or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Adoptive and Foster Parenting › Did you get to make any decisions in the hospital?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Did you get to make any decisions in the hospital?

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 

I'm just curious.  We're less than three weeks away from our little guy's due date and I'm starting to stress about the hospital.  We've already been warned that the social workers at the hospital may not be very friendly with adoptive parents.  The two major things I'm wondering about are the HepB vaccine (we are non-vaxers) and circumcision.  Despite the fear of being flamed, I am really against circumcision, but my husband wants it.  My stomach is literally upset just thinking about it and I can't seem to change his mind.  So, I guess this is a double question.  If your DH was pro-circ, how did you change his mind?  My DH is being so stubborn about it and he is never like this in general.  Ugh.  

 

ETA- For those who don't read the whole thread, my DH is now on board with keeping baby intact, but the expectant mom has stated that she wants circumcision.  We are still working on it.


Edited by WifeMomChiro - 7/5/11 at 11:08am
post #2 of 96

When I had my baby I don't think the social workers were very nice to the adoptive parents either.  Not so much that they were nasty to them or anything, they just seemed very on guard and kind of clueless towards them.  Like they were so worried about me and my rights, that they needed to remain stand-offish with them or something (which in retrospect I can understand).

 

Have you spoken with the birthmom about any of this?  In the hospital, she will be the one making decisions about the baby.  However, if it's an open adoption then you all can come to an agreement on things before the baby is born.  She may want to have certain things done or not done, or she may just leave all the decision making up to you and your dh. 

 

For the record, I am very anti-circ.  I would visit the case against circumcision to get info on how to resolve the circ issue with your husband.  The sooner the better since it's kind of late in the game to start debating it.  Many threads in there with info on how to handle this exact same subject (many wives have been through this fight).  However if the birth mom wants the baby circed, then she may just have it done anyways and it won't be worth fighting about with your dh (this time).  Or she may be horrified by the idea (like I would have been) and then maybe you can use your respect for her as a way to sway your husbands opinion on the matter?

 

Good luck and congrats.


Edited by CrazyCatLady - 6/25/11 at 11:00pm
post #3 of 96

The mom will have the right to make all medical decisions unless she lets you make the choices. You can tell her your preferences and hope she honors them.

 

Regarding genital mutilation: Tell your husband that it's not his body and he does not get to choose. End of story. Frankly, this is SOOOO important to me that I would not adopt a child I thought my husband would mutilate. When we were looking to adopt, this was a deal breaker for us. If the biological parents wanted to circ the baby, we would have no part of it. I could not go through the rest of my life knowing I could not protect this child. Every bath I would be in tears.

 

If my husband was the one behind the cutting, we'd have marital problems. I could not respect someone that would do that to a child. (And I don't have many positive views of anyone that would do that to a child.) If a man wants to do it to himself, whatever. Weird, but whatever. But doing it to someone that does not get to choose is beyond comprehension.

 

This will alter the baby's sex life forever. Because of scar tissue, the penis won't erect normally. Because of the loss of the protective tissue, he will lose out on sensation. When his female partners hit menopause and their lubrication decreases, he will not have lubrication to help out. Sex will be more problematic for both of them.

 

Then there's the pain. Ask your husband if he would be willing to have some of the skin peeled off his penis. If he can do that to a baby, he should be willing to do it to himself. Right now. No story on, "It was done to me and I don't remember it." Would he subject to it right now as a solidarity thing with the baby? (This might sound over the top, but mutilation pisses me off.)

 

Then there's the risks. I was working in an anti-circumcision hospital, though they did do them. There was an accident and the baby lost all sexual function for the rest of his life. I've heard other stories from other nurses about botched circs. One nurse was certain she saw a baby die as a result of it. (Though I suspect it was more complicated than that.) There was one extreme, bizarre case where the baby lost his penis so they cut off his testicles and made him a girl. Messed him up for life and he committed suicide at 38. (In another case the child accepted he was a girl. I don't know what happened to her.)

 

Regarding the fallacy of medical benefits. There is a circulating idea that it prevents HIV transmission. Look at the HIV rates in the US and compare to Europe where men are not circ'd. Most have lower HIV rates than we do. Hmmm....

