My Rights!

Embarking on the adoption journey has been quite an eye opener. I’m most surprised by how ignorant and hurtful people can be. You would be amazed by some of the cracker comments I’ve received from people who’ve heard about our plans to adopt. The general public are as ignorant about the adoption option as they are about fertility and fertility treatments. But the most surprising part is that some of the most ignorant and hurtful comments and bits of assvice have come from the very community that I thought would understand our decision to adopt.

Thankfully, I am protected by the law, which means that I am entitled to the same rights as any other mother. That means that from the time of the baby’s birth, our medical aid will register him/her as a dependent on our MA even before the final adoption is declared!I can also claim UIF while on maternity leave. And yes, even though we’re adopting, I’m entitled to the same maternity leave as any other expectant mum.

It also means that yesterday I had to have the rather uncomfortable and nerve wracking discussion with our directors regarding what maternity benefits they would offer. I work for a small company, its the first time in 8 years they have a female employee who will be taking maternity leave, as a result, they have no policy. They were wonderfully supportive when I explained the process of adoption and how we needed to come up with a plan so that should I have one of those sudden adoptions, we had a plan in place for my clients.  The only part they didn’t seem too thrilled about what the time I want to take off. Given that I will probably only ever go on maternity leave once in my life, I want to be off for as long as possible and I’ve told them I’d like to be off for 6 months. But given how wonderfully supportive they’ve been through all my IVF’s and miscarriages, I just know that they will come around to this rather sudden news.

Its all quite surreal to be having these discussions. In some ways it feels premature and then yesterday, a special friend who has been wonderfully supportive and kind and shared her adoption journey with me, said something to me that made me realize that none of these plans were premature. She told me that I should not feel silly about making all these plans and about even starting to shop for our baby, that on paper I was an expectant mum.

I really like that, its so true, I may not be pregnant, but I’m a mum in waiting. Somewhere out there the child God has chosen for me is waiting.


  • Hanneke

    December 1, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I am so glad that your company is being so understanding while you are going on the adoption journey. I hope they come around to the 6 month idea.

    And your friend is right, you are a mum in waiting and any baby would be lucky to have you as his/her mum. It is not premature, as you said it could happen any day !!

    I am wishing you all the best and pray that you will be holding your LO in your arms very very soon !!!

  • SCY

    December 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Yes that child is just waiting to fill your arms, I for one cannot wait to see this happen.

    And I’m sure the company will look after you like I said yesterday…


  • Hela

    December 1, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Those words are so true, you are a mum in waiting. And we can’t wait to see you meet your little one.

    Sounds like your company will be nice and accommodating. And forget about the comments of people that don’t matter to you. You do have your Rights just like all of us.

  • Gwen

    December 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

    It was brave of you to tackle the issue with them early, and definitely the right thing to do. I hope they agree to a fantastic maternity package.

  • Mash

    December 1, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    My yoga teacher got her baby 6 weeks from the day she handed in the forms. She got a call on a Sunday night and had the baby on Tuesday. It still sends shivers down my spine to think of it! They had nothing, no baby clothes, no cot etc, they had to rush out on Monday and get everything. And the birth mother handed the baby to them (I think the two months of kangaroo care had just been completed). It must have been so emotional. I think it may have gone so quickly because she is a black lady and was adopting a black baby, who knows? But still, I think either way it happens very quickly! I hope you get your good news soon. And I hope things work out with your company too!

  • CalT

    December 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Unfortunately the hurtful comments don’t stop 🙁 Even some infertiles are insensitive about it!

    You are a mom already. I also felt silly but realised you’re just waiting for your baby. Just like a pregnant lady waits for hers. Tummy or not you’re still a mom to be.

  • Charm

    December 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I had tears running down my face when I read this,
    “I should not feel silly about making all these plans and about even starting to shop for our baby, that on paper I was an expectant mum.I really like that, its so true, I may not be pregnant, but I’m a mum in waiting. Somewhere out there the child God has chosen for me is waiting.”

    I’m in the same boat as you, waiting patiently for the phone call. Goodluck to you and DH and hope to hear soon that you got your call.

  • Denise

    December 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    I hope that you will be surrounded by supportive people like I have been. Everyone that I know has embraced my little baby as though he was truly of my flesh and bone. Even though he was already a toddler when we were blessed with him!

    He’s only been with us for 5 months and already I can’t remember how my life was before and I’m sure it will be the same for you. As with everything in life I try not to take too seriously the assvice and snide remarks from people, it was my way with IF and now with my foster/adoption. Our LO has the most beautiful big blue eyes and curly blonde locks and DH and I are both brown eyed, olive skinned beings who obviously didn’t produce this child and I can assure you it has raised as many comments as if it was an inter racial adoption!

    At the end of the day I know that I couldn’t be happier and I know that he is better off with us than anywhere else and when I look into those impossibly blue eyes all the comments and ignorance of others fades away and I am filled with love.

    I wish the same for you.

  • Kristin

    December 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I am so happy for you Sharon. I can completely tell this is the right decision for you because, just by reading your posts, I can feel the burden that has been lifted and I can see the happiness returning to you.

  • Kait

    December 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I’m very impressed with the laws that protect and support you there. I wonder if we have similarly supportive laws in the US. Probably not because most people can only expect 6 weeks maternity leave and hardly ever 6 months. I’m so glad you can use these laws to your advantage. I hope your employers come around.

  • Andrea

    December 1, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    i’m SO excited about all of this (except that people are being insensitive jerkoffs about the adoption process). I know here in Canada the same rules and rights apply to adoptive parents as they would for parents who conceive their own baby.


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