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Married couple puts baby up for adoption because she's 'not a good fit.'

Married couple puts baby up for adoption because she's 'not a good fit.'


On a subreddit dedicated to compiling updates on the most popular posts site-wide, a story emerged that made the internet highly unsettled. A married couple, throughout a series of Reddit posts asking for opinions and advice, revealed that they wanted to explore adoption for their baby daughter.

The reason? Apparently, they stated, 'it's not a good fit.'

Post 1 on r/Parenting:

Me [35 M] with my wife [33 F] of eight years, I'm worried she's not very interested in our daughter [2 mo]

(Post was removed and is unrecoverable. Contents are probably similar to post 2.)

Post 2 on r/Parenting:

Me (35 M) with my wife (33 F), I'm worried she's not very interested in our daughter (2 mo)

Like the title says, my wife, Catherine, and I have been married for eight years. We dated for three years before that in college and have had our ups and downs like every couple.

We're both workaholics, very stubborn, and used to getting our way, which can cause problems if we’re not careful. Over time we’ve learned when it’s best to agree to disagree, and when we really need to sit down and talk things out. Unfortunately, I'm really not sure which we need to do this time.

Two months ago, Catherine gave birth to our daughter, Elizabeth. It was an easy pregnancy other than the vomiting in the first few months. Catherine was able to work up to the week before her due date, which was one of those things we agreed to disagree on. She works in a lab, so I had safety concerns, but she did raise practical reasons for staying as long as she did.

Another thing we agreed to disagree on was maternity leave. I wanted her to at least take the full six weeks off because I figured she would be exhausted. I had accumulated enough paid time off that I could be home as well, so we could work together to really learn Elizabeth and what she needed.

She went back after two weeks, which was more of a compromise than I expected but less than I hoped for.

I'd say we work really hard to split taking care of Elizabeth fairly equally. We decided together not to do breastfeeding; with her job it just wasn't practical, and she didn't seem keen on the idea anyway.

Every other day we alternate who wakes up for nighttime feedings. I go into work later than her so I take morning duty, but she gets home earlier than I do so she takes evening duty. During the day, Elizabeth stays with my MIL, who lives with us.

When we're both home we share the workload, and that's where the problem comes in. I've noticed that unless Elizabeth is in active need of something (feeding, changing, a bath) or crying, Catherine really doesn't have anything to do with her.

Even if she is crying, unless it's for a real reason (like being hungry or wet), Catherine doesn't do anything to soothe her.

I know that babies sometimes cry for no reason, and that picking Elizabeth up every time she cries could reinforce the crying, shouldn't she at least pick her up and soothe her a bit?

Plus, even when she's not crying, Catherine doesn't interact with her. I've seen her reading more than once while holding her, which I guess is fine but it just seems... off?

I can't help compare her approach to my own (which is definitely more interactive/doting), or even my MIL's approach (which involves constant talking to Elizabeth, very affectionate).

I wonder if this is just a difference in parenting style or if it's something I need to be concerned about now - and if it is a concern, how do I bring it up in a way that doesn't end with us agreeing to disagree?

tl;dr: My wife doesn't seem very interested in our daughter of 2 months. Is this just a difference in parenting styles or should I be concerned? If it is a concern, how do I bring it up?

Post 3 on r/Parenting:

[Update] Me (35 M) with my wife (33 F), I'm worried she's not very interested in our daughter (2 mo)

Post was removed and is not recoverable. From the context of the comments and post 4, OOP probably states that they have decided to give their daughter up for adoption.

Post 4 on r/LegalAdvice:

[KY] Laws surrounding giving child up for adoption
I will be consulting a lawyer this week, but prefer to go in with some idea of what to expect.

My wife and I wish to place our 3 month old daughter up for adoption. Are there any laws that could impact this process? Could members of our family file against our decision to adopt out? How long can we expect the entire process to take?

