Ramona D’Addazio was adopted as a baby. All of her siblings were adopted as well. Her parents were very open with them about their adoption. “I don’t remember not knowing,” she told The Interim. “I grew up knowing that my parents loved me,” she said, and she did not feel that her childhood was significantly different from that of her friends. Ramona did not feel she was treated differently by her family and friends because she was adopted. Yet, two of her siblings were affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which posed a struggle to her and her parents. Her brother was in and out of jail constantly as a teenager.

Ramona and her husband, Aurelio, have had six children and live in Grimsby. She will soon give birth to a seventh. Last year, she gave birth to a girl who was anencephalic and died soon after being born. They decided not to abort the child because “she’s a gift from God.” They went to a high-risk clinic and they often refused pre-natal testing because it would not make them change their resolution. The option of abortion “was just briefly mentioned” by the doctors, as they knew the couple’s resolution and “were supportive in any decision we made.”

Although their immediate family was generally supportive in the decision they made, there was considerable pressure from the husband’s side of the family to abort. In fact, D’Addazio “didn’t understand fully what they were thinking … nobody said anything.” They said nothing about the child before the birth and extended no condolences. After she was born, they lashed out at them for bringing the child to the world, who supposedly had no right to be born. One of them said to her husband, “Well you have five kids, why are bothering to have a sixth?”

Reflecting on the experience, D’Addazio likened it to the situation her birth mother might have been in. “We knew our daughter would pass away … that (must be) the same feeling a young mother having to give away her baby (has).”

While Ramona agrees that “every baby deserves a chance” at adoption, it might not be the right choice for every parent, as some children, like her siblings with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, could require a lot of attention and cause some difficulty for adoptive parents. Yet, “there are also people … who got blessed to be able to deal with these children.”

Adoption remains very important because “too many people take what they believe is the easy way out and terminate the pregnancy.” This is ultimately unfair for the unborn child, who deserves no blame for the circumstances under which he or she was conceived. To Ramona D’Addazio, “the whole mindset” of society has to change to encourage more adoption. “It’s just too easy to get an abortion,” she said. “It’s a whole selfish mindset in our society today.”