Dear Abby, Where Are You? Advise Me!

Calling any and all Dear Abby’s of the world:

I am actively seeking guidance from you, my readers. You have something I don’t have, which is the glorious quality of being on the outside looking in. At the bottom of the post I ask for your opinion. Please, oh please, share it with me.  I crave perspective.

Here is the situation.  The agency texted me right before closing time to inform me they don’t want to pay for the paternity test while expectant mom is still pregnant, although it can be done with a blood test, so it is non-invasive.  They have decided to wait and do it at birth, which is barely cheaper.  And once again, I can’t believe the ridiculousness I am forced to endure.  It has become the official spectator sport of this adoption.

To summarize both situations: 

A paternity test now means that in about a week we would know who the father is, and contingient on the results we would either proceed with the adoption plan, or it would be all over, depending on which man is the father.  We could finally get to experience some anticipation and enthusiasm; if the results went the other way, we could mourn the loss (again) and be allowed to move on emotionally. Most importantly, Carrie (emom) would know in advance of the birth if she was placing the baby or keeping the baby.  She could create the adoption plan she wants ahead of time.  Her husband would not have to watch this baby being born, wondering if it is his kid. He could either go through the experience of elatedly watching his son be born, or if not that, he would otherwise know that he is there to support his wife throughout the labor but not get his hopes up at the birth.  For those wondering, they were officially separated for a short time, hence the second man in the picture.  I felt it was important to add that, because Carrie is a really good person, and she may be in our lives one day.

A paternity test at birth means we all experience hell on earth for the next month. The hubs and I would just have to wait it out and hope for the best.  We would still not be in the waiting pool, instead we would just keep twiddling our thumbs and praying this might work out after all. We wouldn’t even be at the hospital when the baby was born, we would be called up only after the paternity test came back. Our coordinator told us not to worry, because paternity tests are done all the time and take no longer than 48 hours for results. Oh, is that right?  Because when I looked up the hospital Carrie will be giving birth at, I learned that NO, the hospital does not do paternity tests, and in fact almost no hospital does. You have to bring your own kit, send it out, and results are available in 7-9 days at the earliest. I can’t describe how shocked I was when the coordinator straight up told me, “They do the testing in-house at the hospital. We will have results in 48 hours.” Our coordinator, the person in charge of our such a major chunk of our lives, doesn’t even know the procedure is NOT done at the hospital. She doesn’t know the results turn around time or even a close estimate. Since she doesn’t know this, she doesn’t have a clue or a plan what happens to the baby during that time. She should know all of these things and she knows so little. It should not be my job to discover and interpret vital details for someone who does this for a living, especially someone we are paying an enormous amount of money to do this sort of thing on our behalf.

Let’s speculate on what those 7-9 days will be like for the baby; we aren’t allowed to take him home without the test results. If Carrie takes him home for nine days, it seems unlikely she would be able to part with him regardless of who the father is. And what about her five older children? Is the expectation that they are going to be cool with having a new baby brother in the house for a week and then disappearing if she decided to continue with the adoption? Where did our baby go?  What about the likely possibility that she doesn’t want to take the baby home, because of everything I just mentioned above? The baby goes into Cradle Care, also known as foster care.  And all because they don’t want to spring for a non-invasive paternity test right now, even though we offered to pay for half of it. I’m disgusted.

It’s Dear Abby time: In the comments below, will you please cast your vote for what you would do in this situation? The hubs and I are clouded by emotion and are interested in what other people would do in our place. Here are your choices:
A: Insist on doing the paternity test NOW, no matter who we have to convince.
B: Just be patient and wait until the baby is born; the paternity will be found out eventually.
C: Cut ties with this situation and hope another opportunity comes along someday.
D: Request that the agency director serve as our coordinator for this case since it is just too big of a responsibility for the coordinator (on the job 9 months) to navigate effectively. A more experienced, responsible coordinator could have handled even this complicated of a situation with more finesse.
E: Any other suggestion or idea you can think of that may be helpful.

19 thoughts on “Dear Abby, Where Are You? Advise Me!

  1. Pingback: Free | Borrowed Genes

  2. Dear Holly, my heart breaks for you and John in this situation. I would never presume that I have advice that is “the answer” to all of this, but since you asked for thoughts, I’ll go ahead and give you mine. I would completely rule out option B. That seems cruel to all concerned, and I would think it will cause you much more grief than if you walk away right now. The thing I keep thinking about is how many other children are out there that just might be the perfect match for you – if you are willing to wait and try again. Several people have used the term “messy” to describe this whole situation, and I’d say that’s a mighty big understatement! Maybe I’ve watched too much TV, but I would hate to see you and your entire family embroiled in something that could turn really ugly later on down the road. I have no idea what the laws are in cases like this, but others have suggested that you make sure that what you are hearing from this rather incompetent agency coordinator is actually true. My brain says to go with option C, but I can’t possibly know if that’s right for you and John. My only other advice is to listen to what your mother says. She’s most likely spot on with her thinking because no one loves you more than she does, and she wants what is the best for you – no matter what. I’m praying for you!

