Rainbow Unicorns and The Mythical Birthmother Who Wants to Relinquish Her Child

Rainbow Unicorns and The Mythical Birthmother Who Wants to Relinquish Her Child

The Tragic Truth About Adoption Relinquishment

“What about the women who really don’t want to parent?”

I get this question a lot. I thought I had written about it before though that post was about the funneling of the adoption agencies , so I’ll take it head on again.

This question is usually posed to me by someone who really believes that some birthmothers just “do not want their babies” or folks who really want to believe that because they want one of those babies. It is also usually in some manner of criticism for speaking out like I do about the evils of the adoption industry and the great need to reform the system, but I’ll take it on face value for shits and giggles.

The answer, in one way, is really very simple.

If, like in my daily pipe dreams, all these issues that I love to go on and on about were solved and adoption had a big wonderful overhaul and if a mother really, really didn’t WANT to parent; THEN SHE STILL COULD RELINQUISH. What’s wrong with making sure a birthmother knows what she is really doing?

No one is being FORCED to Parent an “unwanted” child.

So,  it’s not about taking away her ability to “choose” adoption. It’s about making sure she REALLY has a choice.  The simple fact is that there are many things that a birthmother does not know at all about adoption before it enters her life and without that real information she cannot be making a TRUE CHOICE.

And, as I have stated before, IF we were to make real changes then the adoption rates would decrease; significantly.  Like so significantly that the “demand” for adoptable babies would be out the roof and the wait for infants available for adoption would be fifteen times as long. Like we might need a lottery system to deem who the winning perspective adoptive couple is who gets a real live baby.

Let’s Define “Wanting to Parent”

Accidental pregnancies happen even to well informed, educated people using birth control. Every time a woman has sex with a man, there is a possibility of pregnancy. Birth control failures account for 25% of ALL pregnancies in the US. A full 50% of US pregnancies are unplanned and half of those involved birth control failure. So the unplanned pregnancy is not always a “crisis pregnancy” with plenty of folks rising up and being just fine parenting a child well before they decided they “wanted to parent.”

There is a lot of judgment on the kind of woman who would choose adoption. There is much separation that makes her “different” but it’s wrong. She is just the same as every other person who found herself in that 50% of unplanned pregnancy bracket and for some reason adoption was posed as a solution.

I have discussed my personal objections to many of the common reasons why people say they “aren’t ready to parent” and to help understand why a birthmother might choose adoption for those wrong reasons. Sadly, it is my experience and strong belief that many of the reasons why we, as a society, have been taught to feel adoption relinquishment is good are incorrect. It is often a parroting of the adoption industry message and not based on facts or sound research.

So adoption mythology aside, the simple question to pose to any mother to be considering adoption is “Do you want this child”. Not can you? Not is this baby planned? Not do you have a perfectt life and are “ready” to be the mother of your dreams? Just “DO YOU WANT TO.”

If she says yes, then really anything  that does not help her be the mother that she wants to be is a tragedy.

Separating a Mother and Child for ANY Reason is ALWAYS a Tragedy

Adoption is a legal procedure that does not alter human nature, but does have lifelong complications based on a simple signature. Adoption also affects the child for whom this is supposed to be so great for. I don’t have to tell you about that, the adoptee blogs say it in their own words. . Asking a woman to live with this grief in her life is just inhumane. Knowing that often this pain is lifelong and continues to grow over time is awful. Finding out that adoption could have hurt your child, is even worse.

If there are other options that CAN BE sought BEFORE adoption, then the adoption itself, not matter how happy anyone claims to be, is a tragedy.

I get asked, “What about the mothers who truly aren’t able to parent?”

If we want adoption to really be a good thing, ethical, and used as it should then we have to then ask, ‘What is the obstacle in her way that is making it less than idea for this mother to parent this baby?

It doesn’t even matter what “unable to parent” at this time really means because there is a whole slew of different reasons that can go into it. Working two jobs, an ex who won’t pay child support, a small apartment, one more year before graduation? These are NOT reasons to relinquish a baby. Each and every one of these are temporary issues that can be resolved.

And even if she is dirt poor, homeless and suffering addiction, the fact is. She is STILL a human being who deserves help to get her out of those crisis situations. She does not deserve to have her child removed from her unless that child really IS in danger from HER. Adoption does not save children from abuse.  Here I say the question is: If this mother loses her child to adoption is she STILL in the same situation but without her child? Are we taking the child and leaving the mother in crisis and now with grief as well? Is she not worth saving? Is she not a human being who also deserves more?

Please Stop Saying These Kinds of Birthmothers Exist!

Even if we just look into the mythology of “birthmother privacy” as it is screamed by the adoption machine, we know that facts prove it otherwise. If all these mothers really had just NO interest in parenting their child and no interest in their child, then we would not see the same numbers. And sadly, the many birthmothers that DO speak about how wonderful adoption is and how their choice was made by them and them alone, I don’t believe them all outright. Time and distance have a great way of eroding all the Adoption Kool-Aid.  I don’t say that to be mean, it just has proven over and over to be reality; there comes a time when we begin to understand that the “birthmother rules” we have been taught’ MUST be broken.  The Kool-Aid is survival until we are able to come to that point and accept the reality of what a life of this means.

