Interviewing with Dan Rather Reports

Claudia D'Arcy Interviewing with Dan Rather


Dan Rather Investigates Adoption & Coercion

Yesterday, April 6th, 2012, I was interviewed by Dan Rather.

I usually don’t like writing these kinds of “I’m going here and doing this” kind of thing because it feels insanely self promotional and I end up feeling like a show off and that’s not my intention. However, enough people know and will ask me about it. The one thing I love about blogging is I only have to tell a story once and then just link to. Plus, my hope is to share the how’s and whys and what it is like so that other’s realize that it’s not such a big deal and hopefully more can speak out as well.

Adopted or Abducted?

In case, you have missed it. Dan Rather is out new champion in adoption land. No longer with CBS, but still an investigative journalist heading Dan Rather Reports on From what I now understand, they were already keen about doing a piece on adoption based on a phone call a while back, but the timing of the Australian Adoption Apology, has them going full bore. If you haven’t read Adopted or Abducted?  please do so you see what I mean. They get it.

I’m still kind of in shock for many reasons.


  1. I’m shocked because long at last someone in the main stream media cares about adoption enough to do a full on investigation into the coercive practices of voluntary domestic infant adoption in the USA.
  2. I’m kind of shocked that the producers of the Dan Rather Reports included me in their investigation. For one, they were, to my understanding looking at the older practices. The forced adoptions, the interment of maternity homes, and the older moms who did not see adoption as redemption and “choose” it as I did.
  3. I’m really shocked at the company that was also interviewed and feel a great honor to be among them. In many ways, it’s like a who’s who of our adoption community: Ann Fessler, Rickie Solinger,  Joe Soll, Karen Wilson Buterbaugh, Carol Shaefer , plus a whole slew of moms who were originally interviewed in The Girls Who Went Away.
  4. I pretty surprised that I actually got to meet Dan Rather. I had expected that, once invited to come down to NYC to speak to them, I would talk to the producers, maybe be filmed while they stood in. I didn’t think I would actually MEET him, much less be interviewed by Dan Rather Himself, but I was. I mean this is the man who told us our nightly news for most of my life. He covered everything from the war in Vietnam, to Kennedy’s assignation before I was born, interviewed Saddam Hussein, and he talks to ME? This was never even on my “bucket list” because it seemed so incredibly far fetched!
  5. I’m insanely surprised at how not insane it all felt.


How I Ended Up Talking to Dan Rather

I had originally sent the email over to the producer Sean when I saw the notice going around Facebook. While I did fit what they were looking for “Catholic, over 18 when relinquished” I didn’t think they would want to hear from me. I wasn’t tied down to a bed to give birth, I wasn’t drugged, my parents didn’t send me to a maternity home, my signature was not forged, etc.

My purpose at that point was to beg, to plead, that they didn’t cover the story with the viewpoint of “the way adoption WAS…” I wanted them to be aware that adoption was built on the current foundation of crimes and lies and obvious coercion, but that nowadays, the kinder, gentler face of adoption was just remarketed, slicker, but just as coercive if not more subtle and more deadly because they had perfected the seduction. Yes, I was surprised when they wanted to talk on the phone, but happy to oblige and figured that was that.

A few emails later, and I was delighted when I understood that they wanted me to come down to New York.

Going to NY to Meet Dan Rather

So I took the day off from work and got up at 6am, because when Dan Rather wants to talk to you, you go! Being that it was Good Friday, I got down to the city without a hitch and without a bit of traffic at the Lincoln tunnel; something rather unheard of. It was a beautiful day and since I had time, I left Port Authority and walked down 8th Avenue toward 21st Street where the interviews were to be stopping for coffee at a Dunkin Donuts.

After I had my single cup of coffee, two would have made me talk too fast, I meandered over to the west end of 10th Avenue where I had a choice of doors bearing the same address that I was to be at. Luckily, I had already stalked Sean the producer online , so I recognized his face, plus he was standing next to none other than Ann Fessler, so I had to be in the right place! The filming had been set up in a gallery owned by our very gracious hostess of the day, Valerie. The building also houses Carol Schaefer’s studio space, hence how we all managed to find our way there.

