' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Catelynn and Tyler face reality
Join Jane at the CUB retreat in October. For more, see sidebar.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Catelynn and Tyler face reality

Lorraine
Natural mother Catelynn of the TV show Teen Mom was a sad person to watch last night as she sat talking to Teresa and Brandon Davis, the adoptive parents of her and Tyler's daughter, Carly. As you know, we have been quite critical of both Catelynn and Tyler for turning themselves into advocates for adoption.

But last night in the episode of Teen Mom OG where they meet Teresa and Brandon after a year they came across as merely young natural parents coming to terms with the reality of giving up a child: They are and will be the underdogs in the parenting equation. Their contact with daughter Carly is dependent on the permission of Brandon and Teresa.


In a sit-down with their Bethany adoption counselor, Dawn, before the two couples meet, she explains to Tyler and Catelynn that they have to come to terms with the parenting decisions of Teresa and Brandon, and that really, while they might be the natural parents, they now have no rights. The best they can do is "come to terms." Tyler and Catelynn say they want more openness and contact. "What is so bad about that?" Tyler persists. Dawn obfuscates around reality, and says it's not a bad or good thing, but a "level of comfort." Not theirs. He brilliantly counters with: "Ok, it's like, You're a king, I'm a servant..."

There's truth in that.

WHOSE PLATFORM FOR TALKING ABOUT ADOPTION?
Catelynn was mostly mute, but the sadness in her eyes most the their time on camera spoke volumes. She looked like she was about to burst into tears any minute, and in fact, did speak of crying into her pillow. She knows what she has lost, she understands the intense sorrow of being the provider of a baby for an older, middle class couple who have adopted her daughter--and her place in the adoption equation.

Brandon and Teresa with Carly and baby son.
The Davis family, with Carly and adopted brother
Tyler is the more vocal of the couple and spoke of "walking on eggs" so as not to displease the Davis's in the last year as the two couples clashed over who is allowed to post pictures of their daughter Carly on social media--or the media at all. I applaud Tyler for vociferously pointing out that while he and Catelynn are criticized for posting Carly's pictures (and then worry about being cut off from her), Teresa and Brandon went on Dr. Drew and appeared on the cover of Lifelines pro-adoption magazine put out by Bethany Christian Services, the owner of the adoption agency.

Teresa immediately countered with that she and Brandon have a "platform" for talking about adoption...implying that they do, Tyler and Catelynn do not. Adoptive father Brandon said that he could understand Tyler and Catelynn's frustration with that. Teresa's vulnerability about not being able to procreate herself came out in the interaction with Catelynn and Tyler. You did understand her pain too, and her sense of inadequacy and the fear that Carly will feel more connected to her natural parents when she grows up.

Or not. The income and education disparity between the couples and how Carly will be raised may make her feel embarrassed by her biological parents one day. We've been around long enough to sense this happen with others.

CARLY'S BABY CLOTHES MADE ME WANT TO WEEP
At some point, Teresa gives a bundle of Carly's baby things for their soon-to-arrive daughter (Catelynn was pregnant at the time of filming). It was both incredibly touching and sad: Here are the baby clothes I didn't put on my baby.... 

It is troubling that Catelynn and Tyler have to fly to North Carolina to meet with the adoptive parents and Carly. While in their case, MTV almost certainly picked up the tab, other women giving up their babies to couples far away will have to get to whatever distant state on their own. Certainly a couple from the same state or one next door would cut down the difficulty of such a meeting.

Then, in the last segment featuring Tyler and Catelynn, Carly comes into the room, and gives a big hug to her natural parents, they pull out presents and everyone is joyful. The Davis's asked that Carly's face not be shown, and for the girl's sake, that seems to be the best. She is a high profile baby.

Catelynn and Tyler's frustrations in an adoption that is less open they they imagined, or were made aware was possible, may make others deciding to place a baby for adoption be more specific and demanding about the arrangement with the adoptive parents. Until the papers are signed, natural parents have rights. Not so after the ink dries. The lack of contact that bothers Tyler and Catelynn, the tears that Catelynn admits to, may make others stop and think before going forward. Her sadness is palpable.

I ended feeling much more sympathetic than before towards Tyler and Catelynn, who are now the parents of a daughter they are keeping, but still hope for the day when they are not in the business of promoting adoption. Catelynn's Twitter feed still reads: Hi, I'm Catelynn from Teen Mom. My goal is 2 be an advocate 4 adoption. Contact us on website 4 speaking engagements & join our fan page! 

