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Birth moms and lawyers


Hi everyone,

First post here… I am writing because for the second time, we’ve been communicating with a birth mother for months who started off very communicative and open, agreeable about talking to our lawyer, and committed (?) to us - she was sending us scans and she did talk to our lawyer at the beginning. But now that the birth is imminent, she still hasn’t shared her questionnaire with our lawyer. And she told us in detail about how she had met with the lawyer he introduced her to - but their office has never heard of her. Our lawyer thinks it’s a lost cause and she isn’t serious. She hasn’t asked us for any money so I don’t think this is a scam - but I don’t know why she would lie about the lawyer. I sent an email yesterday that was walking the line of saying we know you weren’t telling us the truth, and expressing our deep interest in helping her find a different lawyer and our hope that she wants to stick with us. Now waiting for a response that may never come.  I don’t know if there’s anything more we can do. My husband wants to repost our ads and write her off. Does anyone else relate to this and want to talk about similar experiences, whether they worked out or not?

Replies

I’m in an adoption scam group on Facebook and there are numerous posts from hopeful adoptive parents who have been Involved with scammers that are only there to emotionally scam and not in it for money at all. It’s bizarre but it’s like that show Catfished. Also, she could have changed her mind and is scared and/or embarrassed to tell you. The latter happened to us recently. We were not matched too long before the birth was to happen but she went into early labor and at that moment she changed her mind. She did tell us but she admitted that she had agonized over telling us. So, depending on the expectant mom’s personality, some may not be able to face that level of confrontation. This is a very emotional thing to go through as a hopeful adoptive parent though. I’m sorry for the stress and heartache you are experiencing. Much love to you. ❤️

Posted by cosmojones on Jun 07, 2019 at 2:35pm

It is very common for expectant moms to change their minds. Doesnt mean its a scam, often they genuinely intend to place their baby for adoption early on but just cant do it when the time comes. Likely she either doesnt know what she wants to do or has changed her mind and doesnt know how to tell you. Youve reached out to her, now its up to her how she wants to proceed. There is nothing more you can do, it is her baby and you cant try to pressure her or convince her to proceed with adoption. Maybe she will contact you again or maybe not. I dont think it will hurt at all to keep looking for another match while you wait to hear from her.

Posted by rn4kidz on Jun 07, 2019 at 7:57pm

Thank you m4kidz… I know you’re right. I absolutely don’t want to pressure her and I tried very hard to convey that to her in the message - but even asking about the lawyer situation felt like pressuring her. So she probably felt that way too. I know you’re right - time will tell. This is just the second time in the last 8 months that a similar situation has happened, so it just feels like we’re doing it wrong? And of the other inquiries we’ve gotten, many many people disappear when you mention that the next step is talking to a lawyer. Her immediate commitment to talking to ours months ago felt like a sign of some sort. But I know there’s no right way, and I keep telling myself we just have to be who we are, and the right match will come. I just thought this was it. And I have to say that my original post feels naive and insensitive as I read it back one day later. But still a reflection of how I’ve felt lately.

Cosmojones, thank you for your response too. I hope she’s not emotionally scamming us - my instinct is that she isn’t. I can’t imagine that possibility; my natural baseline is to assume people are being up front with me as I am with them, and that assumption is being challenged constantly throughout this process (not just in this case), so I am working through it. I don’t really talk about the fears or doubts of credibility with friends or family because I don’t want them to have a negative opinion of the (potential) birth mom of our child; she will also be part of our family in some form.

Anyway. Thank you for the well wishes and the perspectives.

Posted by SJ77 on Jun 08, 2019 at 1:47pm

You’re not doing it wrong, this is just part of the process, it happens to so many people. Adoption is such a difficult path to creating your family with so many ups and downs. Hang in there, it will be worth it in the end

Posted by rn4kidz on Jun 08, 2019 at 5:43pm

“And of the other inquiries we’ve gotten, many many people disappear when you mention that the next step is talking to a lawyer.”

