Never Imagined This

Front Page of Yahoo News May 1, 2012

A Brief Second Before I Was a BirthMother

I remember this picture being taken like it was yesterday.

Front Page of Yahoo News May 1, 2012

It doesn’t matter that it was almost 25 years ago. I know exactly where I was November 16th, 1987. I was my final moments, holding my newborn son and saying good bye.  I can tell you where I bought that ugly shirt. I can tell you all about my armful of bracelets. And by just lookign at this image,  the flood of emotions can bring me right back to the worst minutes of my life.. having to walk out that hospital door without my baby.

That image was for me to remember. Back in the days when I thought I could forget and move on like they said.

Twenty Five Years Later

I never expected that it would be news. I never expected to see us on the front page of Yahoo news.  Yet, here we are.

Yup. Adoption was supposed to be the thing that let me move on with my life as if I was not a mother. As if none of this had happened.  Funny how that didn’t happen like the “nice” adoption agency said it would.

Yeah, you can read all about us on Yahoo. 

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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.

19 Comments on "Never Imagined This"

  1. lucrezaborgia | April 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

    It should also be on itunes download for people who don’t have cable!!!

    I’m a new reader to your blog and I’m so thrilled for you. I’ve recently learned about adoption thanks to friends and the situation I am in with my stepdaughter. More people need to know about this!!!!!

  2. lucrezaborgia | April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm |

    Also, did you notice their lovely disclaimer on the bottom of the article? *gag*

  3. I saw the Yahoo news article and arrived here. I am linked to adoption in a variety of ways — my sister-in-law placed her first son for adoption, a dear friend is adopted (a closed adoption in the 1970s), and I am an adoptive mother myself. Thanks for sharing your experiences — I hope and pray that more people will check into the ethics of the agencies and countries they’re working with. Adoption, even at its very best, is always “plan B,” and there is loss involved for everyone — adoptees, first mothers and fathers, and even the adoptive parents. The best agencies will insist on education about loss and grief in adoption for the adoptive parents, and have a solid record for ethical practice. I wish I could say that every agency did this, but I know that’s not true.

    • Unfortunately adoption agency’s are still very self seeking and its horrible to be forced to give your baby up. I know because I was forced by an angency I had looked into in 1994. When I wanted to change my mind I couldn’t. I was told they would take me to court an take my baby that way. I was than told at another time when I wanted to change my mind. They would make sure the father of the baby would get full custody so they could have the baby. They did some pretty horrid things I have hurt everyday of my life because of this.

  4. Claudia,I just now read the article and emailed the link to some folks who might be interested in getting a better understanding of how my life was affected by adoption. Like so many others I,too, was expected to just move on with my life as though nothing had happened. I was surprised to see the picture of you holding your son. The folks at the hospital tried to prevent me from even seeing my child! I’m sure this sounds unbelievable to some, but as strange as it sounds it was indeed true. I truly appreciate all that you do to promote awareness and reform. Thanks so much.

  5. Claudia, I’m a new reader to your blog and have learned much from it. I too was surprised at your photo. I guess I never thought there might be hospital photos taken at birth like there is now. I am reunited with my daughter and I’m going to ask her if there are any in her file. She went into foster care and wasn’t adopted until she was around 3 months old even though I was told she had a family waiting. I never thought that there may or may not be any photos of her. I let my daughter go in 1969 and like Gail was prevented from seeing her. I did go to the nursery and look in against orders. Thanks for speaking out for those who either can’t or are just beginning to realize what actually happened to us so many years ago.

  6. Anonymous | May 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |

    Hi Claudia,
    I’m an adoptive momma to a little boy named Max. We named him together. It was a name his birth mother really liked. We really love her and see her as often as we can. We do not wish that she would go away. If we never heard from her again, I would be heart-broken. I love her like a little sister. Adoption is so, so hard and certainly isn’t something one can just “get over.” I am with you on adoptee rights. We do plan to adopt again, and I hate to say it, but adoption really is the best option for some women. Hardly anything in life is all good or all bad. Life is just not that simple. Our son’s birth mother has a little girl that is 15 months older than our son and is pregnant again (3 years later.) We celebrate her as the wonderful mother that she is and are so excited for her as she decides to parent again. She told us when she placed Max with us, that even if she had a million bucks, she would make the same decision. It would make me feel super uncomfortable if the decision was all about money. Again, it’s not always that simple.

    • Yeah, actually, it *is* simple. You don’t know this if you have never given birth to a child, but IT IS NORMAL to be scared about how you can support your child. I was scared both times I gave birth and the first time, I was a *military spouse* and had all kinds of crazy-awesome benefits! We would have always had help if we’d run on hard times. The fear is natural, I think. But the fear is also exploited. There is NO reason that a nonabusive mother EVER needs to relinquish. It all comes down to her perspective and how much other people have been manipulating that.

      But hey! It worked out nicely for you, right?

    • I truly believe that the adoption agency that your birthmother worked with convinced her of this. I truly also believe that it is highly unlikely that this birthmother would ever tell you how she actually feels about giving you her baby. It does not take much reading on birthmother blogs to see that while they had been convinced or coerced into believing they were doing the right thing- in fact after the fact they realize much differently. I know my birthmother while feels she had relinquish, did not live a single day after placing me for adoption without regret and sadness surrounding our separation. It was only once we were reunited 20 years later that she was able to begin to heal from the tragic loss of her child due to her circumstance.
      “She told us when she placed Max with us, that even if she had a million bucks, she would make the same decision.” I am sure this is comforting to you, however I do not believe this will be comforting to your son. I can only imagine how he would feel knowing this. What were her reasons behind saying that to you? Did she just really not want to have a baby or did she think she was doing a service to you to help you create a family? I am just curious as to why this would be said. It sounds to me like the adoption agency did it’s job in coercing her to truly believe it was the right thing to do without explaining to her the lifelong grief she and her child will suffer due to the decision.
      I am not attacking you just giving you some things to consider.

