that show how uneducated the general public is about adoption, but I had to respond to this one. Really? tens of thousands of foster children waiting to be adopted? Please show me where you received this information from. Because it's not true. The majority of children in foster care are in foster care because they are not available to adopt. There is a huge waiting list of adoptive parents at Children's Aid but there are so many children who are waiting for court cases to resolve and / or working with the court system that is trying to reunite them with their birth family. It is rare that a child becomes available for adoption has a long time to wait before being matched. Please let me assure you, there are no warehouses of children sitting around waiting for their new mom and dad to pick them up. Adoption is an extremely emotional, draining and financially difficult process (for all parties involved) It is not a decision that one takes lightly, but the rewards can be limitless with the right mixture of respect, patience, compassion and love.
  91. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Jane P from Toronto, Canada: Naturally I understand that many adoptive parents are good people with the best intentions who would make good parents if given the opportunity.

    My point is that the real parents are preferable if still alive unless child abuse is a serious danger.

    I also understand that not all foster children are adoptable, but a great many are, most of them not babies, but older children.
  92. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: K R from Canada: Well there's over 500 000 in the US alone, so I would have to assume that at least 10% could be adopted, ie 50 000.

    http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/factsforfamilies/foster_care

    There are plenty of children available for adoption, but the older the child the less likely they are to find anyone who wants them.
  93. Lisa Sainsbury from St. Catharines, Canada writes: Gack. Just gack. SO much that's wrong here.
    Why couldn't he have asked her what she was considering, and taken it from there, rather than immediately imposing his opinion?
    If he's as 'liberal' as he claims, then why the subtle pressure?
    One can't help wondering to what extent he's seeking to validate his own past decision.

    'She could have done whatever she wanted with the pregnancy and there would be no judgment from me . . . '
    I wouldn't put money on it.

    Indeed, m a from Toronto. You're totally right about creepy.
    What kind of dad does 'out' his daughter in a national newspaper?
    It truly boggleth the mind.

  94. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Seajay Jee from Canada: Our society long ago chose to prefer the ethics of making everyone work to maximize economic capacity over the value of children.

    This is why our birthrates have collapsed.

    Without immigration we'd disappear in short order.

    Unless we are prepared to re-embrace parenthood at the societal level and put our money where our mouths are, I don't think the position of society's architects on the abortion issue will change.

    Our economics demand it.
  95. K R from Canada writes: Philosopher king:

    That's the US, not Canada. It's very different here. And don't assume anything with foster care, it's actually very rare for a child to be available for adoption and still live in foster care.

    What you are talking about is a media stereotype that is not true. Believe me, I am a potential adoptive parent and have exhastively researched all options, International, Children's Aid and Private Domestic. My husband and I have been to Children's Aid and met with them, the waiting list for a child (yes a child, not just a baby) is prohibitively long.
  96. K R from Canada writes: Lisa Sainsbury: 'Why couldn't he have asked her what she was considering, and taken it from there, rather than immediately imposing his opinion?'

    Um... he did. Did you read the article? He told her he would respect her decision no matter what. She said that she was not going to keep it. He said 'okay, well there are options other than abortion if you want to hear about it...'

    It would be irresponsible for him as a parent to not educate her on her options.
  97. K S from Toronto, Canada writes: Faced with the same situation?? I hardly think so. You're a guy. Unless your body goes through the same physical and emotional changes and you face the same health risks (some potentially fatal) with pregnancy, then you lack the credibility to write such an article. Adoption is the LEAST chosen option for a reason. There are more than too many children needing good homes already. Let's look towards solving their troubles first.
  98. S K from Alberta, Canada writes: Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: .....In realtion to this, I notice that no one considered the raising of children to be a good growing experience and/or consequence for the young lady in question. You forgot 'consequence for the young man in question'....seems a lot of people are taking a hit at the mother but the father was blameless in this. The raising of children would be a great growing experience for anyone...but it prevents you from accomplishing other experiences for 18 years, whereas done the other way around you can finish your education and get a job which takes about 6 years and then you can grab onto the child-rearing experience. Personally I know that my parents would have always encouraged me to have the child and keep it if I was pregnant. They would adopt it themselves if need be. I worked with a woman who at 32 was a grandmother, she had her child at 16 and though she tried to teach her kids that they should wait she ended up with a pregnant 15 year old. Even then the mom encouraged her to keep it and came up with a plan for her to be able to support the baby (involved family babysitting and working longer hours). It was probably hard but it was right for that family. Being pregnant young and unmarried requires a lot of support from the parents, both in wisdom and in time. And I wish it wasn't a burden placed more on the women's side then the man's but I guess biologically there's no way around that fact beyond abortion.
  99. Anna Korenova from Czech Republic writes: Who is inventing all these stories?
  100. Lisa Sainsbury from St. Catharines, Canada writes: K R wrote 'It would be irresponsible for him as a parent to not educate her on her options.'

