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.

And Then There Were Two

We are living out soap opera twists left and right around here!  I’m not sure how we got so…lucky?

Yes, it’s true. Since the day we learned we were chosen to adopt, then not, then back on, then off again, then kinda on again, then probably off but no one really knew, we have experienced more drama than either of us have ever known in our lives put together. Here’s the thing about the hubs and I; we shun drama. We actively shun it. We are very happy with our calm, predictable lives. That doesn’t mean boring. It just means we don’t usually encounter things like paternity tests.

About that: Our adoption coordinator called this morning with some interesting news. Perhaps you recall the latest hang up regarding the adoption. Since that time, something came to light, and that something is that the paternity of the baby is unknown. It was previously assumed the father was the gentleman who changed his mind and didn’t want to sign the adoption papers, effectively squashing the adoption. There’s still a decent chance he is the father. However, there’s also a chance the baby was conceived with another man. If that’s the case, we could still adopt the baby because the other guy is in favor of it. The expectant mother would like to place baby boy with us either way. However, that can’t happen if the first guy is the father, since he doesn’t want to sign the papers. It’s all very Days of Our Lives. 

The next step is to do a DNA test to determine the paternity of the baby. The agency is looking into if this is a safe procedure to do in the third trimester. The expectant mother really wants to know the results so she can move forward with her adoption plan. The hubs and I really want to know too, but not at risk to her or the baby!  I’m not up-to-date on current paternity testing protocols.

We should know by the end of the day if a DNA test is possible. If not, the expectant parents and the hubs and I all get to wait until the baby is actually born, which, as I picture it in my mind, seems like a giant train wreck. On one hand you have a man waiting to see if the baby his wife gives birth to is his child.  I can only imagine that is going to be a devastating moment for him if it isn’t.   On the other hand, you have the hubs and I waiting to see if the paternity test shows that Guy #2 is the father, meaning we can adopt. If he isn’t, we dejectedly leave the hospital empty handed.  And you have a birthmother who has chosen adoption but may not be able to continue that plan if the baby is her husband’s, since he is not on board with that scenario. It’s a messy situation all around.  They truly are good people and I sure don’t want to see them in pain; we can only have faith that whatever the outcome, it is what is best for this baby boy.

I thought adoption was going to look more like a stork dropping a bundle off on our doorstep. NOPE.