Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yes, I Gave Up My Baby

I’m a First/Natural Mother, not a Birthmother.

My situation was not a loving, selfless act. It was an act of fear and desperation.

And I did not place my child for adoption . . . I gave him up.

I put my name on a piece of paper that the law viewed as a willing testament to my desire for my son to be separated from me. I placed him in the arms of someone who was a complete stranger to him, allowing another woman he had no bond with at the time to take my place. And then I walked away and left him alone with her, in those precious early days of his life when what he needed most was the sound of my heart beat, my voice. My familiar smell and the comfort of knowing he was loved in my arms.

If that isn’t giving him up, than I don’t know what is.

In our culture, an illusion is created by the adoption industry. A pretty little wrapping they use to try and hide away the darker truths and painful losses that come with separating a mother and her child.

There is no question that those who profit financially from adoption have had many years, decades worth, of study and research and learning on how best to convince a woman that adoption is the answer. The only true light at the end of the dark tunnel she faces in an unexpected pregnancy. They know how to play on her weaknesses. Which fears and insecurities to go after. What works best to show her that loving her child means losing her child.

And after they are done with her, after she has lost the most vital part of herself, she, often times, walks away repeating, as if reading from the same script, exactly what she was told while she was pregnant. Hailing herself on one end by standing proudly on the pedestal they placed her on, declaring she made the loving option by placing her child for adoption. That she gave a great gift to another couple. That she knew she couldn’t be what her child deserved and gave him or her the kind of life she could only wish for them to have.

And yet, on the other end, she is diminishing everything she is as a human being. Denying, as was done to her while pregnant, her own qualities and abilities. She places herself in a position of being “less than” for her own child, her own flesh and blood. Not being good enough, smart enough, educated enough, right enough to deserve to be a mother. Every time she declares that the adoptive parents are better than her for her child, she lowers herself to a level she doesn’t belong, or deserve.

She takes the punishment of her sins, her mistakes. Allows herself and others to see her as “undeserving” of her child because of her failures while casting a glowing light to that couple who did everything right and so deserves the “gift” of her son or daughter.

She was viewed as a failure as a mother before ever being allowed to try and is then encouraged to acknowledge this and praise it. And if she does . . . if she repeats the script, says what is expected, continues to deny her own worth and ability to parent her child while giving all the glory to the couple who had what she believed she could not offer, she is regarded as a saint. Respected for her selfless act. Hailed as a hero. Given love and praise by others in the adoption world for being so brave and wonderful.

As long as she continues to deny her own self worth and proclaims such a traumatic loss was worth it, she remains on the pedestal she was so methodically placed on while she was pregnant.

And it is a powerful drug to be up there. To be seen as such a good “beemommie.” It reaffirms that you did the right thing. That you really weren’t good enough for your own child. That you gave up everything because you recognized and accepted your own failures, mistakes and sins that caused you to be unworthy of being a mother.

It can make you believe that the loss you still feel deep in your heart is worth it. It can cloud the reality of the fact that the loss can, and often does, get worse, not better with time. Chase away the later questions of “Why?” and “How could I?”

Being viewed as a great soul for giving up your child goes far in chasing away the harsher truth of believing you failed at being able to provide your son or daughter with everything they deserve in life. That as a mother, you weren’t capable or able to care for your own flesh and blood. That somebody else was better than you for your own child. Your own baby . . . that part of you that can never be replaced or forgotten.

Somebody else had what you didn’t because they deserved a “gift” and you deserved punishment.

And it makes me so damn angry!

Not at the First Moms who hold on to the top of that pedestal and need that powerful drug to chase away the harsher truths. And not even at those who praise and hail them as wonderful, selfless saints who were so brave to see and accept what failures they were as mothers and lose their child to someone “better.”

No. My anger is at the adoption industry that feeds it into our culture, into every area of our society. It’s their manipulative disgusting ways that anger me, leaving me wanting to scream and yell, pull my hair out and knock my head against a wall.

Because they know what they are doing. They understand fully the importance of keeping a First Mom “happy” with her decision, encouraging others to prop her up and praise her loving sacrifice.

They know the truth. They know the very real risks if a First Mom begins to slip and question what happened. If she starts to look deeper into her experience and face it in a different light.

There is no question in their mind what happens when adoption is talked about in any way outside of their “positive adoption language.” Outside of the very carefully orchestrated counseling they offer. The “sunshine and roses” image they feed into society.

And they are terrified of that. They fear what would happen if more and more people begin to see adoption differently and talk about it in the honest painful truth it is. Because they know it will change everything for them, especially their overflowing, grossly earned profits.

And so they continue to use First Moms and adoptive parents and adoptees and society in general. They feed to us what they want us to believe . . . desperately need us to believe. They do all they can to make sure their illusion withstands all else and is never questioned, especially not by the First Moms who they took so much from before they ever even gave birth.

They still have complete control over so many. They still have the say in what we believe, what we say and how we handle such terrible losses. All so they can continue to profit in the worst of ways.

And what is left with those First Moms who are led to degrade themselves and their own worth in order to keep up the happy illusion of adoption? What happens to them if they begin to realize that they were good enough for their child? That they deserved to be a mother. That nobody was better for their child.

What happens to them when they realize nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . was worth losing their child over? That everything they have, they would gladly and eagerly give back if it meant they could go back and never have to face that moment when they believed loving their child meant losing them?

What happens to them when they slip off that pedestal and begin to see different truths, harder realities that they were encouraged not to acknowledge for so long?

The sad truth is, these moms are failed all over again.

Because if they aren’t happy, accepting of the very painful loss of their child, they are again not good enough, wrong in some way, selfish, bitter, angry . . . whatever adjective you want to label them with. Again they fall to that level of being “bad” when they could be so “good.” And all for the simple fact that they refuse to live any longer in the cloud of belief that dictates they weren’t good enough to be mothers but they could still succeed as long as they behave as good “birthmothers.”

And once they quit doing that, they are again viewed by so many as the same failures they were back when they faced an unexpected pregnancy. Because only First Moms who repeat the same script we all hear over and over again are worthy of respect and love in today’s world. Only they make others feel good about their own situations. Keep up the happy image of adoption. Chase away the truths that linger just below the surface.

First Mom’s who follow the path that is expected from them find that redemption they feel they must have for their actions. Redemption so many have no problem offering them because it justifies their beliefs, their feelings. Gives them an excuse not to look deeper into the reality of separating a mother and child.

Because to actually look past the illusion the adoption industry portrays, gives light to a completely different knowledge that so many fear and know, on some level, makes no sense.

How can it when it involves such a tremendous loss for mother and child? When it makes no sense to see ANYONE happy and grateful for losing a son or daughter, encouraging others to follow in line with the same grief and suffer a lifetime of the same separation? How can it when the statement, “I gave you up because I loved you,” is such a complete contradiction in terms that in any other logic it would never be accepted.

We need to change our way of thinking. We need to change the views we carry and the expectations we place on expectant moms facing an unplanned pregnancies and First Moms who have lost their children.

We need to take the control away from the adoption industry. Refuse to believe what they claim is real and look into our own common sense, our own feelings and knowledge, to understand the true ramifications of adoption.

We need to be honest in everything we say to any woman considering adoption. Forget the “Positve Adoption Language.” Forget adoption plans and loving options.

Those terms represent nothing of the true act of giving your child up for adoption. They offer not even a sliver of the painful truth that actually occurs in believing, or being led to believe, that you are not good enough for your child. In the empty hearts and empty arms First Mom’s walk away with. In the forced situations we place our babies in with those who are strangers to them at the time of separation. And in the very real fact that the loss, the grief, the pain, doesn’t ever fully go away. It might come and go at times. Feel better one year and worse the other. But it never truly leaves a mother who has lost her child and very often grows stronger and more powerful as the years go by and the loss becomes more and more real with no end in sight.

We need to use honest language and refuse to be a part of the manipulative lying terms the industry wants us to use. Not for our benefit but for their own and at the sacrifice of so many wonderful women and children who are a victim to their words and actions.


  1. More honest language:

    "I was forced to surrender my baby for adoption."

    "My baby was taken for adoption and I could not prevent it no matter how hard I tried and wanted to."

    "My baby was stolen, abducted, and kidnapped (especially for those of us who had babies literally ripped from our arms or whisked from the delivery room while we were strapped down prone)."

    "My baby was lost to adoption."

    "I gave up my child for adoption under duress, because i had no other option."

    "I did not choose adoption. The only people with choice were the agency staff and the adoptive parents." They decided they wanted my baby and the only option given to me was to surrender."

    "I surrendered in defeat."