    A 19 year old woman in this situation is going to be perfectly well aware of her options, though perhaps less so of their implications.
    What she needs is to be able to voice and discuss her own feelings and opinions before being exposed to her father's.
    After she's had her say is when when the 'educating' and support should be given.

    Anyway, it may be that she never even considered abortion.
    All she's reported as saying is that she wasn't keeping it.
    Not that she wasn't going to carry the pregnancy to term.

    A very odd piece of proselytizing indeed.
    Pardon my skepticism.
  101. Duane Freemantle from writes: There is no one right answer and nobody has it anyway.

    The best option is for the daughter to keep the child, but also the most difficult on the girls life. I have know many people who have been faced with those options, and the best was to keep the child. The important difference for these girls is that they have had supportive families and a supportive boyfriends (who are now their husbands). The girls were able to finish their education, and now seem to be very successful people. The most important thing is the family.
  102. Scary Fundamentalist from Vancouver, Canada writes: K S from Toronto, Canada writes: ...There are more than too many children needing good homes already. Let's look towards solving their troubles first...

    ---------------

    The average wait time for a healthy newborn here in BC is around 3 years. Most give up before they get one. In one agency that I am familiar with, there are over two hundred potential adoptive parents and only six placements last year.
  103. BC Philosopher from Canada writes: A very good story with a very good heart, I salute you.
  104. S. Forrest from Cambridge, ON, Canada writes: I am an adoptee. It's nice to see open adoption presented as an option here, but I do have a couple of issues with this article, but they don't include the objection that others have made, that it leaves out the issues of the boyfriend.

    First, the primary motive for giving a child up for adoption should not be to solve someone else's childlessness. In the minds of the adoptive parents, and of the birth mother if she's to be involved in the child's life, the child should not be regarded as a 'gift' which is a 'solution' to someone else's problem. Too much thinking in these terms leads to adoptive parents who feel the child (and the mother) 'owes' them for their efforts.

    Secondly, the author seems to regard himself as a font of wisdom on adoption in general because he was a birth father at age 19. From personal experience, I can tell you that having just one perspective on this does not an authority make.

    He may know the profound joy of 'conceiving a child and awaiting its birth', but he doesn't personally know the pain of relinquishment from the perspective of the mother who feels an immediate connection to the child upon birth, nor does he know the alienation of being an adoptee who has no biological anchor to his own family.

    Open adoption solves a lot of the problems that the earlier closed system created, but not all of them. This woman's baby will still be in the hands of others, and she may find that a lot harder to accept after birth. I've talked with a number of birth mothers, many of whom thought they could walk away from the adoption and 'get on with their lives' but who found otherwise. Admittedly this is a self-selected bunch, but I suspect this is common.

    There are many reasons for adoption as an institution, but the narrative presented here -- carrying a child to term in order to hand it over, free of pain and guilt. to solve someone else's infertility problem -- seems to me to be terribly naive.
  105. Scary Fundamentalist from Vancouver, Canada writes: Philosopher King:

    As an adopted parent, I first took umbrage to your characterization of adoption as affluent middle-class couples stealing babies from young and poor girls. But then you wrote this:

    'Our society long ago chose to prefer the ethics of making everyone work to maximize economic capacity over the value of children.'

    and I agree 100%. You do, however, neglect fathers as it takes both sexes to best raise children.

    My only issue is with the funding of your philosophy. How would you make this work economically?
  106. S. Forrest from Cambridge, ON, Canada writes: dick brown:

    Sure, misandry does exist and many women are guilty of it, but I think we can acknowledge that childbirth is definitely a major asymmetry between the sexes.

    The psychological, emotional, and medical consequences of childbirth are something you and I, as men, will never experience. Mothers I have known all tell me that there is an immediate connection between infants and mothers at birth; studies have shown that babies can identify their mother from others even before their eyes can focus. I shouldn't even need to go into the powerful maternal urge to protect and care for a baby upon birth; we see it in all mammals.

    So, you really can't compare the experience of relinquishment on the part of the father to that of the mother. It just can't be done. I used to think that way too, and was very quickly educated.

    There's a reason that the vast majority of birth parents who search for their relinquished children are the mothers: they are the ones with whom the bond was formed and quickly broken, and they still feel the pain of that break.
  107. Larry L from Southampton ON, Canada writes: urban ranger from Vancouver, Canada writes: An interesting article.

    I would suggest that adoption is not necessarily as wonderful as various posters would have us believe.

    Well yes it's not all wonderful! You have to work at doing the job because thats what raising kids involves. There's broken bones, there is sickness and in one instance there was open heart surgery, There are school problems and social problems. The kids experiment today and they need some help in sorting things out.

