Seventeen-year-old Denetrice was scared when she found out she was pregnant. How could she afford to raise a baby when she was still in high school?
“I didn’t want to tell anyone,” Denetrice said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Denetrice called her boyfriend Ian to let him know she was pregnant with his baby. They both decided she should get an abortion.
“I thought it was a good route at first,” Ian said. “We were very young, didn’t have jobs and weren’t ready to raise a child.”
Denetrice always knew she wanted to have a baby. When she was a little girl, she would think of names for her future child. Denetrice said she wanted to be the type of mom she never had.
“I wanted to raise my daughter the way I knew a mom should raise a child,” Denetrice said. “I wanted to be the best mom I could be, but I was too young to take care of my baby the way I thought I could. I didn’t want to raise her on food stamps and welfare, because that’s how I was raised.”
Although she knew she could not raise a baby even with Ian’s support, the idea of getting an abortion slowly weighed down on her heart. Ian said he could see that Denetrice was not comfortable with their decision any more.
“When I looked at her, I could tell she was feeling really bad about it,” Ian said. “I knew we needed to come up with another option.”
After doing some research online, Denetrice read about open adoption. She liked the fact that in an open adoption the birth parents are allowed to choose the adoptive parents for their baby. She was also glad to see that both families can create an adoption plan, which could include occasional updates and photos of the baby and even yearly visits.
“At first, I thought adoption meant I would just give my baby away and never know about her again and always wonder about her,” Denetrice said. “I didn’t want her to think I chose adoption because I didn’t love her. Adoption was the best thing I could do for my daughter.”
When Denetrice and Ian came to Methodist Mission Home (MMH), Adoption Services Director Helen Huff explained everything they needed to know about open adoption and answered all their questions.
“I thought it was going to be complicated, but it really wasn’t,” Denetrice said. “Helen let us know we were in good hands if we decided to choose adoption.”
In May 2011, Denetrice gave birth to a baby girl and decided to place her for adoption with a loving family from Lewisville, Texas. Ian and Denetrice said they were looking for a family that was open-minded, creative and would raise their daughter to know about her biracial background. They found exactly that with the family they chose.
“We pick the family right for us and they’re really great,” Denetrice said. “We made the right decision and we’re happy because now she can grow up with the parents she needs.”