    Our strength and courage lies in speaking out against this, in refusing to give up our love for our babies, in claiming the title of "Mother," and in how we did what we could to try to plan how on earth we would keep our babies when there was no other choice. We are not 'victims,' we are resisters of violence, survivors of a hideous crime.


    2. I fought against two big families and oregon to keep them for seven yrs and nothing i did worked i myself am adopted and was compltly rejected by my adoptive family i was never a addict slut acholic nothing i worked went to school and in the end i lost them to my ex husband and my ex bestfriend who married him his family abused them i am so tired of fighting with them my kids have seen enough my daughter saw her dad rape me and noone helped me the cops noone i now have no family my babies were all i had left so i have allowed my ex best friend to adopt them she is mom has been she has not allowed me to see them at all for many yrs now he wont talk to me she wanted them and me out of the picture so she found many ways to do so i am tired of being in pain as an adptee i feel twice as bad i feel like i failed my kids myself now what i am stuck with is a broken heart and being alone i did it right got married had kids with my husband and ended up devorcing him and my kids taken from me by my own best friend all because i have no family or support to help me i dont trust the government at all i feel cheated of my mother hood not even given a chance i cant have kids i almost died with the ones i have i feel alone and my mind is going i feel so lost

  2. I couldn't agree more Cassi. : ( I see the signs that we desperately need reform. The fact that these disgusting agencies are still in business is horrific.

    I'd love to ruin their business model by creating adequate resources and support for single expectant parents. I REALLY want to put together a mommy mentor network.

  3. Beautiful. Real. Crystalline. Wow!

    I would love to have permission to repost this - under your nic of course - on my blog. If not it's all good - I have to link to you anyway! LOL!

    You say profoundly with patience, respect and love what I wish I could do with as much grace.

    Thank you.

  4. EXCELLENT post! I couldn't agree more.


  5. "I put my name on a piece of paper that the law viewed as a willing testament to my desire for my son to be separated from me. I placed him in the arms of someone who was a complete stranger to him, allowing another woman he had no bond with at the time to take my place."

    This is seriously a kick-ass post.

  6. Cassi... I couldn't read it all. This is heart breaking but a fabulous post that needs to be out there for all to see.

    I will finish reading it when I don't feel like I am as fragile. So far though, its brilliant and alot like something I was mulling over in my own head over the past few days. I might just post a link instead.

    Myst xxx

  7. ***We are not 'victims,' we are resisters of violence, survivors of a hideous crime.***

    Though our laws do not provide us protection, I firmly believe many of us mothers are survivors of a crime against us and our unborn children. In any other form of law, if one were to face the fraud and manipulation that is a part of adoption, they would have the recourse to hold the other party responsible for the crime committed against them. Only in adoption is it not only allowed, but so often accepted, for such acts to be brought upon another human being and for the worst of all reasons, separation of mother and child.

    I think the honest language you listed is exactly what we need to continue to speak out about. It's long past time to stop the, "I did the best thing for my child by placing him in adoption because I love him." and bring the more realistic reasons to light about why women lose their children.

    I had no other choice. I had no support. I was led to believe I wasn't good enough and would fail my child. My child was forceably taken from me . . .

    Those are the real reasons why so many women lose their children and until more people see and understand that we will continue to have a society that views adoption as "choice" without ever realizing how little choice there really is involved.

    How many people do we really know who would ever "choose" to give up their child? To watch another woman raise him or her? To know that they may never be a part of their life again?

    Ask the realistic questions and expect realistic answers in return and I think there is a lot more people could see and learn than what is out there now.

  8. SustainableFamilies -

    I coudln't agree more. One of the ways to combat what the industry feeds into our society is to create more resources and support for women and their children.

    I'm a mommy mentor here in my state for young, single moms and I find some of the most wonderful, caring women who really just want to be the best they can be for their children.

    Here we have a home called Hope House for teenage moms and their babies. They are given housing, job skills, parenting skills and a sense of community between everyone there that encourages them and supports them and gives them the tools and resources they need for themselves and their children.

    I would love to see even more such resources become a fact and have more of an exposure through our media and our common knowledge.

  9. Lori - Repost away.

    Susie and Mei-Ling - Thank you for your kind words! I hope it registers with some who still believe in all that the industry feeds us.

    Myst - I am so sorry you are going through a hard time. I'm here if you need me.

  10. Confused and wonderingDecember 2, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    Okay I see some things I don't exactly agree with and other things I am genuinely confused about.
    You say and I quote, And yet, on the other end, she is diminishing everything she is as a human being. Denying, as was done to her while pregnant, her own qualities and abilities.
    But doesn't adoption in itself show a birthmother her abilities in her being able to put her child first and before herself and her wants. You seem to assume that it's a bad thing and a lack of confidence for a birthmother to place her child for adoption but you don't give any credit to the ones who do because of the good people they are and for their maturity and understanding that its about their baby and about them.
    I guess I don't understand how you can broadly categorize birthmoms as admitting to their own faults and undeserving when they prove the kind of women they are by the simple means of choosing adoption.
    I know my daughters birthmom does not see herself as less than anyone. She has told me on many occasions how happy she is that she made the right choice and how she knows we were the parents meant to be for our daughter. So how can you assume that when she says that she is lowering herself when it is obvious that she is very okay with her decision and doesn't believe at all what you claim here?
    And as for the mention of postive language, I don't believe that it has anything to do with anybody who works in adoption. It is something that we have heard from those who live adoption and what they feel most comfortable with. Maybe you don't feel comfortable with the items of placing your child or being called a birthmother but I dont' see how that means that nobody else should use those terms.
    The very real fact is, atlest in my situation is my daughter's birthmother did make an adoption plan and she did place her child and she did do it out of love. And I am confused and don't understand why you want to deny her those true feelings of hers. How is that right?

    1. You people who talk. Crap about adoption make me sick! I m birthmom who did this out of love for my child. I still keep in touch with him. Don't judge what u think u know about.

    2. This is harsh and very mean for mother who are looking for adoptive parents and researching. I see why many just stick with abortion

  11. Confused and wonderingDecember 2, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    I have to come back because this keeps getting to me when I think about it. we are resisters of violence, survivors of a hideous crime.

    Crime and violence isn't adoption and I take offense to anyone who suggests it is. My daughter didn't become a part of my family through any sort of crime or violence. There was no wrong doings or bad things involved. It was all very legal and very above board.
    I just can't believe anyone would suggest and believe such ridiculous things. You might have latered regretted your decision but to compare that to violence at all is completly wrong and a disservice to the many other birthmothers who did so much for their babies.
    Maybe you should think harder next time before you make such outlandish accusations.
    Sorry because I really didn't want to bring this into the comment section but I really couldn't let go of this that I read.

  12. "Confused" stated "She has told me on many occasions how happy she is that she made the right choice and how she knows we were the parents meant to be for our daughter. So how can you assume that when she says that she is lowering herself"

    Because In order to see you as being "the right choice," she had to first see herself as being "the wrong choice." She had to judge herself as being "unfit" in comparison to you. She had first had to either: (1) judge herself unfit to be a parent and surrender her newborn before CPS judged her to be equally as unfit, (2) NOT want or love her baby and hence legally abandon it, or (3) was somehow coerced or pressured into thinking she had no choice but to surrender. Take your pick.

    Are you familiar with what constitutes coercion, be it financial, physical, social or emotional? Coercion is anything that enforced pressure or persuasion to make someone do what they normally would not do. No mothers normally give away their babies, except those few who truly do not love or want that child. It is the coercion that is the act of violence, and sometimes it is so sugar-coated and insideous that mothers do not even realize until MUCH later that it happened.

    I did not "regret my decision" as there as no decision. The adoption industry gave me NO time to recover from birth with my baby before taking him, and this is necessary first before any informed decision can be made. In the U.K., a mother gets 6 weeks, minimum. There WAS no decision in my case, only coerced surrender and abduction, and you can read the story on my blog. When a minimum of 69% of natural mothers say that they were coerced (usually upwards of 80% depending on the study), this is a huge problem.

    Also, "honest adoption language" was created by adoption agency workers and adoptive parents. Natural mothers and others it is applied to have had to accept it as being unilaterally labelled into them.

    I am not a "birthmother" as I am still the mother of my eldest son and this never ceased, but if you call me a "birthmother," you denigrate me into being nothing more than a breeder, incubator, or walking uterus, a former mother. My son would disagree with you.

  13. Cassi, out of curiosity, if you were to put adverbs in front of these action verbs, what would they be?

    "I put my name ... "
    "I placed him in the arms of ..."
    "I walked away and left him alone ..."

    Example: "willingly," "reluctantly," "happily" "against all my instincts," "in defeat," "with no other alternative," etc.

