Coercion in Canada Today

“The only thing I was ever told was that it was best to start separating now. To start addressing the child by the name the prospective adoptive parents picked out for him.  To think of myself as a birthmother rather than a mother”
Heather Lowe, Mother 


The “Loving Option”

You may have been told that if you love your baby you will place your baby for adoption.  THIS IS NOT TRUE. 

Mothers bond with their babies through pregnancy, and when a baby is born hormones and other natural chemicals begin to work on both mother and child for the survival of the human infant.  Mothers have a natural love for their baby and want the best for their children both before and after birth and are vulnerable.  YOU are the best thing for your little baby and if you love your baby you will give YOU to your baby. YOU are your baby’s mother.  Loving your baby means mothering and caring for your baby.  Don’t allow someone to undermine your motherhood.


You may have been told that keeping your baby would be selfish. THIS IS NOT TRUE. In order to keep your baby you will have to make sacrifices and work very hard.  This is not selfish. No mother who gives birth to her own child and loves and parents that child has ever been called selfish – except by the Adoption Industry.

Too Young

You may have been told that you are too young. Yes, you may be young now, but in just a few years you will have grown and changed and you will not be young forever.  Your feelings in just a few years will change dramatically.  What you need now is SUPPORT. Adoption is FOREVER.

Giving Your Child as a Gift/Doing Something Good and Noble

You may have been told that giving your child as a gift to some “deserving” infertile couple would be a wonderful thing to do. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Children are not “gifts”. You may even have seen websites with babies with ribbons around them to make them look like “gifts”. Your baby is a human being, not a gift. You are not “doing something noble and wonderful” when you place your child for adoption. You are not a hero because you surrender your child for adoption.  The problems of infertile couples, although sad, have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU OR YOUR CHILD.

Financial Resources

You may have been told that you do not have the financial resources to be a mother so you will be doing the right thing for your child by giving him or her to parents who already have a home and more money, but THIS IS NOT TRUE. More money has never made a happier child. There are financial resources available to you to help you raise your child. There are many community resources that will help you with clothing, baby needs and necessities for your child. There are subsidized housing and daycare services for single parents in every province in Canada.

Two Parent Theory

You may have been told that your child needs two parents. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Single parents succeed and thrive in Canadian society. Further, your child already has two parents, and probably grandparents and extended family.  There is no guarantee that the prospective adoptive couple will not divorce. Infertile couples divorce at a higher rate than other couples. Also, there are no guarantees that the adopters will live long enough to parent your child. There are no guarantees in adoption or in life. Many adopted children have ended up back in the Foster Care system because of problems in adoptive homes. Many mothers have learned the truth much later and regretted their decision and felt responsible for putting their child in harms’ way. Adoption does not guarantee a “better life”.

Keep in mind that the job of the Adoption Counsellor is to complete the adoption. Their fees are based on completing adoptions.


You may have been told that you will not be able to continue your education, and go on with your life if you keep your own baby. THIS IS NOT TRUE. There are many programs for single parents who wish to continue with their education, and there is no reason why you cannot continue with your education with Daycare resources, financial resources, and with help from supportive friends and family. There are many ways to pursue your education whether you choose day school, a community organization, a school with daycare for mothers, correspondence courses or night school. An Academic or Guidance Counsellor at your present school can help.  It’s up to you.

Psychological Consequences to Surrendering Mothers

You have probably NOT been told that surrendering mothers suffer for the rest of their lives with emotional problems such prolonged grief, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the trauma of surrendering their babies. Did you know that 85% of relinquishing mothers suffer a Major Depression in their life and 30% never have another child?

Open Adoption

You may have been told that this is an “Open Adoption” and that you can have ongoing contact with your child. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

Open Adoption legally means that each party knows who the other is…that the mother knows the identity of the people adopting, and the adopters know the identity of the mother. This is in contrast to “Closed Adoptions” where the identities were hidden from each party.

Once you have signed the Consent to Adoption, all your legal rights end. Once your parental rights are terminated adoptive parents have the right to close you out of your child’s life at any time they choose…and not send you the pictures, and not let you send the gifts, not send the letters, not have the phone calls. … Sadly, most Open Adoptions close within the first three years as adoptive parents find the natural mother “an intrusion“ in their lives. Also, for many natural mothers the extent of their loss becomes more clear post adoption as they are introduced as a “family friend” and live on the sidelines of their children’s lives…perhaps watching them being raised in ways that are contrary to their belief systems…

Copyright Valerie Andrews 2010