• A Must Read List for Adoption Truths

    • In many states across the USA including New York, Adoptee Rights bills are introduced to state legislators year after year. Due to lack of public support and misinformation based outdated beliefs about the adoption process, year after year, this bills fail to become laws.

    • I am a product of this experiment. I was born on December 24th, 1988 and I was soon transferred from one mother to another because my first mother, known throughout my life as my birth mother, wasn’t married to my birth father. She was 16 years old and still in high school.

    • I was 14 when I learned I was pregnant and my life changed forever. Once I’d gotten that fateful news, I tried to imagine what it would be like to have a baby; I wondered if I’d be able to finish school, would I be able to give my baby the life she deserved?

    • So How Do We Fix Adoption in the USA? Domestic Voluntary Infant Adoption is what we are discussing here. Women facing and unplanned pregnancy and “choose” adoption rather than parenting. If you aren’t aware of adoption facts, then you might not be aware of the need for reform.

    • There are some facts about adoption that, really, you cannot dispute unless you are just trying to purposely to stay ignorant regarding the facts of infant adoption in this country. Adoption is, in its perfect form, suppose to be about finding homes for children that need them, not about finding children for parents that want them.

    • What Happens to the Numbers of Adoptable Infants in the USA if We Compare to Australia? IF the USA had similar adoption practices to Australia and supported mothers, in the US we would have only 539 Voluntary Domestic Infant relinquishments annually give or take.

    • The relinquishment and subsequent adoption of my son was actually picture perfect. I am a perfect example of exactly what adoption is when it works just as it is suppose to.The adoption of my son was perfect, I did everything the “right” way and still; the adoption of my son caused unnecessary pain and was wrong. This is way I speak out against adoption today.

    • Adoption was almost more like a crack that happened in my soul. A crack that that I thought and was encouraged to believe that would be temporary or always below the surface. Over time, the rest of life worked it’s way in, like water in cement and caused the very foundation of myself to crumble.

    • When I relinquished Max, it was suppose to be something that affected ME. Like so many things in adoption, the professionals were wrong. The “gift of adoption” just keep on giving and giving.. the pain has a huge ripple effect that touches every aspect of a woman’s lives including ALL our children.

    • Secondary adoptee rejection is a very real reality in adoption reunions. We all have a different skill set and experiences to handle a reunion.There are many mothers who were simply told to “never speak of this again” and that has proven to be a real unhealthy bit of advice.

    • The simple fact is that it is less than 1% of all relinquishing mothers desire to never set eyes on their children again. So because these 1% mothers another 6 to 8 million people and their children and their children’s children get denied medical histories, get denied their identity, get denied their truth..

    • Most adoption agencies will offer free “birthmother” counseling as part of their adoption services. A true counselor is supposed to advocate for their client, not the organization for which they work. Often adoption counseling is “in agency” and therefore, not really nonpartisan. There is no guarantee that the “counselor” is neutral and actually has the expectant mothers’ best interests at heart.

    • I figured that I would write a post that makes it easier for women to become birthmothers. Hence, here’s a handy guide on how to become more appealing to adoption agencies and ways to ensure that you will place your baby.

If Adoptees are Gifts Then Adoption is Regifting God’s Presents

Ripping Apart A Pet Peeve in Adoption the “Gift”

adoptin is regiftingSo while this post isn’t any worse than any other “Adoption is a Gift” thoughts, may I say that they ALL get my blood boiling. This post happens to be from “Adoptimist” who I find to be particularly aggressive in their marketing tactics and horribly one side in their views. Not surprising, while this post does touch upon the grief and loss of adoption and “how difficult this day was for our daughter’s birth mom” it does focus on the desires and dreams of the PAP’s and then, there is, the kicker:

Our social worker, an adoptee herself, reminded us: “You’re not taking anything from her. She is giving this gift to you because she wants to.”

OMG It’s SO Foggy in Here!!!