    How would you describe the amount of choice and willingness you felt you had in whether to do this of your free will or not?

  14. ***But doesn't adoption in itself show a birthmother her abilities in her being able to put her child first and before herself and her wants.***

    In the realm of infant adoptions, how does this show her abilites? She is encouraged to give her child away to another couple, who themselves are thinking about their wants and desires to parent (a very natural desire)instead of being encouraged to put her child first by reaching into her own strengths and abilites to give the best to her child as his or her mother. Isn't it better to let them see how capable they are to put their child first by their own abilites than to show them how putting their own child first means giving them away to someone else who claims to have abilites a First Mom is not encouraged to recognize in herself?

    ***it's a bad thing and a lack of confidence for a birthmother to place her child for adoption but you don't give any credit to the ones who do because of the good people they are and for their maturity and understanding that its about their baby and about them.***

    All I can say here, is that this is exactly the thoughts and beliefs I metnioned in my post. Step back and ask these question from what you know about the effects of losing a child. From what your own common sense tells you about these truths. Do you, in that reality, actually believe these myths the adoption industry creates?

  15. ***I guess I don't understand how you can broadly categorize birthmoms as admitting to their own faults and undeserving when they prove the kind of women they are by the simple means of choosing adoption.***

    Really? So you don't see how everytime a First Mom proclaims couldn't offer her own child what he or she deserved and that she gave a gift to another couple who could give everything she could not is, in fact, a very real abuse to her own self-worth, and the base of how she feels about herself?

    You don't see how First Moms are expected to degrade themselves, lower themselves to a level below the adoptive parents, in order to be able to say adoption is what her child deserved?

    To me it seems obvious how such statements take a First Mom down in the worst of ways. If she believes you were best for her daughter, than she believes she wasn't, and how is that something any one of us can accept from any mother? And how is it right to accept and encouraged such self discriminating thoughts?

    ***The very real fact is, atlest in my situation is my daughter's birthmother did make an adoption plan and she did place her child and she did do it out of love. And I am confused and don't understand why you want to deny her those true feelings of hers. How is that right?***

    Yes, that would be the "real" fact for your experience but I am not about to jump on board and believe, without question, that it is the same experience your daughter's First Mom would admit to if she still wasn't in that belief of having to be a good "Beemommie" to be accepted and liked and in the restriction of, perhaps, not feeling confident enough to share with you, or most others, her true feelings, as doing so could cost her so much . . . worst of it, her contact with her child.

    If she told you that she believed that she actually should have kept her child and that she was the best parent for her what would you say? If she said she had come to realize her biggest mistake was givng up her child when she has come to realize she was the most important person her daugher needed, how would you react?

    If she showed you any feelings of pain and loss and regret, would you be okay with that? Would you be able to handle the situation if her beliefs changed to the point where she came to realize she was actually the best mother for her child and she no longer believes she should have given her up to you?

    How would that hit you? Would you still be as open and willing with her? I honestly don't know, since I don't know you personally, but I am curious, as you claim she is telling you how she feels, if such differing emotions from you would change your mind?

  16. ***Cassi, out of curiosity, if you were to put adverbs in front of these action verbs, what would they be? ***

    In truth it is hard for me to answer this because I struggle with what adverbs to use.

    In my description of my situation it would be a contradiction in the fact that, on the outside I did have choice in support from my family and knowledge that my son and I would not go without anything. But on the other end, I was restricted from accepting that choice as it was presented to me as my being selfish and my parents not respecting my mature, grown-up decision.

    At 16, I walked into the adoption agency honestly having no clue what I wanted to do. I just simply was not in the state of mind to make any decision. I was so numb that I went along with what I was told the moment I walked into the agency on the belief they would help me decide what was best for my son and I. So when they presented adoption as the best option, and calmed my fears by offering an "open" adoption, I trusted them in that state of mind I was in to know what was best.

    So how do I describe that? How do I put into words the fact that these so-called "counselors" who I trusted looked at my situation as an only child, spoiled brat, who had never been without the support of her family, had lots of friends backing her up and did not have to worry about struggling to keep and support her child, decided the best thing for my child would be to give him up.

    And yet, even with that, I believed what they told me, that I would put my child at risk of ever accomplishing anything in his life. That he would suffer because I was young and single and that it was unfair to even expect my parents to help me out.

    I believed that while I was pregnant. I believed, even with all I had to offer my son through the support I had, that I still wasn't what he deserved.

    But I can look back and see how I believed it on a level that didn't exactly understand what was going to happen when I gave birth. I didn't understand how that would afect me. I had lived such a life of being "taken care of" by my family that I didn't have anything to actually give me a reality to what I was going along with and agreeing too.

    It really wasn't until I gave birth to my son that I can honestly say what I would have "chosen" meant nothing. Because my choice would have been to keep him. That was what I wanted. I remember holding him in the hospital and being unable to even imagine giving him away to someone else. At that point, it just didnt' even seem real that I would leave the hospital without him because I couldn't imagine doing so.

    But I did and I did with my own actions of walking into the nursery and placing him myself into his adoptive mom's arms. I did without ever speaking out or telling anyone I wanted to keep him. That I didn't want to give him up for adoption and had never truly realized what it meant until that moment . . .

  17. . . . At that point, I didn't feel as if I would be a bad mother for my child, but I felt like a terrible monster for hurting his adoptive parents in that way and imagined everyone would again think of what a terrible person I was if I hurt their feelings.

    They had already chosen his name - I didn't - and his adoptive mom was in the delivery room when he was born and she and his adoptive father and his aunt and uncle and adoptive grandparents all visited the hospital in the three days my mom actually paid extra for so that I could have more time with my son. Flowers were sent to my room for his adoptive mother with congratulations to her for being a new mother and I was given a locket from her in thanks for her son.

    And back then I had no idea what I was going through. I didn't know that my situation was one that was planned on, hoped for. All I knew was I felt terrible for even thinking of hurting the feelings of this couple who already saw my son as theirs and afterwards, hated myself intensely for actually giving my son away becaue of someone else's feelings.

    So, I don't know how you can pull adverbs out of that. Maybe from the outside, looking in, you can find the right ones that fit the situation. I would love it if you could since this is an area I would like to understand more as well instead of living with questions and uncertainty that still weigh me down even after all that has happened in the past year.

    Sorry, Cedar, that I couldn't give you a more direct answer. I did try and thought about it before answering but I couldn' come up with anything that sounded right for the beginning of those statements.

    1. OMG exactly as my parents made me feel when I handed my beautiful baby girl over when I was 15 and I tried desperately to get them to change their minds :(

  18. Unfortunately, the well-meaning adoptress who made comments on this entry, and the mother of the child that the adoptress is raising, have drunk the proverbial adoption kool-aid. They must indeed believe the lies of the adoption industry or else the mother would be asking for her child to be returned to her. As many adopters do, this particular one is speaking for the supposed feelings of the mother of the child that she took and calls that child her "daughter," even though that child is no more her daughter than she is my daughter.

    Led by the billion dollar adoption industry and the social workers that it employs, adopters tend to believe that even though adoption is a complex situation, that the adoptee's real mom feels just dandy with losing her child, and that everything was done with that horrid phrase: "in the best interest of the child." The child's best interest, of course, is for the mom to nurse the child. Did this adoptress allow the mom to nurse her baby, as nature intended? If this act was not done by the mother, the mom and child suffered immensely. However, denial is an extremely powerful tool and moms who've been sold the lies--especially the lie of "what you did is SO much better than an abortion: you saved a child and gave a gift!" as if we adoptees are simply presents to be exchanged--these moms have an especially difficult time facing reality, although they may well seem perfectly normal on the outside. The adoptee has and will also suffer, as every child does who was separated from his or her parents as an infant. If the mom of the adoptee were to ask for the child back and the child were to want to go, would the adoptress be expected to give up the child as easily as the mom supposedly did?

  19. Cassi wrote: "I felt like a terrible monster for hurting his adoptive parents in that way and imagined everyone would again think of what a terrible person I was if I hurt their feelings"

    This is truly one of the most blatant and evil forms of coercion I have ever read about. And it happens hundreds if not thousands of times per year, over and over again.

    They were there at your child's birth, not even giving you the decency and privacy of having this precious event to yourself.

    They did not give you any chance to recover from the birth. They could have told the agency "No, tell her to call us in two months if she's still considering adoption." But they knew that if you took your baby home with you, with no pressure from them, you would likely keep your baby. And they did not want that to happen, as they wanted your baby.

    You had already been introduced to them such that you would feel they were better than you, deserved your baby, and that you could not bear to hurt them.

