Blog for Choice 2013 Lame Style

Sometimes, in Adoptionland, it feels like we throw around the word “choice” far too often. The adoptee has no choice on whether or not they are adopted. The adoptive parents choose to adopt or not to adopt and what kind of adoption it will eventually be. And of course, the word ‘choice” is huge within the cries to silence the regretful “birthmother“; you had a choice, no one held a gun to your head.  When birthmothers are not getting browbeaten for their “choices”; we are often profusely thanked. “Thank you for choosing life” and other such platitudes that really don’t take in the full weight of the adoption experience either. Can we say many shades of gray?

Whatever warped views, mis information, fears, doubts,  and adoption agency propaganda I did base my decision on, it was way more complex than “having a gun to my head” or “choosing life.  To assume that any mother would base her decision to parent or place her child for adoption based on such simplistic terms is insulting whether or not there really was a true “choice” involved or not. The bottom line is that often adoption only seems like a choice, yet we are expected to conduct ourselves as if it was. Often we are kind of damned if we do and damned if we don’t. It’s a thankless choice.

Blog for Choice 2013

Abortion is Also a Thankless Choice

Whether or not a crisis or unplanned pregnancy does end in adoption, the decision to parent or not is a second choice. One thing has been decided already; this women is having a baby. She will become a mother. The decision of whether or not to become a mother is an earlier one; the decision whether or not to carry the pregnancy to term. Abortion? Yes or No?

Abortion and Adoption are two truly unrelated decisions. One is a reproductive choice and the other is a parenting choice. They just happen to be about pregnancy, superficially a less than optimum situation for pregnancy, and often about the same pregnancy. The first choice a woman makes when she finds herself confronted with the life changes represented by the two lines on a pregnancy stick is whether or not to BE pregnant. For some women it might not even be a question; for others there is only one answer either way. It’s not as simple as saying “More Adoption, Less Abortion”. It’s not an either or and they are hardly the most effective tools to combat either one. The cure for both ills are affordable, available birth control and comprehensive sex education.

Just like Adoption, We Need Informed Choices About Making Reproductive Choices

There has never been a time in my life when I have not been pro choice. Long before I was ever involved in Adoptionland, long before I even started to become  the adoption activist I am now, I marched in pro choice rallies and carried signs with wire hangers on them. For many years before, and I expect, many years hence, I will base my vote on the stance a candidate takes regarding a women’s right to control her fertility and family size, even when the choices involved can be the hard ones to make. While the reasons why a woman might not want or feel she is able to complete a pregnancy are usually not simple, the overall concept, for me, is. I wanted to be able to make those calls for myself when I needed to. I don’t want some South Dakota male legislator to decide whether or not I have a baby. I don’t want to have the right to decide that for another woman.  That should be her choice to make when an did she needs to based on where she is in life, what she knows, what she is comfortable doing. That’s her personal struggle. I had my own.

My Own Choices

And I have had to make those choices. Three times to be exact. Sometimes they were easier, more simple. I knew without a shadow of a doubt where the two blue lines on the pee stick would end when I was 18. Back in 1986, the choice was not if, but where. There were options of abortion providers. There were different types of procedures. I compared costs.

Fertility verses the pill a few years later, and now the choices were not as simple. I could have welcomed a child, but I let the father choose and he opted out. Not as simple, a bit more sadness, but I still had options. I had choices.

Almost 20 years later, my fertilities last stand: our family was complete, but no one sent my ovaries the memo. I didn’t necessarily like the fact that I had to make a choice, but it was still mine to make.  I had options. And then I had a husband with a glorious vasectomy and the lifelong fears of pregnancy and battle over my fertility was finally at an end.

Other times, I had babies. And once, I “choose adoption”. I can tell you that based on my own personal experience, hands down, it was the adoption of my son that has most affected me. That’s not to say that I wish I had chosen differently and not given birth, but rather, if I could go back in time, I would parent my son, never relinquished.  Ah, too late for me now.

Choices of the Future

My time for choices is over, but I will always be pro choice. I have a daughter, almost 12, and while I hope these decisions are many years away, I cannot imagine a world where she could not decide whether or not she wishes to have a child. I could not imagine not being able to open the phone book and find her an abortion provider should she ever need one. I have three sons, two over 21, and I could not imagine a world where my grandchildren are forced into lives that inherently know that they are not ready for them.

I don’t LIKE abortions. They are messy, icky, nasty, but necessary evils. I know many of my friends have somehow managed to avoid the necessity and am a big propagation of affordable and available birth control, but as a über fertile person, I know all too well that birth control fails. Often times the side effects of birth control or complications after removing mirena (A commonly used IUD) women don’t see birth control as being worth it.  Sites like have more information about various birth control forms and their side effects if you are interested. I know we are human and people make mistakes. I know sex isn’t always consentual, but it is often normal and natural and expected, even outside the marriage bed. And while a part of me wants to accept that life comes to us and we should learn to accept it, I also see conception as a biological act. I believe in reincarnation and souls coming through, but once a souls enters the physical again, the flesh rules and must control the fates.  It’s a bit out there, a bit convoluted, but it works for me. People find a way that works for them.

