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  #1  
Old Dec 2, '09, 3:07 pm
Augusta Sans Augusta Sans is offline
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Default Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Has anyone heard of this happening? If you fail to abstain perfectly and end up conceiving a child that your family really can't support, is it appropriate to consider offering the baby up for adoption?

(P.S. I'm not pregnant and not looking to adopt--I'm just curious!)
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  #2  
Old Dec 2, '09, 3:21 pm
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lizaanne lizaanne is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

I can't see why not. It is a very loving thing to do - to give a couple a child who wants one and is welcoming, and to spare the child a possible life of not being wanted.

I don't see a problem with it unless the couple is using this as some sort of "birth control" by giving their children away, but I think that is the extreme of what you are suggesting.

~Liza
  #3  
Old Dec 2, '09, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusta Sans View Post
Has anyone heard of this happening? If you fail to abstain perfectly and end up conceiving a child that your family really can't support, is it appropriate to consider offering the baby up for adoption?

(P.S. I'm not pregnant and not looking to adopt--I'm just curious!)
I'd say this is not inherently sinful. As for whether or not it's "appropriate" that would depend on circumstances. It's long been the case that couples would give up children to orphanages when they could not feed and clothe them. But this certainly could be sinful. As lizaanne said, it shouldn't be used as "birth control".
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  #4  
Old Dec 2, '09, 3:28 pm
Augusta Sans Augusta Sans is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Yes, I was visualizing perhaps a young couple who feel they can't handle the expense of a child, or a couple that has already been blessed with a large family and feels that they can't handle an additional child. (I've never been pregnant, so I have no idea how hard it would be to give up a child--I'm guessing it's VERY hard and that's why I've never seen this scenario play out.)
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Old Dec 2, '09, 4:04 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

I see it all the time. It's frequent in two of the communities I deal with that babies are handed to somebody else at birth. It's known as a 'traditional' adoption, not recognized by the law. I dealt with one of those just last week, the parents are mid-twenties and married but just turned their baby over to another unmarried couple to raise.

This practice has proven to be a major headache since priests have often registered baptisms under the wrong names (the parents listed are actually the so-called adoptive parents) and then sent that wrong information to Vital Statistics. In our province, until a month a go, any clergy member that baptized a child was mandated by law to send a 'Return of Birth' form to Vital Statistics as he/she was the official registrant of the birth. It has led to interesting phone conversations:

Social worker: How do I get a baby baptized? We have apprehended a baby who will be up for adoption and I want him baptized.

Me: Is he ill? Unless he's sick we don't usually baptize children until the adoption is final and the parents request it.

Social worker: No, he's not sick. I need to get him registered with Vital Statistics so he has to be baptized.

Me: What would you do if he was a Jew?

Dead silence...

I couldn't believe that I had to explain to the social worker, a government employee, how to register the baby without having him baptized. You wouldn't believe how many parents request baptism just so they have a certificate to apply for medicare, or welfare or child tax credit.
  #6  
Old Dec 2, '09, 4:20 pm
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Lil_M Lil_M is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Phemie- unbelievable. Never mind the fact that it was easy as pie to register a birth online
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Old Dec 2, '09, 4:56 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

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Originally Posted by Lil_M View Post
Phemie- unbelievable. Never mind the fact that it was easy as pie to register a birth online
Not easy here. You have to fill out a Return of Birth and if the parents aren't married or the child is going to have a combined name they also need to fill out a "form to assign a surname" which must be witnessed by one of justice of the peace, member of clergy, commissioner of oaths, etc.
  #8  
Old Dec 2, '09, 5:46 pm
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Lil_M Lil_M is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

I thought you were also in Ontario?
Maybe it was just easy because we were married
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Old Dec 2, '09, 6:07 pm
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lizaanne lizaanne is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Phemie - please PLEASE tell me that you would not refuse a child the sacrament of Baptism because of some bureaucratic BS? What if the child was Jew??!!! Why would you not just baptize the child??

I hope I'm just not following this correctly, because the thought of turning someone away who wants a child baptized for any reason is just horrifying to me.

~Liza
  #10  
Old Dec 2, '09, 6:27 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

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Originally Posted by lizaanne View Post
Phemie - please PLEASE tell me that you would not refuse a child the sacrament of Baptism because of some bureaucratic BS? What if the child was Jew??!!! Why would you not just baptize the child??

I hope I'm just not following this correctly, because the thought of turning someone away who wants a child baptized for any reason is just horrifying to me.

~Liza
The request for baptism for a child that is not yours and who is about to be adopted by who knows who, simply so you can get a Return of Birth filled out is not something that leads a priest to have "a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion" Canon 868 If the child were in danger of dying, yes, of course. But to accommodate a social worker who is really just looking for a piece of paper???