    The agency KNEW that if they promised an open adoption and had these procedures in place -- a pre-birth match and meeting -- that this would drastically increase the pressure on you to surrender and you would.

    Open adoption -- only introduced, after much research, to get more babies to market.

    I can email you copies of the studies.

    Plus the agency withheld information from you. VITAL information about the damage to mothers and to adoptees. What they knew and did not tell you. So they forced a non-informed consent from you.

    You were only 16, and of course you believed the professionals and people in positions of trust. There was no way you could know that this industry had already many years of research on how to work on you to get your baby.

  20. Cassi wrote: "I don't know how you can pull adverbs out of that. Maybe from the outside, looking in, you can find the right ones that fit the situation. I would love it if you could"

    From the experiences you describe, this is what I read:

    "Convinced I had no other choice, I put my name on papers I did not want to sign. The ability to choose had already been removed from me by the agency and their procedures."

    "In a state of dissociation and numbness, separating my mind out of the trauma, I placed him in the arms of ... because I felt I had no other choice. I felt I would be evil if I hurt them by keeping him."

    "In a state of utter despair, hopelessness, and numbness, I walked away and left him alone ..."

    In "The Mother Machine" by Gena Corea, Harper & Rowe 1985

    " Emotional coercion can be every bit as powerful as physical coercion. The law has always recognised that coercion need not involve physical force, as psychiatrist Willard Gaylin points out... 'Economic loss, social ostracism, ridicule, are all recognised by law in varying contexts as coercive forces because in a social animal the need for approval and acceptance will almost always be equated with its very survival', Gaylin wrote. To the unconscious, he continued, death can be seen as isolation, loss of love, rejection from the family group, or social humiliation... 'People may resist the notion that emotional coercion can be as powerful as physical coercion, Gaylin observed, because it threatens our belief that we are logical, autonomous and in control of our actions.' "

    How do these sound?

    Nevermind that you did not get any chance to recover first from birth before any "decision." That invalidates any freedom-of-choice right there. Even social worker Oral Pendleton in 1940 said that mothers should get several months after the birth in which to make this decision!

  21. "It is something that we have heard from those who live adoption and what they feel most comfortable with."

    What about those who HAVE lived adoption and do not like the Position Adoption Language terms?

    Are we somehow less valid simply because of disagreement?

  22. Confused and wonderingDecember 3, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    I've gone back and read some of the past posts here and I will do my best to stand by the wishes of the blog owner, Cassi, and be respectful in my response and questions.

    But that is hard to do when I come here and read somebody use a degrading term like adoptress. Why would anyone pick such a word for another human being? I thought I had heard everything I could possibly think of until I read this term used in response to me and I just can't believe anyone would be so cruel as to do that to another person.

    And for Cedar, you say, Because In order to see you as being "the right choice," she had to first see herself as being "the wrong choice." She had to judge herself as being "unfit" in comparison to you. She had first had to either: (1) judge herself unfit to be a parent and surrender her newborn before CPS judged her to be equally as unfit, (2) NOT want or love her baby and hence legally abandon it, or (3) was somehow coerced or pressured into thinking she had no choice but to surrender. Take your pick.

    Is it not possible that you are making assumptions about how my daughter's birthmother feels. Aren't you assuming that she feels bad about herself and that she failed when it is possible that choosing adoption is exactly what makes her feel good about herself and shows her exactly the kind of good mother she is to my daughter?

    I don't see the logic in believing that her being happy that her daughter went to a loving, caring home that did have the ability to provide what she recognized she could not means that she sees herself as any worse of a person. Shouldn't she see herself in high regards because she understood that it was about her baby and not about her and was responsible enough to make a decision past her own wants and think only about my daughter first?

  23. Confused and wonderingDecember 3, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    And I have more to say to Cassi and MeiLing but I have to go pick up my daughter and take her to gymnastics so I will come back and respond later.
    And I hope I have kept this respectful even though I disagree with what is said here in so many areas.

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  25. Confused wrote, "...choosing adoption is exactly what makes her feel good about herself and shows her exactly the kind of good mother she is to my daughter?"

    I'm in agreement with Myst that adoption is unnatural. Adoption is a man-made perversion of our natural instinct to nurture and raise our children. It is not natural for any mother to walk away from her offspring, instinct demands that we care for our babies. Adoption forced us to suppress this natural instinct - that's why so many natural mothers who lost babies to adoption suffer from depression, unresolved grief, PTSD, etc.

    Calling it "good mothering" to give up a baby is very twisted logic that was created by adoption agencies.

  26. "I don't see the logic in believing that her being happy that her daughter went to a loving, caring home that did have the ability to provide what she recognized she could not means that she sees herself as any worse of a person."

    But you see, in your words, she "did not have the ability to provide" "a loving caring home" for her baby. You did. Thus, somehow she believed she was unfit to be a parent, compared to you.

    I am curious: what was it that prevented her from being able to provide these for her child: AS it literally a lack of love and care for her baby? Or, was it that she lacked the financial security, resources, and support that she would have required?

    In many cases, it all comes down to the details of the specific reasons "why."

  27. Adopters (and adoptresses) are people who adopt, just as writers are people who write and waiters and waitresses are people who wait tables. For Confused to call herself her adoptee's mother tells me that she doesn't respect the natural family relationship. I understand that lots of adopters don't like what I, and many moms and adoptees, have to say. I also understand that after being fed the adoption propaganda from this billion dollar industry, it's difficult for adopters to see themselves as who they really are, and it is certainly not the mother (or father) of the children they adopt. Those of us who are pro-natural family don't like to do the whole pretend family thing that adoption proliferates. Having lived with adoption lies for much of my life, it is extremely freeing to use truthful adoption language and to see the truth behind the adoption industry. It is sad that adopters are often so hurt and angry by the truth that they do not want to read what we have to say. I admire Confused for at least reading this blog.

  28. ", it's difficult for adopters to see themselves as who they really are, and it is certainly not the mother (or father) of the children they adopt"

    Hey... hey... watch it... @_@

  29. ". . .it's difficult for adopters to see themselves as who they really are, and it is certainly not the mother (or father) of the children they adopt."

    Will let DD know this and get back to you. The last suggestion we ran across--that she address me at all times as Miss Pegis--was greeted, I am forced to report, with some skepticism.

  30. ***it's difficult for adopters to see themselves as who they really are, and it is certainly not the mother (or father) of the children they adopt***

    Ouch. That hurts.

    I wonder, Thinking Mama, would it be a more accurate statement to put "the FIRST/NATURAL mother(or father) of their children?"

    I do agree that the adoption industry still likes to feed the message that adoption is "as if" born to and that there are still some who carry this belief and do find it difficult to accept that they are parents through adoption, not through birth, and try to live in the illusion that there is no difference and that they are the "one and only" mother and father to their children and ignore the fact that, no matter what the siutation, their children did have a mother and father before them and that they can't just "replace" them and believe that they are the only parents their child has.

    It's not a who is better than who on the parenting ladder, it is just a fact that does seem to often get discouraged through what the adoption industry feeds into our society. I do agree that they are known for encouraging adoptive parents to view themselves as being everything to their adoptive children, including the "as if" born to and creating the illusion that they can be "paper pregnant" and go through post-partum depression and breast feed and do everything so it is "as if" they were the ones who nurtured and carried their child for nine months. Whose voice and scent and heartbreat their child knew before ever being born and who they trusted from the moment they entered this world.

    It is there where I agree, they can never be that and some do find it difficult to accept that. They are mothers and fathers, or at least I know my son's adoptive mother is his, even still now with us adopting him back, but it is wrong to do whatever you can to carry around the belief that it is just "as if" the child was born to you and that so makes it okay to negate the mother who was there in the very beginnings of his or her life or to believe, even worse, that you are her.

  31. Thinking Mama, I know that you do not consider the people who adopted you to be a mother and father to you, and I respect that. But is it respectful to other adoptees who do consider the people who adopted them to be their parents, to blanketly dismiss all adoptive parents as being parents? I am pro-natural-family and anti-adoption myself, you have known me for many years. But I feel we have to leave the door open to respecting the feelings of adoptees -- and yes even those people who previously adopted and who now realize the truth about the industry and are fighting on our side. In some cases their cooperation is the only way the natural mother is ever going to get her child back again.

    I do not have a problem with them calling themselves adoptive parents, or for people who are adopted to consider them to be parents, as long as they do not insult and denigrate me by calling me a "birthmother" and implying they are the *only* parents. For adoptive parents to see that the natural parents are really truly parents as well is, all things taken into account, the best result. That is why I included the term "adoptive parents" in "Honest Adoption Language" when I first developed it, as being a perfectly acceptable term. We cannot deny the emotional and social reality of most adoptees, that the people who adopted them are also parents, mothers, fathers to them.