But until they stop shilling for adoption, and causing countless children to be given up, my sympathy is muted. As they are being admired and glorified among young teens, their on-screen roles may convince others that their "bravery" and suffering is worthy and admirable. It isn't. Ask the many adopted people how it feels to be "gifted" to a couple who need other people's children to build a family. To adoptive parents that may sound harsh, but that is what is comes down to.--lorraine

COMMENTS ON CATELYNN AND TYLER WILL ONLY BE POSTED ON THE CURRENT POST.
________________________
From FMF
Catelynn and Tyler's open adoption closing?
Second daughter brings joy to Catelynn, Tyler
Inconsolable grief
Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States By Rickie Solinger
The title kind of says it all. 
"Feminists need a paradigm shift, argues Solinger (Wake Up Little Susie;, The Abortionist), away from the post-Roe v. Wade concept of "choice" and back to the '60s concept of "rights," based on the approach of the civil rights movement, which argued that all citizens were entitled to vote, for instance, regardless of class status. "Choice" evokes a marketplace model of consumer freedom, she explains, while rights are privileges to which one is justly and irrevocably entitled as a human being. The shift from the language of rights to that of choice was deliberate, aimed at reducing the federal welfare tab and increasing the pool of adoptable children, which began to diminish after the early 1970s, Solinger argues. 

"Once the pill and legal abortion were available, poor women could be considered "bad choice-makers" if they kept having babies they couldn't afford hardly the government's responsibility. (Never mind, Solinger observes, that many poor women can't afford either option and might want children, just as middle-class women do.) Is this progress? No, Solinger writes: "women with inadequate resources... must... have the right to determine for themselves whether or not to be mothers." With its crisp, jargon-free prose and copious footnotes, Solinger's reexamination of those twin bogeys the Back Alley Butcher and the Welfare Queen is a provocative read for any modern feminist."--Publisher's Weekly. 

THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING THROUGH AMAZON FROM THE PORTAL OF FMF. 

51 comments :

  1. I've never watched "Teen Mom" or whatever it's called, and I didn't see this interview, mostly because I find the whole thing so incredibly painful. This young couple has been used and misused, based on what I know about the case. The mental gyrations that are required to enable a mother to give up her child are extreme and must be kept up tenaciously if the mother is to have a life, but at some point emotional exhaustion sets in and the pain of loss can no longer be denied. Catelynn and Tyler are learning this fairly early. It took me 44 years to face my own loss. I hope this will be a cautionary tale to all young (or older) people thinking about relinquishing a child. I honestly don't know how the social workers, agencies, lawyers, and media that promote infant adoption can live with themselves. Their mendacity and greed are beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neither Jane nor I watch this show regularly either but with the focus on adoption, we have watched because we know so many young teens and others watch. This is called Teen Mom OG, as it features four of the original girls from the original Teen Mom. The others kept their babies, who are now tots of five or so.

      Delete
  2. Catelynn & Tyler wrote in their book that ~they~ decided to consider an adoptive couple from out of state since they feared it would be too difficult to have their daughter close by. I imagine that this really was probably just another idea put into their heads by Bethany.

    Theresa seems like her heart is in the right place, but her insecurities take precedence. She can never truly imagine what Catelynn and Tyler are feeling, though I did appreciate her expressing guilt over "taking a baby from another mother's arms". I don't think they really knew what they were signing up for with adoption, and neither did Catelynn and Tyler. This is what happens when an agency like Bethany cares more about a successful transaction rather than a successful (and necessary/ethical) adoption scenario.

    I do wonder how Carly will come to feel about all of this. Will she be more loyal to one set of parents than the other? It seems likely, since the adoptive parents are clearly setting an "it's either us or them" precedent. Will she feel obligated to them, or will she rebel against their pressure? Time will tell. I am not sure if she will grow up to look at Catelynn & Tyler as "lower class" since their fame may be perceived as something prestigious (depending on the person). Time will tell. I wish Carly strength with the journey she is on.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What struck me is that no one is happy about the adoption. Brandon says wistfully; "You're always going to be her birth parents and we are never going to be her birth parents. So I think Teresa and I both kind of worry kind of like, not that we will be forgotten, but someday she may want to have a relationship with you as an adult to an adult and that is hard for us and scary for us."

    Catelynn says "What's funny we have the same feeling and thoughts. That when she gets old enough she might want nothing to do with us.

    Then Teresa confesses: "With adoption comes loss for all sides of the triangle. We have already been experiencing loss for not being able to have children." She breaks out in tears. "You have obviously been experiencing loss." Catelynn begins to cry. Dawn nods her head "Adoption is riddled with insecurities."

    Yes, adoption is all about loss and insecurities. What makes this hard, especially for Catelynn and Tyler, is that they did it to themselves, with coaching from social worker Dawn of course.

    As I watched Dawn counseling Catelynn and Tyler, how they had to control themselves, go along with the program for Carly's sake, I began to wonder whether Dawn is becoming uncomfortable with her role in creating this sad story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jane, there was a lot of meat in that episode, even though you have to watch the other girls and their dramas. I remember once pointing out to an adoptive mother that I was a grandmother, and she said, OMG, I hadn't even thought about having to share that.

      Delete
    2. I doubt that Dawn has had any epiphanies. Upton Sinclair once said "It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

      The adoption industry seems to be dominated by men and women who are inoculated from susceptibility to empathizing with birth parent grief.