    But at the end of the day when things turn out pretty good and they are happy with themselves and their biological Mothers then yes we think it was a wonderful experience.
  108. Scary Fundamentalist from Vancouver, Canada writes: By the way, Philosopher King, I don't qualify for most of the children who are adoption, because I have the wrong skin color.

    I'm white.

    The vast majority of foster kids here are First Nations. Whites need not apply.

    Most of the non-native kids in foster care are in legal limbo because their biological parents have not relinquished their rights, but are either unwilling to care for their kids or are abusive. So what would your biological-mom-first model do with these kids?

    We've been waiting for over a year in the public system. Our social worker has told us that we are one of the most accommodating prospective parents when it comes to special needs. Yet there still isn't a light at the end of the tunnel.
  109. Sheila Lanz-Jimenez from United States writes: Give me a break. Another thinly disguised anti abortion message. Didn't I see something like this in a movie recently?
    The daughter didn't seem to me to be too bright. The father and the mother would have been much better off if they had told their daughter about birth control.
    I was wondering if there are any Family Planning Clinics in Canada. They dispense birth control pills and other such devices. They also dispense good advice.

    Canadian in Calif.
  110. Nature Lover from Canada writes: Sheila Lanz-Jimenez from United States writes: Give me a break. Another thinly disguised anti abortion message. Didn't I see something like this in a movie recently?
    The daughter didn't seem to me to be too bright. The father and the mother would have been much better off if they had told their daughter about birth control.
    _____________
    Yeah, it was the Sarah Palin show.
  111. ALASTAIR JAMES BERRY from NANAIMO, Canada writes: Not wanting to be cruel or cynical, but are not unwanted pregnancies a dime a dozen these days?

    And as for bringing joy to a couple having difficulties with conception, an adoption is a double edged sword and in my experience adopting couples in at least 50% of the cases, I have seen, rue the day the decision to adopt was made.

    I think the mother here has 'stars in her eyes'. I noticed a beautiful polished black granite memorial stone at church yesterday, presented by the Knights of Columbus, commemorating all the innocent foetuses killed by abortion, but abortion may be the preferable and logical choice in many cases.(Particularly if congenital abnormality is being transmitted). Are not all humans conceived in original sin in any case?

    With the hysteria about global warming that is now occupying politicians' minds these days it is becoming quite obvious that the earth is over populated by the human race by a factor of around 1000 times more than the resources of planet Earth can support.

    If politicians finally see the problem as one of POLLUTION by the human race itself, 'PROCREATIVE' sexual activity will have regulated but sexual activity as a social and relaxing past time will have to be encouraged at all levels and ages of society if the earth is to survive at all, with humans on it's face.
  112. Prairie Girl from Saskatchewan, Canada writes: As a biological Mom who has 'given away', as one reader ignorantly stated, two children at birth when I was 19 and 21 years of age, I can tell you that everyone's experience and perceptions are different. It doesn't matter if you feel a young woman at a certain age is 'old enough' to have a child -- the question should be is she ready to raise a child. Too many children are being raised by people who aren't ready -- let's commend these biological mom's and dad's who choose adoption because they themselves recognize they're not ready and carry out this selfless act.
  113. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: S.Forrest. 'Mothers I have known all tell me that there is an immediate connection between infants and mothers at birth; studies have shown that babies can identify their mother from others even before their eyes can focus. I shouldn't even need to go into the powerful maternal urge to protect and care for a baby upon birth; we see it in all mammals.'

    Everything you list here can easily be applied to me at the birth of my children. That said, I am aware of the maternal bond upon birth.
  114. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: 'With the hysteria about global warming that is now occupying politicians' minds these days it is becoming quite obvious that the earth is over populated by the human race by a factor of around 1000 times more than the resources of planet Earth can support.'

    Complete BS.

    There is more krill and plankton by mass on Earth than all of humanity. It's not about humans, it's about resource allocation.
  115. Paddy Honey from Aurora, writes: The response to this item is as varied as the subjects brought forward. Initially I felt the article was too much like a fairytale; not grounded in reality. The father too understanding and a mother suprisingly sensitive to her daughter's condition. I think the spectrum of repsonses here show how divided we are on the topic of unplanned pregnancy. Whether you support a woman's right to choose or are a staunch defender of the right to life, the article was about information and how we need to make informed choices. I gave up a daughter when I was 18. Alone, no information, no choices, no support. I had been abandoned by everyone I knew, particularly my family. I was a social outcast. It is difficult today to understand how society treated teenaged pregnancy just a few short years ago. I couldn't choose her parents nor was I give the option of open adoption. I struggled for three months to make a difficult choice to give my precious girl away. I didn't have any other choice. Thankfully today there are agencies and help available for women with an unplanned pregnancy. I've been re-united with my grown daughter and she's been integrated into my family and I into hers. We couldn't have re-connected without enlightened change. Her first words to me after 30 years were, 'Thank you for giving me such wonderful parents.' That's why this article is important. It's about the pros and cons of information and the need for societal change. Thankfully our society is more enlightened and has come out of the dark ages.
  116. urban ranger from Vancouver, Canada writes: Larry L. quotes me but leaves out the important part:

    ' ... the literature tells us that adopted children tend to have many more psychological and psychiatric issues than biological children.'
    ***************************************************
    Larry, I'm glad your family has had a positive experience. Not all adoptive families do nearly as well, especially the children. That's the only point I was making.
  117. Cait Beattie from Canada writes: Thanks to the author for this moving glimpse into a difficult circumstance. Among other things, his article serves to illuminate the notion that being pro-choice means just that.
  118. Veritas Canada from Canada writes: There is no honour in having an abortion, or giving your child away. Could all of this have been avoided?
  119. david langford from writes: Birth control & abortion are vital . God has to be close to capacity. It must be awfully tough for him to keep track of 6 billion people to see if they are good or bad. He loves us all, yet strangely we all die after a short life of no more than a 100 years of some horrible disease. HE also must be less than pleased that by breeding like rats we are steadily killing off his other creations as we gobble up all the land for ourselves. Off topic somewhat, but food for thought ?
  120. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: David...where's the thought?
  121. david langford from writes: Dick Self evident I would have thought. But here goes. A.World overpopulated, no, not Canada yet, but try visiting places like India Philippines (as I have) barely a tree to be found ouside of a few parks. B. Humans so self absorbed, no thought of other species unless they are pets or can be eaten. C. There is no God who is in the least interested in individuals, as much as human vanity likes to think otherwise. i hope that helps
  122. kenneth wilson-harrington from Toronto, Canada writes: First of all, Mr. Geisterfer you did not go through the same experience as your daughter would have. At 19 you did not become pregnant, you did not carry a baby to term, and you did not experience any of the physiological and psychological changes that occur when a woman becomes pregnant.
    Secondly, the decision of what to do about an unplanned pregnancy deserves more attention than a 10-minute car ride can afford.
    Furthermore, your daughter might very well find the sacrifice of carrying the baby to term and giving birth comparable to the benefits another couple and the child may reap.
    And finally, counselling your daughter to become a baby factory for your friends is not 'keeping all your options open.'
  123. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: Canada has a carrying capacity of a billion people...we have Indians, Philipinos....we'll have more....whitey doesn't have kids, the fertility rate in Canada is 1.6. 90% of all species on earth have become extinct prior to Homo sapiens ever having walked the earth. We didn't do it!
  124. G Finn from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Imagine this - no miscarriage, but friends are still pregnant.

    Your daughter would never talk to you again.
  125. david langford from writes: Hey Great to know Canada can handle a billion population. Maybe we can ramp that up to 2 billion if we try harder. Would'nt that be wonderful. Your comment on species extinction forgets the timeline of millions of years historically compared to the few hundred years it has taken to wipe out hundreds of species in recent history. Sadly, we are an ape thats running out of control on this wonderfully diverse planet.
  126. Karen Lynn from Toronto, Canada writes: So many opinions from so many people, most of whom have no experience in losing a child to adoption. I may agree, or not, with the few brave souls who have admitted their experience, but not with most who have had none. If you are an adoptive parent, I am sure you are happy to have your child, but you know little or nothing about the painful, profound, and permanent loss of the mother who bore 'your' child. I am truly sorry about the loss of your infertility, but please, if you lack a right arm, you can't have mine and you can't have my first-born either. Philosopher King was right: there are thousands of waiting kids in Canada. Not babies, kids, real kids. And, sad to say, coercion is alive and thriving. It is simply the wolf in different sheep's clothing. These days it's open adoption. The new message is, 'Give us your baby. We need a baby and we will welcome you into our home. It's okay, you will get to see your child grow up. You'll get over it.' And then, far too often, they slam the door shut and the adoption suddenly becomes closed. There are no legal protections for a surrendering mother in a so-called open adoption. She, along with surrendering her child, has relinquished her parental rights. Young women, please be forewarned: an unplanned pregnancy is a temporary situation, but adoption is permanent. Families, this is as old as time. Young people have sex and babies are born. Take the high road and support your children when this happens. Do not lose your grandchildren. My own mother died in grief having lost her first grandchild. My son was not a happy adoptee, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to reassemble the pieces of our lives more than 40 years later. Apologies to those whose halos are tarnished by my truth.
  127. zippo man from Canada writes: We have two children, one is adopted, love them the same, fight harder for our child who was adopted to get all the help he needs in life as he started out with some cards stacked against him (birth mom used drugs and alcohol during pregnancy) and he is paying the price for her behaviour. Still, we do not think badly of her, sadly perhaps, but what is, is ,and no time to waste on what ifs.