So, an adoptee who has found their way into social work, perhaps to justify their own relinquishment, also considers a baby, much like herself, to be a gift? Does she wrap herself up in a big red bow? OK, I know that is not kind of me and I should respect other’s on their journeys but when one is spouting off pithy lines of BULLSHIT that contributes to the destruction of a family, I kind of lose sight of my compassion. OK, back to this “gift” crap.

So What Exactly is Considered “the Gift” in Adoption?

There’s a whole slew of “gift” talk roped into the adoption mystique. “The Gift of Life” – blah blah blah  insert the tired and completely incorrect thought process that a birthmother is “choosing life” because she hasn’t managed to find her way to the ( hopefully) local-ish abortion provider. No, sorry, still not going to get me to go there; adoption is NOT an alternative to abortion.  What, you think I am, silly? Fine go find a non birthmother woman who has had children and thank HER for “choosing the gift of life“. Really, go walk down the street and see a woman with kids and thank HER for choosing the “gift of life“. Not adopted yourself? Good, go call your own mothers and thank HER for “choosing the gift of life“.  Can’t imagine doing so can you? Because it seems insane, right? Yeah, then don’t go assuming that birthmothers have made some giant  proclamation about  “Life” or have done something more spectacular than any other woman who has gotten pregnant and had a kid. Birthmothers do not genetically enhanced or defaulted DNA. Not sinner and not saints, mmmmkay?

The Gift of Family”- Ok, a bit more PC and trying to be sweet, but really all too saccharine and coy. Again, this degrades a birthmother to the role of the “family building angel” which is just ridiculously limiting and not at all realistic.  Now I understand that there are many adoptive parents who are just eternally thankful that they have a family aka children due to adoption, but can I just say again that the whole “gift” thing is just very limiting?

“People are Gifts” – yeah, no. Just no.  Or as  commented perfectly;  ”It has not been legal to give people as gifts in the US since the Confederacy lost the Civil War.” To avoid the huge hoopla that follows when one puts adoption and slavery together in the same sentence, I’ll just leave it as that and let you make your own interpetation.

“All Children are Gifts” – I had shared  the link to the Adoptimist post above a few days ago on Facebook and it had some interesting discussion

“I will say that children are gifts no matter how we get them and I think that’s all that was meant by that. I mean, how do we expect adoptive parents to act? Regretful? …. I would be so sad if my mom and dad didn’t see me as a gift just because I’m adopted. ”

“Children are Gifts?” OK then if children are gifts and I will even go so far as to play the “Gifts from God”, then the focus on Adoption is unnecessary. The post itself should be simply about the joy that mother is feeling regarding having a child in her life at Christmas time. But that’s not the case, is it? She is writing about the “gift given” in her daughter and she would not be a recipient of that gift which brings us back to limited the birthmother  into the role of the “family builder”. It defines a birthmother, literally as a transitional object with her role, her job, to give birth and move on, but let’s just let this role around on your tongue for a hot minute.

God, Gifts, Children, Adoption? Yeah.. Let’s Go There!

So, there is also tons of talk about in AdoptionLand where we thank God for Adoption and the gifts it implies. Some people love to say God guided then to Adoption and even to a particular child. There was a great New York Times post bout Adoption Destiny and Magical Thinking which did lead to many conversations about that very topic and were added to the  Adoption Lists.

Now, I do not for a second buy into the thought that God actual PLANS for some mothers to face such adversity that they feel they must choose adoption and suffer this loss because God just happened to “put the baby in the wrong tummy”. Like I am not a church going girl, but I am just fine with a concept of a higher power, good vs. evil and all that jazz, yet even in my ” I don’t read the Bible” brain I happen to know that one of the biggest lines on the Holy One’s resume is “God Doesn’t Make Mistakes”. So even in my limited non-churchy view the “tummy mommy” concept complete contradicts the “doesn’t make mistakes” idea.

