So we just got home from our appointment at the adoption agency.
I am frustrated and relieved, all at once. We were told last week that they'd do the DNA test, and that they had to order a DNA kit that would be in by the middle of this week. Then she called us on Wednesday and set up today's appointment. Does it seem that out of whack that we assumed that the DNA kit came in and that he'd be donating his genetic material this morning? We were greatly mistaken. Basically we went in to discuss the situation, more, again.
Well, I've explained the whole deal, beginning to end, till I'm ready to explode. I don't know what else they thought there was to say. But one thing they said was that we were mislead about the DNA kit and that if there was going to be a DNA test (get that... 'if' there was going to be a DNA test) that we'd have to pay for it. Yeah, back to square one. Only this time we're in the office, and my ugly was starting to bubble up right out of me -because we were, again, lied to.
Well, she must have seen the ugly coming because she called the director in. I don't like to get ugly, but sometimes, you have no choice. So he came in and we explained the situation again, and we explained the possible health issues again, and we had to emphasize the levity of that situation, again. And I told him, point blank, that the bottom line was that we just cannot afford $500, and that if we had to pay it, it just wasn't going to be done.
You see, their point of view is that Tommy is most likely the father (and we've come to agree that he probably is) and that with that in mind, they saw no justification in footing the bill for paternity testing they didn't feel was really necessary. Well without the DNA test, there's a very real possibility of one of two things happening.
A.) The baby is his, but since they don't know for sure, they dismiss the possibilities that are inherent in our family, which could lead to serious ramifications for the child and his adoptive parents.
B.) The baby isn't his and they worry unneccessarily for the child's entire life over heart issues that should never have been more worrisome for them than for any "normal" family.
Neither of those choices seems fair to the child or the family that adopted him.
Realistically speaking, although I think Tommy deserves to know one way or the other, the only real risk posed to us by not knowing is that we may spend the next 18 years getting pictures and updates about a baby who isn't really a part of our family. There is no real danger involved in that, other than some emotional hell if we were to find out in 18 years that Tommy is in fact, not the father. But for the child, and his new family, the risks are more concrete, and that is what I needed him to comprehend. I have moved beyond the needs and rights of my son, and become more concerned about what's best for the baby. Tommy screwed up, the consequences of his actions have already been put in place, and he'll have them to deal with for the rest of his life. What we need to do now is ensure that the baby's best interests are served - and to do so, there needs to be concrete information as to paternity. Period.
Well, an hour and a half into our "discussion" he finally agreed that the testing needed to be done, and that if we couldn't afford it, that the agency would absorb the expense.
So I am relieved -unspeakably relieved- to know that we filled out all the paperwork needed to initiate the testing, finally!
The agency uses a lab out of Burlington NC and they'll coordinate a day that both Tommy and the baby can visit a doctor or lab near them (seperately) to have the testing done. That should happen within the next week. Doing it this way, the results only take 2-3 weeks, so in reality, it will be a shorter wait than it would have been the other way.
I'm just flabbergasted by how hard this has been, and how much we've had to fight, and that we've had to overcome all the obstacles that have been placed in our way by the biological mother, and by the agency, and by human nature (and society's predisposition to side with the mother) and by our legal system...
I cannot imagine how many fathers there must be that have not been able to overcome it all, or how many children that have been hurt in the process because of the lack of an accurate medical history.