Post 5 on r/LegalAdvice:

[KY][UPDATE] Laws surrounding giving child up for adoption
Some of you may have seen my posts (1, 2), or reactions to my posts (1 - link removed), 2 - link removed, 3, 4), previously.

I must express genuine surprise at the responses my family's story generated. I expected some controversy because such seems to be the nature of things when it comes to decisions regarding parenting. The sheer amount of feedback, however, was unanticipated.

Such feedback, however, is why I make this post. It was brought to my attention some time ago that my family's story might be of some interest to those of this board. I suspect this is because it contradicts the common narrative 'It's different when it's yours' and asserts that not 'everyone' is 'supposed' to have children.

First, a summary. My wife [33] and I [35] had a planned child, our daughter, now 4 months. I first expressed concern when I noticed my wife did not engage with our daughter is the same way I or my MIL did. There were multiple reasons behind this, including my wife's personal beliefs about child-rearing and her expectations of what child-rearing would consist of.

We decided as a team that adoption was our most reasonable option, but could not settle on in- or out-of-family adoption. Seeking advice from Reddit did little to clarify this issue for us, and resulted in a broader online discussion.

Now, the update. My wife broke the news to my MIL of our decision to adopt just prior to Thanksgiving. She reacted poorly, which is to be expected, and with a great deal of yelling. This did not endear her to my wife, who finds yelling annoying, but attempts to placate the yelling resulted in more yelling.

In short, my MIL first blamed her deceased ex-husband for my wife 'turning out like this' and then myself for our decision. I was called a number of names, learned that my MIL had disapproved of me from the start of the relationship, and otherwise trashed.

It went on to the point that Catherine eventually threatened to ensure my MIL never saw our daughter again if she would not be reasonable. That quieted my MIL enough for my wife to layout how the upcoming months would go.

Our daughter was going up for adoption; this was non-negotiable. My MIL, having assisted in her care, could take custody if she so wished. My SIL would be a permissible alternate. Otherwise, we would pursue outside arrangements. As many predicted, my MIL opted to assume custody herself and we started that process after Thanksgiving.

The night of the argument, my MIL took Elizabeth and stayed at a hotel. We offered to pay expenses until such a time that my MIL had proper housing, but the offer was not well received.

Shortly thereafter, my SIL called; in the end, she threatened to call the police if we attended the family Thanksgiving.

I took my wife out to dinner for the holiday instead. I assume the same threat applies for the Christmas holiday as well, but cannot say for certain. Communication from MIL/SIL has been sparse since MIL left. From what we know, she and Elizabeth are staying with my SIL for the time being.

Moving forward, we are cooperating as much as possible to ensure the transition of legal custody over Elizabeth goes smoothly. MIL has thus far refused any and all offers of financial aid, but we are prepared to pay child support if/when the time arrives.

Post 6 on r/LegalAdvice:

[KY][UPDATE W/ NEW CONCERNS] Laws surrounding giving child up for adoption
Almost a year ago, my wife and I reached a mutual decision to transition full care of our daughter to my MIL.

This was after the unfortunate realization that we as a couple were not in a position where we could effectively parent. We considered non-relative adoption, but MIL was very insistent she assume custody.

At the time, we offered financial aid and assistance; this offer has always been on the table. MIL refused. Since then, MIL has left the state with our daughter to stay with my SIL. Attempts to contact either of them have been unsuccessful, and they have not contacted us in return beyond a few unpleasant phone calls from SIL.

That said, I recently was approached by someone from child services. Someone has reported us for child abandonment. From my understanding of the law, this has the potential to be a felony charge. It would devastate our entire lives and careers if we are found guilty; there would be no bouncing back.

I suspect it may be someone on my wife's side of the family, as they are the only people with the motive to report us.

However, could it not be argued that by denying us any contact and taking her out of state my in-laws have kidnapped my daughter? After all, it is not as though we left her on some stranger's doorstep; we put her in the care of someone who was happy to have her.