  32. ***How do these sound?***


    I think all three of those fit.

    Mental coercion, I think, is something that is hard for others to imagine unless they have been there and faced it themselves.

    Even I, didn't have a concept on what happened to me. I spent many years unable to find anything that made any sense for what happened during that time. It's hard to describe what it is like to come out of that kind of experience and not understand what happened or why.

    It wasn't until I started finding things like the studies and writings you have available and others experiences and the words of the adoption industry itself, that I realized what happened to my son and I.

  33. That is the reason why I firmly believe we need to make a point of using the honest adoption language, like what you created. Because it might be hard for someone to understand how mental coercion happens, but it does, it exists and there is a lot of power in what is said to a pregnant mom who feels weak and frightened and is in the state of mind where she is more easily a victim to such coercion.

    What might not sound like much of a big deal to someone who isn't in a crisis situation or hasn't faced those moments of weakness, can truly be very powerful and convincing to another woman who is facing a situation she feels she has no power over.

    I can't stress enough how harmful mental coercion is and the effects it leaves forever on someone. It is a situation I would never even wish on my worst enemy.

  34. ***But that is hard to do when I come here and read somebody use a degrading term like adoptress. Why would anyone pick such a word for another human being?***


    I do not use the term adopters or even PAPs because it has been brought to my attention by other adoptive moms that they do not like these terms and find them disrespectful and as I am asking for others to respect me, I also need to return that respect.

    You ask the question how could anyone pick such a word for another human being and that is my opinion on the term birthmother as well. How could anyone find it okay to degrade me or any other mother to the term of being nothing more to my child other than giving birth.

    And so in that term, I wonder, when you take offense to the terms that you view as disrespectful, do you then understand that so many of us find the term birthmother just as disrespectful? You read my post so my feelings were clear on my opinion of birthmother and yet you have continued to use that term here while taking offense at a term that you find disrespectful.

    I do believe respect is a two way street and perhaps if we practiced it more we would all be better off in the long run.

  35. Confused and wonderingDecember 5, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    Even thouhg htere is more things I do have a problem with, I do want to say Thank You for this blog because of the how you do try to keep it respectful and let us all talk if we want to.
    I have been to other blogs and haven't bothered to ever go back a second time because it gets so mean that I can't stand to be there. This is one of the few that I will actually continue to visit because I am learning and because of the way so many of the comments here are handled even when they aren't such good ones.

  36. Confused and wonderingDecember 5, 2009 at 4:02 PM

    Cassi you are right completely. I didn't think at all about using birthmother and if I am honest it wasn't something I cared about one way or the other. Now I can see better what you mean because I did not like what I was called while continuing to call you and other women here something that you believe to be disrespectful. That is a good lesson to learn.
    So if first mom what you prefer? Or is there another term that you and others are more comfortable with? And I wonder about my daughters first(?) mom and if she prefers something else as well.
    Cassi and Cedar I can understand where you are coming from in your comments about my daughters first(?) mom might feel as if she has to look at herself bad in order to choose adoption but for me, and my experience, I see it in a different way because I see that she does feel good about herself because she does feel as if she was good for my daughter by realizing she couldn't provide everything and being able to do what needed to be done.
    And I don't want to go into a whole lot into her reasons for why she chose adoption but the little I do feel comfortable with sharing I think is very acceptable and understandable.
    She didn't have anyone to support her because her mother is no longer in the picture and her dad is the one paying her college and he told her he wasn't willing to keep doing that and he also wouldn't give her any help if she kept her baby. She is a full time student so she didn't have any money and she lived in the dorm where she wouldn't be able to stay if she kept her baby so she would have been homeless and had no way to support herself and her baby.
    So she didn't think she would be a bad mom and I don't think anybody made her feel that way. She just knew she wouldn't have any way of even having a place for her and her baby to live and knew she could not raise my daughter that way. Not because she was bad in any way. Just because that is how it was at that time.
    So that is why I don't find it so easy to believe her belieiving adoption for my daughter is a good thing is anything but exactly that. Because it isn't about how bad she was and is only about what she couldn't do at that time in her life. That's it. She is still good and I think she realizes that too.

  37. Confused and wonderingDecember 5, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    Mei-ling you said, Are we somehow less valid simply because of disagreement?
    No I don't this it is less valid and I have realized now about the birthmother but I'm not sure about the other things that are said in the positive languange you are talking about because I have never known that anyone actually disliked this way of speaking and everyone I have ever met before this was fine with it.
    I guess my concern is changing everything to please a few instead of listening to the majority and what they desire. It just would seem more rational not to make changes for every time someone takes offense but I can also see now that htere are times when we can make changes ourselves. Which I am trying to do.
    Myst you said, One day, if she allows herself to be honest with the deepest parts of herself, she will come out of the fog of adoption. Given enough time to think for herself. she will realise how abnormal and unnatural it is for her to have placed her baby for adoption. And it almost seems like you are expecting this will happen and that you aren't giving my daughter first(?) mom any choice to think on her own and are assuming she will someday think adoption is such a bad thing.
    But if the situation was positive for her and something she really wanted to do I can't believe that will happen to her and I a believe it was a positive situation for her and that she will be okay with it.
    It isn't like we cut her out of our lives or that she has no contact with my daughter. We talk through email and text message and I always send her letters and pics and have a account set up online just for her to see my daughter anytime she wants with the current pictures I put there.
    We also have visits and so she gets to see everything as my daughter grows and know that she is doing okay and is happy and still be able to be in her life too.
    With all of that I just can't see her ever coming to a point where she feels like adoption was a bad thing for her. Not when all the steps have been taken to make it a good thing for everyone involved.

  38. Confused and wonderingDecember 5, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    I now feel like I am taking up way to much of the space here and I'm sorry but I have so much I want to reply to and this comment bar only allows so many words so I have to keep sending and answering again. I hope that is okay.
    Maybe you say that calling adoption good mothering is wrong but I don't agree with you because the part of being a mother is putting your child first before even yourself and that is exactly what my daughter's first(?) mom and other first (?) moms have done. They have been good mothers because they chose adoption and provided their child with what they wanted them to have. Yes it might be hard to admit to yourself that you aren't able at the time to be the one to offer that to your child but that is part of what mothering is to recognize where you can or cannot do for your child what they deserve and instead do whatever it takes to give them that. I just keep failing to see how that is a bad thing or how that makes any first(?) mom feel bad about themselves.

    And as for the other comment that suggests we aren't parents to our daughter I find that I am better off to say little about it instead of letting go about my full opinion on that one. I know I am my daughters mother and I don't have any question about that and I don't think most other people do either.
    She loves me and I love her and that is what parenting and motherhood is about.

  39. Confused and Wondering: Someone in real life that I know gave up a child. The reason being: the parents weren't supportive. There are other factors that go into it but it's really her story so I won't give out the details.

    This mother who gave up her child truly believes it was the best thing she could have done -at the time-, and after hearing her side of things, I would agree that adoption had been the best option THEN.

    Still, though... she has NEVER EVER gotten "over it."

    She gave up a child because it was the right thing to do, given the circumstances. Not because she wanted to, but because there was truly no other choice.

    She has also been through reunion.

    And funnily enough, she says it still hurts like hell.

    Just because something is "right" doesn't mean it stops hurting or that you "get over it."

    It's like that saying in Fugitive Visions: (non-verbatim) "There are those who brush off corruption in adoption, who like to believe that if something wrong is done often enough or given enough time, it eventually becomes right."

    Uh, no.

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  41. "She loved you so much she gave you up."

    Logic = FAIL.

  42. So are there no agencies who truly counsel with mothers to help them see how they can KEEP their children? (we have friends who run a place called The Restoration House in Knoxville TN with this purupose...to help single Moms to keep their children and find a way to provide for themselves and their kiddos)
    Is it really true that the great greed for money drives human beings to counsel mothers to give up their own child when they do not have to? (some times situations do not allow a mother to keep her child...such as when mother is going to prison or dying of AIDS...like so many in other countries)
    I am sick to think that the FIRST thing a licensed counselor would suggest is adoption.
    While the average 16 year old may not make what we think of a picture perfect mother, she IS the mother regardless of her age and the decision to reliquish a child still hurts when that 16 year old is 36. You don't stay 16 forever!Surely, surely there are places for young mothers to turn to where they will be encouraged on how it is POSSIBLE for them to parent their own child?
    All that you have written about just confirms my own personal resolution to never adopt an infant. I realize that we do disagree greatly on adoption. I do view adoption as a blessing...of course I have not been on the losing side of that so it is easy for me to see things that way. Our son was no infant when we met him though he had been an orphan since he was a few days old. Nothing I can or could do would have placed him back with his mother and father...although there needs to be a change in his birth country to keep more children and parents together. His parents were only allowed ONE child by LAW and perhaps they risked a forced abortion just to give him life. We will probably never know.
    His natural mother is never far from my thoughts. I can't imagine the load she carries in her heart and how I wish I could reach out to her...but it is impossible. We have NOTHING to go on.
    I just wanted to stop in and tell you that while it really is hard to read some of your posts and especially the comments, they really have given me a new perspective and I appreciate it.
    Adoption really is not all that I had it dreamed up to be in my "happy little world" and I am deeply disturbed that so many mothers are alive and well and NOT parenting their own children because of lies and guilt.
    Keep speaking up. You ARE making a difference.

