Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ana's Story

Another LDS adoption related story. If anyone else has one they'd like to share, just email it to me. This is a story from "Ana". It again showcases the propaganda and pressure tactics the LDS church uses in trying to coerce single-mothers to give up their children.

"I found your YouTube video about your experience with the church and their adoption services. I was in the same boat as you when I was pregnant with my son. I'd like to share my story as there are other mom's who have gone through what you did.

I was raised as a Mormon and when I hit my teens never really got into the religion and people pointed and whispered about me all the time. I was in foster care the last couple months of high school and I remember if I ran into anyone in my ward they kinda snubbed me. Well I moved to a different province (I am Canadian as well) and just lived my life the way I wanted to. I by this point was barely involved in the church I just didn't really believe in the religion anymore it had done no good for me or my family despite them saying if you follow it you will be blessed. I had a one night stand and was in denial for 3 months until I told one of my sister's I thought I was pregnant. I wasn't working at the time and so she bought the test for me and it came back positive. I didn't know what I was going to do I didn't want to tell my whole family was Mormon and at the time my parents were actively still going to church I thought they would disown me. My sister told my dad and he came to visit me and talked to me about it and I broke down. He explained they would support me with whatever decision I made.

I moved in with my family and soon they had gone to their bishop and explained my situation so he asked if he could meet with me. Well I knew what was coming....I had street smarts I wasn't stupid. They were mormons there was going to be only one thing they would want to discuss....adoption. We met with him and this lady who worked with unwed mothers in the church. They of course started talking about adoption and how my son would have a horrible life if he was not adopted out to a temple worthy mormon family. My dad was shocked and after apologized and told me he had no clue that's what they were going to talk about. I decided to give their counseling a try as I was still a little undecided at that point what I was going to do. By than I believe I was 4 or 5 months pregnant.

All they did was talk about how hard it would be in all aspects if I kept my baby. They told me that only 10% of single mothers succeed. That 90% never get married and live miserably and their children have next to nothing. They tried to show me videos and graphs and do exercises focusing on what would be better for my child. They went as far to ask if I'd marry the guy who got me pregnant and I laughed at them and told them no way. They tried to get me to think of who I could marry. I told them nobody that I wasn't getting married just because I was pregnant.

I remember this one video they showed me that had three different married the guy who got her pregnant, another placed her baby and the other I can't remember. They all talked about how it affected them. After this video they asked me what I thought and I told them that I didn't connect to these girls at all. They were all church going girls who had a slip up....I was hitting up the bars every other weekend drinking, smoking and living life. I think they were getting annoyed with me though because I was stubborn and there was no way that I was going to let these people bully me into placing my baby for adoption I saw right through them.

They arranged for me to meet two girls who did place their babies for adoption. There was another girl there with her bf to meet with these girls. I was 7 months pregnant by this time and was pretty sure I had made my mind up on keeping my son but hadn't told them yet. The girls shared their story and experience and showed us the albums as they both had open adoptions. I looked at one of the girl's pictures of the little boy she had given up sitting in a pile of leaves and it was at that moment that something hit me and told me I was making the right decision keeping my son.

After they asked us what we were leaning more towards. I told them I was planning on keeping my son and they asked why. I told them I couldn't give him up, that things happen for a reason and I feel there was a reason I was having this baby. When they asked the other girl she said that she really didn't want to give her baby up and than her bf shot her a look and she said but it's what we've decided. I felt sorry for heart went out to this girl who obviously felt like she didn't have a say. It felt like everyone was making the decision for her and had pressured her this was the best decision. I don't know what she decided.....I didn't have a chance to ask. The lady from the counseling services told me she would arrange for me to meet a mom who kept her child to hear her story. It never happened she felt that they couldn't help me anymore as I had made my decision. Never heard from them again and never bothered contacting them ever. It felt as though because they didn't get what they wanted it was time to just leave me and move onto the next.

My son is now 4 and is amazing. My bf who I have been dating on and off since my son was about 4 months old has stepped up and is his dad. Maybe he won't be around forever...maybe we won't get married, but when they tell you nobody wants to marry a single mom they're full of lies. I've dated since having my son and have met many wonderful guys who it doesn't bother them. Of course they're all non members and are so much more open minded to life. My best friend is a mormon and I don't like to talk bad about the religion but since my experience with the church I don't bother. I don't go. My aunts, uncles, grandma are members and it took them a bit but they've all accepted my son and I'm sure behind closed doors don't agree with what my choice was but they don't treat my son different. Now one of my cousins is expecting a baby and lucky for her the church didn't get involved as she's in the states and I assume it's worse down there than here. I'm sure her mom learned from my experience and decided not to contact the church about it.

That's my story and what I went through. I feel for those moms who feel like they have to place their babies for adoption because the church tells them it is right. I can't picture my life without my son. He saved me. If it wasn't for him I'd still be living my dead end life hitting up the bars all the time. Now I enjoy life again and he makes me so happy. One day I will tell him what I went through and one day he'll ask about religion. He'll get to make that decision on his own though. I was never given the choice of what religion I wanted to be and my son will have that choice.

 I haven't met or talked to anyone who went through what I did and it's nice to know there are others. None of my family or friends can relate and I find it hard some days because until you actually go through the whole thing you don't know what it feels like to basically feel like you were used by people because they wanted your baby.

Have a great day!"

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