      Delete
    3. What Jane quotes - this sounds almost scripted. What I mean is that it is what is generally known by anyone who understands much about the ramifications of adoption. I don't think it actually IS scripted - it's more like orchestrated. I am convinced that each episode is carefully rehearsed, and that there are NO surprises - not even from Tyler, who is represented at the " wild card".

      Delete
    4. Actually I doubt it needs to be. People get very used to having cameras around and the begin to act normally--and they are saying the truth of adoption as we know it. Teresa especially is aware of how Catelynn and Tyler feel and she's not heartless; she understands what giving up a child must have meant and does mean to Catelynn--and now the other mother. They are simply playing it out on a large field that we all can see.

      I just look forward to the day when Catelynn and Tyler stop being advocates for a system that causes so many people pain, starting with her, ending with Carly, with Tyler, Teresa and Brandon in the middle. The only on with no pain is the facilitator, Dawn--and the while expletive Bethany Christian Services and all the rest.

      I'd love to hear from some young teen who was watching the show and decided that giving up her child was too much to bear, and changed her mind.

      Delete
    5. No doubt the responses are predictable, but It would not make sense for MTV - and especially not for expletive Bethany - to put these shows on the air unprepared.

      Delete
    6. We'll see if there is a second such visit. Remember Catelynn and Tyler had not seen Carly for an entire year; the Davis's were likely totally unprepared for how popular the show would be or that they would be on TV five years later. I doubt Bethany has much if any control over anything but their rep, Dawn, and as for the rest, it probably doesn't need to be scripted, but it is edited. And there in lies the control. However, the producers are only going for the most emotional content...not the mundane.

      Delete
    7. Exactly. You've got it. It is edited, and that is why there are not going to be any surprises, they can cut out anything that doesn't support their agenda, which is this case is to entertain. Sometimes editing comes close to censoring.

      Delete
  4. Bethany is proud to have a partnership with Catelynn and Tyler and together we are working to promote adoption and the benefits of pregnancy counseling. With their help, Bethany hopes to continue to educate expectant moms who may be considering an adoption plan for the baby.

    http://www.impregnant.org/catelynntyler/'

    sad but true....

    ReplyDelete
  5. I once got a response from Catelynn when I wrote to her concerned that the show was representing that birthmothers get lifetime support and help in maintaining the relationship with the birthparents. She told me that they do and her case is not unusual, and did not write me back again when I tried to insist this is not the case. I think if people wanted her to stop speaking out for adoption, someone needs to get it into her head that most adoption counselors are not in it for the long haul. She's getting special treatment because she's on TV and this is what Bethany wants potential birthmothers to see. I sent her links of women weeks later asking for support and help and being told to seek out a church, not even told about CUB. She clearly does not really think this is true at all. Have as anyone seen her ever-supportive picks-up-on-first-ring adoption counselor who still counsels her before and afte shows and visits, often even drives her?
    -Likereallywow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No matter that your initial attempt seems to have fallen on deaf ears, know that you did a good thing, and that Catelynn has not forgotten. It's possible that she went to the CUB site, and as time goes on, she will remember your email--she answered at least once.

      I honestly don't think that any one person can change Catelynn's mind--she has become a handmaiden of Bethany, gets support for her on-camera sadness because MTV pays her to be that. They were two poor kids from families with a lot of instability and BOOM! they became TV icons, have thousands of fans, and plenty of cash to buy a nice house. Why should they think about everything differently? Besides, then they would have to admit they are sorry they gave away their baby.

      It remains to be seen whether they will ever feel differently and stop advocating for adoption. Because to do otherwise would mean that their own choice was wrong. We did have a post some time ago from a former Bethany "advocate" for adoption and how she turned it around. But she did not become a celebrity in the process of giving up her child.

      Delete
    2. PS: Likereallywow, you can use that moniker instead of anonymous--please do. Just choose the NAME/URL when you post. And then type in LIkereallywow. You don't need to have an URL. Just ignore that. THANKS!

      Delete
    3. I suspect that C & T's contract with Bethany has a clause requiring them to pay back $$$ if they ever say anything critical of adoption.In fact I'm kind of surprised Bethany hasn't taken them to the woodshed for the things they have been saying.

      Delete
  6. I feel certain that the future is going to be very tumultuous for this triad. Tyler and Catelynn will grow weary from the rules and the mantras... and they will end up bitter and disenchanted. It seems to be only a matter of time.

    Carly's birth-parents are high profile people and a whole lot of footage exists to show her that her birth-parents whole-heartedly wanted her, but whole-heartedly believed they did not possess the skills or resources to raise her, which was bolstered by everyone except Catelynn's mother. Not only that, but Carly gets to see her full-blooded sister raised by her birth-parents and she will likely have a strong reaction to that. She won't even have to imagine it - she will be able to watch it. I think this is going to put a lot of pressure on Brandon & Theresa who are already dealing with the overwhelming realization that this adoption is not only open, but very public.

