Trisha Haas, writer on parenting blog MomDot.com, tackles last night's emotional episode of I'm Having Their Baby. Read the expert's take on adoption, on spouse rights, and on the decisions made by the moms in Episode 2.
I admit it; I am a reality TV junkie.
So much so that I have forgotten what a good drama or soap story consists of and instead I live inside the world of other people. All that being considered, I was still surprised when I found myself holding my breath watching Tiffany Rose and Tiffany Savannagh -go through one of the biggest battles of their lives: the decision to keep or place their baby up for adoption.
Oxygen's I’m Having Their Baby focuses on the journey of women going through the adoption process, proved to be a tirade of emotions including fear, sadness, and even joy that left tears in all the right moments. With over 6 million pregnancies a year, 3 million unplanned, and 14,000 adoptions, there are a lot of individual stories out there.
As a mother I have a story as well. When my daughter was born she was fully planned but when my son came along, I was not only surprised, but I'll admit a tad confused and worried. I was in a place in my life where my spouse and I were not doing that great and I felt a lot of pressure. I would sit for long periods of time and wonder if we would end up divorced, and how this child would suffer as a result. Could I be a good parent, or even as good of a parent, to my son as I was to my daughter? Would my child hate me if their upbringing wasn't perfect? Would I have enough money to give them everything they needed? The truth is, at least in my case, those fears were unfounded. We are now happily raising two healthy children and finally have our relationship back to where it should be.
But not all stories end up like ours.
Much of the show revolves around the relationships of the women and their significant others (or lack thereof) and even though I expected this, I did find it a bit surprising that so much of the adoption process rested on the validity of those relationships. Prior to watching the show I had always felt that adoption was something that a teenager opted into or someone without family or monetary support considered. But this episode focused on women that already had and were successfully raising children, and while their lives were certainly not perfect, I didn't note the struggle outside of the lack of a father or spouse figure.
Ironically I felt that the women could have kept their child and had the means and support to get through this temporary setback in life, but at the same time I found myself rooting for the family adopting one of the newborns. When they appeared to "meet" Tiffany Rose for the first time after her child was born, you could see the anguish on everyone's faces. Tiffany felt that she was giving up a child that she really DID want, but was too focused on raising another child with an uninterested boyfriend. Her chosen adopted family was living in constant fear that the child they hoped to receive would ultimately be ripped from them in the last second.
Flip through photos from last night's episode:
With Tiffany Banks, she seemed so ready to get this decision done and over with, despite her family's support and objections. And life, like it so often does, had other plans for her. As soon as she seemed to get everything she wanted and reached the point of choosing a family, her unborn daughter proved to have a mind of her own and was born very early. I was actually very happy to see her ultimately keep the baby as I think in her heart she had it more together than she felt she did. Unlike in Tiffany Rose's case, I think one of the differences here really was that Tiffany Banks' aunt and other family members were ready to support her if she kept the baby.
What started out as a normal reality TV spot ended up with me wanting more, wanting to understand how women could come to this final conclusion, and how each story was so personal to who they were. I think in the end it is impossible to even understand the life time repercussions of keeping or giving up their child, because the truth is the only focus in adoption really should be the child's wellbeing. I personally got nothing but good feelings from both women and refuse to judge what was right or wrong with who they are or even believed they are, but overall it was clear that they felt they were doing the best with the options presented.
The show did a great job showcasing that adoption is never an easy choice. Up until the last moment, even last second, decisions were hanging in the air. I encourage you to get involved with the show, but be prepared to have a tissue handy nearby.
Watch two Sneak Peeks for the next episode of 'I'm Having Their Baby'
Watch 'I'm Having Their Baby' on Wednesdays at 9/8c!