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Is this coercion?

There is a lot of talk about coercion on here and how agencies/aparents influence pbmom's to place their children when that is not what they WANT.

Yet, there is a post going right now where a woman (right in the title) says that she WANTS to place her child for adoption and she is getting bullied not to consider it.

She is being told she is irresponsible, running from a decision, equate adoption with “getting rid of”, will damage the relationship with her extended family, how that her feelings must not be valid because she is pg, that she can never get past relinquishing, that all 3 of her kids will be angry and resentful to her, it will tear her family apart, scared into thinking there could be abuse, how her other kids will see themselves as a burden, ruin her marriage, etc.

This looks like textbook coercion to me.... threats to a family member, dismissal of her own emotions and this coercion?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:50 PM on Sep. 16, 2009 in Adoption

This question is closed.
Answers (60)
  • Take any of those statements and flip it:
    Can I tell her that she will get over it (vs telling her she will never get over it)
    - I tell her that her marriage will dissolve because her husband will resent her
    - tell her how her other children will suffer since she cant afford them all
    - tell her how her extended family will disown her for taking on another child she cant afford
    - tell her my own positive adoption experience and leave out any hint of negativity
    -tell her that she is only having second thoughts now but that all will be better once she places
    - tell her how her other kids will resent her for what she now cant provide to them.
    -tell her that she is selfish to keep the baby.

    Overall, discount anything she is feeling because I, who will never meet her, know her situation better than she does.

    I dont want her baby and have no financial incentive... so is what Ijust said coercion, all I did was flip it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Adoption is the greatest give of love and sacrifice. I applaud and support anyone who makes this difficult choice.

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:55 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • In simplest terms.. yes, it is coercion. Period.
    Adoption is not all rainbows and ponies. It is rife with grief...for the first mom, adoptee and even the a-parent since they are dealing with the child's grief.
    Nobody can or should try to force that mother to parent her child.. it has to be her decision as well as her husband's. Should she explore and research all of her options? Yep.. but, as an a-parent I would tell that to ANY e-mom. I tell all prospective a-parents to research, research, research as well.
    I wish her the best of luck.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 1:05 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Many of the answers that seem to be bullying her so to speak are from moms that dont appear to have any ties to adoption in the first place.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:24 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Yes it is coercion! Clearly this woman is stating she cannot handle another child, so why should she get bashed for thinking adoption? Adoption is a choice made from love.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:30 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • adoption is a choice made many times from desperation.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:33 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • I agree it's coercion. I feel bad for her as she isn't getting the support she needs (although I believe her husband said he's support whatever decision she makes). I posted a message to her supporting her as our son's birthmother found herself in a similar situation, unable to deal with a 4th child. Adoption is such an emotional thing. It's so annoying when people slam a woman like that who is already having a tough time. Admittedly, posting something to a forum like this is going to tend to give you both extremes in responses for that very reason...

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:34 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • No, It is not. She asked whether we thought it was wrong for her to want to place her baby. (She also said she thought she could probably love this baby.) People shared their opinions with her, and many related experiences that happened to them, wanting to spare her from the same fates. No one has any financial interest in her decision or will gain or lose anything because of her opinion. People who coerce pregnant women generally have a financial interest in her decision, hence the need to resort to coercive tactics.

    I did not see anyone threaten her family members but, since she posted anonymously as I recall, how could any threats affect her? As for dismissal of her feelings, I think anyone who has ever experienced an unplanned pregnancy can empathize with her fear and confusion. Some people were brutal, mean and unfair to her, but that is not coercive.

    Answer by Southernroots at 1:34 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Hearing how she should consider everyone involved & not just herself & her feelings is not "coercion" its an honest fact she needs to think about if she has not. You hear all the time how its suppose to be all about the child. Well, if mom is saying "I" this & "I" that where is the child? I do a LOT of things I dont really want to do but I have to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:36 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • mcginnisc, I'm with you on this! I would advocate research, research, research to ANY person considering adoption. In order to stress the importance I might or might not share how adoption has impacted me - does that then cross the line into coercion? I don't think so.

    She asked a question and therefore has "openned herself up to the opinions of others" - thus the whole point of the Q&A section.

    I do think that it is dangerous business however, to include in your response that you "know" what her outcome would be if she did chose to give up her parental rights. Nobody can "know" the outcome for sure. Sharing what you believe are possible outcomes? That's okay - that's part of the "what has happened before" and is valid to consider in decision making.

    Name calling, personal attacks and such shouldn't be part of "sharing your point of view" - THAT isn't coercion though, it's just plain old nastiness.


    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 1:40 PM on Sep. 16, 2009