' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Argument to give up your baby is the same old one heard before

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Argument to give up your baby is the same old one heard before

Sept.1, 2013 cover of New Republic
First Mother Forum is included as a place where you can "Meet the New Anti-Adoption Movement" in the current issue of The New Republic, to wit:

"Some women, like Corrigan D’Arcy, blog their stories. They run message boards with names like “First Mother Forum” and “Pound Pup Legacy,” full of tales of bitterly regretted adoptions. They hold retreats for birth mothers* and adoptees. They’ve formed several grassroots activist organizations, including Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform, Origins-USA, and Concerned United Birthparents. Some call themselves adoption reformers. Others prefer terms such as 'adoption truth advocate.' A few will come straight out and say they’re anti-adoption."

The piece, by Emily Matchar, is good and straight-forward reportage about the growing sense of dissolution about adoption in America, and makes reference to the Baby Scoop Era before Roe v. Wade, as well as the pressure that we, mothers of that time, were under to relinquish our children.

It points out that we are part of a broad and loose coalition of activists out to "change the way adoption works in America," making political bedfellows of Mormon and fundamentalist women who woke up one day and realized how their religion had pressured them to relinquish their babies, adoptive parents who have had traumatic experiences with corrupt adoption agencies (and I would add, some sensitive adoptive parents), as well as progressives who believe that adoption at bottom is a classist institution "that takes the children of the young and poor and gives them to the wealthier and better-educated." 

That is where Jane and I, bloggers of First Mother Forum, would count ourselves, as well as among those single women who kowtowed to the enormous cultural pressure to give up our children when they were born in 1966. The piece notes that 50 years ago, before Roe, approximately 9 percent of babies born to unmarried women were placed for adoption. Though it does not mention it, the statistic for white middle-and upper-class women were much higher. Some estimates put it at 80 percent,* and some as high as 95 percent.** It is no wonder that surrendering a child during that era has been dubbed a “white woman’s disease." 
Of course, we thought we were "smart" and "doing the right thing"
April 8, 1966, cover of Time
by letting our children grow up in a two-parent family with a puppy and a white picket fence. We were not "selfish" enough to keep our babies, lest they face the censure of growing up as a "bastard," child of a "fallen woman" who god forbid, had sex outside of marriage! The cultural pressure to hew to this set of rules was fierce. Very few of us got support and help from our parents, and as both Jane and I have noted, the shame of our getting "knocked up" was so great that neither of us told our mothers.

Talk about pressure to hold it in. My daughter's father urged me--sternly--me to not cry as we left the hospital with our premie left behind in an incubator. I remember the long trip down in the elevator, the candy-striper pushing the wheel chair, the awful lump in my chest that felt the size of a basketball. I spent the next 24 hours alone, occasionally looking out the window at skyblue sunshine. The weather was glorious that day, not in tune with my emotions. It was Easter Sunday and God was nowhere in sight. The cover of Time magazine asked if He were dead. Yes was my unequivocal answer--what God?

That all seems a lifetime ago. Today the culture today has shifted so much--single women can keep their babies. But the pressure on women to give them to "more deserving, more stable"--i.e., almost certainly wealthier--and NOT keep them continues unabated as people today skate through their most fertile years, getting an education, getting established, completing adventures on some list before they even think about settling down with a family, and then Whoops! too late. Thus begins rounds of assisted fertility treatments, the chances of failure being around 70 percent in the United States, even higher on a global scale, 77 percent. That means that nearly seven out of ten tries with assisted fertility fails. Life has gotten so attuned to IVF, surrogacy, purchased eggs and sperm (and any form of assisted procreation that I might be forgetting here) that one woman in New Jersey, getting divorced at 38, is asking for $20,000 from her ex in order to retrieve her eggs and freeze them for several years in the event that she might want to have a child, since she used up some of her most fecund years being married for eight years to whomever she is now divorcing!

