“Do you understand that you are relinquishing your parental rights and in the state of Oregon once this document is signed, everything is final?”
Prior to hearing these words in the hospital, I had counseling sessions with my adoption social worker in her office about what it meant signing the legal documents that would relinquish my parental rights. These forms were something that I had to read every single word and fully understand what I was doing. My social worker, Amy, said “I need you to read all of these forms so that on the day we are in the hospital signing these, you know what I am reading to you, as you will not hear what I am saying.” Women need to know exactly what they are signing and fully agree to them before they sign their signature onto the legal document. In Oregon, once I signed my name on the solid black lines and it was stamped and notarized, I could not change my mind, as my parental rights would be removed forever.
Fast forward to Monday, February 2, 2004: Amy began reading these documents, the tears began to fall, my mind goes blank, and I only remember her asking me if I understood what was said and if so to sign my name on the paper. I understood that the plans that I had been making for the past nine months were now complete. Lil Miss went home with D&N and I went home with stitches, dark circles around my eyes and a Vicodin prescription. No pain medication or natural vitamin though could mend my mangled heart and I had to believe that my heart would begin to heal as the days went on. While my heart will never be fully mended, I understand that I did what I thought was the best thing at that time.
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