Why are we looking for the teen mum who left her baby on a doorstep in Griffith in NSW on Sunday? Is it to offer her the appropriate post natal and emotional care or is it to impose our beliefs on her? Those beliefs being that society knows better than a 14-year-old about what she should be doing with her baby.
Please look after him, he is beautiful, and I cannot look after him because I am only 14 years old … my parents will kill me. – Anon teen mum.
This girl has made it clear she doesn’t want to be found and the search for her sends a very negative message to other woman who want to put their babies up for adoption.
It sends a message that you cannot give up your baby without consequences. In this teen’s case, her parents finding out leading to a lot of pain and suffering.
I know this is controversial. She is, after all, just a child and her parents are still her legal guardians. However, she is old enough to conceive and give birth to a child, then make a decision about that child’s care.
She’ll come forward when she is ready. She’ll tell her parent’s when she is ready.
Think about this, think about her. She’s had nine long, traumatic months to carry this secret around. She has gone to great lengths to conceal her pregnancy and then made a decision about handing the baby over to others, leaving a note that clearly expresses her certainty about her decision, her love for him and the reasons for her decision.
Instead of hunting her down we need to use this opportunity to discuss something we forget to discuss when we talk about being pro-choice.
One of those choices should be putting the baby up for adoption with no shame and no consequences.
The fact this teen had to secretly dump the baby is sad. It would have been great if she could have handed the baby over with support and no shame. With pregnancy all of our choices should be supported. As yet, giving babies up for adoption is not. Sure the movie Juno was cute and funny and quirky but reality is very different from portrayals we see in the movies. We feel empowered when the women in the TV show Love Child choose to keep their babies, banding together to help one another care for them while they work.
However the instant a mother says, "Hey, I can't care for this child," or, "Hey, I don't want to care for this child," there is a swirl of judgement and silent accusation.
What kind of a mother abandons her own child...