"Why don't they just sterilize her?" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If another "well meaning" person asks me this question about my foster & adopted kids' mother I don't know what I'm going to do.
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#2 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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I sympathize. Just chalk it up to ignorance. HUGS

Mama to Peanut (06/03), Pixie (05/05), Beast (09/07), and Baby Girl (11/09)
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#3 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Yeah, when someone found out my daughter's birth mother had placed another child for adoption after my daughter, she said to me, "Why doesn't someone give her some birth control?"

Ouch.

People's lack of empathy is stunning, isn't it?
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#4 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 11:50 AM
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I guess you can place me in the "ignorant" category.

While I don't advocate forced sterilization, I'd like someone to explain what we're supposed to feel empathetic about? I understand accidents happen (DS1 was not planned; I was on the pill when I got pregnant with him)....but two surrendered babies in a row? I don't get it. No flames, please....I'm not trying to antagonize. I really don't get it. Thanks.
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#5 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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I don't know if this is everyone's take on it, but people aren't cats and dogs for us to manage/control. No matter how much you disagree with someone's fertility decisions, it's not your place to make a choice about their reproduction. Talking about sterilizing someone is a very, VERY degrogatory way for one human being to talk about another human being. Assuming you have the right to step in and do that to a person puts you at one level and the person at more of an animal level.

As for empathy, I think it's hard for many people to imagine the heartbreak and sadness of someone living a life so difficult, so challenged, that they have children repeatedly taken from them. Many of the people have struggled with things you or I can hardly imagine--extreme poverty, addiction, abuse... some adults live "messed up" lives simply because of the horrors they've faced since childhood and infancy. One can say "well, adults are adults and should be responsible for their choices"...and that's true, for the most part...but I have a hard time judging someone harshly when they've never (or rarely) had a good role model, a consistent home, or lived a portion of their life without fear of violence, sexual abuse, etc. It's awfully hard to grow up to be responsible under those circumstances.

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#6 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I don't agree with forced sterilization and I also recognize that many people have had really hard things in their life that make them less able to make healthy choices, manage their lives well, etc.

But, when the impact of bringing more children into the world is so profound on so many levels, I think it is reasonable to ask about birth control. Obviously, it is really insensitive to throw it out there in casual conversation, but I think it is a reasonable question to ask in a larger sense.
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#7 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I don't know if this is everyone's take on it, but people aren't cats and dogs for us to manage/control. No matter how much you disagree with someone's fertility decisions, it's not your place to make a choice about their reproduction. Talking about sterilizing someone is a very, VERY degrogatory way for one human being to talk about another human being. Assuming you have the right to step in and do that to a person puts you at one level and the person at more of an animal level.
What is this in response to? I get the feeling it was directed at me, yet I didn't say anything about managing someone else's reproduction.
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#8 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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One can say "well, adults are adults and should be responsible for their choices"...and that's true, for the most part...but I have a hard time judging someone harshly when they've never (or rarely) had a good role model, a consistent home, or lived a portion of their life without fear of violence, sexual abuse, etc. It's awfully hard to grow up to be responsible under those circumstances.
I totally agree.
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#9 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamagi View Post
If another "well meaning" person asks me this question about my foster & adopted kids' mother I don't know what I'm going to do.
Just respond with "I was just wondering the same thing about you" and walk away.

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#10 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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What is this in response to? I get the feeling it was directed at me, yet I didn't say anything about managing someone else's reproduction.
I'm not the person who posted this, but I don't think it was directed at you, it was directed at the thread in general. you did mention that you "don't get it" though, so I think ROM was offering her wisdom, trying to help you get it.

I have a friend who is fostering the youngest baby from an addicted prostitute mother who has had several kids removed from her care (I want to say 7 kids, but not sure exactly), all of whom have issues from being exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero. My friend has met and has a relationship with the birthmother, (and father, in just her baby's case) but the other families are incredibly disrespectful towards her (despite having never met her, knowing nothing about her, etc) and have said things like "she needs to be stopped"... very likely because this birthmom is only in her early/mid twenties and has had so many "damaged" children.