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  3. I’d say a and d as well. My daughter was conceived when her mother was in the process of a divorce. Birth moms legal husband was the legal father to the child. Because we knew he was not the biological father we went ahead with the adoption anyway, but our lawyer said if the legal father put up any fight at all, all bets are off. The only way around the “legal father” being the husband is the paternity test. I’ve also heard that whoever the mom puts on the birth certificate as the dad is legally the dad but that one is something that would have to be brought up to the lawyer to clarify.

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  4. Can’t even imagine the turmoil in this whole process. And your writing/sharing is so descriptive and honest and heart breaking yet encouraging. So many options – May God grant you peace in abundance! I’d vote A and D … but then it is easy to say based on just reading. Wishing the best for all!

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    • I really appreciate that! Thank you so much for the compliment. Writing helps me process what is happening in my mind and gives me a better perspective on how to approach solutions.

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  5. I also wondered about “presumed father.” In some states, both men would have to consent to the adoption. I’d check that out for your state.

    Can you offer to pay for the paternity test? It would still be an amount you can apply to the tax credit so you’d essentially be getting it back.

    I’d see if the birth mom could do anything more to insist on having the test now.

    And I would get someone who knew more about how to handle the situation, like the agency director.

    Praying for you!

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    • We offered to pay for half of it. After looking up protocols with other agencies, we learned that this is really the agency’s responsibility to cover. But we are glad to pay half if it simplifies the whole blooming situation!

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  6. I’m so sorry this is happening to you Holly. After reading what you have gone through already and since this baby is going to be born so soon I would sit down with your husband and really decide if going through more drama and heartache will be really be best for you. I also agree in thinking this agency is not exactly working in your favor, if paying for a paternity test isn’t something they do that is understandable, but not even taking the time to research this hospital’s procedures is just ridiculous.

    I’m not sure what state you’re in, but in some states (like California) even if you do the paternity test and its not her husband he may still have rights as the “pursumed father” meaning the man she lives with, has other children with and is married to can still fight and make even more drama if he really wants to. It’s less likely he will win, but if they are in a relationship and he has been taking care of her it’s something to consider.

    I would try to, one, find a family lawyer who specializes in adoption and see if they will talk to you about the situation. They may be able to give you some advice. But it seems like this may not get easier, even if the paternity test shows it is the other man. I don’t want to make it about money, but that was one of my biggest regrets with my last match. I could have put those funds towards a more stable match. Hope is a scary thing. Keep in mind that this isn’t your last chance and you have gone through so much already.

    I’ll be thinking about you ❤

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  7. First, and foremost, your ‘adventure’ in adoption is a true testament that God gives special stuff to adoptive parents. What you and John are bravely enduring is positively amazing!
    That being said, from the outside looking in, knowing only what I know from reading your blog, my gut instinct is to cut ties. It seems that this situation is getting infinitely more complicated in so many ways, and it seems to be headed to a no-win situation. Start fresh, maybe with a different person within your agency, and hopefully proceed through a smooth sailing road to a new family member. My heart aches for you guys and what you’re going through, may you be blessed with clarity in all of this!

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  8. My heart goes out to all involved. I cannot possibly know how much you will grieve the loss of this child even though nothing has been official, if you walk away. But that is my advice. This situation is such a mess and will most likely get messier.

    If you decide to pursue it, I think you should go full mama bear and demand the test asap. You were generous to have offered half. That has to bring the cost below what they would pay after birth!

    Which ever path you choose, I think you would be justified in requesting a different agent. There has been a gross loss of trust.

    For the money you are paying and the type of adoption you are pursuing, even 48 hours is unacceptable. For you or the birth mother.

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    • Loss of trust went out the window a long time ago. This agency has one coordinator so switching isn’t even an option. The owners are “out to lunch” regarding how their agency is operated. I’m so glad you agree with my thinking, makes me feel like I’m not crazy!

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  9. I have only one answer and it is to definitely not even consider option b. Totally unacceptable for everyone involved especially you and hubs.

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  10. Dear Holly, I have read your post and for me as a mother, I would say both A and C go hand in hand. I believe it needs to be known now so that the father whom ever it is doesn’t have to endure the possibility for a greater length of time. Then necessary. I am worried that this process with this adoption agency has caused such grief and agony for all of you. I can’t understand how she could give up this child, no. 5. Her intentions might be the best and yet I believe that if she really wanted the best for her child, you would not have gone through what you have already. So much back and forth. I’m concerned that the agency isn’t representing you and John in the best manner. Just my thoughts.

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