Most women who relinquish a child WANT that child. And the others who feel they CANNOT parent, just need support!

The fact is no one wants to become a birthmother. If adoption was to change and become a system that was actually about the best interests of the child, then adoption would be the last resort. If adoption was really about finding homes for children that needed homes, rather the people who wanted the children, then adoption would be a last resort and we would not have this conversation. But there is no way in hell anyone is going to be able to convince me that this is the system we are dealing with. Do I believe that there are wonderful lovely people out there who only want the best things and also happen to think that adopting a baby is a good idea? Sure. I will even say that I know many people who are concerned about the issues I write about and really want to be ethical, but accepting “unable” to parent at the rates that we do, is NOT ethical and IS tragic.

ANY mother CANNOT know if she wants her child until after the child is born. And even the biggest issues and most hardened feelings can change when she holds her flesh and blood for the first time. Her goals very well can fade and her child becomes the most important need in her life. The issues and hardships she faces could very well become exactly that; just more of life’s challenges to face and overcome. So if adoption ethical and the laws were set up to preserve the mother and child, then she would be allowed the time to take on these new feelings after birth without having to sign relinquishment papers in the hospital or known she has no time frame to change her mind.

Adoption is a legal procedure that does not alter natural human nature, but does have lifelong complications based on a simple signature. Asking a woman to live with this grief in her life is just inhumane. Knowing that often this pain is lifelong and continues to grow over time is awful.  I understand that there are nice, kind people that just really really want to believe that there are bucket loads of expectant mothers who really do not want their children or that feel good about giving you their babies for whatever reasons I’m sorry, but I do not believe that is true. Does that mean that perhaps you will not be able to have the child you dream of? Maybe and I am sorry about that, but it doesn’t change the facts as I know them.

And if we actually fix adoption, then I do believe that you will see that I am right hopefully, before you contribute to the problem and cause another mother to feel this way for the rest of her life.

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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.

4 Comments on "Rainbow Unicorns and The Mythical Birthmother Who Wants to Relinquish Her Child"

  1. I have so little to add. You said it perfectly. No one is advocating that women be coerced into parenting. It really is about the need for full disclosure. I don’t think there’s a lot of people who truly choose this, either. It’s impossible not to love your baby and want to keep them, especially after birth. Adoption counselors know how to use those feelings to their advantage and it’s terrible.

    • I remembered back in the day in the St.Marys Hospital 9-25-1973 in detail ,it was tattoed on the iside of my brain that the word coercion was new to me .When the stone cold faces of the Adoption Agency made me get up and walk out I would get to see my baby(that was the only lucky thing that happened ,the rest was pure horror,I was told over and over how selfless I was to give my baby-Yeah they said(your baby) !I was petrified of these people ,I felt like I was going to be jailed just because of a comment made by one of the social workers-via baby snatchers.I held my baby but it was so short,they were surrounding me like a tight circle ,maybe the last mother ran with hers.The nuns sure had to pray for what they got themselves into,makes me know for confirmed sure that adoptives were absolutely wrong,claiming to be a real parent and they keep on saying it enough (the baby is mine) ,then thell believe it .They do have mental issues knowing they cannot have children or try to beat Gods order of things and adopt just because they can becoming millions of mommy dearests .Well the truth will let us have freedom. and more.

  2. The whole ‘coercing women to parent’ is all rubbish anyway. It is used by pro-adoption persons/organisations to scare pregnant women into thinking they WANT to relinquish so they avoid being ‘coerced to parent’ whilst unconsciously being brainwashed and coerced into relinquishing. All part of the propaganda machine.

  3. I gave my daughter up for adoption 20 years ago almost to the day. When she turned 18 I went to the Social Service that ‘handled’ the adoption to get the records and reach out to her. To my horror, the open adoption I signed legal paperwork for had been altered somehow to erase the adoptive parents last names. An open adoption keeps the records secret until the child’s 18th birthday and then both parties are supposed to have access to it, which was not the case here. A letter was sent to us stating that ‘the only people with access to the records are the adoptee and her direct DESCENDANTS’ ?!?!?!?! So now what? Well, thanks to Facebook and a lot of researching first names and locations I have found the adoptive parents and my daughter. I messaged the mother first, not wanting to step on toes, and she seems incredibly shocked that I messaged her. We exchanged letters and pictures for the first 6 years of her life and then they dropped off the planet. Her reasoning ‘we felt it was time we move on with our lives and you move on with yours’. Now I’m stuck wondering what the hell they did back then (obviously illegal), what they actually have told her, and I doubt they have even mentioned my attempt of contact in the recent weeks. I want to message my daughter directly, but I have no idea to say. My goal is not to throw her world upside down, but if there is some chance she wants to know me, and know my story I have to try. I am scared she has the false impression that I was some terrible person, and didn’t want to know her, and haven’t tried to know or contact her and that is that farthest from the truth.

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