Rather, it is MY understanding that God only gives us what we can handle or something, right? And even if you don’t know why God has put these “obstacles”  before you, one must “Trust God”, right? ( See, I don’t share the God memes on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t read them. )  So if I am to believe the Holy Memes, then God puts the RIGHT children in the RIGHT tummy even if we don’t understand his kind of screwed up timeline at the time.  So following this logic, a Child, even unplanned, is  GIFT from God given to the RIGHT Mother.

Hence, Adoption is Regifting from God!

Regift: (verb) To give an unwanted gift to someone else; to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift. Webster’s New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.6).

See, adoption both in bad outdated mythology and true Bible aspects fits the regifting definition! If we follow adoption mythology the “unwanted gift” can easily equal the ” unwanted child” that is adopted. Likewise, if we accept that “adoption is a gift”  and “Children are gifts” then God gave the child to the mother who then gave the child as a gift to the adoptive parents.  The Birthmother is a regifter!!! Maybe I repeat the foggy statement of the adoptee social worker in question?

“You’re not taking anything from her. She is giving this gift to you because she wants to.”

Now perhaps it IS Jerry Seinfeld who can be credited with the beautiful concept that we know as “regifting” but notice that a baby is not in the skit, hence, NOT FUNNY.

Rules for Regifting Babies for Adoption

Now, Regifting Day falls on the third Thursday of December  which this year is the 19th. I’d like to see this day give National Adoption Day a run for it’s money! Yes, it is an official holiday decreed by some company who decided to use Seinfeld as inspiration. According to the official Regiftable.com website, there are RULES to Resifting: and I just cannot HELP but to play with these as well and tie them into adoption because, well…. look how damn tempting it is!

Is the gift regiftable?  Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items.  Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits.  Do you have to be told not to regift free promotional items?  Some gifts that are good candidates for regifting include good (unopened!) bottles of wine, new household items and inexpensive jewelry.

So then, based on this rule, children are NOT regiftable as they are most certainly  are both handmade and “one of a kind”"

How is the condition?  Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting.  Never give partially used gift cards.  Don’t give items that you have owned for a long time.  A general rule of thumb:  if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.

Does amniotic fluid count as ‘dust”? Is a born child considered “opened”?

Is this going to work?  Successful regifters use common sense.  If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver.  Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.

Yes, be SURE you know who you give your child too. A note of caution for the highly religious, since God sees EVERYTHING, the chances that he will find out that you regifted what he gave to you  is highly likely.

Do you have good intentions?  Don’t just give a gift to give a gift.  Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item.  Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too.  If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.

If you are regifting your baby because you “are out of time”? I swear, I did not write these rules, but wow, how perfect. YES, if you are relinquishing/  regifting your child because you ran out of time, DON’T.  Don’t just regift because you feel you must gift? Yeah, a mother is not responsible for giving her baby way to a couple  because she is obligated. And sorry, there is no way to know if your “gift” will truly be appreciated until it is too late.

 How does it look?  When it comes to gift-giving, go for show!  While gift bags in good condition can be reused, wrapping paper is a one-time thing.  Always spring for a new card or gift tag.

How does your baby look? Like YOU? Like Dad? In that case, then the recipients of the gift will likely know that it come from you. This might or might not become a problem later on.

Can you handle it?  If you don’t plan to announce the gift as a regift, ask yourself if you can keep the secret.  Never feel guilty about regifting once you’ve done it.

Can you handle it? Well if you want a life time of loss and never ending grief, then baby regifting is perfect. If you are thinking that you can regift your baby and then be ok with I not feel guilty and be affected, then you have a rude awakening. If you have a heart and a soul, then you don’t want to try to handle it, believe me.  You can search all you want, but true adoption healing will allude you. Accept what God did and move on with life. At least you will be able to at some point.

Have you considered your options?  An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization. It is also an option to suck it up and keep an unwanted gift—after all, it was a gift.