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  44. "Confused," you are NOT taking up too much space. You are raising some good points that likely other adoptive parents believe as well, especially if the only information they have heard is from the adoption industry. They may still believe the "whitewashing."

    You state "She didn't have anyone to support her because her mother is no longer in the picture and her dad is the one paying her college and he told her he wasn't willing to keep doing that and he also wouldn't give her any help if she kept her baby. She is a full time student so she didn't have any money and she lived in the dorm where she wouldn't be able to stay if she kept her baby so she would have been homeless and had no way to support herself and her baby."

    Thank you for this information. As you state: The mother of this child didn't have any money, would have been homeless, and had no way to support her child.

    Remember when I explained (above) that in order for her to see herself as unfit and surrender her baby, 1 of 3 situations had to occur:

    (1) judge herself unfit
    (2) abandoned her baby due to not loving or wanting it
    (3) somehow be coerced into surrendering

    The details you provide re the situation of your child's natural mother clearly indicate #3: She was coerced. Financial coercion most definitely -- she was denied the resources she needed to keep her baby (human rights violation as well). If she met you pre-birth and in fact pre-surrender, then there is the likelihood of emotional coercion (e.g., meeting you influenced her decision to surrender as she bonded with you and trusted you). Definite emotional and financial coercion from her father (rejection, disapproval, he won't help her), lack of informed consent (was she able to recover from birth first, at least 6 weeks, before considering signing?). Plus I wonder if the agency explained the known risks of permanent emotional/psychological damage? Likely not as agencies seldom do, meaning this also voids informed consent.

    Homelessness is not a "choice." The same way that dire poverty, death, abuse, or illness are not choices for a mother. If a mother is left between these impossible consequences and surrendering her child, then she has been given no choice. Unfortunately, adoption agencies intentionally portray this as a "choice," when in fact no choice has ever occurred. This is because the truth of what they are doing, reproductive exploitation, just too horrific.

    Are you familiar with human rights? In 1948, due to horrors of WWII including families being torn apart, civilized nations agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Articles 16 and 25:

    "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State... Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control... (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection."

    Therefore she was entitled to services that protected her and her baby's right to be together. Including being provided with housing, medical care, food clothing etc. These are human rights -- hers were violated when she was denied these rights. And, as government denied her rights, she was left vulnerable to exploitation. This is both unethical and immoral.

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  47. Trying To See Your PointDecember 9, 2009 at 6:04 AM

    I am sorry, but your post still leaves me with the question between the difference of Birthmother and First/Natural Mother.

    I mean, you did give birth to your child... so you are a birthmother.

    And calling yourself natural mother is odd to me. So someone not biologically linked to their child can't be a natural born mother? Some of the best "naturals" at being a mom are not even their child's biological mother.

    So, while you are seeking a PC term to make you feel comfortable with your decisions, I would suggest you are a "biological" mother to your son. Not a birth or natural or even first mom (implying that moms can come and go with numerical titles diminishes the worth of the 9 long months you carried your child).

  48. "I mean, you did give birth to your child... so you are a birthmother."

    LOL. So did my next-door neighbour. (Her kids are biologically-related to her)

    So should I be calling her a birth-mother, too? She DID give birth, after all.

    "First mother" just indicates the chronological order - it doesn't mean the "importance" of.

  49. "So, while you are seeking a PC term to make you feel comfortable with your decisions, I would suggest you are a "biological" mother to your son"

    Don't tell people what to call their own children. If they want to be called their child's other mother, then that's their perspective, no?

  50. So, while you are seeking a PC term to make you feel comfortable with your decisions

    ... Wow. Nice little dig you put in there "comfortable with my decisions." There is no term that can ever make me comfortable with my decisions, because I didn't make a decision and comfort is far from anything I feel from my experience in losing my son.

    I would suggest you are a "biological" mother to your son. Not a birth or natural or even first mom (implying that moms can come and go with numerical titles diminishes the worth of the 9 long months you carried your child).

    Nope, to me I don't feel it diminishes anything as I am my son's first mother. I am the first one in his life who carried him for nine months. Who cared for him, nurtured him, loved him. It was my voice, my scent, my heartbeat he knew first. It was my arms he slept in first, my breast he cuddled against. I was, and always will be, the FIRST mom he ever knew and nobody and nothing can ever change that.

    The "titles" I use only exist here in writing about adoption because in my son's life, he has two moms and so it is necessary to clarify which mom I am talking about. In real life, I'm just mom to him. No titles or added meaning. Just plain old mom like I am to the rest of my children.

    Thanks for your suggestion on the biological mother, but I will be staying with First and/or natural mother, or just plain and simply "mom."

  51. Holly,

    I am so glad you ventured back.

    There are organizations and non-profits that do exist to help a mother and child stay together but they aren't usually associated in any way with adoption or adoption agencies. Though there are some agencies that are more ethical than others, I don't believe any one of them is truly concerned with helping a mother and child stay together.

    The one you mentioned, is it affiliated with adoption in any way? Or is it more like the non-profit that I mentioned in an earlier comment, Hope House, that helps teenage moms and their children and has absolutely NOTHING to do with adoption. I'd be interested to learn more about it if you come across any links you could provide.

    And I do understand where you view adoption as a blessing and I don't think it is wrong for you to have those personal feelings. For you, you were blessed with your son in your life. That is fact and you shouldn't be expected not to be happy and loving and blessed.

    But the difference I see in your strength and in some others fears is that you don't carry that inot your belief that all parts of adoption are a blessing. You understand the loss your son and his first parents went through and you don't sound like the type of person who would tell them to feel "blessed" by that. And I even hear you own heart break when you speak of his situtaion and what happened to him and his first parents so you aren't blindly saying adoption is a blessing to everyone involved.

    I would not ever want you to not be happy and blessed with your family. I want you to love and cherish your little boy with all your heart. And it's obvious you do while still being able to listen and learn from others and their experience without trying to discredit or disregard their own feelings.

    For that, Thank You. I always believe it is the strong and confident mothers who can open their minds to learn from one another from all sides of adoption.

  52. "Trying To See Your Point" wrote:

    " I am sorry, but your post still leaves me with the question between the difference of Birthmother and First/Natural Mother... I mean, you did give birth to your child... so you are a birthmother."

    You are missing the point.If you give birth, you are a mother. The term "birthmother" was coined by the adoption industry to mean that a woman who loses a child to adoption is NOT a mother past the act of birth. It is like calling someone an incubator. It denies the mother-child love or bond continues past this act. It reduces a woman into being nothing more than a set of reproductive organs.

    This is why many of us find the term "birthmother" to be offensive. It was never coined by, or for, natural mothers. It was coined to denigrate us into being useful only as baby-production units, to be discarded and forgotten once the industry has taken our babies, as our only use in the eyes of this industry is to produce a baby for its customers.

    As a "birthmother" is not a mother, many of us are refusing to be called by this term. According to my eldest son, who calls me "Mom," I never ceased being his mother when the adoption industry separated us.

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  54. Trying To See Your PointDecember 10, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    OMG, really? I was really trying to understand. I did not intend to "dig" on anyone.

    As an adoptee, I am, myself, trying to make sense of this whole process.

    Calm down. Jumping on someones innocent question makes you (general you) seem like bitter women.

  55. ***OMG, really? I was really trying to understand. I did not intend to "dig" on anyone.***

    Trying To See Your Point,

    I'm sorry. I think one of the problems that we face is that feelings don't translate over the computer screen so sometimes what we say in one context can be taken in another way we never intended.

    If you are just trying to learn and understand, then I can understand getting frustrated for simply asking questions.

    I hope you won't let it chase you away from your continued learning and asking. Perhaps next time around we will start on better footing and I will try to remember myself to realize that you don't always get the true meaning behind what is said when you read it here in the comments section.