 

IF you adopt this baby, it is your responsibility to protect it. Sad that you must first protect it from your husband, but that is your job. My stomach would not be in knots about it because it would not happen. (I'd be more than disappointed in my husband over this.)  Again, sorry if I'm harsh, but you need to be strong about this and make sure your baby stays safe. That's your job.

 

I don't know if I'll check in here again. These topics upset me so much it's hard for me to be repeatedly exposed to it. But you're welcome to pm me about it.

post #4 of 96

If the expectant mother chooses circumcision, then you can choose to proceed or walk away. I would have the conversation with her ahead of time so that she can make alternate plans if necessary.

 

I wouldn't choose circumcision for a child that I gave birth to but my son (adopted) is circumcised and it's not something I think about. Ever. It is what it is. I have no worries about his future sex life. It will be fine.

post #5 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

For the record, I am very anti-circ.  I would visit the case against circumcision to get info on how to resolve the circ issue with your husband.  The sooner the better since it's kind of late in the game to start debating it.  Many threads in there with info on how to handle this exact same subject (many wives have been through this fight).  However if the birth mom wants the baby circed, then she may just have it done anyways and it won't be worth fighting about with your dh (this time).  Or she may be horrified by the idea (like I would have been) and then maybe you can use your respect for her as a way to sway your husbands opinion on the matter?

 

Good luck and congrats.

FTR- This is something DH and I have argued about off and on for over 5 years (since I was pregnant).  It's not something I just thought about.  Like I said, I am anti-circ, but I don't think I feel as strongly about it as many people on here.  CrazyCatLady- I have wondered the same thing about if e-mom wants to circ then it may not be worth further fighting with my dh.  I wish there was an easy way to change his mind, but he will just not listen to reason on this.  I still love him dearly and he is an amazing father.  This is not something that would even begin to cause me to question my marriage.  I guess I'll just pray about it a lot.  

 

I really don't want a circumcision debate, but if your husband was pro-circ, what finally changed his mind?
 

 

post #6 of 96

I'm forum crashing here, but when i was pregnant with the oldest son and knew it was a boy, my then husband wanted him circumsized. I looked up the youtube videos of circumcisions and made him watch them. He changed his mind pretty quick. Although it wasn't an option anyway I had it on my file with the doctor that it was not to be done under any circumstances.

post #7 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post


I wouldn't choose circumcision for a child that I gave birth to but my son (adopted) is circumcised and it's not something I think about. Ever. It is what it is. I have no worries about his future sex life. It will be fine.


Yep....two of my three sons are circ'd and i thought i'd feel alot worse about it than i actually did. They certainly had no complications from it and its not anything i really ever think about during bathtime or diaper changes.

 

For the OP...maybe you could suggest to your husband that you delay the circ decision until you can come to some kind of agreement about it? There is no reason you HAVE to have it done within a day of the baby's birth, you could always get it done later. But you cant "undo" it yknow? (not talking about those guys that try to "regrow" their foreskin or whatever)...choosing to circ is a permanent decision, choosing to delay doesnt have to be permanent. Maybe after he has the baby home and sees his penis isnt that different after all, maybe he wouldnt be able to imagine cutting off part of it.

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 96

Yes, this, exactly.  This is her child, and until she relinguishes that child, she can make all of the decisions.  With adoption, we do not have control over what happens to that child prior to us getting custody.  There is often a lot of trauma, and I know that my little girl faced horrendous trauma prior to her adoption (worse than routine circumcision), and I can not change that.  All I can do is help her get through it as best as she can...but for the first 4 months of her life, she was not my child, and I could not make decisions for her (sans the week before her adoption where she was hospitalized and the orphanage gave me temporary custody so I could make medical decisions for her.)

 

If this is something you can't live with, I would make your decisions right now on how you would proceed if the circumcision happens.  Because until that baby is relinguished, it is the child of the birth mother....you can tell her your feelings, but ultimately, the decision is hers.  It might be the only thing she thinks she can give her son and it might be very important to her, for cultural reasons or otherwise.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

If the expectant mother chooses circumcision, then you can choose to proceed or walk away. I would have the conversation with her ahead of time so that she can make alternate plans if necessary.

 

I wouldn't choose circumcision for a child that I gave birth to but my son (adopted) is circumcised and it's not something I think about. Ever. It is what it is. I have no worries about his future sex life. It will be fine.