    As I listen to Tyler and Catelynn talk about what it feels like to be the "servants" I hear myself talking. It is so troubling that birth-parents carry (forever) this sad, painful label, while the exulted adoptive parents wield their rules and know they have the ultimate power. I likened it to wearing a scarlet letter. It didn't occur to me that my feelings were no less important than my daughter's and her psychologically-torturous adoptive parents until I was 40+ years old. Before then, I was hanging out in the fog, fully believing I didn't deserve any better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I takes a lot of work to come back from the intense feelings of self-loathing that follows giving up a child. It took me years! I probably married my first husband because of low self esteem and the need to have someone publicly declare his affection and esteem for me. I am not saying that I did not love him, but I think I felt the absolute need to marry as soon as I could. I felt rejected on all sides and like a horrible person. Marriage would at least raise my position to the world, in my heart. I've seen other women do this too.

      Delete
    2. Oh, Lorriane - how I wish I only made that mistake once (husband).

      I married the (older) man who was willing to accept me in my 18 year old pregnant state and then stayed with him for 6 years out of guilt. After the adoption fallout (sort of cleared), it was abundantly clear that I married him for stability and his unconditional acceptance, but we had zero in common (ironically, he went on to do this again - finding wounded birds ended up being his "thing").

      The next man I married was (at 25) was a burgeoning alcoholic who even told me I was damaged goods because I was divorced and already had a baby... and yes, I married him too. He cheated, lied and manipulated relentlessly. His other woman ended up pregnant, which was the last straw for me. With all the family support a person can have, and two children, he hung himself in jail last year, just shy of his 46th birthday. Surreal.

      I give myself some leniency for these "mistakes", as they can be attributed to never having exposure to healthy relationships, an abusive then absent father, a mother who died unexpectedly when I was 15 (she was 48) and then lump on giving away my infant daughter... well, how could I have made better decisions?

      I have carried all of this baggage with me, but feel confident that I have dug my way through heaps of poo to get on top of the piles. I have discarded unhealthy relationships and worked hard to be someone I am very proud of. When my daughter's adoptive parents began their smear campaign and my daughter eventually turned from supportive to judgmental, I saw myself returning to my passive "servant" position - but I saw it early and acted with integrity and respect. I'm not going to let anyone convince me that I deserve anything less than them again.

      Delete
    3. Hilary--It is good to read that you eventually understand what you were doing to yourself and were able to understand that you did not have to be the doormat to everyone involved in your situation, or life. You did have a lot of strikes against you emotionally from the getgo, with your mother's death and a bad father.

      Damaged goods is an interesting phrase because at the beginning I certainly felt like that, I suppose. Or simply hurting like hell. It takes grit and fortitude to work out of the feeling of lowness that relinquishment endows us with. As for yourself, keep up the good work. Do not let others tear you down, even your daughter.

      Delete
    4. I have recently discovered this blog and it has CHANGED MY LIFE! Thank you all SO much for your candor and advocacy for us first mothers. My son who I gave up 23 very long years ago recently connected with me, and it has been amazing. It was a closed adoption, so the adoptive parents took off with him and I never heard anything after a short burst of letters and pictures after his birth until he found me.
      What we are dealing with now is the extreme insecurity and jealousy of the a/mother. My story is so much like Hilary's (mom died, dad didn't want me - made me give my baby up) and my fallout is a lot like hers - married for security because of "damaged goods" label. I, also, eventually climbed out of the pile of poo. Thankfully, that's where my son found me. I always wanted to succeed for him, so maybe if he found me someday, he'd be proud of me.
      Now that he's a grown man, he tells me that he always felt he didn't belong with his a/family and he always felt incomplete. His wedding is coming up and the a/mother is NOT happy that I'll be there with my family, so if you're the praying type, say a few that she doesn't assault me (it's possible). But NOTHING could keep me from that wedding. I've missed too much already.
      Again, thank you all for your stories. They're like salve for my broken heart, and have increased my resolve to reclaim my place in his life.

      Delete
    5. Bobbie Jay:

      I went through a bed of fire before my daughter's wedding, and attending the weddings of our found children is a subject that we have dealt with numerous times.

      Attending your daughter's wedding when you are the First/Birth Mother

      there may be other wedding stories by another natural mother if you uses the search function in the upper left. Good luck. Just try to keep your cool during the event. I don't know if trying to talk to her beforehand would help. I have written more about the situation in my upcoming book, hole in my heart.

