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Published Wednesday June 24th, 2009 at 3:03pm

Original Article by Amanda W.

Anna is a Birth Mother.

Anna, tell us what you'd like us to know about YOU as a person.
I'ma very dedicated person. Once I set my mind to something, I do my bestto accomplish it and go above and beyond. I promised my son from themoment I found out I was pregnant that I was going to do whatever ittakes to make sure he has a great life.

Do you mind sharing how you became a birth mother?
Well,I went through most of my pregnancy getting ready to raise my son. Iwanted him more than anything in this entire world. I had never lovedanyone the way I loved my little boy. However, I lacked resources andfinancial and emotional support. The father was out of the picture, hisfamily were constantly pressuring me to place my son up for adoption,and my family were kind of like, "Anna, you're on your own." It was sooverwhelming... I was 18 and scared out of my mind. I didn't have muchself esteem, so around the time I was 8 months pregnant I decided thatit would be best for him to be raised by another family. I felt at thetime that he deserved better than me. I felt like I wasn't good enough.It was the most painful descision to ever have to make, but once I hadset my mind to it, there was nothing that was going to change mymind... I'm a very stubborn person.

If you could give a message to anyone (or multiple people) what would it be?
Research, interview, do whatever it is you need to do to educate yourself beforeyou make a decision that could completely change your life. It'll beeasier to accept and harder to regret if you go into something fullyeducated.

Do you agree with opening up unconditional, uncensored access to birth records? Why or why not?
Yes, secrets are never, ever good.

Have you been reunited with any of the members of your Triad?
Iwouldn't call it reunited, but I have a very open adoption... To behonest, my parents adopted my son. I'm very hesitant to tell peoplethat because they automatically think I should be "fine." I'm not fine,in fact, it's made my healing/grieving process even harder because thesituation is constantly being thrown in my face. I can't ever get awayfrom it. It's caused a huge strain on my relationship with my mother...I mean huge. I live a ways away because of my work and school, but I doget to see him once a month. It helps to know that he's ok and is wellcared for, but to see him call someone else mom, and when he's upset hewants her and not me... is very difficult. It is getting so mucheasier... I use to cry every single time I would leave from visiting...I would cry for days... but now I can leave and feel at peace, becauseI know that he's ok, and not in pain..He loves me and he knows who I am.

Have you ever been made to feel shameful or to blame?
Ohyeah, my ex-boyfriend (not the biological father) would tell me on daysI would be really down about the adoption, he told me it was my faultbecause I put myself in that situation. I didn't ask to get pregnant...I was on birth control... I also didn't even expect my boyfriend at thetime to bail out on me, his family and mine turn their backs on me.. Iexpected everyone who loved me to support me, and I didn't get that.You know... I didn't get pregnant by myself! I at times, especiallywhen I'm around women who have children who are young and single, Ifeel extremely ashamed for placing my son up for adoption. I see allthese women doing it, and I didn't.. I just gave up. I gave my son up.Where were these women when I was pregnant? It's just so difficult.

Aspecial thank you to Anna for sharing her story. Hopefully by readingAnna's story, people will be moved to work towards a positive change.