The Oxygen channel has begun releasing commercials for their new six-episode docu-series, “I’m Having Their Baby.” The show chronicles the journey of women with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies who chose adoption rather than abortion – and, therefore, chose life.
Each installment follows two pregnant women who have made the choice to place their babies for adoption, and are making the life changing decisions that come next. In getting to know the birth mother, and in some cases the birth father and potential adoptive couple, the hour-long episodes allow viewers to bear witness to not only the adoption process, but the actual birth and heart wrenching final decision that each woman must face. The series documents a range of poignant, personal stories as the women struggle with an unplanned pregnancy and ultimately, decide whether or not to place their baby in the hands of another family. However diverse the case, there is one thing that’s common – each woman wants the brightest future for her unborn child, and a better life for herself.
… The premiere episode features Amanda, a 28-year-old mother raising two boys, as well as her boyfriend’s son, in Chehalis, WA. This mom knows how much work goes into parenting, and given her current economic situation, feels she cannot properly support another child. Mariah, 8-months pregnant, is also profiled in the first episode. She lives with her boyfriend and 9-month-old daughter in Anderson, IN. As the 18-year-old mom of an infant, Mariah knows she cannot afford another child and doesn’t want to turn out like many other girls in her community: a young, struggling, single mother.
The show spotlights a variety of different situations in which a woman might not want her baby. Several, as mentioned above, are giving them up for financial reasons. One woman on the show had an affair and got pregnant. All of it shows that regardless of how you got pregnant and what your circumstances are, abortion doesn’t have to be your choice.
Seeing a show that spotlights adoption is thrilling, because it’s almost kept a secret. When it comes to the choices women have about unplanned pregnancies, it’s usually framed as either abortion or keeping the baby. You either become a parent or kill your child. Adoption’s the third choice that rarely gets brought up, especially at abortion clinics where there is no financial benefit from referring a woman out for adoption.
That’s not to say that adoption would be easy; it wouldn’t be. I cannot even imagine how difficult it must be to give birth to a baby, to feel all the emotions that you inevitably feel afterwards, and then give the baby away. It would be heartbreaking. But at the same time, as a parent, you want the absolute best for your child, and knowing that you’re giving your baby a brighter future than you could provide must give you some peace as well.
On top of that, I think that many people still have an outdated view of adoption, which has changed over the years. Putting your baby up for adoption no longer means that you can’t be in the baby’s life. There are adoptions where the birth mother is still able to be involved and see the baby occasionally. Open adoptions have become more common now than the private, closed adoptions, as this new series shows. Moms will usually be able to meet the adoptive family, get to know them and, in some cases, still be in the baby’s life.
Adoption needs to be mentioned more often as an alternative to abortion. No one needs to be forced to keep and raise their baby if they have an unwanted pregnancy, but neither should they kill the child just because it’s inconvenient. Adoption can solve both problems, and most of the time there’s no financial burden for the mother either (many agencies or the adoptive couples themselves will pay for her medical bills). This show will hopefully remind women that there is another choice they can make, one that won’t kill an innocent baby. And while that choice will be difficult and heart-wrenching, it will also be beautiful. Adoption is the choice that can let a mother keep her baby without sacrificing her life…no murder required.