Dan was running a wee bit late and I was, miraculously, early so after a bit of chit chat, I went and sat in a small dark room with the cameramen and they did things with lighting and whatnot. And then, dressed to the nines, and completely unimposing, Dan Rather himself arrived. After he got light up properly and whatever technical things they do, it was my turn to be interviewed.

What I remember of the Interview

After Montel Williams, my biggest concerned with being interviewed was to not babble so I don’t miss my turn to say important things. I also knew that I didn’t want to talk too fast, not dwell too much on MY story, nor look quite as unaffected as I think I did on Related by Birth. I had spent the night before gathering up some research studies on the affects of adoption that were in print before I relinquished in 1987, read over the  NCFA: Mothers, Money, Marketing and Madness piece, looked at the tax returns for the NCFA, Gladney and Bethany, and hoped that I could tie it all in.

I think I was a good hour in the chair, under the lights, talking to Dan on camera. I have no idea how they are going to be able to edit this thing as they have spoken to so many of us and I am sure we all have important things to say. I know that there is no way that all my words will be on the final cut, but I was amazed that I got to say so much.

  • Yes, we talked about how the industry is based on profit and I got to hit the dollar amounts again!
  • We talked about how it is an industry and not the nice warm and fuzzy win-win that adoption is supposed to be.
  • Yeah, I said adoption is supposed to be about finding homes for children that need them, not families that want babies.
  • I was able to say that the NCFA began in 1980 as a lobby group to promote adoption because the numbers were so low and that they did market research.
  • Yes, I spoke about myself as if I was a target market that my agency was delighted to connect with and how they offered me everything I thought I wanted.
  • I got a chance to talk about how birthmothers live in denial because sometimes that’s all we have to survive as no person could go on living everyday with such a wound.
  • I was able to speak about what made me see adoption with different lenses when I realized that what I had been taught might actually end up hurting Max. That I was told that saying I never regretted my decision would hurt him.
  • I told Dan Rather that it was ironic that this act, this adoption, that was supposed to allow me to resume my life as if I had never given birth was moot, since here I was 25 years later, talking to him. But that in five seconds, I could be 19 and alone in this hospital again, a puddle of hurt on the floor right at our feet.
  • I was able to say that I knew my son was a product and that adoption was about supply and demand.
  • I was even able to bump the notion of non-profits and declared Gladney’s 50 million in assets and revenue.
  • And yes, I was able to say that we really needed to open records in this country because the adoptees deserve it and we need to listen to them since that is what adoption is supposed to be for.

I said a lot more too, but of course, it is all a blur. I thankfully, did have the wherewithal, to ask Dan Rather for a picture and managed this sad, put viewable shot!

Ann, Carol, Leslie, Lunch!

Then, I had to do a few shots of walking down the street talking to Dan Rather! And so, we chatted a bit and made small talk while we got filmed walking around NYC. Did I say how I’m still kind of shocked?

The other part of my day that was lovely.. I got to hang out with Ann and Carl for a while, plus Leslie Mackinnon, another Girl Who Went Away, was up from Atlanta to be filmed as well. Leslie and I had a delightful lunch together which was a last minute but fab plan if I don’t say so myself. In some ways I am almost more excited by my lunch with Leslie as she is a therapist specializing in adoption issues. Something that for a while now I have called my “goal for my fifth career”, I had abandoned the concept of going back to school to get some more letters after I broke my arm and then stumbled upon career #4 at DragonSearch. Meeting up with Leslie, receiving the knowledge that there are only a handful on birthmothers in the country that are adoption therapists, has really made the dream bubble up inside me again. It doesn’t feel like it’s something I want to do. It feels like something I am meant to do.