    Open adoption was not available when we did our adoption through CAS. All the research indicates that open adoption is best for all. It does not matter if I like it or not, if it it is better for him, and he wants to know his birth mom or family, I want it for him.

    Unexpected and unwanted pregnancy is a fact of life and while I wished we lived in a culture and society that valued raising children as the most important job, we do not.

    We need adoptive parents. We need more caring people that set themselves to creating a permanent, loving and caring home for a child of any age. A lot of the posts above made me sad, so many unkind opinions, but the only ones that matter are those from people who were adopted or those that placed a child for adoption.
  128. john may from writes: The gift of life is a wonderful gift.
    Life is a wonderful experience.
    Pregnancy is a brief interlude in life.
    Happy Mothers Day on May 10.
  129. Nature Lover from Canada writes: And what if the young mother changes her mind at the last minute when all the 'maternal feelings' come out for her new baby. I think this dad has this very tidy version in his head for what would happen. It is a very complex situation and even if princess went along with a logical plan, there's no guarantee logic would prevail.
  130. Syed Abbas of Toronto from Seattle WA, United States writes:

    Responsible sex is best.
  131. Yamen Alakharas from Montréal, Canada writes: Well well well, if it isn't another story about irresponsible wackies cross-breeding at all levels !!!

    Man aren't we confused about our values !!! Offering your grandchild for adoption to get rid of him, man are you serious ??? And the way the comments are going, you just earned a standing ovation for doing so !!!

    Canada, more human rights please !!!!
  132. daniel saliken from Vancouver, Canada writes: The girl is a 19 year old adult. Why can't she keep the baby?

    a little surprised the choices from dad were A) abortion or B) adoption,

    but not C) 'we will help you raise this baby with our full moral support and make sure you still get to college... This is so exciting I can't wait to be a grandpa!'

    Just saying that my mother's first reaction would be to tell me how thrilled to have a grandchild and how we can make her sewing room into a nursary and will start an education fund, etc. This story really makes me appreciate my parents. I would feel crappy if my parents gave me two options that figuratively said 'don't involve us in your 'situation' and these are the two options to use to run away from it.
  133. Judy S from la baule, France, Metropolitan writes: Judging by some unkind comments, today's society continues putting a family's honour in their girls' panties... and it's never been known as a safe place for it!
  134. Peter North from van, Canada writes:
    one problem with abortion is the abuse many adopted kids suffer. I know a specific instance where a beautiful young girl was adopted and then put through intensive brainwashing during her formative years. She was forced to become a member of a cult that believed in child sacrifice, virgin births, and talking snakes. what a shame.
  135. Peter North from van, Canada writes: ahem...that should read 'one problem with adoption' not 'abortion'
  136. Simon Fogel from Toronto, Canada writes: This is what ridiculous movies like Juno have brought us: a complete disregard for the sensible course of action. Abort the little accident and get on with your life. Seriously. This isn't a movie, it's real life, your body would be completely wrecked for 9 months, and at the worst possible time in her life. At 19, you're at university staying up all night trying to cram your mind full of information, working like crazy to pay for tuition, hoping to build some sort of base for a future career, trying to figure out what you want your life to be about... The late teens and early 20s are probably the most important time in someone's life, it's where all the major decisions are made. Nine months is a very long time when you're cramming for exams and trying to scrape a minimum-wage living while pondering the great existential questions. You have another 25 years to reproduce; save your body (and your mind) for when you can devote your full energy to raising a fetus. As a young adult you have way too much on your plate to be hobbling around, throwing up all over the place and losing your sanity to the ups and downs of various hormone surges and muscle pains.

    If I were in her shoes I would not for one second hesitate to end the pregnancy. You've got a live to live, don't sidetrack yourself by feeling obligated to reproduce. It's your body, and you can give birth when you're good and ready.

    Personally, I am so grateful I am not a woman; the thought of having some creature growing in my gut only to burst out of my groin 9 months later terrifies me.
  137. MMartin m from Canada writes: Micheal, why were you so enthusiastic about giving away your own grandchild? Why were the feelings of friend's infertility issues more important to you than the feelings of your own grandchild? I was hoping to read that you were thrilled about a little one coming into your life. But giving the child away without even considering how much happiness this child may have brought to his mother's and your family's lives is very strange.

    I also wonder how much you thought about that child being given away and the imapct it would have on that child. Imagine finding out twenty years later that your grandfather, gandmother and mother didn't think twice about about giving you away instead of keeping you in your own loving and stable family.