Personally I would love to see cash incentive programs for women in her situation to be implanted with IUD's, or given birth control shots or whatever. The cost to the taxpayer would be far less than what is shelled out for foster care and ongoing services for the babies she keeps having. If it is non-permanent birth control, then she will always have the opportunity to have children she will actually be able to take care of, if she gets it together in the future. I can't imagine that she *wants* to continue having babies, only to have them removed (she harbors no fantasies about raising them) but who knows, perhaps being pregnant and giving birth makes her feel special in a way she can't achieve any other way...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#11 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 03:13 PM
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I'm not the person who posted this, but I don't think it was directed at you, it was directed at the thread in general. you did mention that you "don't get it" though, so I think ROM was offering her wisdom, trying to help you get it.
Possibly, but I think it was quite clear that I was questioning the "empathy" part of it.

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Personally I would love to see cash incentive programs for women in her situation to be implanted with IUD's, or given birth control shots or whatever. The cost to the taxpayer would be far less than what is shelled out for foster care and ongoing services for the babies she keeps having.
Agreed.
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#12 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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Possibly, but I think it was quite clear that I was questioning the "empathy" part of it.
my take on her post is that the first part was general discussion on the subject, and the second part was in regard to you not feeling empathetic towards women who have a lot of unplanned pregnancies resulting in removal of their babies.

I also wanted to clarify that I don't actually consider "the taxpayer's dollar" to be of much importance when considering social programs, and just threw that argument in because many people would balk at the idea of giving addicts cash to willingly be given a long-acting birth control. I wish there were better solutions, but I can't imagine what else would inspire some addicts living on the streets to use birth control... I'm sure there are many of them who do responsibly keep themselves from getting pregnant, but we don't hear about those...

but yes, sorry for the tangent, OP, I totally agree with your frustration. It's an ugly sentiment, sorry you have to deal with that.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#13 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Slightly OT - but an IUD is contra-indicated for women, as perhaps some of these women are, who have multiple sexual partners. I kept encouraging that my SIL have one after several unwanted pregnancies but her doctor said it was a big no-no because of the increased risk of infection.

I would love to see more long-term, but non-permanent, birth control options available.

***

Having watched a baby spend two months in the hospital being weaned off heroin, I understand the frustration behind the statement, even if I would never support any sort of actual forced sterilization. I'm not sure of the context of the statement in your conversations, but I could easily see it being said as hyperbole. Sort of like I sometimes say I wanted to beat someone with a two by four. I've never ACTUALLY wanted to beat someone with a board, but I have felt great ire that caused me to say so.

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#14 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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i would guess that in a lot of cases, the woman thinks that "this time it will be different"... if they are struggling with addiction issues, then it makes sense that in some moments it would seem like "all" they have to do is get clean and fix up their lives and then they'll get to keep this baby and everything will be better. then of course the addictions kick back in and the baby gets taken away from them.

the other issue is that for a lot of women in these situations, they've never really grown up. an adult can look at a situation and see all the logical consequences and results of their actions... if i have sex without proctection, i might get pregnant.... but if your brain works more like an adolescent brain, you don't see the logical consequences with the same clarity. whether it's because of abuse, addiction, or something more biological, i know a lot of adults with significant issues in their lives to have a very adolescent way of thinking.
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#15 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Yeah I understand what the OP feels. For me, it's not even about their lack of empathy or their desire to control women's fertility. For me, I just wish people would focus more on the positive. I have enough drama and negativity in my life... I don't need strangers feeling sorry for my foster kid or acquaintances feeling angry at his birth mom. I'd rather they delight in him - his adorable smile, his sweet giggle, his bright eyes.
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#16 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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DD1's birth mom doesn't not have any of the issues mentioned in this thread. This didn't stop "well-meaning" people from philosophizing about what she should do with her fertility status. I'm not sure why they thought I needed to hear that. If they ever say something like that in front of DD they will get an earfull.
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#17 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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I don't need strangers feeling sorry for my foster kid or acquaintances feeling angry at his birth mom. I'd rather they delight in him - his adorable smile, his sweet giggle, his bright eyes.
Yes, because otherwise they're just adding to the awfulness of the situation. Some people like to go down the negative road and talk about other people who don't have it all together (to feel better about themselves?) when really, they're not accomplishing anything except to make everyone depressed and upset over how awful the world is.