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  57. http://therestorationhouse.net
    It is NOT about adoption and ALL about helping single mothers MAKE it with their child or children!!
    MORE...we need MORE of these!!!

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  59. Thank you for this post. I have saved it for if EVER..and it is not likely ever that my parents or sibs will really want to know the truth of the surrender and loss of my first born son from our family.

    Your know it really doesn't matter. Your words help me.

    My family remains koolaid intoxicated.


  60. Wow. I was sent this link, by my sister who has watched me struggle with the emotions of losing my daughter 21 years ago. She and I have started a relationship, rocky as it might be at times.

    The moment she was born, and I heard her first cry, I know it was wrong to not keep her with me. I knew it.
    I had the emotional -imagine how the parents would feel-... And I remember someone, no idea who, saying how horrible it would be, for me to do that to them.

    It has taken me a long time, and reading this, to be able to say.. so what? so what about how it would have made them feel? What about how this is making ME feel? What about feeling like part of me just died? What about the feelings that NEVER go away? No one ever tells you about that. The things you tell yourself to get through those first moments, those first breaths without your child.

    I spent years telling myself that I did a great thing. that I gave these people the chance to be parents. That they would not have had this chance without me. I lied to myself a lot.

    I see my daughter struggling with emotions she has no idea of how to deal with. She has issues of being abandoned. Although she denys it. I denied those feelings for a long time myself... And I feel powerless to help her. She wont talk about them, denies having them. But, I can see she is in pain... And there is nothing I can do to take it away. And that is a horrible feeling.

    I know that the people that adopted her love her. They tried for such a long time to have children of their own. they are nice people. Caring people. And I know they experienced anxious feelings the first time my daughter called me.

    However. I am the one that felt her having the hiccoughs when she was growing inside me. Stretching out, with her arms under my ribs, causing me to gasp, because it hurt. Feeling her move inside me. Wanting to cry for every new stretch mark that appeared. And talking to her almost constantly, singing to her softly, when no one else was around. I loved her from the moment I found out she was there. They might have taken care of her, been there while she was growing up.... But.. I am the one that should have been there. Wanted to be there.... but didnt think I deserved to be there.. Yeah, I lied to myself a lot.

    Thank you for this post. I cannot tell you how it feels to know its okay for me to feel this way. I have denied to myself, and anyone else for so long.... I feel like I have be given a free pass to be okay feeling what i have felt every day. Right now, I am feeling every single thing I repressed. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you

  61. I recently just "gave my baby up" for adoption, and feel completely fine about it.

    I am an 18 year old girl who has no way to support a child, and no father to help me. Do I feel "undeserving" to be a mother? No. I feel like I deserve to live the rest of my life without having to worry about taking care of another person. I have dreams of completing college and traveling to other countries. Dreams I can't follow with a screaming infant haunting me with the fact that I simply don't have the resources or know-how to care for it.

    Call me uncaring, brain-washed, whatever you weirdos want. I had the choice to just kill the thing, and instead decided to go through the alien horrors of pregnancy to give the baby to an amazing family who can't have a child on their own.

    I feel awesome knowing that I secured this baby's future, and now I have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want.

    I wouldn't really call this "adoption truth". I would call it "one side of adoption". If you care about the baby so much, you should have kept it. Do you buy everything you see an info-mercial for? It's your decision, people are always going to "sweeten the deal" to convince you of something. I mean sheesh, be grateful a family was there to take it off your hands, a family that actually wanted it. You're free of this responsibility! You can go do a million incredible things that you never could have done with a child!

    Anyways, it looks like you delete almost every comment that opposes your opinion, so I don't know why I'm bothering to write this.

    1. Cassi didn't delete my comments, I deleted them at the time

    2. Devil's Advocate I could not agree with you more!

      For those of you who feel you were coerced into giving up your babies for adoption, I am truly and genuinely sorry about your experience. But, my experience was nothing like that. I became pregnant at 14 and wanted to give my baby up for adoption. It was my idea. I wasn't overwhelmed or pushed or coerced. I wanted to because I thought it was the best option for me and for my baby. I didn't reject the idea that I would be a good mother. I did, however, reject the idea that I would be as good a mother at 14 that someone else would be at 30. Perhaps, my experience was entirely different from yours as I also never bought into the heroine of a birth mother story. I never pictured myself as a selfless mayrter providing my child and its adoptive parents with a perfect life. I was a person in a bad situation making the choices that made sense. And, those choices were hard and sometimes confusing and sometimes sad, but I think most people will agree. A lot of right choices in bad situations are hard and confusing and sometimes sad. But 13 years later, I still believe it was the best option.

      I am really interested in this idea of a "natural family" for two reasons. First, the rise of the nuclear family is something relatively recent in the history of Western Civilization. In most places its something that accompanied the rise of industrialization and modern medicine. If you look into the history of child circulation in pre-industrialized societies, you will see its actually very common for people other than biological parents to raise children.

      It doesn't mean the current adoption industry isn't messed up. It doesn't mean that you didn't have a horrible experience. But I think you are using the word "natural" unfairly. My choices and the fact that I am happy with them doesn't make me unnatural. There are many forms of child rearing that don't circulate around the nuclear family that are perfectly natural.

      Second, I think its interesting that these post are so closely related to mothers. There has been a dialogue for some time that your sperm fertilizing an egg doesn't make you a father. Rather, a father is someone who teaches you to make a tree fort or throw a ball or in my case, make awesome spaghetti. He makes you do your homework and grounds you when you stay out too late and claps really loud at your graduation. Through those actions he becomes a father.

      Why does that not apply to women?

      Why work to negate women who love children with their whole hearts. Why work to negate the love a child feels for its adoptive parent?

      I understand that you suffered. And, I do really respect that you were brave and spoke out against a main stream rhetoric that tells all these women they have to be happy with their decisions to give up babies for adoption. Because that's not fair. I appreciate hearing a perspective that was so different than my own. But I don't see you making concrete suggestions on how to improve adoption or alter the adoption industry. Instead, it seems that you are turning your suffering into an attempt to condemn others. If you aren't suggesting something better than all you are doing is telling me that I am wrong or unnatural or so dumb I don't realized I am brainwashed. You are taking your suffering and attempting to make it my suffering.

      If you have concrete plans to alter the adoption industry I'd really love to hear them and I would love to help. Seriously, I would. But if you are just trying to condemn me, I really hope you reconsider.

  62. Excellent post. It takes courage and honesty to know when something is not right for you. Just ask all the abused and neglected kids out there who fantasize about being adopted.... (I was one of them.)

    To you others -- what do you think about women who gave up their babies for adoption and later became adoptive mothers themselves? They know both sides of the picture.

  63. As an adult adoptee, it brings so much healing to hear these words from our first mothers. Thank you so much for writing. Hugs.

  64. Devil's advocate, I'm glad I'm not your child.

    1. I have no understanding of how a comment like this is necessary or at all helpful. She was being honest and telling her experience. She was also breaking from the rhetoric of how first/birth mothers are all saints and saying she did what she wanted for herself and that is something that as a person she has the right to do.

      Your comment is mean and I am sure that in regard to it, I have no doubt that the feeling is mutual. Devil's Advocate is probably pretty glad you are not her child as well.

  65. I don't even know what to say. I have four children. Three were placed for adoption and my other daughter who was not was raised primarily by her father. After I placed my first child for adoption when I was eighteen I felt that I couldn't be a good mom EVER because I did not have a good paying job, did not have a family support system, didn't have a 'decent' roof over my head, needed state medical to even get medical care through my pregnancies (even when married when my daughter was born), didn't have money for 'good educational' toys ect.

    I was made to feel by the system that I was 'less' and this has followed me through my life. It has effected my self worth to a debilitating degree. I was never offered counseling except once, and then I was only offered one session. I was never offered opportunities to build my sense of self worth so I could keep my children, only ways I could stay afloat while carrying my children to be handed over as a 'gift' to someone else.

    When my exhusband and I divorced he knew the words to use to get custody of our daughter. He used the same words the adoption agency had used on me, and I didn't fight.

    I have spent the majority of my life reciting the lies from so long ago and pushing the pain down deep, but in recent years it has caught up to me. PTSD, debilitating anxiety, periods of time where I won't leave the house or answer the phone or even talk to people on the computer. I have missed out on the lives of my children, and my own life, because of the lies.

  66. I am late to the party, but this could have been written by me. Cassi, you revealed the man behind the curtain pulling the levers. If my mother had known that I would suffer the pain I did for my entire life and then find more pain in reunion, she would not have pushed me to surrender. She, like the good beemommies and those who want a child to "call their own," drank the industry Kool Aid.

