KATE HOLMQUIST interviewed this young woman and I thought it would be appropriate to include her story. Her stuggles are honest. Her struggles will find a happy ending as opposed to women who struggle with their decision to abort who will not have a child to reunite with once they are healed. Life is always the best choice.
THE RAPE VICTIM WHO RELINQUISHED HER BABY
Four years ago, 27-year-old Toni was raped on a holiday abroad. Having been made pregnant by her rapist, she says she spent a lot of her pregnancy in denial about the consequences, yet at the same time never considered an abortion. “From the second I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was in no position to be a single parent and I would not have considered a termination. I always believed everything happens for a reason. I think the child has a right to live.”
Throughout the pregnancy, “I thought it would go away”, Toni says. When her son was born, “I didn’t want to hold the child”. Through the hospital social worker, she was referred to a voluntary adoption agency, Pact. The agency counseled her about her choices over “three or four” sessions and when Toni made the final decision to give the baby up for adoption, they told her she could have a choice of several families and showed her their profiles. “I wanted nothing to do with it,” she says.
While the agency and the adopting family were offering an open adoption, Toni felt she couldn’t handle it. “In the beginning, I felt I was not able to . . . the first two years were very very hard. I did not want contact.” But eventually she opted for “semi-open” adoption. Twice a year she sends a letter and the birth parents respond with letters and photographs of her three-year-old son.
This is known as “letterbox” adoption. Asking how seeing a photograph of her son makes her feel, Toni is lost for words. He’s the child of her rapist, after all. “At some point, I will want to meet the child, but not for a while,” she says. “The parents will tell when the time is right. It’s their child.”
She believes that giving her son to a couple needing one was a way in which she could turn her own trauma into something good.
Toni isn’t in a relationship now and doesn’t know if she’ll have children in the future. “I’m still young. I travel. It’s not something that fits in to my life right now,” she says.