Hard Truths; A Birthmother is Abandoning Her Child

Take Off the Sugar Coating- the Adoptee Can Feel Rejected

To any mother considering adoption, I say  that you must listen to the adoptees. Please go read the adoptee blogs before you even call an adoption agency. You need to read their true words, their harsh truths, and imagine, as you cradle your belly, if you ever want your child to feel this way.

While there is no way I can say that ALL adoptees feel abandoned, or that every child adopted will feel angry at their mother, there is nothing that you, nor I, nor the adoption agency, nor the adoptive parents can do to completely prevent it either. The fact is that some adopted people DO feel very acutely feel the “Primal Wound” and on the other end of the bell curve, there are those that are not affected at all by their own admissions. There is a great range of emotions and thoughts, that like all of us, change over time, but in the end; when you relinquish you really do give up not just your rights, but your real ability to actually change the possibility of how your child will feel.

No Matter What the Story; Adoptees Will Feel What They Feel

We have a long history of adoption in the US, where we play with the messages, in my opinion, to sugar coat and hide the truth.

  • “You mother loved you so much that she made sure that you had the very best life you could”
  • “I made the strong and selfless decisions to choose life even though I wasn’t able to parent”
  • “It was very important to me that my child have everything I didn’t; a two parent home, a stay at home, a good education, things I just couldn’t give him at the time”

I’m not mocking the reasons, they don’t matter here. We all have them. I have a bunch of doozeis myself. What matters that our children do not know the reasons. Oh, chances are they learn ” their story”. Maybe you even get to explain it to them yourself and answer questions. Maybe they are, by nature, not questioning, peaceful and accept them at face value and do not internalize anything of negative value, but again, nothing can guarantee that. It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself to rationalize the decision to relinquish, or on the other side, explain how your were forced to surrender; OUR TRUTH does not automatically revert to the ADOPTEES TRUTH.

I think this is actually true in all parenting.

My second son, who I did parent, was a tough teenager. Some of it his doing, some of it mine, some of it just life and beyond my control. I’ll eat my pieces of regret pie, but I do know that I tried. I tired so hard to do the best that I could with what I was given, even if it didn’t work out as planned all the time. In the end, even with explaining to him, truthfully, honestly, over and over again, WHY some things I did at the time were they way they were, he SEES his TRUTH and in certain ways, in his eyes, based on his feelings, I failed him. That might change as he gets older, but I can’t change that now. For him, it is as real as what I felt, but it’s just a completely different view.  And for me, I can’t argue with him that’s it’s wrong, I’s how he FEELS and is, therefore his valid truth.

Your Child’s Valid Truth Could Turn Out to be That Your Abandoned Him

These are all real adoptee comments.  Yes, they are form comments here and adoptee bloggers.  It took me five minutes to find them. If I looked for 15 minutes , I would have 20. I could go on and on and find more and more from tons of different people, different ages, all over the country.

Yes, we can say “well only the unhappy  adoptees ones talk about this stuff” but  that’s dismissive and I happen to know that many of the very same adoptees who DO speak honestly of the pain also had, byut their own admission “wonderful loving adoptive parents”. It’s really very simple, before you relinquish think.  I ask again, DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO EVER FEEL THIS WAY?

“You need to understand what an adoptee lives through, as well. As infants, we do not know if we were “stolen”, or if our mothers were raped. We just know she’s gone. We were told we were dumped. Some of us were told all sorts of unimaginable stories. Yeah- I WAS angry. I not only lost my freaking mother. I LOST MY IDENTITY, and it really doesn’t matter what the reason was.”

“I was very angry with my mother for giving me up, as she and my father had been married and I was her third child. I did need to “forgive” her for placing me in a situation that caused me so much pain.”

“we lost our biofamilies (even if it were for the best of reasons), lost our identity, have to deal with the confusion of loving our afamilies but needing our biofamilies, wondering where we belong, have children of ourt own that love our afamilies, believe our asibs are really our sibs…and they are….but we have biosibs that we don’t talk to but want too, just want it all put together.”

“Yes, I know, my first mother didn’t really reject me when she surrendered me for adoption, but it’s another one of those brain-heart matters that adoptees understand on the philosophical level but not on the emotional level.How can we? Breaking the mother-child bond is the most destructive thing that can happen to either mother or child. We shouldn’t be cavalier about it and invent euphemisms that make it sound less bad. That’s the adoption industry’s party line, to make adoption more palatable.The truth is, adoptees often feel rejected, no matter how good their adoptive circumstances are and no matter whether they eventually reunite, happily or not, with their original families. We have to deal with issues of rejection and abandonment every moment of our lives (and no, I’m not saying first mothers abandon, I’m saying this is how adoption makes many adoptees feel).”