    • Anonymous | May 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm |

      I can’t speak for my son’s birth mother. It’s really her story to tell. I believe she was saying that emotionally, she did not feel she could parent another child at that time. She said that she knew the second she saw the positive pregnancy test, that she would not be parenting this child. We have biological children too, and simply wanted to open our home to a child in need of a family. Our son’s birth mother called the agency (that offers great parenting classes to girls who want to parent) a few days before his due date. She was looking for a family for her baby. She did not want any counseling. She did not get involved with the agency at all. I think every woman that chooses to place her baby experiences extreme grief and loss. Not all of them regret their decision. Not all of them are coerced into their decision.

    • Her having another child so soon is pretty telling to me.

    • Anonymous | May 2, 2012 at 2:09 am |

      3 and a half years later. She’s come so far in that time and she’ll do great 🙂

  7. Claud, I a SO proud of you. Love you! Peach

  8. Anonymous | May 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |

    Kudos !!! This info really needed to be out of the closet ! I had my daughter in 81 and experienced the same societal suicide on how can a smart girl be so dumb ,everyone telling me what to do,etc.. I also got involved in an adoption agency where they were telling me how wonderful it is to give my baby a family with a mom and dad ,blah,blah,blah, It is funny how the adoption agency was so helpful with finding me a nice family to stay with, clothes, food, getting me to doc appts, EVERYTHING even trips to the ice cream shoppe and the mall to show me I could get a prom dress to go to the prom after my baby had her real family, and what a good thing I was doing. How quick things changed when I started asking them questions on how do I know it is the right choice, what do you mean “real family”, who will tell her about her birth family . how will I feel when I walk out without my baby, who is going to help me after I am not pregnant and I gave my baby away ,where will I live ? I wasn’t comfy with their answers to my questions so I pretended I was still considering adopting till I figured out how to keep my baby and get out of the adoption agency pretend loving, and caring farce. I kept my beautiful daughter .I could never imagine life without her. I know every day of your life without you son was an emotional roller coaster. Was my life easy -no!! Did my family accept my choice -NO !!! Was I alone on the road -YES !! Could your story been mine ? Yes .I think when the girl from the agency said “real family” it just got me thinking they dont care about me they want something I have and they are trying to bait me into giving my baby to them by attacking me quietly with fake love, shelter,food -you know everything you need to survive .How does a 16 yr old give this to her unborn baby when she cant give it to herself.Adoption agencies manpulate your heart , and mind they were not getting my soul .

  9. Anonymous | May 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    Hi I am adopted and not one day goes by that I do not think of my birth mom. I wonder if she thinks about me or remembers giving me up for adoption 28 years ago! The month of April, my birthday month is a depressing month for me- I always wonder if anyone thinks of me as much as I wonder about them or remembers my birthday? I have LOTS of questions and really just want to feel apart of my family or have a family connection! Does anyone out there have any tips or success in finding their birth family members? I am scared but sooooo interested to one day meet the members of my birth family I keep the only picture of my birth mom in the visor of my car

    • Do you have her name or any other identifying info? I know my birthmom thought of me everyday. What I did was contact the lawyer my aparents had that handled the legal part of my adoption and got her name. Then I contacted the agency- CHildrens home and Aid Society- that handled my adoption- they had a lady who searched for me and it took 2 years- they wanted to charge me like $500 but I never did pay it- I don’t know how I wound up not paying it- but they are the ones who seperated us in the first place- it was sort of a sliding scale type thing and they said to pay when I could. They found her and mailed her a letter and she called them and they gave me her phone number and I called her. This all happened on my 20th birthday…. that first phone call. almost 12 years ago. its been a wild ride but i do not regret for one minute knowing her. And yes- I truly believe you are thought of all of the time. My birthday month used to be very sad for me to. Also- start reading these blogs and connecting with other adoptees, there are adoptee support groups online etc- and they can help you through this journey. Hugs to you.

  10. Anonymous | May 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

    This article hit home for me and my mom. I have a sister that was given up for adoption she is older then me by about 2 years. My moms story is similar to some of the stories in this article. She was seventeen and gave birth to a baby girl in one of those girls homes. She wanted to keep the baby she took her home and a couple of days later when she was out shopping with the baby she got home and there was her family and a rep. from the girls home(adoption agency) waiting for her. Her family told her that she had to give the baby up. She had no choice but to give the baby up. I was told about my sister when I was 21. Nobody ever talked about it. My mom went back to the agency a few years ago and signed papers so if her daughter ever went back to find her they could give her my moms information. These past few years have been very hard for my mom especially around the holidays she gets very depressed thinking about what happened to my sister , is she ok? We are working on finding her. I undertsand that because I am the silibing I can find her we have had paper noterizied but we are scared we have questions. What if she dosen’t know she is adopted and it breaks her heart. We don’t want to hurt her or the family that adopted her.

  11. Anonymous | May 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm |

    My son was born Oct 19th, 1983. I was told I was an embarrassment to my family and my church. I was forced to give him up for adoption. I vowed on that day, before I left that hospital without my son, that I would find him. I was sent out of town for the “10 day change your mind” period. I have never gotten over the hatred I have for my aunt who forced this adoption on me. When he turned 18, I started my internet search and was reunited with him. I still have the copy of the adoption paper I signed, saying I was signing it with no problems or others ordering me to do it. Yeah, and as my aunt stood over me, I signed.

    • Anonymous | May 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

      How did you find him using the internet? I am the one who wrote that this article hit home for me and my mom.

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