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#18 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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What is this in response to? I get the feeling it was directed at me, yet I didn't say anything about managing someone else's reproduction.
Nothing nasty aimed at you. The "you" was a general you, not a you-you. I did get the feeling that the "I didn't get it" applied to more than empathy, though....more of a "I don't get why statements like this are so bad" sort of thing.

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#19 of 70 Old 07-01-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Having been a corrections officer in a jail that housed predominantly street prostitutes and people in various addictions (chronic DUI/street drug use and posession/parole violators)...

There is really nothing you can say to the willfully ignorant. People don't want to know why it happens. Nor do they really want to do anything about it (because for the most part, many of the people who sniff and sigh over other people not keeping their legs shut also really do not want to foot the medical bills. They just don't).

And let's be real too--how many "normal" people are familiar enough with the world of pimps and major addictions to even remotely understand why someone might not shell out the $100+ for an abortion/sterlization when they don't have the time and/or need the $$ for something else?

What can you say? Not much. Most people like to say stuff like that because they are clueless and think it's something they can moralize on because there is no grey area.

Having to actually work with (and love, and see the failure and the struggles and the grim reality) "those people" has robbed me of the ability to look down my nose at them. Sometimes I wish I could choose ignorance again, but...I can't. So I tend to say, "Wow, what a really ignorant point of view," and move on.

I can't stand people who think they should get to kick people who have already been thrown away like so much garbage. It's disgusting.
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#20 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Tigerchild (and anyone else who wants to answer, but since you've worked in corrections...) what do you think of cash incentives for women who continue to have drug and alcohol affected babies to get something like a depo provera shot on a regular basis? Do programs like this exist anywhere? I feel like it's such a simple answer, I must be missing something...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#21 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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Wouldn't that be an uncomfortable assertion of control? As if we could cash in on desperate people's poverty/addictions in order to effectively neuter them?

"We'll give you money if you let us control your reproduction" makes me uncomfortable, yk?

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#22 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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I suppose... I guess it would depend on whether the woman wants to be having more babies or not -- not forever, just in the immediate. I was thinking that, like tigerchild mentioned, there are often issues that prevent women from dealing with birth control, but if it were free, and if there were an incentive for them to actually come in and deal with it, a lot of women might take advantage of it. Up until my last post, I honestly hadn't considered that some of them are probably quite happy to be pregnant and having babies, despite the fact that their babies will often have very difficult lives, and they won't get to see them beyond a few days in the hospital. So for those women, no, it might not be fair to use cash to control their reproduction, but they might not want the high they get from being a giver-of-life as much as they want the high that the $100 would get them, and since they are routinely choosing drugs and alcohol over their offspring, I'm not sure I can say that I would feel entirely uncomfortable with offering them that choice... not permanent sterilization by any means, just "come in every 3 months for your depo shot and we'll give you $100 and all the counseling you could want!"
I absolutely have total empathy for addicted mothers, but the reality of the situation is that their kids often have an incredibly difficult life. of course I'm sure that the people who are parenting these kids are thankful that their kids are alive and surviving, even if it is a struggle, but it feels like "the system" is bursting at the seams with these kids, and preventing future alcohol and drug affected babies whenever possible seems like a no-brainer... not at the expense of the woman's reproductive rights, but I'm not sure that cash incentive removes those rights... it's still her choice. yes, I'm aware that an addict will almost always choose the addiction, but that's the problem in the first place...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#23 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 04:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
Tigerchild (and anyone else who wants to answer, but since you've worked in corrections...) what do you think of cash incentives for women who continue to have drug and alcohol affected babies to get something like a depo provera shot on a regular basis? Do programs like this exist anywhere? I feel like it's such a simple answer, I must be missing something...
They do exist, but frankly, they tend to get shut down by the same people who scream about welfare queens and abortion. And they don't have much of an effect overall (though perhaps that is because there are not too many people chomping at the bit to set them up).

