Monday, July 6, 2015

Research: Decision making styles that could lead to a disrupted match

(I just found this in my draft folder-- not sure why it never published!)       
   One of the things that we really admire about our agency is that they will not match until halfway through the second trimester (or, more preferably, not until the third trimester) to make sure that the Emom has really had time to process her decision and is certain (as much as is possible to be certain) that she is comfortable with the plan she is making. Today, I received an email from an adoption listserve about a lawyer trying to find a match for a young woman who is due early March. This is the first week of July. It would be physically impossible for her to have known about her pregnancy for more than a few days. It took me awhile to put my finger on why this made me so deeply uncomfortable, but then it hit me. My research (including my dissertation) focuses largely on the decision to abort when faced with an unintended pregnancy. One of the areas that I have paid specific attention to is the women who come to regret this decision. An article that I have referenced frequently in both my writings and my lectures is one that I will admit is quite dated (nearly 30 years old), but has valuable information about the features of decision making that lead to abortion regret. After going back over this, I realized that many of the situations that I have looked at and said "I'm not comfortable with that" have features that are mentioned in this article. Now, of course the decision to abort and the decision to place for adoption are completely separate. But, wouldn't it make sense that the same type of decision making that could lead to someone regretting an abortion could also lead to someone changing their mind about the decision to place for adoption (or, worse, regret the adoption)? With that in mind, I am going to review the 4 decision making styles that can lead to regret.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Methods of matching (and allowing for "It just doesn't feel right")

       Something interesting happened this week involving an adoption situation that, on paper, seemed like it would be a good match for us (and us for them). I excitedly told my husband about the email, and we decided to take the morning to think about it and discuss it in a couple of hours. His response wasn't at all what I was expecting: "Something about this just doesn't feel right." That is the type of thing that I would say-- that intangible "I just have a feeling" thing is my line, not my logical, objective, "let's stick with facts" husband's.  With this being such a huge, life changing decision, I respected his discomfort and that was that. Later that day we had a longer conversation, and he was able to put his finger on a couple of the things about the situation that were leading to his discomfort. He had picked up on something that made him question the bioparents' actual desire to place in the interest of the themselves and the child versus feeling like they had to, and had a strong conviction that they would either change their minds or intensely regret their decision. (Update: That was a good call on his part, as we learned last week they did end up changing their minds)
        But, it did get me thinking about one of the ways that we chose our agency: how do they go about matching? There are four primary methods that agencies/lawyers/facilitators will use to match. Two of those methods allow for you to take the liberty to say "It just doesn't feel right, I think I will pass," and the other two do not.