Back again at the gallery/studio; Dan rather was finishing up an interview with what I believe to be an attorney and then, oddly enough, he was gone. What was even odder than the fact that he didn’t actually interview Carol, nor Ann, nor Leslie, nor Rickie Solinger who was due in that day as well, was,, can you guess it, shocking. This also now scares the pants off of me. I was expecting to be a bit player who ended up mostly on the cutting room floor. Of course, now, I am thinking of all the other things I should have said. I am mad at myself for completely going blank when he asked if there was something I felt I had to say. Or ask. I am worried that I missed an important point, or the biggest fear with interviews, that what I did say can be spun, cut or taken out of context of make it, me, us, look bad..or adoption look good.

Post Interview Fears

That’s always the scariest part about doing this kind of stuff. I am always the optimist and believe the best about people, and even as I write this, I am still completely trusting that they guys do get it. Yet, now, realizing that not everyone was filmed speaking to Dan himself, I’m bugging out. I am so glad I didn’t know this before hand, but I will be worried now until this is over and is done! I know I did well, I know I spoke calmly, I know I got tears in my eyes where I should, but…..I’ll be most relieved when I see the final piece.

The other two things that are worth noting: Dan rather thanked US like a million times. So very gracious, but we all had to make the point that NO, they were to be thanked and WE were so grateful that they were doing a story about this issues. I think that went back and forth like a dozen times! Overall, the whole experience was both unbelievable and then, rather low key and completely normal. Sitting across from Dan Rather, he told me fishing stories and we talked about trout. And if he wasn’t THE Dan Rather, he would have been a gracious entertaining gentleman, but then there was his VOICE..and in a way it was like hanging out with the TV news, except this time it didn’t just tell you the news of the day, it spoke directly to me.

And then, my finial OMG did that just happen point of the day: Dan Rather said to the effect that *I* was very good on camera and should be on TV! I have allowed myself to roll that one around for a while. It’s not every day that one of the most distinguished and experienced journalists around gives one a compliment. Later on that night, sitting in bed, eating a later dinner and wearing my Old Navy comfy yoga pants, it didn’t all seem possible, but remember that compliment, I went to bed with a smile on my face.

The final report is due to air on May 1st. Adopted or Abducted can be seen on and will be available on Itunes after that.
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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.

32 Comments on "Interviewing with Dan Rather Reports"

  1. So proud of you! xoxoxo

  2. Anonymous | April 8, 2012 at 1:20 am |

    I am so very proud of you and all that you do for your family, my family and all the families that that have gone through what you and I did.
    Regret is a horrible thing and because of you hopefully no woman will have to feel that….as you and I have.
    I love you and miss you but thanks to technology I always think that you are closer than you are.

  3. I am so pleased to hear of this! The adoption community will not like to hear this but it needs to be spoken. Not just in books, or on blogs but in people’s living rooms. And it needs to be spoken by someone like you. I am so grateful that you have done this interview. I will record it and be so proud of you and what you have done.

  4. Anonymous | April 8, 2012 at 2:24 am |

    Wow! I always knew you would be famous!

    You rock!


  5. You’re amazing Claudia! Thank you for everything you do!

  6. Claude, this is wonderful and i too, am so proud of you! I had a phone interview with Sean the producer and that was exciting enough for me! So proud of all you Moms who spoke on our behalf. Kathy Aderhold in Co also interviewed with Dan himself and in fact they filmed partially at her home. But you are the only two moms i know of who was interviewed directly by him and not Sean the producer. Sean by the way, is pretty wonderful himself and gets it! I think they’re catching on as to the enormity of the importance of this story. We are so blessed and fortunate to have finally attracted someone of his reputation and stature to be a spokesperson for us. I always used to say that if we could afford to have a paid lobbyist like NCFA does; we could finally get some attention. But this is better because it’s totally free and huge!

    I can barely wait to see the show and hear all my strong sisters speaking out with dignity – just telling the TRUTH.
    PS. NAR – what is the name of your font on this page? it’s not comic sans, is it?

