Baby Heartbreak

22 May

Letterbalm Baby BoyDear LetterBalm: My husband and I are so heartbroken from what has happened to us. We’ve been married for almost 15 years and can’t have children. We negotiated an arrangement with a surrogate to carry a donated embryo. We didn’t pay attention when the adoption agency warned us that the mother might change her mind and keep her baby. We were so happy – we followed her pregnancy, accompanied her on visits to the obstetrician and were there when she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. We took our son home, the whole family welcomed him. Immediately after that, the birth mother wanted her baby back and reclaimed him. We’re devastated. My husband is taking this very hard. What can I say to him?

–Distraught

This is, indeed, a terribly heartbreaking situation. You are grieving. It is as though you lost a child through death – it’s that tragic. Ms. L.B. trusts that you immediately consulted a lawyer well-versed in adoption  and surrogate laws and practices in your state because you need to know what your chances are of winning permanent custody of the child. If you and your husband are advised that you will likely not gain custody except via a long and difficult court battle, both of you have some hard thinking to do:

Darling, the only good thing about this whole painful business is that we’re going through it together. I never imagined such agony. I’m thankful that if we must undergo it, we have each other. We’re seeing the therapist next week, and I have faith he will help us cope. Meanwhile, we need to decide whether to challenge Miranda’s reclaiming of little Charlie. You know the lawyer says the battle could be long and ugly – do we want to put everyone, including the baby and his birth mother, through this? There may be just too much anguish for everyone. I love you, dear. We need to talk about this together and come to a decision we both can live with or we’ll never move forward.

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