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Adoption Issues/Taking care of daughter/neice I put up for adoption


I am in a big dilemma with my family. Fifteen years ago when I was 20 I gave birth to a little girl. I was going to abort the baby, but my sister (who was 26 years old) couldn't have kids, so I decided to go through the pregnancy, and she adopted the baby. Everything was good after that. I got to be apart of her life, but didn't have to actually put the effort into raising her. I was in my second year of university when I found out I was pregnant. Since then I have obtained a master's in English, and work in marketing for a well known corporation, and also working on my first novel in my spare time. The problem is my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and for the past 8 months my niece (bio daughter) has been staying with my brother. I have been helping out by sending him 500.00 a month. My family thinks I should be having her with me full time because she is my biological daughter. The honest truth I don't want her to stay with me because I got so much going on. I work sometimes up to 50 - 60 hours a week, and I stay up late most nights working on my book. I love her, but I'm selfish and don't want to change my life. I like working, and devoting my time to writing. That is the reason why I never wanted a child and still don't want a child. My family is calling me selfish, because I won't take her, and that I care more about myself then my own daughter. I have told them she is not my daughter because I gave her up for adoption and my sister took her place. I don't know what to do.

Hi Ashley-
You obviously have come a long way and you should be proud of your accomplishments.  Yet, at the same time, I think that the fact that you asked your question makes it clear to me that you really don't know if you are making the right decision for yourself and your daughter by not parenting her.
I would strongly suggest that you find a good therapist who will help you to review your options and who also will help you consider your daughter's part in all of this.  If appropriate, your daughter might even go to some sessions with you so that she has a better understanding of what is going on.
I can't really answer your question, because I don't know enough about the situation.  What is clear is that you do feel responsible for your daughter's welfare since you are contributing to her support.  It is also clear that you have a supportive family who took your daughter in at a time when you felt placing her for adoption was the best thing for both of you.
I think it is unfair for your family to call you selfish, but I also think you are being unfair to your daughter by saying you don't want her.  Even if your daughter never lives with you, I hope you will try to develop closer bonds with her.  This is very important for her psychological and emotional development.
Finally, thinks for having the courage to write about this and feel free to keep me posted.

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Peter C. Winkler, CSW


I have experience with adoption subsidy, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and variety of other adoption related matters. I hope that I can be helpful to those who are considering adoption or would like to adopt a child.


I am a social worker with an MSW and I have over thirty years of experience in family and children's services. I have worked as Director of adoption services and of the Interstate Compact in a large state agency. I have also provided direct services to children and families in a preventive services program. I currently prepare adoption studies for those who are adopting domestically or internationally.

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