    I found this piece extremely disturbing, but not surprising since selling babies and legally fabricating identities has become somewhat of a sport in North America.
  138. T LM from Canada writes: Simon..your an ugly little creature.
  139. S. Forrest from Cambridge, ON, Canada writes: T LM: Perhaps the last sentence by Simon is beyond the pale. But he is right that the narrative of Juno, which many people seem to have embraced wholesale, is terribly naive.

    Pregnancy and childbirth are huge, especially the first time around, and anyone who tells a young woman she can just walk away from it, forget about it, and get on with her life is badly wrong.
  140. Mikwaan D from Canada writes: Good lord! the amount of backlash against the idea of adoption and the support of the father, makes me shake my head.

    Firstly I would like to commend Micahel Geisterfer for writing about this. Its hard for anyone to open up about a situation let alone a parent and person whom has been through this ordeal. Yes he told his story and therefore opened himself and his family up for critical comments, but really can we judge him when I am sure that there are quite a few families out there that have been through something similar?

    As an adoptee I resent the comments against birthparents only giving up children for wanton needs, as well as the comment about the tenacious link being broken between child and mother when the mother considers abortion/adoption. People can never judge untill they are placed in that situation themselves.

    I don't know the full story of why I was placed up, but what I do know is that the parents I love today wanted a child and got one and ever since I was placed in their care have loved me. Why deny another couple that chance? If the birthparents realise that they are unable to care for the unborn child the way that they want to, then by all means give someone else the chance to be happy. Sure there are going to be issues raised over identity later in life, but then again most people I know who aren't adopted have those same issues. Yes I often play the 'what if game', such as what if I was raised by my birthmother? But most of the time I realise that what ifs get me no where and I am thankful I am here the way I am today.

    So to conclude thank you again Michael for being open and honest about your experience, I'm sure it was not easy and I am sure that one day your daughter will have grandchildren and you won't have to worry about decisions as such.
  141. Michael Geisterfer from Chelsea, Canada writes: Thank you Mikwaan. Yours is one of the saner voices I've heard over the past 24 hours. One of the things I didn't mention in the article is that I have an adopted son whose birth parents were unable to provide him with the care he needed. Being a father to him has allowed me to let go of the 'what ifs' that haunted me for 20 years. I may not be his biological father but I am his daddy, and always will be.

    Again, thanks for your kind words.
  142. Scary Fundamentalist from Vancouver, Canada writes: Simon Fogel, I can't help but rebut your insanity.

    'your body would be completely wrecked for 9 months' A woman's body is built for pregnancy, you idiot. You probably think that all women should look like supermodels for their entire lives to fulfill your own gratification. News flash, a post-baby body is more natural than the pre-baby body you want every woman to have.

    You drone on and on about career as if it is more important than having and raising children. Makes me wonder what venom you have in store for stay-at-home parents.

    'You have another 25 years to reproduce...' False. Fertility drops off significantly at 35. It's a proven fact that having an abortion reduces future fertility. The deck will be stacked against her.

    'losing your sanity to the ups and downs of various hormone surges...' You know nothing about female biology, do you? hormone surges happen all the time despite pregnancy, even with birth control. Having an abortion will produce one of the most severe hormonal imbalances a women will ever experience.

    'You've got a live(sic) to live, don't sidetrack yourself by feeling obligated to reproduce.' I would counter with, 'You've got a life to nurture, don't sidetrack yourself by feeling obligated to have a six-figure career'.
  143. S. Forrest from Cambridge, ON, Canada writes: Mikwaan: regarding to your point about the 'tenacious link', perhaps you're right that people ought not to judge until they are placed in that situation themselves.

    Of all of the people who were mentioned in the article and who have spoken here, how many truly were in that situation, of being a mother to a relinquished child? Not I, not Mr. Geisterfer, not his daughter (since she did not deliver), and very few of the above commenters. If we are not permitted to judge, then neither are we permitted to speak with authority.

    Like you, I'm an adoptee, and can't speak to any of this personally. What I believe about the mother's experience is all secondhand, but I do believe it.

    My main objection this well-written and heartfelt article was Mr. Geisterfer's likening of his status to his daughter's, and the corresponding omission of any discussion of the relinquishment effects which are specific to the mother.
  144. Senior Citizen from Brighton, Canada writes: I comment Michael Geisterfer for his willingness to support his daughter regardless of her decision ... though I do agree with other posters that he then tried to influence that decision. What no-one seems to have taken into account are hormones! Do you seriously think this girl could carry and deliver a child without feeling something for it when it was born. I know a number of young women who "never wanted" children, but having found themselves pregnant decided to carry the child to term. Not one of them could face giving the child up. For some it has worked out well. Others face a life of continuous hardship and sacrifice as single mothers ... and the children suffer deprivation as a result. If his daughter had found herself unable emotionally to part with her new baby, this would immediately have had financial consequences for her boyfriends ... who, as many have pointed out, seemed not to be taken into account in any of the equations offered. However, supposing that all had gone according to Michael's plan and the child had been adopted by their friends. How would his daughter feel about seeing it on a regular basis, knowing it was her child but being brought up by someone else? What if she didn't like the way it was being brought up - for any reason, good or bad? I think this story had the very best outcome when she miscarried. The whole situation was a minefield for everyone. Finally ... for God sake Michael, talk to your daughter about birth control. If not for the sake of possible future pregancies, then for the sake of her own safety. Last time I looked, AIDS was still a concern for people not taking the necessary precautions.
  145. casper c from Canada writes: Wow, I can't believe how many Canadians are pro-separating families. I wonder too what the author of this article would do if his relinquished child (now adult) wanted to meet him. One would hope that he would welcome her or him with open arms.