 

post #9 of 96
Thread Starter 

There is no way that I would walk away from this baby because of circumcision.  That thought never crossed my mind.   

post #10 of 96

 

Of course it didn't. Circ is a bad thing, but not, for most people, a walking nightmare that would sour all their days with their child. 

 

That said, if I were the adoptive mom, I would make the REQUEST on behalf of my son that his birthmother not circ him. I would also convey that request to the attending pediatrician, nursery staff, etc. I would want everybody to be crystal clear that I didn't want circ performed. Depending on the timeline, the birthmother could request circ and a sympathetic doctor and staff could find a reason not to do to in the first few days of life, before she signs the papers. If you don't make you feelings known, then neither the birthmother nor the hospital staff will have a chance to take your feelings into consideration. They may choose not to - but they will have the chance, if you communicate. 

 

As for your husband? Send him all the YouTube links you want, but the bottom line is that you have to put your foot down. Just say no in the hospital, refuse to have a big fight, say no as many times as necessary and take your baby home. This is a fight with a short shelf life. If you are strong and do your job (protecting your spouse and your child from the consequences of his temporary, limited insanity) then it really, truly will blow over, because having a foreskin is no big deal. 

post #11 of 96
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

That said, if I were the adoptive mom, I would make the REQUEST on behalf of my son that his birthmother not circ him. I would also convey that request to the attending pediatrician, nursery staff, etc. I would want everybody to be crystal clear that I didn't want circ performed. Depending on the timeline, the birthmother could request circ and a sympathetic doctor and staff could find a reason not to do to in the first few days of life, before she signs the papers. If you don't make you feelings known, then neither the birthmother nor the hospital staff will have a chance to take your feelings into consideration. They may choose not to - but they will have the chance, if you communicate. 

 


I find that shocking and so disrespectful to the expectant mother.

 

post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post


I find that shocking and so disrespectful to the expectant mother.

 



Definitely.  Especially considering this kind of stuff could/should all be worked out or spoken about before the birth mom even chooses to place with a particular family.  I mean the best case scenario for you guys would be if she doesn't care, or she wants to leave the decision up to you.  But hoping that doctors will do what you want or find a way to avoid what she wants until the baby is "yours"...is just plain icky. 

post #13 of 96

My DH is pro-circ and we argued about it for awhile.  When our first son was born I let my DH make the final decision.  Marriage is about give and take and comprise, IMO.  Both our sons are circumsized.  Our second son is adopted and when we got to the hospital the birthmom had signed off for the Hep. B shot and circumsision.  She insisted we make all the decisions though so the nurse asked if we wanted the Hep. B.  All the decisions ended up being up to us.  Just go with the flow and you never know it may work out in your favor.  If you know the birthmom before the birth you could discuss it and see her thoughts.  You must remember that all decisions are hers at the hospital and that must be respected.  She has the right to decide to parent up until she signs and that is her right that must be respected.  We didn't meet our birthmom until the hospital.  I think the respect and trust that we built at the hospital has helped our adoption be more open than the birthparents originially wanted.  I hope our story helps.  It seems that every story is so very different.  I am excited for you.  Adoption is an emotional roller coaster but it has been such a blessing to our family.  We hope to do it again sometime soon. 

post #14 of 96

Yes, this.  Exactly this.  As much as this child feels yours, he is not yet yours.  Whatever decision the first mother wants to make is hers to make.  Attempting to trick her or manipulate the situation in any way screams of entitlement.  Noone is entitled to another woman's child.  She is giving you a huge gift...  As anti-circ as I am, I would never dream of manipulating a situation with a birth mother to get what I want.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post





Definitely.  Especially considering this kind of stuff could/should all be worked out or spoken about before the birth mom even chooses to place with a particular family.  I mean the best case scenario for you guys would be if she doesn't care, or she wants to leave the decision up to you.  But hoping that doctors will do what you want or find a way to avoid what she wants until the baby is "yours"...is just plain icky. 



 

post #15 of 96

The bottom line regarding the hospital is that if, and when, you are there, you are there as a guest of the birthmother.  It's fine to have strong feelings about certain things, we certainly did.  But the experience and decision making are entirely hers, and it happens that decisions that seemed hard and fast prior to the birth of the baby, change as the process begins.  My best advice to to go into the situation being extremely flexible, and very respectful.  Everything you think you've planned could change, or it could go as you all have planned.  

