“Can Child Welfare just take my baby away?” If you’ve thought about this, we want you to know that you are not alone.
You’ve waited and waited for this baby to arrive. You found out she was a girl about 4 ½ months ago, and you’ve been trying to decide on a name for just as long. You’ve finally decided on Meghan, because this baby is going to be the most pampered princess baby on the earth if you have anything to say about it. You simply cannot wait until she arrives and you see her cute little face. No amount of morning sickness or swollen feet could have changed your mind about being a mom.
Admittedly, life has been a little rough. The months you spent in foster care were the worst and you vow never to let that happen to your baby girl. No stranger is ever going to make your baby girl do anything she doesn’t want to do. It would have been heaven to have been able to stay with your mom, even after your dad took off, but she was using, so the state stepped in. You got out of there though, and the people at the drop-in center are alright.
You have done your best to get ready for this baby and you’ve been staying on your meds, mostly. The folks at the shelter said they had a car seat you could use, and the lady at the center said you could earn points for baby clothes and even formula if you watched those parenting videos. You’re planning to do that next week, for sure.
When your baby girl announces she’s ready to make her appearance by way of some really intense contractions and a sudden gush of water soaking your leggings, you excitedly call up the girl you met at the coffee shop, Bekah – the one who said she’d give you a ride.
Bekah arrives, just like she said she would, but she can’t stay. You’re hoping Rayna from the center or maybe your grandma will be able to come soon. It is pretty early and you know they have jobs. You tell yourself “it’s gonna be okay. I can do this.”
Grandma arrives just in time to see little Meghan make her appearance, and even though she doesn’t like the name Meghan, she promises to help however she can. Your heart is so full, and so happy when they place your baby girl on your chest and tell you “She’s beautiful!”
The social worker comes in and asks you a bunch of questions. Something is going on. Now there are two women from child welfare here. You know who they are. You recognize the sadness in their eyes.
They say they want to give you services. They say they want you to succeed, to find permanent housing. They say you’ve got a good chance of getting your baby back. They say, they say, they say… their words are rushing in your head so fast you can’t tell what they are saying anymore.
Your face is wet, and you feel like you’re in a tunnel. You want to scream, “Wait! I’m the MOM! Where are you taking her? Please listen to me!”
What are your choices? At Choice, we exist to make sure that women in the Pacific Northwest are empowered. That their voices are heard. That they know what kind of alternatives there are to foster care.
We don’t want you to become a statistic. We won’t let your baby get lost in the system. Help us help you get your son or daughter back in your household.
And if that’s just not possible, we can help you choose an adoptive family to raise your baby. Don’t leave that important of a decision to someone outside of your control. We can help you achieve a healthy new family dynamic, and stay in relationship with your child forever.
Reach out. If this were happening to a friend of yours, wouldn’t you want her to know all of her options? We want that for you, too.