  7. I am thrilled to read of your experience and to hear that the truth about the adoption industry is finally going to be reaching the general public. Adoption is totally glorified in this country with some of the truly unethical parts completely omitted. People need to learn so there can be real reform. That sounds like an amazing experience and so great that you are giving a voice to a topic that needs so much processing!!!

  8. Anonymous | April 8, 2012 at 3:18 am |

    Thank you for telling about the experience. It is great that Rather is leading this expose but makes me wonder what the situation with his adopted grandson was.

  9. Kudos to you and I’m so excited this is getting done. I also did a phone interview with Sean and really felt like we have people on our side. Can’t wait to see the documentary!

  10. YAY! I am so glad that your articulate self was a part of all that!!!! (P.S. If you ever want to talk about the therapy stuff let me know. I’ll send you my phone number.

  11. Such a delight to meet you and share that incredible experience! I was terribly ambivalent about participating, and at one point backed out because of the fears your mentioned: That of being senstionalized, having my words twisted or contorted to unrecognizable lengths just to make a headline that would draw viewers. Finally, convinced by my daughter and my trusted friend Ann Fessler, that reasonable voices needed to be heard, I came and participated. I am so glad that I did. It was awe-inspiring to meet Dan Rather. The last question I was asked was how did I feel about the fact that they had decided to do this program? With tears rising and my voice breaking, I was able to say that my greatest fear was that our stories would never get heard in my lifetime. Then along came Ann Fessler who opened the door and now Dan Rather Reports………unbelievable! While admittedly I’m in what is so far is a ‘two day extremely emotional let-down,’ I know it will pass. I’m so glad to hear someone else is second guessing every word out of their mouth. I felt the weight of all my sisters on my shoulders and I desperately wanted to represent us to the best of my ablility. And actually, that has been my mantra as I rewind the comments I made……”let me be at peace with doing the best that I was able in the time I was given, and let it be good enough.” Beating myself up is my old fall back position. I know better today and I must put it into practice.

    I’m so glad to be an encouragement to you for your 5th career. I’ve always seen mine as inevitible, I just didn’t realize it would end up in the area of adoption. I avoided that area of work like the plague, until my sons found me. Claud, we’ve got lots of work yet to do and I hope to support you all the way thru! You’ve been supporting me in my work for several years. I send young mother’s trying to decide whether to parent or place, to your blog and ask them to read. I remind them that in making the biggest decision of their lives, they must do all their research and see what others who walked before them have to say. Keep it up. We can only save one mother and one child at a time from our fate.

    So glad to have made a new friend and to see the younger mothers speaking out. You may not have been co-erced by society the way we were. But I’ve often been truly sorry for the mothers who felt they “chose adoption.” I worry their guilt will be even greater. You were slickly seduced by the institutionalization of adoption, and free choice was no more yours than it was for us.

  12. OMG, w00t! this makes me so happy. I love that I have had the chance to hang out with you too, so I can picture exactly what your adorable, bubbly, red-lips say listen up self would have looked like.
    I am so proud of you, I am so grateful our venn diagrams intersected. I am drawing hearts and kisses all over your picture with puffy paint and it has glitter in it! You have given so much to so many, do not feel like a show-off. It is not your fault you are so sparkly!

    un mil besos, brava Claudia the Brave! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  13. You = awesome, Claud!

  14. I am so grateful you told our story. I know you did an excellent job. Thank you a million fold!!

  15. Darling, you rock! Thank you for taking the opportunity to expose the truth of adoption! Courageous Claudia. See you in Chicago. Gina (Throwaway)

  16. Anonymous | April 9, 2012 at 9:19 am |

    Claudia, I’m so proud of you! You are a great representative. Thank you for doing that!

    julie j

  17. Wow! This is amazing! Congrats! What a HUGE step in the right direction! xo

  18. Thank you so much for speaking out Claud. We moms couldn’t have asked for a better spokeswoman!! I’m excited to see where this will go ~ I never imagined that I would see the beginning of any change. I’m glad that I was wrong!