But I digress. I just knew you would find that last sentence as fascinating. Since waiting-past-prime-fertility among the white and educated and moneyed (at least middle class) is the style du jour, and since the rate of failure is so high, the pressure for those who are untimely pregnant to give up their babies to loving couples is as great as it was back in the day. Why keep your baby when so many "worthy" couples--straight and gay--will take them off your hands? When you can have an "open" adoption? When you can make someone so happy with you "gift?" When you can look through scrapbooks of pictures and pick out someone who lives five states away (thus making it hard to visit) but who offers a stable, "two-parent" family who loves hiking and has a boat at their lakeside cottage? (That two-parent thing again.)

It's not just the myriad number of agencies who are in business to relieve you of your baby. Yes, there are the liberal thinkers who understand the classist bent of adoption today; but then there are the other so-called "progressives" (often well-educated women who want to keep adoption as an option for themselves) who put together white papers called The Adoption Option making adoption, once again, seem like the perfect solution it was a half century ago! Too young, too poor to have a child? Give her to a well-heeled couple! With its high-toned language and research, The Adoption Option tries to smell like Chanel Number 5 instead of the same old BS that it actually is.

Part of the message is that adoption is a better option that abortion. Better for whom? As Matchar notes in the New Republic: "Adoption...is known to cause “a sense of loss that is all-encompassing," says the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.) Adoption counselors are frequently adoptive parents themselves, which puts them in a less-than-neutral position."

If you happen not to fall in the clutches of agencies like Nightlight Christian Adoptions, or Bethany, or any agency run with LDS in its initials, you might succumb to the ads on paper place mats at your local burger joint, the sides of trucks or, I am not kidding--bill boards. While some agencies, such as Spence-Chapin in New York City are discontinuing domestic infant adoptions due to a lack of "product," ingenious and wealthy couples are turning to social media and other forms of advertising in their fervid quest for a healthy infant. Yesterday a reader, Mrs. Tarquin Bisquitbarrel sent this:
"...Just before Exit 8A northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike, I saw a billboard reading "Loving Couple Seeking to Adopt." I scribbled down their web address, www.adopt2013.com, and looked it up on my iPhone. "Orna and Jay" also provide a toll-free number.

"Their website is extremely vague about where they live, and the follow-up in the media notes that "Orna and Jay" are not their real names. The Maryland couple opted to put up the billboard ($2,000 a month!) in New Jersey because that state lets mothers relinquish just 72 hours after birth, whereas the state of Maryland allows the mothers up to a month to decide.

"Orna and Jay" already have adopted an eighteen-month-old boy from somewhere. He didn't look very happy to me, either with his APs or riding on their much-vaunted pontoon boat. 'Orna' allegedly is a physician, so one would imagine that she'd be familiar with the option of looking into adopting from foster care, but nope. They want another baby.

"'We feel as a couple our goal is to market ourselves to as many people [as possible] to let them know there’s an option for their 16-, 18-, 20-, or 25-year-old young woman who isn't ready to be a mom,” Jay explained to CBS. “What we hope to find is that one unique situation where someone picks up the phone or goes to our website and says ‘hey I can give a great gift to this couple.’
"The gut-slammers include, at least for me, '... 20- or 25-year-old young woman,' as well as the, 'hey, I can give a great gift to this couple.'  Gift! Sheeeee-it!"
Now tell me again how the pressure to give away your baby has changed since the bad ole' days? I'd say: not much.--lorraine



*Mink, Gwendolyn and Solinger, eds., Welfare: A Documentary of History of U.S. Policy and Politics, 2003. p. 177.

**Ellison, M., Authoritative Knowledge and Single Women's Unintentional Pregnancies, Abortions, Adoption, and Single Motherhood: Social Stigma and Structural Violence, 2003, Medical Anthropology Quarterly 17(3). p. 326.  
Couple Gets Creative With New Jersey Adoption Billboard

NOTE: Until adoptivemother and adoptiveparent is one word, birth mother will be two words at FMF. Original story had us as one word. 