We want our children to have the best I understand that this is why many of us think that relinquishment is the answer. Many of us did not make this choice freely, or were informed enough, and many more had no choices at all and were forced. I know that. The adult adoptee often knows that as well. It doesn’t change how they can feel.

Somewhere inside, they are baby who misses their mothers smell and they don’t have the words to describe that feeling. Someone inside they could be a 3 year old who is scared and angry and wishes that you could come and take them away. Someday, they could turn out to be a person who doesn’t care about stuff, but only wants to fit in with people that get them.  Or maybe, just maybe, they think that THEY should have been important  enough  to warrant a better plan on our part. That THEY were worth working harder, pinching pennies, putting off school, fighting the system, arguing with parents, going on social services.

And they would be right.

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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, 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.

6 Comments on "Hard Truths; A Birthmother is Abandoning Her Child"

  1. Thank you for writing this, and thanks for quoting my latest 73adoptee blog. It’s nice to be heard and acknowledged, happens so rarely for those of us impacted by adoption loss. I only wish my own mother could try to understand things from my perspective. I do my best to see it her way but as you say, there is a part of me that will never understand why we were separated. I can understand it on an intellectual level but not an emotional one.

  2. This is the very reason why, when I refer to my experience and situation, I most often use the phrase, “I gave up my son.” That is what I have learned through conversations with my son, that he most definitely felt like I gave him up or gave him away. Even now, after adopting him back, when we discuss adoption, more often than not, he will say, “when you gave me up” or “when you gave me away to my adoptive parents.”

    It is his reality and his right to it! He isn’t trying to be harsh or cruel. He is just living his truth from what it felt like to be given up for adoption.

  3. I begged everyone to keep my daughter. She acts sssooo together. But she did say that she told her mom not to feel bad she was just crying through her teens. And she said she had to be perfect. The subtle message that adoptees have to be grateful and moms have to say it was the loving thing, leave many of us muzzled. My son did suffer for this situation too. And any time someone insisted I parent a certain way, I didn’t stop to think they were wrong, I stopped instantly to think I don’t want to do anything to discourage the advisors and lose my son. I was hypervigilant watching his every move and panicking if I thought they were lost. I can’t believe how difficult it is to resolve issues that were put on hold for far too long. I deeply thank you for your writings they are a salve a balm and I thank you for your courage to say these things. Our next step is forgiveness. we have to forgive ourselves.

  4. Very hard post for me to read, but you’re absolutely right. I’m afraid my daughter might hate me for giving her away, but she will have every right to. How can I hate myself for giving her away yet expect her to have a completely different viewpoint and think I’m some wonderful selfless woman? I should have tried harder to make it work, and I didn’t. All I had during my pregnancy were doubts that snowballed and other people’s opinions that I shouldn’t parent. I ask myself all the time-if I was “strong” enough to stand up to my parents and the birthfather and not have an abortion and make all the sacrifices I did in order to carry through with my pregnancy, then why couldn’t I have made a few more sacrifices in order to keep my daughter and be a parent to her? I think at that point, maybe I was just too worn down emotionally to try. And that is something I will likely regret forever.

    • Kim,
      You didn’t make “sacrifices” to carry through with your pregnancy and not have an abortion (i.e., kill your daughter). No parent-to-be has any rights over the life of her child. Guilt over giving away your child is what you need to deal with. Giving life to your child is a given; that’s your responsibility upon creating a son/daughter. It’s hardly wonder adoptees feel such rejection when they have to hear how their mothers not only abandoned them but also feel they should feel grateful that they were allowed live. What makes you feel you had some right over your child’s life? It’s both ridiculous and awful. Please consider how you speak about your daughter in the future. It was your responsibility to mother her and you didn’t, which is what you feel guilty about. She had every right to be carried and born, as did you when your own mother carried you. She is not some lesser being because you weren’t going to mother her. Her life is separate to yours. I hope you realise this some day, otherwise, you can never respect your own worth in the world.

  5. Hey Rachel,
    I can see you feel strong about abortion. That’s awesome. Me too, I’m against it. Coming on here to shame Kim and then direct her on how to speak about her life experiences? Sounds like you might be dealing with your own issues that Kim nor I nor anyone else care about. Don’t be a haughty bitch. Be a helpful woman.

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