A Safe, Legal, True Choice

nevergoingbackThroughout history, it has pretty much always worked that way. Humans have always had sex and women have always struggled to control the rates in which they produce children to the best of their abilitities. Letting biology rule has not always been kind to mothers or even the children they produced.  Uncontrolled pregnancy takes a terrible toll on a woman’s body, sucking the very life out of her and making her unable to parent the children she has made. Studies show that when able to make their own reproductive decisions, society benefits overall with decreased crime rates, poverty, and unemployment over long term projections. The fact is, legal or illegal, women will choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies for a multitude of reasons. Laws will not change whether or not there will be abortions, but the kinds of abortions available and the outcomes of those illegal procedures. If my daughter wants to end a pregnancy, I don’t want her to end up dead or sterile. Safe, legal abortions must remain.

Of course, the most important thing  about the word choice, to me, means that there are other options available. If there aren’t any options, then there really isn’t a choice.  I mean, if you only have one flavor of ice cream available, then it’s useless to offer your guests a choice of three flavors. Asking them chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry  is a completely useless waste of time and becomes more of  a trick, a slight of hand, a choice in name only, when vanilla is the only ice cream flavor de jur. The true choice then is “do you want ice cream or not?” Don’t pretend that they choose the vanilla flavor, they only choose ice cream.

It scares me to hear about the states in the USA where there is only one abortion provider in the whole state of South Dakota or Mississippi. Yeah, there’s your ice cream, but take what you can get. Granted there was probably more abortion clinics in NY over the combined Dakotas, but I doubt my 18 year old self would have the same choices I did back in the day. I know in my area now, one must cross the Hudson River to have a D&C at Planned Parenthood in Poughkeepsie. Not much choice in location, or procedures, or price, but still better than having to drive clear across a state, or forced waiting periods, parental consent, or demanding vaginal ultrasounds.

I am so thankful for the people on the front lines, facing real dangers, who battle to keep the choices available for other women.

If you don’t believe in abortion, then don’t have one. I promise I won’t force you, but please don’t force my daughter to feel shame or cross state lines for wanting to control her fertility.  Don’t give our countries women fake choices and then blame them and shame them for doing what they must. Don’t make them endanger their lives or be slaves to their bodies.  Don’t let sex become something only the rich deserve. Don’t feed the adoption machine at the risk of women’s lives.  You decide your moral code for your body and I will decide the moral code for my body.

And let’s work on that whole “choice” thing. I want more flavors for everyone.

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About the Author

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,, 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.

5 Comments on "Blog for Choice 2013 Lame Style"

  1. Thanks for furthering the conversation on this important women’s issue. Please visit Venus Blogs as they also promote stories and issues that enlighten the masses about women’s topics.

  2. Lucreza Borgia | January 25, 2013 at 11:40 am |

    Did you hear about the new IUD that is specifically for women who have never been pregnant??? It will probably be the next big thing if only we can find some way to spread info about it! IUD’s have the best rates when it comes to not failing.

  3. What you fail to mention is the CHOICE of the unborn baby that would not choose to die. You can’t complain about birthmothers having no choice when you don’t care about the infant forced to die Faux Claude.

    • The fetus, not an infant, has no choice, because it doesn’t care. It is not born and sorry, I am a “masses of undeveloped cells don’t have feelings or brains” kind of girl. And I CAN complain about the lack of a true informed choice that Birthmothers have. I can complain about whatever I want. It’s my blog and it’s called free speech which is also, like a women right to choose what to do with her body, protected by law. Want to talk about what the yet unborn so really still pretend child might want? Ok… then how about all my Adoptee friends who say that they WOULD RATHER HAVEN BEEN ABORTED THANT ADOPTED? Chew on that for a while oh moral one who cannot even be bothered to find nor spell my name correctly.

  4. No one knows what the mass of cells as you call it feels or doesn’t. So you don’t have a right to state a fetus feels nothing. But since you support abortion so much, why don’t you call it what it really is? Murder. Using the term abortion just covers up the facts and makes this act of killing a mere technical term, the same way adoption agencies call all of you birthmothers or wombs to rent. If the mass of cells was not alive it would not grow into a baby. So stopping the male or female mass of cells from doing so, is the same as ripping apart a five year old so she doesn’t grow into a 20 year old. I don’t know a lot of adoptees that would rather of been aborted despite how horrible closed adoption is, but I do know some adoptees who feel really hurt when they know birthmothers like you and some from the BSE era, being so gun ho about abortion. They all have said if abortion was legal then they would of just gotten rid of their babies, (“me”) so how can these birthmothers really care about them or adoptes in general? They also say they are tired of these same bithmothers talking about the pain they feel being forced to give their babies away when they would of just had an abortion, and lost their babies anyway. It seems to them that they only care abut their own feelings and are just pissed off someone else told them what to do. I know I would feel that way and I support the adoptees who don’t respect birthmothers that support abortion. Talk about crocodile tears and being a hypocrite. That is all birthmothers who support abortion exhibit and are!

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