My daughter is 24, one semester away from her degree, and pregnant. She went into deep denial for almost seven months. At 27 weeks, she came to me with her suspicion. There were no options but to have this baby.

She has stated emphatically that she does not want to keep the baby. I am very sad and wish she would not do this, but I have committed myself to supporting her. Father is not involved, and she has very negative feelings about him. He will sign off his parental rights immediately.

She and I have met her chosen adoptive parents, and they seem lovely. My daughter likes them a lot. Otherwise, she has chosen to go this alone. She has told none of her friends. She has made up excuses why she is not around, and confined herself to my home.

I do not feel she has thoroughly examined this. She has detached. I don't think she has thought that maybe this is what her life was supposed to look like.

I don't want to add stress, but I really want to ask her these delicate questions. She just says she does not see herself as capable of being a mother yet, and does not want this at all. Am I out of line?

Answer: I can think of one argument in favor of pressing her to reconsider: She probably has detached, and hasn't thought that maybe this is what her life was supposed to look like. Those 27 weeks of denying her own body make a persuasive case.

But here are the arguments against pressing her:

She's 24, not 14.

You've clearly already pressed; otherwise, how would you know what "she just says"?

You have a raging conflict of interest. I'm confident you want to shield your daughter from regrets - but I'm positive you want to keep your grandchild close.

Your daughter has talked to you, accepted her pregnancy, chosen adoption, apparently secured the father's cooperation, chosen adoptive parents carefully, introduced them to you, decided not to involve friends, and executed that decision consistently. These aren't the disjointed motions of a sleepwalker. They're the responsible actions of someone who knows what she wants.

These acts may bear no resemblance to what you'd do. Still, we're not all wired the same. If it's in your daughter's nature to tailor her emotions to meet her logistical needs, and to fly solo on big decisions, she's making the right choice in the right way for her. It's not your place to say otherwise, your real pain notwithstanding.

Should she come to regret her decision, she'll need reminders that she did what made sense to her, not that she failed to do as you hoped.

E-mail Carolyn Hax at, or chat with her online at noon Friday at