    I was adopted and from the day I was told that I was adopted I started searching fro my parents. When I foiund my mother and learned why I had been surrendered to the adoption system, I was furious. My mother told me how her father had told her adoption was the best option for me - the lawyer and adoption workers told her the same thing. Imagine giving away your own grandchild. Yet, four years after I had been sold to people unrelated to me, my mother got married and had another child (she kept him). That baby's conception and entrance into the world was celebrated and no one mentioned adoption or thought about giving that baby away to the sad infertile people. Interesting, eh?
  146. casper c from Canada writes: Mikwaan wrote: "So to conclude thank you again Michael for being open and honest about your experience, I'm sure it was not easy and I am sure that one day your daughter will have grandchildren and you won't have to worry about decisions as such."

    But he was already presented with the opportunity of being a grandfather! And if he would do this to one child, why not all of them? What was different about this child vs. children his daughter may have later? Just an unwanted little ba$tard, huh?
  147. Mikwaan D from Canada writes: Casper C: I agree he was presented with the opportunity, I was merely referring to the fact that I hope one day Michaels' daughter doesn't have to make a decision or find that there are conflictions surrounding her situation when she does have her next child. Basically I was wishing him and his family well for the future.

    NB Casper, the child was not unwanted, it was unexpected and in unexpected situations you have to do whats right for you and what you believe is right. Some may see those decisions as wrong others may agree, in the end you've got to use your best judgment.
  148. casper c from Canada writes: Mikwaan,

    His daughter wasn't even three months pregnant and he was already considering adoption. The confliction was temporary - she had almost a year to make a decision. Why was he so quick to give away his own grandchild?

    No one can know if giving away a child is the best choice until after the child is born. This man was giving away his grandchild right from the get-go and part of his rational was that there are people who want a baby and can't have one. What a terrible sense of obligation to put on his daughters' mind. I still can't believe that this story made it to a national newspaper. Adoption is about loss - a child loses its family - a family loses a child. Adoption should be a last resort when there is absolutely no hope for mother and child to remain together.
  149. Jennifer Charles from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada writes: I am a birthmother who lost my son to adoption in 1968. I feel that the writer of this article has no concept of the depth of this subject. I am saddened that he feels there are only two choices when a young, unmarried woman becomes pregnant: abortion and adoption. It seems that keeping the baby is not considered an option. How would he know about the bond that forms between a mother and her unborn baby or what it feels like to both mother and infant when this bond is broken at birth? Adoption has many life-long consequences, one of which is the intense overwhelming grief on the part of the birthmother. The writer tells his daughter: "Nowadays you can choose the parents, and even have a relationship with the child once it's born." While such so-called "open adoptions" are being encouraged these days by both government and private adoption agencies, the sober reality is that the birthmother in such an arrangement has absolutely no legal rights. Open adoptions are based solely on good will and the birthmother could face heartbreaking disappointment and loss in the years to come if her child's chosen adoptive parents decide to distance themselves from her. I find it deeply disturbing that in our society we still abandon young unmarried women and encourage them to give up their babies. If we truly valued the mother-child bond, we could help these young women for the few years it would take them to mature emotionally and get on their feet financially. Is it really in a child's best interest to be separated from his or her mother? I found my son when he was 33 and I was 53 and we've been in each other's lives for 8 years. I've learned that I can't get back those lost years. But we have been able to build a relationship based on love and mutual respect. Nothing can change the fact that I am his mother and he is my son. We have a deep connection. And finally, I wonder if this writer has ever thought about the son or daughter who he relinquished when he was 19.
  150. Michael Geisterfer from Chelsea, Canada writes: Jennifer, I understand your position. There is not enough space in an 800-word article to flush out all of the nuances that went into the handling of this situation with my daughter. To answer your question on whether I have ever thought about the child I put up for adoption at the age of 19, I would like to direct you to another article I wrote on that subject a few years ago: http://crisiscomms.ca/elijah_s_adoption.html