There is a reason for that, and it is not necessarily because the woman in question is a scammer.
There’s no legal reason a mother needs to talk to the lawyer for hopeful adoptive parents until after the birth and after TPR, or at least a firm decision to TPR. Fairly or not, lawyers for HAPs have the reputation of pressuring and coercing expectant mothers to “follow through”—some even telling them they will have to pay money for face court charges if they “renege.” Even in the best of cases, the lawyer is working for the HAPs’ interests, not the eparents’.
And many are cautious about using professionals—attorneys and counselors, for example—who have been referred to them by the HAPs. Too much potential for conflicts of interest.
Calling the other lawyer to check up on her—and the fact that you felt comfortable doing that and they felt comfortable discussing it with you does indicate that lawyer is working for you—and accusing the emom of lying to you may seem reasonable from your end, but it is not likely to endear you to her. Ditto saying you want her to stick with you—she’s well aware that you want her baby and ratcheting up the pressure may be one reason she continues to avoid you. She knows how to find you if she wants to.
Have you thought of this from her point of view? You say that “But now that the birth is imminent, she still hasn’t shared her questionnaire with our lawyer”—well, being a woman who is about to give birth, why would filling out a questionnaire for the lawyer of the people who want her baby be a priority for her? Maybe you and your needs aren’t her biggest concern.
You seem to understand this, but many HAPs don’t—a “match” is not a promise to give you a child, it is a statement that if parents decide to place she is likely, but not obligated, to place her child with the matching HAP/s.
Going forward, if you have another match, you might want to consider leaving contact with your lawyer out of the equation until after the birth and not checking up on the emom behind her back with third parties—she may see it as intrusive as she really has no obligation to follow your instructions.
And not reminding her before the birth that you want her to “stick to” giving you her child. It would be more appropriate to say you understand this is a difficult time for her, you understand that she may need time, you support her in whatever decision she decides is best for her and her child, and the door is open if and when she is ready to get back to you. And then back off.
To those who want to argue—well, the current way of doing things isn’t very successful from the HAP standpoint, is it?

Edited to add that you are referring to expectant mothers as “birth mothers” when they are not, they are expectant mothers just like any other expectant mother. A woman does not become a “birth mother” until she has given up her parental rights. This may seem petty, but it really is not—thinking of an expectant mother in crisis who has not yet given birth as a “birth mother” of one’s adoptive child is as destructive to HAPs as it is to expectant mothers. In some cases, words do matter.

Posted by NoraT on Jun 08, 2019 at 8:30pm

Thank you Nora for splashing some cold water on me. I’m sorry to anyone who read my post and thought me foolish or insensitive or worse - I get it. I feel an urge to be defensive about my choice of words or actions but I will just say one thing - our lawyer followed up with her lawyer on his own and we didn’t question it because he does this for a living and we trust him. We also asked for his input on whether or not to email her and acted accordingly. Of course, all of us involved are human beings, and we all make judgment errors, and hindsight is not something that really does any good from situation to situation. But we are otherwise navigating this thing completely alone, and it is impossibly hard to keep a clear view of what to do or say (including here). This feeling of aloneness is why I came here the other day for the first time. I will read and reference this post again when I am feeling less emotional. And I will think pretty hard before I ever post anything else, but I will look for the wisdom in others’ experiences here anyway. Thank you.

Posted by SJ77 on Jun 09, 2019 at 1:46pm

I don’t think you’re insensitive. I think you did what you thought was the right thing, which was to consult with a professional and take their advice.
The thing is, though, that adoption lawyers and adoption agencies make their money by getting babies to the people who can pay them, as many as possible and as efficiently as possible. This is not in the best interests of women who are in a crisis—whether a crisis pregnancy or a personal crisis that involves CPS.
There is no way for people to understand how it feels on the other side unless somebody tells them. Which is why I poke my nose in here from time to time

Posted by NoraT on Jun 10, 2019 at 11:51am

“But now that the birth is imminent, she still hasn’t shared her questionnaire with our lawyer”—well, being a woman who is about to give birth, why would filling out a questionnaire for the lawyer of the people who want her baby be a priority for her? Maybe you and your needs aren’t her biggest concern”

Nora, I am uncomfortable with the disregard and tone of offensive judgment in your response to this post. Adoption can be something forced on people, in worst case scenario. However it is more often a difficult choice that the birth mom has made, deciding that she wants to plan to adopt out her baby for whatever reason. Why demean both the birth mom as if she is mentally unfit or couldn’t possibly be consciously planning ahead making the choice for adoption, and also the poster as if you know that the only reason for her to adopt is her own selfish needs.

BK Sarah, I’ve never been in this position myself, but if I was and decided on an adoption I would definitely not wait till birth to try to make a plan and choose adoptive parents. So perhaps she’s not feeling well prior to birth but the lying is questionable (that is if it is not some office mess up and loss of records). More likely she has changed her mind, or is considering doing so. (Totally her prerogative of course.) I’d just give her space to decide what to do while you consider other matches

.It’s a hard place to be planning to welcome a child, and also holding space that it may or may not be this one till it is.But it is a necessary part of the process.

Makes it easier if each person is honest about where they are, (whether considering other children needing families, or considering keeping one’s baby) and also if each can be respectful that the other person has these rights.I hope you find the right match for all concerned soon.

Posted by Happy Camper on Aug 05, 2019 at 4:25am
Posted by Happy Camper on Aug 05, 2019 at 4:25am

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