      Delete
  7. I do not watch this show, but I am aware of the media circus it has become. The young couple decided to relinquish. The adoptive parents decided to adopt the baby, and may decide to close the adoption if they are uncomfortable with the situation. The natural parents now seem to be regretting their original decision. The whole thing is a mess and my question is: why did these four adults ever decide to do this on such a public platform
    As MTV? Did they honestly think this would work out smoothly? MTV, People magazine, and other publications have these people plastered all over the place. Adoption is bad enough already. These people should have their heads examined, and this child will suffer damage that can never be repaired. I truly believe that no one here was thinking of the child. Her entire life story has been a public spectacle since day one, and she decided nothing. Isn't adoption bad enough without all this additional hoopla and publicity ? I feel sorry for the little girl and no one else in this scenario.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I watch this show and have done so since Catelynn and Tyler were on 16 and Pregnant as Carly is just a few months younger than my oldest. I see their pain and i know how hard it is to place a child for adoption, however i also know that it is possible to have an extremely open adoption!! When i was pregnant with my son in 2008 i was terrified, I was months away from University and his father told me i abort or he leaves. Even with the support of his and my parents, i knew i couldnt raise him, but abortion was NOT an option, so i found a loving home for him. 3 and a half years later in late 2012 i brought his full biological sister into the world and gave her to the same adoptive parents. Now i see both of my kids as often as i want to, we live in the same town and i often watch them while their parents are busy. I have the relationship i want and their parents trust me and i trust them. I know it is not like this for everyone, and that thought breaks my heart, but it IT possible for adoption to be like this. Open and Honest for both parties!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to say this but you sound like a handmaiden of the couple in order to supply the children. I am so sorry that you have given away two children to other people to raise. It may work for you, but have you considered that it may not be the best for the children? They are still going to wonder why you couldn't keep them--especially since you have the same partner nearly four years later. On some level, the children are going to have issues of abandonment. Are you going to give them more children? You might find the Lois Lowry series about having babies for others a thoughtful read, especially Son.

      I maintain that if you have a child--and can't face abortion--you should do everything in one's power to keep and raise that child. It sounds as if you have have found a nice baby-sitting situation while you pursue your degree. Are you going to give them more children? Is birth control--easy and effective today--also against your religion?

      Delete
    2. It looks like you have a reverse nanny situation. Instead of having a live-in nanny, your children live with the nanny (and her husband).

      This works for you and appears to work for the "adoptive parents." Will it work for the children in the long run when they question why you and their father didn't care enough about them to keep them full time? At the end of the day who will the children consider their real parents? If it's the adoptive parents/nannies will you and their bio-father be hurt, full of regrets? If it's you and their bio-father, will the adoptive parents/nannies be resentful for doing the scut work but not getting the rewards. And what if the adoptive parents/nannies decide enough is enough, we're moving to Timbuktu and you're not welcome to come along? Adoption complicates relationships and requires constant adjustment as the ever-helpful social worker Dawn told Catelynn and Tyler.

      There may be other problems in the future that you cannot begin to fathom. Maybe everything will be honky-dory. You could have avoided the risk that they won't be if you had just buckled down and kept your children.

      Your story, as you are probably aware, is atypical but is the sort of story presented to vulnerable pregnant women in order to induce them to give up their babies. The hidden message -- open adoption is really 24-7 baby-sitting. Then when they try to exceed their allotted visits (or post their child's picture on Face Book) they get a surprise. "You're not the parents and you'll do as we say or be off with you!"

      By the way, I'm surprised that you continue to have a relationship and children with the bio-father after he told you abort or he leaves.

      Delete
    3. My basic premise is that children do not want to be given away by their parents. Of course some adoptees have no problem with it and others, after learning their full story, realize that it was the best of the possible options. But in general I believe children want to be loved, valued and KEPT by their natural parents.

      I would have a hard time respecting my first mother if she had risked pregnancy again with my natural father if he'd told her to abort or he'd leave, and which resulted in me being an adoptee. I would find it very hard, if not impossible, to be understanding in this type of situation. Although I'm sure I would be glad to have my full blood sibling being raised with me.

      I have to agree with Lorraine and Jane that how the children feel about their situation is what's most important. They may not be as happy dappy about it as you seem to expect.

      Delete
    4. Birthmumof2 - Please indulge me, I would really like to know what you were thinking, staying with the man who would not accept the first child you made together? and would not accept you as a mother of that child either? He threatened you with abandonment if you did not terminate your mutual zygote? How can that possibly be attractive? Don't get me wrong, I'm pro-choice, but never pro-threat.

      After having gone through that scenario once, and producing a child that you deemed necessitating an adoption.. why did you do that again on purpose? Surely you could have prevented having a second child with this man? Was that a purposeful decision? If you had the chance to do it differently would you have
      prevented either one of those pregnancies? Will you have more children with this man? Are the adoptive parents wanting a third child from you? Did they encourage you to become pregnant with a sibling for their first?

      Are the adoptive parents friends of your own parents? Was/is the birth-father married? Half of me wondered if he is now the adoptive father? Forgive me for that. My head is buzzing with the possible scenarios.

      A million questions, I know, and I appreciate your candor. I'm an adoptee myself from the BSE and I'll spare you my story - but in all fairness I'll answer any questions should you have any...