And there's a piece of the puzzle you are missing here. Cash is an insufficient motivator for someone who has their movements controlled by someone else (like a pimp). You're also assuming that clinics are going to be open at convenient times for street people. Yeah, not going to happen. In addition, you have tons of money and groups that will innundate any suggestion of abortifacient birth control provided at free/no cost to the government with threats and angry emails, that's something that politicians (who head up said departments) run from--and only the very strongest people are going to want to deal with the death threats if it's private run.

Then you have the legal issues.

Depo is also not exactly cheap. It can and does have major side effects like any other hormonal birth control pill...effects that are increased when someone smokes or has other high risk factors. People actively engaged in street prostitution and serious drug addiction are probably going to be very very very likely to have some of those high risk factors. Ectopic pregnancies increase with depo, and if someone does get pregnant while on it or they are given the shot while pregnant that is some serious bad stuff that can happen.

And frankly yes, many of these women were/are horrifically abused and in denial. Or they may have a serious mental illness. Many are literally treated like human garbage. It's also not exactly easy to extricate oneself from an addiction, nor is it easy to get out of prostitution (which IME almost always goes hand in hand with some kind of addiction--I am not talking about strippers or even escorts necessarily, but streetwalkers).

I think cash incentives are things that people use to have an excuse not to have to think too hard about things, as put forth as a "solution" to the problem.

You'd need a budget of 100k to help 250 women for a year just for incentives. That doesn't include the cost of your shot and a yearly exam and paying your staff and operating your clinic.

Let me tell you, I don't think the general public wants to spend 100k on throwaway "bad" women to get something for free that the general public has to pay for. And that is the problem something like this bumps up into again and again.

I think the 100k would be better spent preventing people from getting into such a state to begin with. Helping aged out foster kids. Real mental health help, available when needed. EARLY intervention with prostitution. EARLY, free, and comprehensive addiction intervention. Us not throwing away teens and adults.

It's just a more complex issue than most people want to think about. It's comforting to think that you could slip someone $100 and make the problem go away. But life isn't really comforting sometimes, esp. on this subject.

And don't think I am excusing the women who do this. I will fully admit that I loved my ladies so much I am sitting here crying and missing them. But most of the time I want to throttle them on a regular basis, I was disappointed many many times too, and there were definitely choices that they had and made of their own free will, and choices they continued to make as they were given other options. I think free/incentive birth control could help the lives of many people, but not the "chronic" offenders because there is more at play than access and greed.
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#24 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 10:02 AM
 
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I guess you can place me in the "ignorant" category.

While I don't advocate forced sterilization, I'd like someone to explain what we're supposed to feel empathetic about? I understand accidents happen (DS1 was not planned; I was on the pill when I got pregnant with him)....but two surrendered babies in a row? I don't get it. No flames, please....I'm not trying to antagonize. I really don't get it. Thanks.
I don't feel comfortable sharing personal details of the situation, but you seem sincere, so I will try to explain what I meant by empathy, or being able to imagine a situation quite different than one's own.

My daughter is internationally adopted. I think in the comment about birth control, there are so many assumptions being made rather than an attempt to actually understand the situation that a woman might find herself in where relinquishing two children for adoption is her best option. Many women, throughout the world, have no or very limited control over their fertility. In many countries, abortion is not safe and legal, and birth control is expensive, difficult to obtain, forbidden by religious leaders, or unacceptable to male partners. Many children are conceived through unwanted sexual activity (i.e., rape) for which you can hardly fault the mother for not using birth control. I'm sure you can also imagine circumstances where the mother's situation changes dramatically between conception and birth, so what seemed manageable at the time is no longer so 9 months later (e.g., husband or male partner abandons her, she loses employment, family member she is living with dies, natural disaster strikes, etc. etc.). And although attitudes toward unmarried mothers, teen mothers, or children conceived through rape have softened somewhat in developed western countries, in many places, those situations create a stigma that results in loss of family support and economic destitution.