Have you considered your options? Yes, I am repeating it. Have you considered OTHER options? Have you considered parenting? Have you considered that this baby is part of you and was meant for you? Have you considered that your child NEEDS you. That YOU have value? …. Yeah, yeah I know.. I’m repeating myself!! Oh and adoptive families, no matter HOW long they have struggled, and how MUCH they want a baby more than anything else are NOT A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION even if they have bake sales!!!

Babies are NOT Fruitcakes!!

Don't regift what God gives you. Now I don’t know about you, but when you consider adoption to be regifting what God gives you, then I dare say it’s a bit tacky and, again based on my limited churchgoing self, might annoy him when he finds out ( as is unavoidable) that you went and regifted your baby. Plus the trade off, I can promise you, is lousy!! They get the baby, even if it’s not re-wrapped and in its original packaging and if you are lucky you might get a birthmother gift basket!

Share on Facebook
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Claudia Corrigan DArcy

About Claudia Corrigan DArcy

Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.
Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to If Adoptees are Gifts Then Adoption is Regifting God’s Presents

  1. jan stewart says:

    the adopters get the baby but reject the original packaging ( aka Birthmother )……..they only want it wrapped in rainbow farts…..

  2. ZB says:

    I struggled with secondary infertility after having my first at age 36 (I know–I’m an old first-time mom.) Because of the people I know and the information out there, almost everything I knew about adoption I knew from the AP side. (I’m 45 now.) I’ve never been close to an adoptee who has tried to meet his/her birth parents. However I have always been very intrigued by birthmothers as well as open adoption. I wanted to hear the first mothers’ stories because I identified with their pain and loss on so many levels, and for a variety of disparate reasons. I almost always identified more with birthmothers than with adoptive parents. Probably one reason I never seriously pursued adoption. I had read books by birth mothers from back in the sixties, but I always understood that to be from “Way Back.” I thought that open adoption must have solved “all that.” Well imagine my shock and outrage finding Claudia’s website and others in recent weeks. I read her blog non stop during a 10 hour car ride after Thanksgiving! No, I wasn’t driving. I got to it via an adoptive mother’s blog. (the adoptive mother is participating in an open adoption) I gradually learned that a birth mother’s terrible experience at the hands of an agency is not an isolated experience but the result of systemic problems in the way we handle adoption in this country. Here are my 2 cents, probably already covered millions of times on this blog:
    Adoption as a solution to infertility is not good for our country, its public health, or our declining fertility. IF we provided good healthcare to women that would cover infertility this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. (Some countries provide 2 rounds of IVF for every women.) Also, there are a lot of ways we wouldn’t have to turn to adoption. I.e. if we gave women good family leave so they wouldn’t feel compelled to delay childbearing. (Delayed childbearing = less fertility). Of if we didn’t charge so much for college so that people wouldn’t delay childbearing till they were somewhat out of debt. Or better childcare that is subsidized, free, etc. Or a stronger economy with more jobs. And on and on. We have to regulate the adoption industry– it is out of control. Most of these are long-term solutions and not quick fixes. If we were to institute these changes, we may not see improvements in fertility rates for a long time. But they will happen, as they are in other counties (e.g. France), just not right away. We just may be heading to a demographic crisis–like much of the rest of the world we in the United States we are seeing declining fertility. So change is needed. And pro-lifers and pro-adoption people are not helping the fertility crisis, just helping the adoption industry.

    • Greg says:

      ZB,

      I think you hit on part of the problem. Yes, helping with financing infertility treatments and making it easier for people to not delay having children will help. Though you have to recognize that not all infertility is curable with treatments. In our case if we tried to have kids at 25 or 30/31 when we did the results would have been the same. Keep in mind the success rates of IVF are actually pretty low. So even if you cover two rounds of IVF that is not really going to change much. I think pollution levels and toxins in our environment are having the biggest impact on fertility rates.

