Rapper, storyteller, and burlesque artist Mariah MacCarthy's one woman show Baby Mama: One Women's Quest to Give a Child to Gay People has a one night stand at the Dixon Place Theatre in New York City this Monday, August 18. According to press notes, the show "tracks one birth mother's adoption journey, from conception to placement with the gay couple of her dreams--while still living her life, dating, and attending the occasional orgy."
In a video clip promoting her show, MacCarthy says that a few weeks after she "peed on a stick and got the two lines on the thing that meant she was pregnant, she went to the adoption agency recommended by Planned Parenthood and told them she wanted to give her baby to gay people." When asked by a nurse in the delivery room why she was giving up her son, MacCarthy answered only that "it's complicated."
MacCarthy carried through with her wish. After handing her baby to the social worker who straps him into a car seat and leaves, she breaks down, sobbing:
"Later I will introduce my son to his two dads and it will be a joyous occasion and later we will have Thanksgiving dinners together and me and the dads will talk about Carlos Danger [disgraced Anthony Weiner's pseudonym] and my son will be baptized and much joy that awaits us but I don't know any of it at this moment and as soon as I can talk again through my tears I find my self saying 'I still think I'm going to do this.'"
MacCarthy joins Sydney Syverson a recent graduate of the University of Portland who wrote of giving up her daughter in the university's magazine, Portland, Mercy Verner who wrote of giving up her daughter on Huffington Post, and other mothers seemingly capable of raising a child. The reasons for giving up their babies--they are not ready to parent, they want their child to have a better life, and they want to make a gift to a deserving couple--ring hollow to those of us who have lost children to adoption.
We at FMF ask: Is this a harbinger of a permanent change in child-rearing: adoption is just another reproductive option? The liberal think-tank, the Center for American Progress emphatically says yes. The title alone of 2010 report, Adoption Option: Adoption Won't Reduce Abortions but It Will Expand Women's Choices, is a glowing report of the benefits to the mother of giving up a child. Adult adoptees, not surprisingly, were not consulted. We found the arguments therein specious, and completely ignorant of the aftermath of giving up a child, both to mother--and child. Read our full response above.
Perhaps this celebration--amid the tears--of relinquishing a child to adoption is this part of a last-ditch effort by the domestic adoption industry, using gullible mothers--often hip women--to help it remain relevant while facing stiff competition from the fertility industry and, until recently, from the purveyors of foreign children? And if you are going to give up a child, why not advertise your liberal creds by choosing a gay or lesbian couple? How cool is that? That certainly appears to have been the attitude of rapper Mariah MacCarthy.
IF YOU HAVE A CHILD, KEEP HIM
Or perhaps this is a middle-class fad, much like adoption in the mid-20th century, that may dissipate when women like MacCarthy and Syverson and others joining in the same hip "fad" realize the real costs of adoption in pain and sorrow to themselves and their babies. We hope so. We dread the thought of a brave new world where a massive number of babies are redistributed from their natural mothers to biological strangers. It so sounds like the rationale for another Baby Scoop Era, now dressed up in coolness rather than clothed in shame. And it is frightening. But human emotions have not changed or been modernized to fit today's zeitgeist. Mothers will weep, and children will pay.
However, it is likely that common sense and the emotional pull of raising your own child--in a day when single motherhood is not a smothering veil of shame--will prevent the huge numbers of adoption in the past. Our position has been and will continue to be: If you choose to have a baby, raise that child.
One Woman's Quest to Give a Child to Gay People may have some voyeurism appeal, but the story of a woman who goes to orgies while pregnant and gives up her baby to resume her career as a rapper, storyteller, and burlesque artist should be a turn off to those with normal sensibilities. Let's hope that the show does not go past its one night scheduled run lest it encourage other vulnerable women to give up their babies in hopes of making in on the stage.--jane
Birth mother for Gay Dads Will Share Her Story
Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People
Gay Adoption: A Birth Mother Shares Her Incredible Story
On Mother's Day: What does it mean to be not 'ready to parent'?
Response to The Adoption Option
Argument to give up your baby is the same old one heard before
Does giving up a child for adoption make you sick?
Brave New World by Aldouls Huxley
If you haven't read it in years (or ever) now is the time to read this amazing futuristic novel. The particulars are different but you will recognize our society, geared as it is to serve the wealthy and powerful. --lorraine (BTW, thank you for ordering anything through the FMF portal. Just click on the link to go to Amazon.)
From the back cover:
"The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley's most enduring masterpiece.
"Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned in Brave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion."