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Pregnant?

And you don't want anybody
to find out?

I didn't want my parents to be disappointed in me.

I am a student and I have a good, harmonious relationship with my parents. When I noticed that I was pregnant, I was surprised and I felt embarrassed, especially when it came to my parents, who were always very protective with me. They never had to worry about me – and now I was pregnant at such a young age, and without a partner.

With some difficulty I kept the pregnancy a secret, nobody knew about it. I went to the hospital to give birth on my own. The birth was to be anonymous. I was sure that I would not keep the child. I didn't want my parents to be disappointed in me. The midwives in the hospital were very understanding and supported me. They told me about the possibility of a confidential birth. The day after the birth, I attended a counselling interview with one of the midwives. During the conversation I realised that I am more attached to the child than I thought. The first few hours with the child affected me a lot and I began to doubt my decision. During the counselling I decided to open up to my parents. My parents dealt with the situation much better than expected. They did not reject me. On the contrary: Today, my child and I live with them. I am very glad that I was given such good support by the midwives and attended counselling. Today, I feel that I made the right decision. | Lisa

I was in denial about the pregnancy at first

because I was afraid of being alone with two children, without parents, a husband or support. I already had one child and my husband didn't want a second. I panicked.

Giving birth at home and putting the baby in a baby flap never even crossed my mind. If there were complications, somebody had to be there for the child. I called the support hotline on a number of occasions. The female counsellor explained how an anonymous birth worked. She gave me a lot of courage. The newborn was placed in the care of a foster family following the birth. I really struggled to start with; I was just trying to get by from one day to the next. I went to visit my daughter as often as I could and had to cry a lot. I really didn't want to let her go any more.  A few months after the birth I couldn't bear it any more. I had to tell my husband. He was shocked, but we went to see the foster parents together so we could visit the baby. Then we made the decision to take him home with us. I was happy that I did not have to keep it a secret any longer, even if it was sometimes hard for my husband and the family.  I am very grateful to the counsellor and the people in the clinic, grateful that people I did not know were there for me to say ‘you can do it!’, ‘we will manage it. Whatever decision you make, we are behind you.’ I’m grateful that you get so much recognition, are encouraged and respected, even though you do not know if what you are doing is right or wrong. That you have the offer ‘we are there for you, so that you have support.’  | Susanne

When I was very young, I started asking myself why I look different, since I do not have the same skin colour as my parents or siblings.

My parents never kept it a secret from me. From day one, they spoke to me honestly and in detail and told me that I was adopted.

I started to rebel when I was in primary school. I wanted to know who my 'real' parents were and why they gave me away. My parents have always supported me in an active manner. However, they couldn't answer the questions that would make me happy. Why did my mother give me up for adoption? Do I look like my biological parents? Where do they live? Do I have other brothers and sisters? The only answer I heard was: "Your biological mother was too young to keep you." This was when I started to develop feelings of anger towards my (adoptive) mother. She said that it wasn't her that I disliked really, but my biological mother, and I was unconsciously projecting these feelings onto her. Following a number of long conversations, I came to understand why I was doing that, and was able to get to grips with the situation better. When I reached 16, I wanted to meet the woman who had given birth to me, or at least have a photo of her – something that my mother outwardly and calmly accepted. I told my parents about my worries and fears. They reassured me and said "We are by your side and love you." It took a long time until I found the courage to call my biological mother. I met her when I was 18 years old. In the conversation that we had, I found out everything I had always wanted to know. But the meeting also showed me that I belonged to my (adoptive) family and that was my place.  | Anna

During the separation phase I met another man – I then got pregnant by him.

I am a 24-year-old student. When I accidentally became pregnant I was in the process of separating from a long-term partner. During the separation phase I met another man – I then got pregnant by him. I didn’t want anyone to know; I only confided in my best friend.

I found out more about confidential birth through the online advice service and I got in touch with a pregnancy counselling centre. I was very happy to have found a contact person there. The counsellor supported me during the final weeks of pregnancy. She not only supported me during the examination on the maternity ward, she also dealt with everything to do with the confidential birth. I found it very reassuring that the counsellor informed the medical staff about the legal situation and the next steps. It was not easy for me to make the decision to have a confidential birth. But in the end, I realised that I could not keep the child. For me it was particularly important that the child would be taken in by a nice family as soon as possible. I was not sure if everything would go smoothly. In retrospect I can see that everything worked well. The child is healthy and an adoptive family was found where it is in good hands. After the birth, the counsellor was also there for me, which helped me a lot. | Sandra

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was already seven months gone

Pregnant at 21 – a shock. I was desperate and didn't have the courage to tell anybody. Children were out of the question as far as my boyfriend was concerned. The same was true for my parents – a child out of wedlock, and with a Christian on top of it all... And I couldn’t imagine using the anonymous 'baby drop' or adoption, either.