      The other part of the problem is that, IMO has a bigger impact on adoption is that we live in a child filled society that outcasts the childless. While adoption and third party reproduction are not solutions to infertility they are solutions for some who do not wish to remain childless for any number of reasons including being outcasted. More so than financial help with treatments, mental health help is where financial assistance is needed further. As you know from your own experience with secondary infertility it is devastating emotionally. While I was able to pay for therapy by a therapist who specialized in infertility grief not every couple can. That needs to change too.

  3. ZB says:

    I am aware that IVF is not a solution for everyone — in fact, I did not qualify for it. However, to take the personal out of it, I mention IVF because it has been proven to be successful for many people (NOT ALL, nothing works for everyone) and it is getting better. I am trying to speak in generalizations to suggest policy changes and implementation that will help some of us if not us/me directly. As far as people feeling like outcasts because they don’t have children, all I can say is that I’ve been there. Being single for most of my adult life and watching everyone around me having kids sucks. I differ with you on some of what you said in your post but I’m not big on sparring over the internet. Good luck on your path following the devastating news of male IF. Counseling and F2F support groups are good ideas.

  4. ariel says:

    Oh, how I love this! Perhaps if adoption agencies were forthright about what a painful betrayal of nature giving away your baby is, if they participated in full disclosure, and if they let you recover from birth before making a decision–I wouldn’t have such a problem with that. It’s the fact that they lie and make adoption into something so sweet and pretty, calling it a “gift” and an “act of love” (or a act of love? lol). But aren’t all babies gifts to the expectant parents too? Isn’t that what they say to pregnant mothers, children are a gift? Giving up your baby, or making an adoption plan, is ugly stuff. You’re not giving a fucking gift!

  5. RLDavies says:

    Yes. Regifting.

    For years, I’ve been questioning the line of reasoning you reference here.

    Do these people really believe that their god screws up thousands upon thousands of the pregnancies he creates every year, mistakenly putting babies in the wrong women? Or do they believe that they’re not only qualified but entitled to override their god’s work and decide after the fact who was meant to be a parent and who was not?

    Mind you, I’ve always been in awe of the arrogance that allows adopters to tie their selfish desires to “God’s will.” I mean, a couple breaks their necks trying to get pregnant for months, years, decades. They spend $30-50-100K on doctors, surgery, IVF, etc., with no result. To me, emotionally healthy adults who truly respect their god would conclude that after all that–after being unable to reproduce no matter what they do or try–that maybe parenthood isn’t part of their god’s plan for them. But no! The fact that they can’t achieve parenthood could not POSSIBLY mean they’re not meant to be parents! It clearly means their god has decided they should parent SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD!

    I’m sorry, that’s astounding to me. It’s toddler logic. I want it, so I’ll make up a story that allows me to justify getting it, and no one will notice how ridiculous and illogical my story is, right?

    Magical thinking. It does so much damage.

    • Greg says:

      The whole idea that god puts someone’s baby in the wrong “tummy” is bullshit. God didn’t do that two people had sex and conceived a child, they did it not god. The whole idea that people who are unable to have children is god telling them they weren’t meant to be parents is bullshit. If that’s the case why are there so many shitty parents who abuse their children?

      If everything is a part of “gods” plan then I guess children with cancer and people with diseases are all part of that plan too. The reality is none of that is a part of anyone’s plan, shit happens and you just have to make the best of what it is.

      • adminadmin says:

        So Greg.. are you saying that people just need to “deal” with whatever they get handled in life?? Coz that’s what it kinda sounds like! lol

        • Greg says:

          I wouldn’t put it in those exact words but essentially I’m implying that concept. “Just dealing” with whatever people get in life sounds heartless which I don’t think is your intention in using those words.

          I think making the best of things sounds more positive and encouraging (I know the fluffy wording probably annoys you). Someone who has a terminal disease who lives everyday like it’s their last is making the best of an awful circumstance. Someone who has lost their job may have to make spending cuts to their lifestyle. That type of stuff is what I’m talking about. Praying to some type of god may help these people cope to believe in something but the reality is it does nothing to actually change their circumstance.