      Birthmum you 'sound' healthy and well-adjusted from this small post on the internet but if you aren't and are in need of assistance from your situation please reach out and ask for some. Forgive me for saying that but sometimes an unusual post is indicative of someone in need - but sometimes it is simply an unusual post.

      I will keep you and your family in my prayers, hoping for a continued happy situation and a good extended outcome. God bless.

      -Kaisa (adoptee, 46 yo)



      Delete
    5. California DreaminApril 23, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      I have never heard of a real, natural mother being the babysitter to the child/ren that she has surrendered to an adoptive couple. This sounds like an extremely unhealthy environment for the children.

      In fact, it smells of....adoption propaganda.

      Delete
    6. Birthmumof2 - I hope, hope, hope the state of your arrangement stays as it is, but even if it does, you must realize you will have some extremely difficult questions to answer when these children get older. From my calculations they are only 6 and 3. Just wait until they are fully formed adults and they get to process what has happened - the situation you were forced into and by whom. What if, eventually you and your children's father actually have and successfully raise the biological siblings of your other two children? You don't think the first (two) born are going to be like... hey, why couldn't you two get your s*it together for us?

      I was blissfully ignorant of the psychological ramifications of what a child unwittingly inherits when they are placed for adoption. Open, closed or whatever... abandonment is a very destructive sentence to place on a child. It should only be done in extreme circumstances.

      All I can say is, get yourself a jumpsuit and hefty seat-belt. Unless you're in the infinitesimally small percentile of success stories, in another decade you're going on a really devastating roller coaster ride.

      Delete
    7. Birthmumof2, You are the type of birth mother who gives other birth mothers a bad rap and make us all look as immature, callous, and insensitive as you. Making babies and then adopting them out seems to be a game to you (at the expense of the vulnerable helpless children). You are in a full-blown fog of suppression, denial, and disassociation and don't realize the hellacious future damage you are creating for your relinquished children. Shame on you ! You might want to consider getting your tubes tied so you can't wreck anymore innocent lives. The realization of what you have done to these children will some day come at you like a beast and will haunt you to your dying days. You might also want to do more reading and less running your mouth and showing your immaturity, foolishness and ignorance.

      Delete
    8. I know someone who adopted from the same birthmother twice. The story was she wanted to give her child a full blood sibling and had the second baby deliberately to give them and apparently surprised them (& everyone-she was able to hide the physical signs really well) at 8 months pregnant when she asked them if they would be willing to adopt the 2nd. Three weeks later they had a surprise second child and were elated with this new blessing. Why wait 7 months to let them know though? I found it really disturbing and had a hard time working with the Adad or even seeing his big "happy" family (including many photos of bbqs and family events including the birthparents) on fb and such. The adoptive father seemed really understanding of the changing grief for everyone. Even when things were rough for the birthfather and he backed off for some time, the Aparents didn't cut him out or anything and continued encouraging their interaction in an empathetic sort of way... idk, still gave me such conflicting feelings, her children weren’t much younger than mine. The birthmother would drop in at his workplace and bring him lunch, or they'd go out to eat for the lunch hr. Always made me uncomfortable since I was known by them both as a birthmother myself. I ended up changing jobs (not because of this) and finally just deleted him from fb (because of all this) so I didn't have to see the reminders of how a 'good' open adoption could be -especially hard because mine mostly closed and it left me wondering if I really did just end up with horrible ppl raising my daughter. But years later, it would seem they are rare, and mine is the typical ‘open’ adoption experience. It was especially hard because I really can't understand the 'gift' attitude this mother had for creating family for her children & wondering how this will all play out for them all.
      In a panic while pregnant with my first kept child I did have a moment of considering contacting my adoptive family… scared of actually being up to the task of raising a child myself, still doubting y ability to raise any human (especially now that I was ‘damaged’ by my traumatic experience), I briefly considered bargaining with them in an attempt to re-open the first adoption & so my daughter would be guaranteed continuing, stable contact with -someone- biologically related to her and would maybe even feel/think/act like her rather than being "alone" with only adoptive family surrounding her and raised with 100% strangers... sick, scary -thankfully fleeting- moment born of my mounting grief & not of a rational healthy future outlook, I know. It makes me wonder how many of these second relinquishments are from a similar attempt to 'make things right' with their first child.

      Delete
    9. rebekah - there is nothing at all that is sick about feeling a need for contact with your relinquished child. indeed, often rationalizing things can be unhealthy. i wish for you to have deep and enduring connection with all of your children, if that is not possible now with your relinquished child then i hope you can start one once she is an adult.

      Delete
  9. Birthmumof2: as an adoptee your comment sickens me. So much so that I can't be online reading about adoption any more today. Your two children will have issues. I hope you're happy having given them to strangers to raise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can relate, Julia Emily. Reading about a first mother who is proud and even boastful about having given not one, but TWO, children to strangers to raise does make me need to reach for my adoptee barf bag.