The question about being a Jew was just to point out to the social worker that you didn't need to have children baptized to have them registered with Vital Statistics.
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Old Dec 2, '09, 6:37 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

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Originally Posted by Lil_M View Post
I thought you were also in Ontario?
Maybe it was just easy because we were married
Being married does simplify things and I do think it's simpler in ONT. But I'm in NL and here gov't and church have been linked from the very beginning. Only in the last 10 years has that started to change, first with the change from a denominational to a non-denominational school system and just recently with the parents made responsible for registering their children with Vital Stats instead of the various Churches.

I found it sooo weird when I first started working in the parish office and found how this province did things. I've had kids in 3 different provinces and in NB and Sask the hospital filled out all those things and sent them to the gov't.

Here, there are adults who have never been registered with V.S. because they have either not been baptized or the clergy member never sent in the return of birth. Some, like many of those I deal with, were not born in hospital so there is no record of them at all. Others, born in hospital, show up only as 'live male born to Mother X on such and such a date in Hospital Y in city Z'. Until the Return of Birth is sent in (now this is a parent's responsibility), there's no father listed and no given name.
  #12  
Old Dec 2, '09, 6:41 pm
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Irish Becca Irish Becca is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

I knew a lady who did this. She was not Catholic - and honestly, lacking a bit in common sense. However, she was leaving her abusive first husband when she found out she was pregnant with a third child. Rather than have an abortion - which many would do - she gave the baby up for adoption. It as very admirable and touching.

I guess it's a bit of a different situation, though. I think the Catholic couple should figure out a way to take care of the baby (if at all possible) instead of adoption, personally.
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  #13  
Old Dec 2, '09, 6:49 pm
tapiocapudding tapiocapudding is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

I think, if a couple is married it would be very rare to make such a decision. There are tons of resources to help out families who are facing hard times financially, at least where I live as I'm finding out myself these days. I think similar social programs exist in the USA and other well off nations. Having raised children, a mother would have a very hard time giving up a subsequent child. Plus there would be concerns about older siblings fearing they too might be sent away. I can't imagine such a thing happening except under extremely grave circumstances.I would find it sad if a family was forced to give up their child due to poverty. It would be different if they couldn't care for the child for some emotional or health reason. But I can't imagine how sad it would make someone to know that if only they had more money they'd be able to keep their child
It would certainly be a very difficult decision to make and one I can't imagine anyone would enter into lightly.
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  #14  
Old Dec 2, '09, 6:50 pm
Augusta Sans Augusta Sans is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Becca View Post
I think the Catholic couple should figure out a way to take care of the baby (if at all possible) instead of adoption, personally.
I wonder if there is any scripture that points one way or the other.

On one hand, I can see the argument that a married couple should not only be open to LIFE, but also open to raising the child. On the other hand, if a family is blessed more abundantly with children than with the means to raise those children, I can see the argument that it's not immoral to share the blessing by allowing an infertile Catholic couple to adopt the child.
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Old Dec 2, '09, 7:49 pm
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monicatholic monicatholic is offline
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Default Re: Married Catholic couple giving up a baby for adoption?

Quote:
. On the other hand, if a family is blessed more abundantly with children than with the means to raise those children, I can see the argument that it's not immoral to share the blessing by allowing an infertile Catholic couple to adopt the child.

i understand this was fairly common in depression era and in economically depressed countries like ireland. neverhteless, the 'sharing' of a child is wrong. children are gifts from God, not gifts that one person can give to another. that assaults the dignity of the child, for sure.

but for the sake of the child? i hope there are many cases where this is best and loving. but the following is a very sad and true story. please don't read it if you are easily saddened:

i had a friend, an old woman, whose mother died when she was a toddler. no one seemed to even consider that the dad might care for his own kids-- i don't know why. but all the kids were sent to different relatives to live.

the only sibling she kept contact with was her brother. she was 2 and her brother was 4 and they lived in relatives' homes on the same dirt road. they would meet on the road every day. her brother martin would pull a rusty wagon filled with kittens or stones or anything he could find. everyday they'd meet. every day martin would pull the wagon behind him.

martin developed a twitch, which became more and more pronounced. they called his disability 'st vitus' dance.' it earned him a certain amount of abuse from other boys and adults. the only time he didn't twitch was when he was pulling his wagon or when he was aiming his slingshot at a squirrel or some other target.

one day when she was 5 and martin was 7, her adopted family just packed up and moved. she cried, "but martin will be on the road with his wagon."

she never saw her brother again. martin put a shotgun in his mouth and killed himself when he was 12 years old.

my friend never got over this. she died when she was 87 years old. i guess i'll never get over it either, in a way.

i believe in adoption. i'm a birth grandmother. i really truly deeply believe in adoption. but i wonder (and this is just my heart talking) if the situations where married people can't care for their kids-- if those situations aren't simply saturated with despair and if the children don't somehow just end up wearing that despair every day throughout their lives.

neglectful and abusive parents shouldn't have second chances with their kids' well-being, but simply poor parents? ignorant parents? if they have to choose adoption for their children due to sheer disadvantage, then somebody/something is failing them tragically.
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