    (I will be honest and say that I was skeptical and thought his report was mostly to have something else to bash the Catholic Church with. I don’t care what his motivation was to start this ~ at least now some light will be shed on the TRUTH of adoption in the U.S.)

  19. Hi Claudia,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with (hopefully) the world. The multi-billion dollar adoption indu$try is ONLY going to change by shining the spotlight of TRUTH on their coercive, unethical and criminal practices.
    The more natural mothers and their “stolen” babies speak out, the better the entire world will be. Adoption is a “Barbaric” practice; the pain of loss never goes away. None of this is easy, but it will get better. Thanks to you, Claudia, and all the natural mothers for their courage in working for justice to all those “crushed” by adoption…

  20. I am so so glad and am now feeling more hopeful that the general public will finally get to hear from a main stream media that adoption is not all rainbows and smiles. I am so proud of you Claude. So thankful for you. Please keep on keeping on. 🙂 🙂

  21. Claud, I am so thrilled about this and so glad you referred to your piece on the NCFA, etc. Will he, by any chance, by addressing open adoption? I may write to him.

  22. Claude, this is the best thing that’s happened to Adoptionland in a long time!! Cannot wait to see the documentary! You rock! See you in Chicago!

  23. i agree too
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  24. I just found your blog quite by accident and am so emotionally overtaken with gratitude to you and Leslie and all others for taking this brave step. I’ve been in touch with Sean, but I think they were overwhelmed with choices and have not been interviewed. I would never have been able to do what you did Claud. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And don’t worry, I’ve been interviewed for other things. It is never what you think it will be. But with the integrity and respect they’ve shown so far, it will be incredible. For all of us.

  25. Thank You For bringing our story forward for the public to hear and see. I am one of the Mothers who was coerced by deceptive means used by my own mother and the agency she found to handle the adoption of my only child. I am sooo glad Dan Rather has taken the time to hear Us after all of these years.

    My only child was born in April of 1986. I was 22 and cannot drive so I couldn’t take myself to that blasted agency. If I had been able too, I would have gotten out of town as fast as I could and no one would have found me in time to make me do such a thing as to hand over my only child. I was not informed of my legal rights drugged and no lawyer present when they made me sign the relinquishment form.

  26. If the only 2 mothers interviewed were Claude and Kathy Aderhold, then they have one from the baby scoop era and one from the latter era. I think this is good because many times people want to say, “Oh, that’s how it was back then, but now it’s completely different, completely open.” and we all know that in whatever decade our loss occurred, the result for mother and child was ultimately the same…a separation that was damaging to both, as well as, a separation that should never have occurred.

    Jeanne Atkinson Gartland

  27. A simple, but very heartfelt thank you to you Claudia for all that you have done for all of us. I am thrilled that you got to speak with Mr Rather and hope that the team will proceed with sensitivity and respect for adoptees and mothers of loss.

    Adoption IS different today, but it is not one bit better. Agencies (lawyers, facilitators, etc) have adapted – they are worse than any virus or bacteria. Perhaps THIS is the comparison you can make? Antibiotics and becoming immune: the pharmaceutical industry – who could complain about that comparison? Big biz is big biz!

    Best wishes,

  28. Thanks for all you do and I’m looking forward to seeing this. Love your blog btw.

  29. So absolutely freaking fantastic, can’t wait to see the program!!! Hugs to you!

  30. Claud,

    This is fantastic! You covered all the issues, and then some!

  31. A big thank you for your blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged. and i read your post this is fantastic thanks for sharing this blog post.

  32. I have never given up a child to adoption. But my question is, What happens when the mother gives a dughter up for adoption,and Lies about who the father is. then the child is adopted out. the father can’t do anything about it. Can Who does he talk to to prove that kid was his. He doesn’t have the money to fight. He is young and poor. My sister Doesn’t have money to fight this either. She is the Grandma. any Ideas, my email is

    They also live in Alaska. Don’t know the laws up there. But are there not rights for the father???

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