Other posters have spoken eloquently to situations in the developed world, but I wanted to raise some additional international issues to consider.
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#25 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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I think forced sterilization is digusting and horrible and indefensible and I can't imagine people who would advocate that.

But I don't think it shows a lack of empathy to be horrified and upset by unfit parents having child after child, abusing or neglecting them, and then losing them to the state. This is not okay behavior. This is wrong- to have kids when you cannot care for them. Of course there are situations of rape, of mental illness, and of low congitive ability. But many moms are just not careful or have addiction problems, and yes I do judge it when a person's decisions impact a child like that. You are certainly entitled to your choices and freedoms, but when the exercise of those choices means a little baby is hurt or abused or living in a crackhouse, my empathy tends to turn to anger.

So yes, I think there's a responsibility there, to use BC if you are going to have sex, and to not just have kids. I don't think forcing it is okay, but I am fine with letting people make their own choices and if someone wants to offer someone else money to go on BC, that's the woman's decision, not mine.

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#26 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
But, when the impact of bringing more children into the world is so profound on so many levels, I think it is reasonable to ask about birth control. Obviously, it is really insensitive to throw it out there in casual conversation, but I think it is a reasonable question to ask in a larger sense.



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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I don't know if this is everyone's take on it, but people aren't cats and dogs for us to manage/control. No matter how much you disagree with someone's fertility decisions, it's not your place to make a choice about their reproduction. Talking about sterilizing someone is a very, VERY degrogatory way for one human being to talk about another human being. Assuming you have the right to step in and do that to a person puts you at one level and the person at more of an animal level.
I agree with this the way the OP is having it said to her. I DON'T agree with this as a philosophical possibility on how to manage the resulting mess it creates for the children AND the birthparent(s)--who are dealing with more than just the loss of their child. In that respect, I think that it's an avenue to consider. But I agree with you that someone who makes that remark with no background or regard for the bigger picture is disgusting.


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but I have a hard time judging someone harshly when they've never (or rarely) had a good role model, a consistent home, or lived a portion of their life without fear of violence, sexual abuse, etc. It's awfully hard to grow up to be responsible under those circumstances.
Judging them and wanting to see a beginning to the end of the poor decision-making that continues to drag them down is another thing. There are countless people who have lived traumatic (and I mean TRULY traumatic--to the point of being dx'd with PTSD for living with their parents while CPS refused to intervene) who have managed to move on. I'm not suggesting that everyone has that within them, but I also don't think that history is a reason to ignore the problem.

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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
But I don't think it shows a lack of empathy to be horrified and upset by unfit parents having child after child, abusing or neglecting them, and then losing them to the state. This is not okay behavior. This is wrong- to have kids when you cannot care for them. Of course there are situations of rape, of mental illness, and of low congitive ability. But many moms are just not careful or have addiction problems, and yes I do judge it when a person's decisions impact a child like that. You are certainly entitled to your choices and freedoms, but when the exercise of those choices means a little baby is hurt or abused or living in a crackhouse, my empathy tends to turn to anger.
I agree with all but what I put in gray. I think that the answers lie in helping the parents get well while simultaneously trying not to continue the cycle through multiple children who end up abused or physically hurt/unable to manage life.

It's not just about "preventing more kids". It's about helping the parents understand their actions and the effects (good or bad) of what they do in life. Too many people are looking at sterilization/BC as the quick fix for a problem that is so much bigger than just having kids. Not to minimize the birth of a child; but there is way more to these parents lives than the birth of their children.


AND... what I find more absurd is that I generally don't hear this comment about the bps of children born outside the US... which I think might be equally ignorant.

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#27 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Tigerchild. I just want to thank you for taking the time to try and explain all of that. Everything you said is so right and spot on. I'm really having a hard time putting into words what I want to say, so I'll just stick with thank you for now.