      Delete
  10. California DreaminApril 23, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    Teresa was clearly irritated by the gifts that Catelynn & Tyler brought their daughter. Probably b/c it wasn't something small. When Tyler brought out the gift bag, you can clearly hear Teresa say, "UGH!" Watch it again. Tell me what you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will watch it again as I recorded it and can scroll through the other "girls," including Maci who doesn't want to get married before she has her next baby so she can get "drunk" at her wedding. Nice.

      But clearly Brandon and Teresa especially are having a hard time with the public scrutiny that adopting the baby of America's sweethearts, as they seem to have become. (BTW, I don't think they are married yet, either. So it goes.) And certainly she is having a hard time seeing Carly relate to them. But not having seen her natural parents for an entire year, I wondered if she really knew who they were.

      Delete
  11. California Dreamin--I wondered the same thing too. That the Birthmomof2's story was so swell it was hard to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. motherof4gave1awayApril 23, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    can't really believe a mother could give so little thought to her children's psycological future wellbeing after all the research i've read on ptsd.

    and also can't get it with the t.v. show...are the moms and dads (adults) or are they original girls and boys (children)? if i was them i would sue, i'm sure the children will.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ladies:

    There are MANY women like bmomof2. To my understanding, many of today's bmoms who place, and theres a partner involved, are given ultimatums:"it's either the kid or me!" There are some women who will do anything to "keep a man" and that includes placing their own flesh and blood. Who do you think is behind placing the child when the bparents are married or living together? Its usually the male, because he doesn't want kids or doesn't want the added responsibility of raising another one, and gives the woman an ultimatum ( " the kid goes or I go!") Sad but true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get that. My daughter's father (married with kids) said he was going to leave his wife (and thus, the children) but it was a time when divorce even in NY was not that easy to get, when his Catholic Irish family was going berserk, when I had to leave my good job before I showed and go into hiding. Later, he said, we would be together. Later, after she was given away. Few single women kept their babies. My family could not help financially. My life up to then had been a struggle. I felt I did not have a choice. His marriage did break apart, but it was too late for us. Perhaps that was a good thing, considering everything.

      What I find difficult to fathom is that Birthmumof2 seems quite content to do the same thing to a second child, as if she is doing a good thing. It's a different world, and I find it dreadful to contemplate, considering what we know about how being adopted hurts.

      But apparently it's a small trend--give up a child to a couple, provide them with a spare.

      Delete
  14. Wow ok. First of I am sorry for all the controversy I caused. I am NOT with the bio dad, haven't been since he told me to abort our Son. Our son was not planned, the condom broke ad it was my first time so I wasnt on birth control. My daughter was the result of a one night stand with the Bio dad after he told me he wanted to make contact with our Son. I want my kids to have 2 parents and I thought he was going to change. But lo and behold when my birth control failed and I told him I was pregnant again he ran. I haven't seen or heard from him since, he hasn't even asked his parents about her even though he knows they are in contact with me. I gave my daughter to the same couple because I couldn't care for her either and I wanted her to be with her brother. No I will not have more kids for them. I am not a baby factory, I am on a better birth control and playing it as safe as I can. The adoptive parents were friends of a friend, I was shown other couples but not one wanted the same level of openness as this couple. They call me every few days and make sure I spend time with my kids. I am even on the list of authorised people to collect them from daycare/ kindergarden. I know this is unusual but for us it works. As to why I couldn't keep my kids, I have had many issues as a child and teenager and this led to depression and self harm. I was a danger to myself and my kids, the state were involved and most likely I would have lost them both forever so I choose adoption myself instead. Only this way could I be part of their lives. I am in therapy and learning to live with my past, but only since my kids do I have something to live for. Please don't judge a fellow birth mother until you have walked in her shoes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for elucidating the circumstances. Without knowing more about your story it did come across as reckless and calculating. We have heard (and someone mentioned it above) about other cases where the woman has more than one child to relinquish and goes back to the same parents to ask if they want another.

      Your current situation sounds about as good as it could get for a natural mother. So many "open adoptions" close; yours is wide open. It also sounds as if you were very clear with the adopting parents about how much openness you wanted--something too few women think about or are offered.

      Thank you for coming back and explaining further for everyone. If you want to see the comments, just check a little box when you comment that allows you to be notified. I forgot what it says since I don't see it when I comment.

      Delete
  15. Sorry I didn't eludicate the circumstances before. I rarely talk about everything, there is a lot of shame and pain surrounding my past. In answer to some people here I DO worry about my kids and what they will think and what they will say later in life. I just hope that the APS and I can find a way to explain this all to them in a way they will understand. I love my children and I want them to understand that I placed them out of love and for their safety as I WAS NOT in a place to provide for their safety. I am just grateful that I was and still am allowed so much contact despite all my troubles. I hope that it continues to stay this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for coming back and explaining your situation in more detail. I apologize if I came across hurtful in my earlier comments. Your original comment did come across as callous and reckless and as an adoptee that was triggering for me. My first priority is always for the welfare of the adoptee (or in your case, adoptees).