I'm waiting to get into my lawyer's office, but any outside advice on this matter would be appreciated.

Tl;dr: My in-laws would argue that we abandoned our daughter. I would counter that when it comes down to the facts they kidnapped her. Do either of us have a case?

Since the OP interacted with many, many comments, the compiler of this summary post put some of the additional information into a helpful FAQ.

Who wanted to have the child?

OOP: 'We both discussed it earlier in our relationship as a possibility, but my wife more recently approached me with the idea of having a child.

It seemed a reasonable step in our relationship at the time. We are both successful professionally and financially, and seemed in a good place to start a family.

I suspect my wife felt some pressure from her family, especially my MIL, to start a family, especially since my SIL has a few children.

I cannot say for certain, however, as I had no reason until after the fact to question whether my wife's decision was influenced by those beyond our relationship.'

Has your wife been screened for post-partum depression?

OOP: 'If she had PPD, or any other form of depression, her behavior would have changed when compared to how she was prior to the pregnancy. It has not. In fact, she has more or less been this way the entire time I have known her.

Thus, we can conclude she either always been depressed and this is just another manifestation of depression (which seems unlikely given she does not fit any of the symptoms for depression, or we can conclude she does not have PPD, or any other type of depression.'

Have you considered therapy?

OOP: 'Counseling isn't something either of us is interested in. I've had negative experiences with it in the past, and Catherine thinks it's silly.'

Why are you choosing your wife over your child?

OOP: 'I can remember life without my daughter. I struggle to remember life without my wife. I love my daughter, don't get me wrong, and adopting her out would be no easy feat.

But keeping her could make my wife miserable - is, actually, making her miserable. What I want ultimately is whatever is best for Catherine and for Elizabeth, and I honestly think this may be the best option for everyone.'

OOP: 'The only thing I am certain of is my relationship with my wife. Nothing she did or said could ever change that, nor could any challenges we face.'

Why do you want to place your child with strangers instead of with her extended family?

OOP: 'Someone brought up the issue of family holidays, and the potential stress for Elizabeth should we be there. Also, in-family adoption would require everyone involved to keep Elizabeth's true parentage a secret, which with more consideration seems unlikely.

I believe the argument was that even if such a secret were possible, if Elizabeth were to find out it could damage her relationship with her then-parents.'

OOP: 'Honestly, at this point, I am not certain which option would be best for Elizabeth. I have seen reasonable arguments made in favor of in- and out-of-family adoption, and if in-family adoption truly would be the best neither Catherine or I would fight it.'

Do you actually love your daughter?

OP: '...I have known [my daughter] only for a few months. The depth of love I have for my daughter is incomparable to the depth of love I have for my wife.'

It's a lot to take in, but you did it — and so did thousands of others. They had their thoughts in the comments.

A TLDR from p-d-ball:

'I want a baby.'

'Ok, so we've had a planned baby and readied our lives for this change.'

'Nope, not working for me.'

'No problem. I'll just drop the baby off somewhere.'

'Thank you, husband.'

'You are welcome, wife.'

From LPexodus17:

For me, it is that they don't even consider counselling to be a good option even after the process of giving their baby up for adoption. To think it is 'silly' despite the circumstances that they faced just astounds me.

From Hour_Ad5972

This is like a simulation of if ChatGPT and Alexa had a kid

From TotobyAfricaismyjam

This is my worst fear about having children. But this is also why I never had any and use two forms of birth control at all times. The fact that she was planned makes this so much worse. I was a planned child who was neglected and it still baffles me what my mother was thinking.

The lack of guilt here is what’s getting me. I have shown more emotion than this saying goodbye to dogs I’ve fostered for a few days.

From Warm_metal_revival

Imagine Catherine’s coworkers at the lab when she shows up two weeks after giving birth and casually grabs a beaker or whatever. And then a few months later when they ask how Elizabeth is doing.

Sources: Reddit
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