Response to The Adoption Option
Advice from an adoptive mother to one hoping to adopt
Spence-Chapin out of the infant adoption business
How shame keeps birth mothers from embracing reunion
Adoption and the Mormon Church
Shotgun Adoptions via Crises Pregnancy Centers

Adoption: Uncharted Waters by David Kirschner is an unvarnished look at the sometimes devastating effect of being relinquished for adoption. Examines adoption issues of abandonment, loss, rejection, attachment, bonding, birth-parent fantasies & split-identity; as reflected in the Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS) and evidenced in extreme cases of adoptees who commit acts of homicide. Clinical and forensic issues in adoption are explored in high-profile cases. After reading this, adoption may not smell so sweet. Order by clicking on book jacket above.



  1. Your snarky comments "skating through their most fertile years" while "getting an education, getting established, completing adventure on somelists" misconstrues a conscious and laudable decision by many women to wait to start a family until they can provide a finanacially and emotionally stable home as well as an enriching environment. You imply these actions are self indulgent. You are wrong. They are mature and responsible.

  2. Be as mature and responsible and financially stable as you want, Anon, just don't come crying to us when you can't have a child and look around to get somebody else's.

    Young women and men today need to have the message of optimum fertile years pounded into them, it seems, because so many don't begin think about having babies at 35. I personally know parents who are holding their breath hoping their daughters get pregnant as they are in their late late 30s, and one is 40. When I asked how one daughter got pregnant, the woman responded: Don't even ask....

    And just for a kicker, look at the stats for children on the Asperger's spectrum: a significant percentage were born to...older fathers. I know two such children; both have fathers who were well into their 40s before the children were conceived. My personal example doesn't "prove" anything but it sure does fit the statistic. Snark fully intended.

  3. Hi Anon 5:10 pm, I am one of those women who made the choice to get educated and focus on my career. Along the way, I hoped to meet someone to marry - the desire was especially strong in my mid-20s when I hoped to have a baby. That didn't happen. Instead, I married at the age of 37, which is borderline at best for fertility.

    I don't regret my life, my choices. I don't want to tout my choices as the worst or the best, the most stupid or the most mature, whatever....they simply were choices and, sometimes, destiny. What would be distasteful to me, however, and disrespectful to human life, would be to "cure" my now infertile state (resulting from choices, destiny, whatever) by publicly soliciting other people's babies. I read the "billboard" article and it floored me that someone would do that.

    As an "infertile," I definitely do not want to be at the receiving end of Lorraine's snarkiness - I agree with you about that! I think, however, that the snark is directed at how some people who have accomplished the rest of their important life goals react to their infertility: by thinking that finding a baby is an easy "quick fix" for all, the "adopters" and the "birthers." And it isn't - the future of a child, a complex being governed by his/her genetics as well as environment, must be weighed with great care and thought.

  4. Come off it, anon. You don't have to be well into your 30's before you can provide a financially and emotionally stable home. Many women in their teens or early 20's have children and they and their children do just fine. BTW POTUS' mother was a teenager.

    Of course young mothers may not be able to afford the latest baby do-dahs, the elite pre-school, the nanny, the au pair etc. They may have to make-do with hand-me-down cribs and baby clothes, grandma baby-sitters, and scrubbing their own toilets.

    The women I've met who are delaying having children aren't waiting until they are financially and emotionally stable (what ever that is). They say something like this: "I don't know if I want to have children or not. If I decide I do and it's too late, I'll just adopt." Totally oblivious to the pain adoption causes for both first mothers and their children.

  5. "many don't begin think about having babies at 35."

    This is because of the sucky economy, student loan debt, and the inability to find jobs and stabilize.

    Thanks baby boomers for fucking it all up for us!

    You left us this crappy-ass economy and ran up student loan debt. Stop blaming us and take some responsibility for fucking up the economic world. How much does it cost now to get an education? Your generation did this to us!

    I hate baby boomers who blame the younger generation for not getting married young and pumping out kids, because you know they got a college education for free or little $$ and could buy a house with one salary, and gas was how much again? Oh yeah, practically nothing!

  6. I don't appreciate the snark.

    women who relinquished weren't the only women who felt economic coercion not to have babies.