    I'm glad that you have been able to re-connect with your son. I've tried to re-connect with mine, to no avail.
  151. A person from Toronto, Canada writes: Jane P, I feel for you. My husband and I went through three years of fertility treatments before we had our daughter, and we investigated adoption as a viable option (I am also adopted myself). We found that the Canadian system is SO flawed...there are so many kids in foster care who cannot be adopted because their parents refuse to give up their rights, even after they have abused or neglected them. Instead they relegate their children to a revolving door foster care system. And we also found that the Canadian adoption system favours same-race adoption, so for us (a white couple) it would have been very difficult indeed to find a white child...many of the children up for adoption are not white.
  152. louise tate from columbus, United States writes: first of all Ms. Mary I was also married at 17 to a military man we did not dpend on the system it depened on us 4 birth children 1 foster 1 adopted who knows how many I have helped in the village 27 yrs of marrige still raising children and not depending on the system. You leave that ladie alone and find out what really brothers you is it that your young marriage did not work out and you are still on the system? Anyway speaking from some one who has been adpted in a so called open adoption knowing that your mother gave you up but then came child 2 she could all of a sudden take care of that one, oh yeah that feels real good (NOT) I also adopted a child who is still having a hard ttime dealing with the ideal of not being wanted by mom, mom saying the usually when the grandparents want nothing to do wth the child but try to smooth it over kind of way dad is unknown this is a known fact. Lets stop kidding our selvels. 19 yr old was may old enough but not mature enough to care or to make her own decision since it only took dad a 12 min ride to let her know that it is ok to have an abortion, or give the kid away problem solved, oh yeah by the way when she gets praganet again will dad conveintly have another friend who could not have children and just happen to be looking. Good job dad teach your child to cover up instead of dealing with life will you always be there.
  153. Karen Carss from Canada writes: I have some questions for Mr. Geisterfer.

    When your daughter was pregnant why were the options you proposed either abortion or adoption? Why couldn't she have had her baby and lived in your home until she was able to stand on her own two feet?

    Why did you go to another country to adopt a child? Surely there are children in your area who are needing a home. I wonder if the reason you wanted a baby who was obviously of a different race was a selfish one.

    When you go out in public people realize at first glance that you have adopted a child whereas if you adopted a child of your race no one would know. I suggest that is an important issue to you.

    If your daughter had given birth to a child why would you have subjected her to the pain of giving her child away knowing first hand how long lasting that grief is?

    Open adoption IMO, is an oxymoron. The birthmother has no rights where the child is concerned and is at the mercy of the adoptive parents to make good on their promises to include her in the child's life. They can exclude her at any time and she has no recourse legal or otherwise.

    Open adoption is the socially sanctioned theft of a baby from a young mother. Back in the day birthmothers were threatened with dire consequences to our babies if we kept them. We were told that we were not fit to raise our children. We were bad and keeping our babies would hurt them.

    So, Mr. Geisterfer, in your 10 minute talk with your daughter, why did you not suggest to her that she keep your grandchild?
  154. Allison M from Canada writes: I am curious to know how many of the commentators in this thread are remotely close in age to the girl featured in the essay. She is 19 years old, getting pregnant at that age is terrifying. If you're not scared, well, you're probably not thinking clearly about what you could be getting yourself into. I am nearly 22 years old and if I got pregnant tomorrow, I would be terrified.

    Whether you choose to have the child and keep it, give it up for adoption, or have an abortion...the beauty is that the choice is yours. I don't think there was any coercion in this story whatsoever. The daughter made her own choice, I think it's a fantastic thing that her parents were supportive enough to create an environment in which they could frankly discuss the pregnancy and her options. Too many parents would have just screamed at their daughter for her irresponsibility and created an environment where the daughter may have felt alone.

    There is a positive message in this story, it's about exploring all the different options and the importance of having a support system in this situation. So many comments in this thread, like so many other G&M threads, are disgustingly shrill and devoid of any intellectual thought. I am pro-choice and would probably have an abortion, but I appreciate this article and don't think it carries any kind of anti-abortion message. Get a grip people.
  155. Karen Carss from Canada writes: Why did you refuse to publish my first letter? I am really curious.
  156. Candice Bond from Canada writes: I can't stand the tone of some writers here. People make mistakes. Teens make tonnes of mistakes. A young woman who chooses adoption is making, arguably, one of the least selfish decisions of her life. And the adoptive family has likely been waiting a very long time, more than enough to have second-guessed the decision a hundred times. These are not "oops" families.

    As it stands, girls are led to believe that adoption is something that happened when petticoats were still in fashion. If only the desperate young women knew this was still an option, and didn't face peer pressure against it, maybe some really lovely families would have the children they've always wanted.

    Adoption is NOT abandonment. It is making the very best out of a tough situation. Children win. Adoptive parents win. Only ones who have a lousy time of it are the birth parents. And some of you have the gall to label them as selfish?

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