I called an advice centre a few weeks before the birth, as I was becoming more and more scared. I was crying a lot and could hardly talk. Talking openly for the first time took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I was the centre of attention in the counselling. If everything went well for me, it would also go well for the child. I always had the feeling that my opinion was important. And whatever I thought was best, is what would happen. The female counsellor was always on my side. I made the decision to give birth anonymously in a hospital. My boyfriend was suspicious because I was acting so strangely and in the end I told him everything. We collected our daughter from the clinic after a few days with the intention of bringing her up ourselves. We also told my parents later. They loved our little girl from day one and provided us with a lot of support. I remained in contact with the advice centre for a long time after the birth. We didn't have any things for the baby due to the difficult situation leading up to the birth. The advice centre provided us with everything we needed. We also received assistance in dealing with the various authorities. Even if the situation almost became too much for us, the female counsellor was convinced that we could do it if we had a helping hand. And we did.  | Selina

The father of my child had threatened me with violence if I got pregnant.

That is why I managed to forget about the pregnancy until the sixth month. I withdrew from my friends two months before the birth. It could not be overlooked any longer. Luckily it was winter and I could wear a jumper.

I never would have thought that something like that would happen to me; such fear, such doubt, in my late thirties and well educated. I didn't have a plan for 'afterwards'. Some evenings I sat in front of the computer in the hope that I would find a solution on the Internet.  I took my annual holiday shortly before I gave birth. I brought a little boy into the world in my living room. For two days I cuddled and played with him before saying goodbye. On the third day, I headed for the hospital. I wanted to hand him over there and leave again straight away, but a female doctor offered me a medical examination and informed a counsellor. They asked what the child was called, and asked for a letter, a cuddly toy, a strand of hair:something for the child to remember his mother by, and even if I really didn't want to talk about my situation. That was the first time I really cried.  I wanted my son to grow up in a proper, loving family. That is why I decided upon an adoption. I was allowed to meet the adoptive family nine months after the birth. That was very important to me. Since then, I have been receiving letters and photos via the adoption agency on a regular basis. I disclosed my personal details so that one day he will be able to find me.  | Melanie

Pregnant again! I was a 30-year-old single mother with two daughters.

I could not expect the father of the child to raise a baby in his situation. He was unemployed and receiving benefits. Our relationship was constantly off and on.

Bringing up a third child, bearing the whole responsibility of giving the child a loving home, possibly without a partner? I could not see myself doing that. That is why I kept my pregnancy a secret. I could not decide one way or the other. What did I have to offer the child in my situation? Adoption looked like the only way out. But doesn't a child belong to its mother? I heavily criticized myself. I only visited a doctor shortly before the birth, and then went to an advice centre. I was scared. But the female counsellor understood that I did not see any future for me and my daughter. We considered the option of temporarily handing her over to a foster family – until my situation became more stable. But that would have been even more of a burden for her and me. With a heavy heart, I stuck to my original decision. I met the adoptive parents shortly afterwards. We chose a name together: Lea. I gave Lea over to the adoptive parents one day after the birth. The female counsellor was on hand to take care of the bureaucratic issues. I could sense that this was the right decision. Lea would be fine there in a stable environment. I think about her often. I collect photos and letters from the adoptive mother at the adoption centre once a year. That is how I found out that she is a happy child who laughs a lot. I have written down my story for her in case one day she wants to find out where she comes from. I could not expect the father of the child to raise a baby in his situation. He was unemployed and receiving benefits. Our relationship was constantly off and on. Bringing up a third child, bearing the whole responsibility of giving the child a loving home, possibly without a partner? I could not see myself doing that. That is why I kept my pregnancy a secret. I could not decide one way or the other. What did I have to offer the child in my situation? Adoption looked like the only way out. But doesn't a child belong to its mother? I heavily criticized myself. I only visited a doctor shortly before the birth, and then went to an advice centre. I was scared. But the female counsellor understood that I did not see any future for me and my daughter. We considered the option of temporarily handing her over to a foster family – until my situation became more stable. But that would have been even more of a burden for her and me. With a heavy heart, I stuck to my original decision. I met the adoptive parents shortly afterwards. We chose a name together: Lea. I gave Lea over to the adoptive parents one day after the birth. The female counsellor was on hand to take care of the bureaucratic issues. I could sense that this was the right decision. Lea would be fine there in a stable environment. I think about her often. I collect photos and letters from the adoptive mother at the adoption centre once a year. That is how I found out that she is a happy child who laughs a lot. I have written down my story for her in case one day she wants to find out where she comes from.  | Jasmin