  6. andre' says:

    MUSIC cousin’s lost daughter is a social worker who got hired by an agency to do home evaluations. Adoption to her is an accepted way of life. One she eagerly looks forward to creating for herself so she will not have to bear her own children. She sees the poor, depressed drugged out young women that come in to her dshs office & wants to rescue their children, yet to be born.
    I just united with my lost daughter some ten months ago. I was not on the obc or mentioned.
    I was hosting my cousin’s reunion & her lost brother. When I told my tale of separation from my 9 month older lost daughter, (the younger was kept), to my cousin’s lost daughter now with a degree in social & health.
    The mother of my child had disappeared to another state came back seven months later and had our child in the very hospital my only other child was born. Five years later I am told the truth when a boyfriend of the mother looks me up & tells me about the open adoption / closed upon relinquishment…to keep it secret?……no info to be had……
    28 years of desire to parent & give a sibling a bond with her other squashed by adoption to strangers & secrets. Her comment was how unnecessary for you to have known. Even accepting that most likely the agency told her to keep her intentions secret. Oh the pain to the mother (who’s story is now unfolding), her family’s pain, my pain, both of my daughter’s pain confusions, etc . Not to mention the Aristocrates Ap’s pain of now having their perfect world interrupted. A so what HUH,?
    My lost daughter now goes on outings with her lost siblings, lost mother & father (me). & we text daily for the last ten months’ sadly she apologised for not finding me sooner. The infant feels responsible for the parents being lost to her.

  7. Robin says:

    “The other part of the problem is that, IMO has a bigger impact on adoption is that we live in a child filled society that outcasts the childless.”

    I disagree. I know many people who do not have children, either by choice or circumstance, and they are not treated as if there is no place for them in society. I think some of this is in your own head.

    • Greg says:

      Robin,

      I don’t want this to become another thread that I take over but you are being dismissive of my circumstance. That’s like the people who say I know someone who is adopted and they were fine with it and telling you it’s all in your head. Those people are assuming and being dismissive of you. I don’t think it’s your intention to be dismissive but you came across that way.

      • Robin says:

        Greg,
        I did not mean to be dismissive of your feelings. And I apologize if that is how my comment came across. Perhaps, you and I travel in different circles. The people I know are compassionate and empathetic towards those who suffer from infertility, but at no time do they make the childless feel inferior or less than, or that they are not fully welcome.

  8. Laura says:

    Hi, I am experiencing fertility problems and many people have told me things like “oh, don’t worry, you can always adopt.” or “why don’t you just adopt?” My response was always “no, it’s not for us.” Some people then like to make it out to seem like my husband and I are cold hearted for not wanting to consider adoption. For whatever reason (maybe it’s the way I was raised) I never viewed adoption as a “natural” thing but I couldn’t really put that into words to express to somebody until I came across this blog. I was online looking up information after one of the stupid comments that somebody told me about why don’t I just adopt because I decided I would look into options with an open mind and this only lasted one weekend (thanks!). Well, here I am, I looked into it and although I always had a feeling it was sketchy, now I see how bad this is not only for the mother but for the child as well! I don’t know why “god” hasn’t given me a baby and a lot of times I really hate it a lot and it gets REALLY bad sometimes, but I certainly do not want somebody else’s child, I want my own, and I certainly do not want to contribute to the problem of this very flawed adoption system and I also wouldn’t want to contribute to tearing apart some mother’s and her family’s life. Thank you very much for being the brave person you are and writing this blog and putting the truth out there for everybody to see. Every single time in the future when somebody asks me why we don’t adopt, I will tell them exactly why now and I wont feel guilty or selfish about it either.

    • adminadmin says:

      Hi Laura,

      This is the first thing I am reading on a cold rainy Monday morning and it just warms my soul! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. And even more important, thank you for understanding and being willing to spread the truth about adoption to people you come across. This is how we make things change. Agian, with renewed vigor.. Thank you!
      And I shall send fertile blessings your way… :)
      C~

Leave a Reply

Or

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>