    I finally figured out that I didn't belong on the pedestal of the unselfish heroine, but I didn't belong on the punishment rack for bad mommies, either. We are everywoman and no one lives who hasn't hit a rough patch so anyone judging our worth is indulging in a specious endeavor.

    I respect the feelings the adopted have for the people who rasied them. I do find it hard to honor them with the title that was denied to me. In my own case, there was hostility and deceit, so I figure I can call them what I wish.

    The bottom line is that the pain is worse than a death because the grief is unacknowledged by society and even those close to us. After years of suppression, when that grief finally surfaces the case of the emotional bends that accompany it can be crippling. Denial was easier, but unhealthy.

    Secrets, lies and low self-esteem do not make for a well-lived life. Here, in my later years, I am finally approaching peace. I want to say to every natural mother out there, "You deserve to be happy, to find peace and to respect yourself and expect the same respect from others. Don't settle for less."

    1. I love your feelings. I hate that I gave my baby up 10 years ago. I was pressured by mormons and made to believe I wasnt good enough for him. I have two beautiful kids now, I couldve had my baby boy too. I hate it and I want him back.

  67. I was born on 4-28-1969 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles. I'm a caucasian male with green eyes, 5'11". I don't have any identifying information on my mother but if any of you have any suggestions I would really appreciate this. I have contacted the county post adoption agency but they will not release any information at this point. They "need to assign my case to a caseworker". Feel free to contact me if you can help me. andycarcia@gmail.com

  68. Was just reading this and found it all very interesting.
    Just curious on something---
    "They are mothers and fathers, or at least I know my son's adoptive mother is his, even still now with us adopting him back...."

    Were you able to adopt your son back? Or did I read something wrong? :(

  69. This post says everything that I have felt about giving up my son for so long. Thank you for your courageous writing.

    One thing I heard from my so called counselor numerous times was:
    "Don't allow your heart to interfere with what your head is telling you to do."--classic!!

    Thanks, adoption counselor, you're the best!!! (insert middle finger here)

  70. Hi there.
    I am 18 years old.. And yesterday.. I signed papers o terminate my parental rights for my 3 day old son.. I did NOT want to do it one bit, but was made to believe my boyfriend of 4 years and I could not support him.

    Yes, this couple is older and even has money.. And could give him everything I could not, but how would I really know that? Is that even true?

    Now I am stuck here feeling lost and deeply depressed every second of every day.. Missing my baby boy, who I didn't even get to spend more than a whole 24 hours with..

    My boyfriend thinks this was right.. But my heart is telling me I should of tried... Now I cannot do anything about this.... Please, young women.. Do not let all of these thoughts of people being better than you make you give up your baby... Because when you see them.. You'll see how perfect they are... And every instinct will kick in.. And when you hear those words while signing those papers: "This will forever abolish your rights and is irrevocable.." you will die on the inside. As I did..

    Thank you.

  71. My husband was adopted 25 almost 26 years ago. He has spent his whole life feeling abandoned, that if his own mother did not want him, then how could anyone else. He refuses to find her, he says that it is his parents responsibility to look for him and not the other way around, and if he ever did find his dad/ mom he would spit in their face. I can't force him into this. But I get the feeling that a lifetime of pain for wrong thinking could be erased if he knew the real reason and situation behind his parents giving him up. He says that when I became pregnant out of wedlock he married me and his parents could have done the same thing though his mom was 16 and his dad was 21. They later got married after giving him up. Half of us is missing, in the doctors office family medical history for our kids is always incomplete "unknown", where my husbands idiosyncrasies and mannerisms came from but more than that he needs to know that he was not rejected but that he was and is loved. So please parents if you do give up for adoption do not do so anonymously make it as easy for your kids to find you as possible and when they grow up contact them. If you can correct the paper work with the courts to have your name and location given to them on adulthood please do. I wish that my Husbands parents would contact him, and tell him how painful the separation was for them and that he is loved and has never been rejected.

  72. Hello Every i am Judith from Housto texas i came to this site to share my testimony i got married for 15 years without giving birth but life was miserable for me so i decided to adopt a baby while i was browsing on the internet i saw a great man called Dr Dave i explain all my problems to him and he help me adopt a boy and a girl from South Africa . Now i am happy with my husband and my two children so if you are in similar situation kindly contact Dr Dave on email (daveangela08@gmail.com) and get your baby today ....

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  74. My husband and I are pursuing adoption. I stumbled upon this blog tonight (I don't even remember which rabbit trail it was that led me here!), and I am glad that I did. I am in tears for you all that are sharing your stories here and I don't know how to rectify it with my desire to adopt a child.

    I am responding to this blog in hopes of getting an education.

    Are most of you women that are first mothers anti-adoption or do you feel like there is a good way to make it right? For those that are anti-adoption and say that it is not natural, what are your thoughts on the foster care system and adoption via that route? With the idea of foster care being a safe place for a child with the goal of reuniting with his/her first family and with the failure of that, a child being adopted?

    If we continue to pursue adoption, what do I need to do to be certain that the first mother of the child we adopt isn't the one writing these stories in the days and weeks and months and years to follow the birth of that child? Do you have anger toward the adopting families or is it just the agency/social worker? Would it have been better to not have met the family or is there any comfort in knowing the people your child is with?

    While looking into adoption agencies many of them talk about their counseling of mothers/fathers, but I hadn't considered the 'counseling' a form of coercion.

    I am not out to push anyone into giving me their baby, but I am wanting to give a home to a child that needs one. We have a biological child. We do not wish to adopt simply to become parents and I guess that is what makes this so heart breaking to me. That so many of these babies didn't actually need a home to begin with, because if their mothers hadn't been bullied, they would have had one. We don't want to feed into this horrible machine, but instead fill a need. What do you have to say to a people like us?

    Thank you all for sharing your heart and your story.

  75. What about the kids who are aborted, abused, molested,murdered, kept for profit, kept to live in a bad situation (drugs, parents fighting, homelessness,with parents who don't have time, energy or ability to give them a great childhood, etc). I don't get how that's better than choosing a healthy family to raise your baby. So for kids in foster care, they should continue to grow up without family because to be adopted would be unnatural? Wow. People who open their homes to raise kids as their own are being put down and it makes no sense. Those kids see their adopted parents as their parents and these days they can even know their birth parents. Giving a baby to a family who will give love and happiness to a child isnt a crime. Keeping a child in a terrible situation is a crime.

  76. I was adopted and with the help of my adoptive parents, found my biological mother. Guess what? She wanted nothing to do with me. She didn't want me then, she doesn't want me now. So much for 'reunion'. There are lots of women in your situation and yes, the adoption industry is rife with corruption, but there are also women who choose to relinquish because they *really do not want to parent*. I cannot express to you how devastated I was to be rejected again by her. Once at birth, the next as an adult. She literally said that I would, 'disrupt her life'. She was in her early 20's and single when she had me, now she's married with 2 children. Neither her husband or kids know about me.

  77. Adoption is a miracle to many lives. I think your pain is clouding your judgement. Things like adoption or fasmilies cannot be painted with a broad brush.

  78. It does not matter your personal experience, were talking about a fact, what is done still in year 2015 to women. The same nonsense that was done when I was born back in the 60's. The adoption agencies have not changed, just become more clever and found a way to legally do what they do. If our world would get on board and grow about 50 years they WOULD realize what is going on and most people would understand what you are saying is true. I personally went through it with my dear friend, back in 1986. A private adoption agency, open adoption, it was not pretty. Books of possible parents to choose from, cold and impersonal. Like we were shopping for china. I also have had a terrible reunion as an adoptee. But that does not cloud my judgment about what is wrong with our system. Instead of helping mothers as our society helps those who come into our country illegally, we kick them to the curb, tell them we've got many couples willing to raise their child, it is not about JUST love, its about the sale of a baby. Seriously folks, you need to do your reading, get real. If all adoptions were free, then we would not be having this debate. If our government got everyone on board, read them the facts, then maybe all those who have their heads in the clouds would not have a leg to stand on. Adoption equals big bucks for adoption agencies, always has and as of now, still does. Its a money making industry. Its not about where you stand in the triad, its about right versus wrong. We are not talking about a couple who want a baby, we are talking about our world turning their heads when a mother is kicked, to the curb, on her rear end, alone, and told she is not capable, or good enough to raise her baby. If we'd give her the help, the courage, the financial backing as we do illegal aliens in this country, maybe my outlook would be differently. It makes me sick we are pro adoption and not pro family preservation. If a mom wants her baby yet does not have the means to keep her, shame on us USA. Shame that we do not give her the support she needs.

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