I am a birth mom who's placed two kids for adoption (not an addict of any kind, but have mental health issues and am a former escort of eight years). I was pregnant recently and that number could have easily gone up to three kids placed. I will probably come back and try and sum up yet some more, not yet discussed reasons why a person can end up in a situation of placing more than one kid for adoption. Also more reasons as to why things like cash incentives to take bc wouldn't work for somebody like me.

I obviously can't speak for all birth moms or anything. But I think I have a perspective that might help others understand things a bit better.

But I need some time to get my thoughts together a bit better first.


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#28 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Tigerchild. I just want to thank you for taking the time to try and explain all of that. Everything you said is so right and spot on. I'm really having a hard time putting into words what I want to say, so I'll just stick with thank you for now.

I am a birth mom who's placed two kids for adoption (not an addict of any kind, but have mental health issues and am a former escort of eight years). I was pregnant recently and that number could have easily gone up to three kids placed. I will probably come back and try and sum up yet some more, not yet discussed reasons why a person can end up in a situation of placing more than one kid for adoption. Also more reasons as to why things like cash incentives to take bc wouldn't work for somebody like me.

I obviously can't speak for all birth moms or anything. But I think I have a perspective that might help others understand things a bit better.

But I need some time to get my thoughts together a bit better first.

I see there as being a MAMMOTH difference between a mom who gets pg for whatever reasons, cannot parent, and places her child out of love and compassion and selflessness, and a mom who gets pg, has child after child, and abuses and or neglects those children, and costs the system hundreds of thousands of dollars PER CHILD to parent and adjudicate those kids, some of whom may age out of the system themselves and never be cared for or loved. I don't judge women who make mistakes and act like adults and do what's right at that point, but a mother who abuses or neglects is an entirely different thing.

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

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#29 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
I see there as being a MAMMOTH difference between a mom who gets pg for whatever reasons, cannot parent, and places her child out of love and compassion and selflessness, and a mom who gets pg, has child after child, and abuses and or neglects those children, and costs the system hundreds of thousands of dollars PER CHILD to parent and adjudicate those kids, some of whom may age out of the system themselves and never be cared for or loved. I don't judge women who make mistakes and act like adults and do what's right at that point, but a mother who abuses or neglects is an entirely different thing.

I have to agree with this. Not that it makes sterilization any more of an answer; but I feel like there is a huge difference in someone who does what they feel is the best thing for their child by putting them up for adoption vs. the people who are not capable of making that kind of decision despite their circumstances being so extreme that a court can get through the process of TPR.

None-the-less, thank you for sharing your story, CrazyCatLady. Hugs and hugs and hugs to you.

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#30 of 70 Old 07-02-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
I see there as being a MAMMOTH difference between a mom who gets pg for whatever reasons, cannot parent, and places her child out of love and compassion and selflessness, and a mom who gets pg, has child after child, and abuses and or neglects those children, and costs the system hundreds of thousands of dollars PER CHILD to parent and adjudicate those kids, some of whom may age out of the system themselves and never be cared for or loved. I don't judge women who make mistakes and act like adults and do what's right at that point, but a mother who abuses or neglects is an entirely different thing.
Do you see that this thinking is very much a madonna/whore dyad?

Most people who place their children don't just do it out of "selfessness". There's desperation too.

A mom who gets pregnant and has child after child is pretty desparate too, and perhaps is not capable (or has been trained to think so) of being that proactive, but they may be that desparate.

But I suspect I'm wasting my breath here. I was incapable of compassion towards these folks either, until I worked with them every day. Then I couldn't help it. I absolutely loved the women I met, even when I didn't like them. Maybe I am just a soft touch for loving people who nobody else wants. Or wanted. I don't deny the absolute ugliness of the situation, but to say that these women are subhuman (which is pretty much what forced sterilization says) or that people that screwed up are 100 percent responsible for it themselves because they are bad/immoral/stupid/awful people is abhorrent to me.

If the standard for being able to feel good about judging and dehumanizing someone is how much tax dollars they cost us, these ladies need to get in line behind a whole hell lot of other people.
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