Episode 16 of Birth Mothers Amplified features Macy. Macy is a birth mother who placed her baby for adoption nine years ago. She has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is now a Speech Therapist. Her favorite things to do are travel, hike, and go to the beach.
Macy was 17 when she found out she was pregnant. She was already having a hard time in school and knew she could not be a parent at that time. Once she realized that she was pregnant, her friends told her that there was always abortion, but Macy felt that it was not for her. She knew that it was definitely not something she wanted to consider, even at her young age and being as scared of the unknown as she was.
It was not until she heard that a couple she knew of who were having issues with getting pregnant that she considered adoption as a choice. Being 17, most young women do not think about getting pregnant, much less having a baby. For Macy, though, this came as quite a shock. She watched an episode of Teen Mom OG that opened her eyes to how many couples out there are looking into adoption. This helped her decide that it was something she could do, not only for herself but for the baby she would bring into the world.
Once she decided on adoption, she met with a couple that she thought would be a good fit for her baby, but after several meetings, she saw some red flags. Macy had to write them a letter declining them as the prospective adoptive parents. She said it was a difficult letter to write because she did not want to hurt anyone. Emma asked her what the couple’s response was and Macy claimed, “the prospective adoptive mom was not happy at all.” But Macy, to this day, feels like finding a different family was the best choice for her and her baby. Emma spoke about how sad it would be for all parties involved to have to go through that, but that Macy did what was essential for the well-being of the baby.
Macy still felt like adoption was the route she was supposed to take. Living in the south, there were a lot of couples she heard about and, after a while, she was overwhelmed by the number of portfolios being sent to her. One day, her friend (who was more like a mentor) went to her and said she knew of a couple that was looking to adopt. She agreed to meet with a “middle man” before meeting the couple who told her more about the people who wanted to adopt. Her friend/mentor did not say anything to the couple, who lived a town away from Macy, because she did not want to break their hearts should Macy decide against it.
Macy met with them along with her mentor and grandmother. She knew right then that this was the couple she wanted to adopt her baby. She felt it in her bones. Even before meeting the prospective adoptive parents, she knew that they had gone to school together, dated in college, and had been married ten years. Other things about them helped her decide, like hearing about certain things they did for their community, but it was meeting with them that sealed the deal for Macy. They showed her where her son could go to school, where he would attend church, and the town that he would grow up in should the adoption pan out well for both parties.
Emma stated how private adoptions are different from ones completed through an agency. In regards to private adoption, the birth mother meets with the couple first, and then, together, all parties decide what type of adoption works for them.
After meeting with the prospective adoptive parents, Macy hired an attorney. He was not an adoption attorney, but he handled her case anyway. He also made sure that she had a therapist to speak with about her emotions. Macy’s attorney recommended an adoption attorney for the prospective adoptive parents. The most difficult part of private adoption is deciding who pays for what; whereas in an agency adoption, it is all spelled out. The prospective adoptive parents paid for anything that Medicaid did not. They paid for her therapy as well. She had to quit working so she had WIC, food stamps, and Medicaid. Her support system included friends, therapy, the adoptive parents, though the birth father wanted nothing to do with her or the baby from the beginning. Even with support, making the decision is lonely.
Her pregnancy went well, but at eight months pregnant, she started becoming nervous not knowing what to expect. The laws in Alabama are different, and Macy was confused about all of it. She was afraid she was not going to get any time with her son after birth. She could not sign away her rights until after she gave birth. Getting the birth father to sign was extremely difficult. She thought that there were not many resources to answer her questions until she found a group online that helped her. This group put things in perspective, and she was able to ask her hard questions like, “Are you sure adoption is what you want to do?” Some people were positive, others negative.
As time went on, she got scared and reached out to the adoptive couple. They went with her to an appointment with a social worker at the hospital. The social worker told Macy that she was there for Macy and the baby, that the patient and the baby were her concern. Macy was grateful that the adoptive parents were there to support her when she became frightened of the steps yet to come. She was able to advocate for what she wanted and needed; oftentimes, birth mothers are unaware that they have the right to do this for both themselves and their babies.
Macy said she was glad that she was included when it came to picking a name for the baby; the adoptive parents kept her in the loop on that. When it came time for her baby to be born, she wanted her mom and her sister in the delivery room with her. She got to hold him after he was born, and after that, she called the adoptive parents who were kind enough to set a time that would work for Macy when they could come to see Macy and the baby. They knew that it was vital for Macy to have her time holding and getting to know her baby. She signed her rights away once she was ready for discharge. The adoptive parents brought outfits, and Macy chose the one that her son would go home in. Then they went to the hospital chapel where Macy’s mentor/friend initiated a celebration of sorts. She can now look back at that moment with good memories.
All parties involved decided that a semi-open adoption was best for all involved. For the first three years, Macy received pictures every three months, but since then, she gets them every six months with heartfelt letters. When her son turns 21, the choice is left up to him. Emma asked Macy whether she chose the type of adoption. She said at the beginning she wanted an open adoption and the adoptive parents wanted a closed one. Macy did not want to feel like she was bouncing in and out of his life. She wrote him a letter explaining who she is and why she put him up for adoption. Due to her experience, Macy continues therapy and has become a mental health advocate.
Review of Birth Mothers Amplified Ep. 16
I loved listening to Macy’s story in this episode of Birth Mothers Amplified, as it was the first time I’ve heard about someone using private adoption. I loved how she acknowledged from the beginning of her pregnancy that she could not do it on her own, that her son deserved more. She was dead set against abortion from the start, even though that was the first idea her friends came up with. She stood her ground after meeting with the first couple she was introduced to by a friend when she realized that they were not the best fit for her or her son. And although she did not want to write them a letter with that bad news, she followed her gut and did it anyway.
That, to me, is vital, especially when it comes to making such a difficult decision. She did not quit looking for the right adoptive couple; there was not a shortage of people helping her, giving her suggestions. When Macy met the couple that eventually adopted her son, she mentioned, “love at first sight.” In my opinion, that is a rare thing to experience and most do not have this precious occurrence.
I was pleasantly surprised when Macy mentioned that the adoptive parents took it upon themselves to attend a doctor’s appointment with her when she was nervous. I liked that she was able to meet with a hospital social worker who explained the hospital policy regarding what would happen once her baby was born. They were all there for Macy and the baby. I liked that this alleviated her fears a little.
On the day she gave birth, I thought it was cool that the adoptive parents did not demand to be there. I liked that they gave her privacy and let her decide who would be in the delivery room. They did not come off as demanding of her time, but respected her and her needs.
My favorite part about this episode of Birth Mothers Amplified was that the adoptive parents brought outfits for the baby and allowed Macy to choose which one the baby would go home in, and that everyone at the hospital with Macy was available for a little celebration as they all left the hospital. This was not something that I have ever heard of and I thought it was great that even from the beginning, the adoptive parents cared about Macy and her feelings.
I also like how, even nine years later, Macy continues counseling as she still has emotions and feelings surrounding the experience. It’s wonderful that, even though their semi-open adoption was not formally written out and signed, they still made a contract that allows Macy to get a heartfelt letter and pictures of him every six months. When her son turns 21, he will get to choose what kind of relationship he wants to have with Macy.
All in all, I think Macy took the hand she was dealt and made the best of her situation for herself, the adoptive parents, and her son. I am not certain I could ever place a baby for adoption, so I commend those that do.Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Do you want more choices with your adoption plan? Do you want to regain more control in your life? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. We can help you put together an adoption plan that best meets your needs.