This week-end we went to a support group for aspiring adoptive parents organised by an adoption association. There were two psychologists and a few other couples. It was very nice to exchange with the other couples about various topics related to adoption.
The first topic discussed was how much to tell family and friends about the story of the abandonment before the child is old enough to be told. The example that was given was that of a child conceived after sexual violence. Would you want to tell family and friends? Telling them has no benefits but risks changing people’s attitude towards the child. Also, if I were the child I wouldn’t want people to know such a detail about my own story before knowing myself.
We then started talking about how you would tell the child his story, especially when difficult such as that of a sexual violence. One of the psychologists suggested that one way was to tell the child that he was conceived in difficult conditions but that he wanted to live so much that he kept growing in his mother’s womb even if the mother did not want him to. One of the girls attending said she didn’t think it was that a good idea because it could create a guilt feeling towards the biological mother. I agree with her.
The psychologist went on elaborating on the idea of the desire of the baby to come to life. She talked about a book in which it is argued that for a baby to be born you need three desires. This is the citation:
“A human child is the fruit of three desires: it takes at least the conscious desire for a complete sexual act of the father, it takes at least an unconscious desire of the mother, but what we forget is that it also takes the unconscious desire to survive for this embryo in which a human life originates.” (Francoise Dolto)
According to her this theory could help explain the abandonment to a child, as it underlines his/her willingness to live. I couldn’t help telling her I disagreed. I would have a hard time telling a child that he is in this world because of his desire to come to life. For me that is like saying that babies that are not born because of a miscarriage or still birth did not want it enough. That they did not have enough willingness to live. I don’t think I could do that, with all the little sparkles of life that were in me and did not survive. I can blame it on my body, on biology, on medicine and even on the strength of the embryos.. but not on their desire to live.
It was a good discussion and we were happy to go. The next meet up is not until September. The only negative thing was that were were told a statistic we didn’t know. Out of 10 couples/persons that receive approval for adoption, only 1 succeeds. Since we got approval we have often been told that now it is not a matter of “if” we will adopt, but “when”. Well, it looks like it’s still “if”. We won’t give up but the fight is certainly not over.