 

 

post #16 of 96
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post

Yes, this.  Exactly this.  As much as this child feels yours, he is not yet yours.  Whatever decision the first mother wants to make is hers to make.  Attempting to trick her or manipulate the situation in any way screams of entitlement.  Noone is entitled to another woman's child.  She is giving you a huge gift...  As anti-circ as I am, I would never dream of manipulating a situation with a birth mother to get what I want.
 



 

FTR- I never said I was going to try to coerce e-mom or the doctors.  

 

Thank you to those who had helpful advice.

 

I guess it may be helpful to understand our timeline.  We just matched through an agency about a week and a half ago and we spoke with e-mom for the first time last Tuesday.  We spoke for about 45 minutes and she requested we come out before the birth.  We have to travel halfway across the country (which we are happy to do).  So we are travelling out five days before her due date and hoping and praying that baby stays put until then.  We leave in less than two weeks and we plan to stay in her state until baby is born and ICPC clears (of course).  E-mom does not have a phone or access to e-mail, so we can't really talk much.  Our hope is that we will have time to talk and get to know each other before baby is born.  If she wants this baby circed, it is her choice until she signs TPR.  In her state, she can sign anytime after birth.  I guess I will just have to play it by ear.
 

 

post #17 of 96
Sometimes all your choices have downsides. Risking offending or hurting birthmother is a reality if OP speaks up - though a mere REQUEST, made in advance, is not likely to cause huge upset, and she may well discover that birthmother was not p,an ing to circ anyhow! The other choice - not doing whatever she can to try to protect her son from being mutilated - also has huge potential downsides, and the person who will suffer for it is not birth mom, adoptive mom, or adoptive dad. It's adopted kid. He's who the OP will answer to on this one.

Only the hospital staff can decide which mom's wishes carry the most weight in this, and I'm saying that OP's job is to make her wishes clear, not to pitch a hissy in the nursery and try to enforce her will. Many clinicians loathe circ and would welcome some input that could help them avoid doing one.

It's a very weird position to be in - we've got a clear human rights violation, likely to be illegal a generation hence, that is now totally normalized and is signed off on by women who've just given birth with none but the best of intentions. If the issue under discussion were anything less extreme than genital mutilation, I'd say shut and up let it slide in deference to birthmom's feelings. And obviously, if OP's son is circed in the hospital she isn't going to walk away from the adoption! But if the two opposing interests are birthmom's legal prerogatives and adopted son's human rights, I know which side of that fence I'm on.
post #18 of 96
Just so it's clear, I wasn't suggesting that you coerce anybody. I was suggesting that you communicate your feelings clearly to all involved pre-TPR, and refuse to be coerced, yourself, if you and DH end up being asked to authorize the procedure.
post #19 of 96

If educating your DH and telling him it's not his choice (or yours!), only your son's, doesn't work then tell him that it can significantly affect bonding and, because you guys didn't have the process of pregnancy and birth to bond, you especially need as minimal disruption as possible! Tell him that you can deal with it in a few weeks, just give it a few weeks to bond and then you'll take care of it. (Who's he to know that "deal with it" means do nothing. winky.gif) If you are planning to induce lactation, this is also very very important. 

 

Honestly, just make it clear to all the nurses and doctors that it is NOT to be done, and don't give your DH the chance to consent to it without you there to stop him. And I'd also write on the diaper DO NOT CIRC (which I normally don't think is always necessary, but in this case it sounds like a good idea since being adoptive parents can make everything a little tricky).

post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeep View Post

Honestly, just make it clear to all the nurses and doctors that it is NOT to be done, and don't give your DH the chance to consent to it without you there to stop him. And I'd also write on the diaper DO NOT CIRC (which I normally don't think is always necessary, but in this case it sounds like a good idea since being adoptive parents can make everything a little tricky).

 

Ummm. In case you haven't read the above posts, or know anything about adoption, this isn't their decision unless the baby's mother gives them that right. They have no right of consent or refusal for anything. Until the papers are signed, the baby's mother does all the talking.

 

Honestly, I think the bonding angle is really a bunch of crap. Circumcised babies bond with their parents (bio or adopted.) If the birth mother doesn't have a preference, the OP and her husband can decide together. But otherwise, it's best to accept what is and move on.
 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Adoptive and Foster Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Adoptive and Foster Parenting › Did you get to make any decisions in the hospital?