      Delete
  16. Lorraine, this is a great article of yours, so insightful.

    I avoided watching the whole 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom programmes until my son suggested I did.

    My fear was that the programmes would be trivialising, or romanticising, or simply triggering.

    But now I actually think these programmes offer real insights into the pernicious processes behind adoption - particularly by those who aim to get a baby (whether those are the individual adults seeking to adopt or so-called counsellors within adoption agencies).

    I also think they show the multifarious pressures acting upon very vulnerable youngsters who lack knowledge, resources, experience and also hope that the future might be different from the past.
    It's appalling that they now shill for the adoption agency but not surprising - Dawn, the adoption worker, is never far away and is admin on their Facebook page, presumably ensuring that nothing gets through that might pop the cash cow that is their public support for adoption. Personally, I think they've burrowed so deeply into denial (a place many of us have been) to calm the intolerable pain of giving up one's baby. My social worker tried to get me to do the same - luckily I never did, but like them I trusted my social worker to be acting morally rather than greedily.

    My reaction to these programmes, before watching them, was a visceral need to avoid, but I've actually found them very enlightening.



    ReplyDelete
  17. Dawn is their Facebook admin? That is the wackiest thing I ever heard of. If she is the admin, that is part of her paid job for Bethany: find more unsuspecting kids to herd into adoption. That really says it all. Thanks for letting us know!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm a 64 yr old adoptee. I was adopted in NC at the age of 3 mos. through Children's Home Society of NC. Yes, I had a good life. Yes, I had loving adoptive parents who wanted me. But I suffered great emotional and psychological problems.
    I always knew I was adopted as was my younger brother and it was discussed in our home. I know first hand the insecurities of adoptive mothers, I felt it my entire life. I learned early on if I asked questions about my birth mother she became uncomfortable. I so remember her saying "She had problems and couldn't keep you." I NEVER heard "Your birth mother loved you." My relationship with her was strained, however my relationship with my daddy was incredible. He was always the stable force in my life.
    I always felt "different".... I always felt "lost".....I was always looking for something......I always felt second-class and insecure. I knew I didn't look like anyone in our family. I became pregnant at 15 and my parents decided abortion was the best thing for me. A family member in the "judicial field" handled things. I came home and was told we would put this behind us and not talk about it again....we didn't. Oh the guilt, the pain, the loss I still suffer from, even after all these years. I tried to end my life my slitting my wrists....I so wanted to die. Yes, I got help but no amount of counseling could help me deal with the pain of my adoption and the loss of my child.I became pregnant again 2 yrs later, this time briefly marrying my baby's father and keeping my baby girl. I remarried at 20 and had another baby girl. My husband was abusive to me and my babies. I left and my daddy helped me. I finally met the man I've been with 38 yrs, who adopted my girls and has loved us and been so, so loving and good to us.
    I've met my birth parents. I have 2 brothers, one who died recently. He and I looked like twins we looked so much alike. I feel so cheated that I grew up without my brothers. I still feel like my mother chose them over me. She has suffered all these years. She has carried the guilt and loss. She can't even talk to me without saying "Oh I know you hate me" "Oh I'm so sorry."I still ask why. I still feel pain and loss. I still have issues and insecurities. I take antidepressants and have for years. I take meds so I can sleep. I have never felt secure around people. I never excelled in school, even though I scored extremely high on tests. I have major problems with relationships, even my own children. I could go on and on and on.........
    Who was the "winner" in my case? The damn adoption agency who with smiling faces take babies out of mother's arms and places them in another mother's arms. Yes, I'm bitter....hurt....angry.....and just so, so, so sad. Adoption simply ruined my life.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just commented as anonymous......64 yr old adoptee adopted in NC and I tried to share my story and feelings.. I should have used a name. I have decided I want to use my birth name, given to me by my birth mother. Please change my comment from anonymous to Kathryn, my birth name.
    Thank you very much..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathryn, Thanks for commenting. I am sorry to read of your hardships as an adoptee.

      We're not able to change your original comment. You can delete it and re-post your comment using your name. You also sent us your email address in another comment. I think it is not a good idea to post that.

      Delete

We welcome comments from all, and appreciate letting us know how you relate to adoption when you leave your first comment.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish or not. Anonymous comments from the same individual are more likely to be NOT POSTED. Select the NAME/URL selection, add a name. You do not need a URL. Fine to use a nom de plume.

COMMENTS AT POSTS OVER 30 DAYS OLD LESS LIKELY TO BE PUBLISHED.

We aim to be timely but we do have other lives.

For those coming here from Networked Blogs on Facebook, if it does not allow you to make a comment, click the "x" on the gray "Networked Blogs" tool bar to exit out of that frame and it should then let you comment.

We are unlikely to post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.