    Women who relinquished weren't the only ones who were FAILED BY THEIR BABY BOOMER MOTHERS IN A PROFOUND WAY.

    Just as you fail other women now.


  7. "Of course young mothers may not be able to afford the latest baby do-dahs, the elite pre-school, the nanny, the au pair etc. They may have to make-do with hand-me-down cribs and baby clothes, grandma baby-sitters, and scrubbing their own toilets."



  8. To Jay Iyer,

    "The future of a child, a complex being governed by his/her genetics as well as environment, must be weighed with great care and thought."

    Thanks, Jay! You put it in such a lovely way.

    To Anonymous, I think it is the flippant attitude that some people have about adoption that bothers those of us who have lived what it really means to be adopted. As Jay stated, people often think of it as a quick solution to a problem. But, adoption is an ongoing event for many of us.

    For all too many people, it's not properly weighted.... Let me put it this way: My parents were able to adopt two children, yet our family was unable to adopt a dog from the local shelter because no one was going to be home all day long to take care of the dog. As a twelve year old, I wondered why we didn't qualify to adopt a dog, but my parents qualified to adopt me.

  9. er...technically we are not baby boomers.

  10. Being the source of the "Orna and Jay" anecdote, I should point out that during my peak childbearing years (early and midtwenties), I had foolishly married Mr. Wrong. My extensive network of in-laws put extraordinary pressure on me to have a baby to "fix" the dreadful marriage. I was even asked to carry a baby for in-laws who were trying to conceive, and then give it to them!

    So I ran. Got the hell out of Dodge. Got divorced Concentrated on my career. Tried to forget about babies, love, or marriage. Fell in love with Mr. B, married him, and bore three children in my thirties. In that respect, I was unbelievably lucky. If I hadn't been, I still wouldn't have thought that infertility entitled me to the baby of someone as young and poor as I once was.

  11. "women who relinquished weren't the only women who felt economic coercion not to have babies."

    ? Do not understand.

    If those of you jumping on Lorraine have never heard young women in their twenties say they are going to wait until they are 35 or 36 to have a baby, you haven't been around a lot of young women. Finances are often not what they are talking about. Too often today a woman's fertility span is ignored until it is too late. Because there's "always adoption." The whole culture is going this way, not just some self-centered women. But maybe this a a way to control population on a global scale.

    Life is a sum of all our choices.

  12. In the end if you have to convince or provide an argument to acquire a child you are doing wrong. Nobody gets a free pass in life for doing wrong.

  13. Seriously, blaming baby boomers for your inability to have a child...good one..thats a first! So that means you can go takes someones else's baby?

    You really believe that you are the FIRST generation that has to actually work for for you have attained? Talk to a generation of depression mothers that had 2 eggs to feed 3 children..

    Stop whining and try to make it better for yourself...nothing comes free and you have loan, we all do...you choose to take out those loans and yes you were duped into believing that it would pay off...life sucks some times. That is still no excuse to delay your child rearing in the hopes of foregoing birthing a baby and taking someone else's. It also may mean that you can not do all the fun stuff that your generation is useto (yes the fault of your baby boomer parents...sheesh trying to make life good for you)

  14. "Seriously, blaming baby boomers for your inability to have a child...good one..thats a first! So that means you can go takes someones else's baby?"

    Why would I want someone else's baby? you couldn't pay me enough to take care of somebody else's baby.
    Adoption is not natural. Take care of your own kid and don't try to pawn it off on me.

  15. "That is still no excuse to delay your child rearing in the hopes of foregoing birthing a baby and taking someone else's. It also may mean that you can not do all the fun stuff that your generation is useto (yes the fa"

    yeah, it was real fun taking care of my early alzhiemer's mother while my dad died of cancer and I paid off 50K of student loans in a economic recession.

    oh yeah I had a lotta fun. It was particularly great when they brought in the hospice. And planning the funeral was great too. And trying to figure out how to pay for the funeral with no money and a bunch of asshole relatives who wouldn't help. That was super duper fun.

  16. "The elite pre-school, the nanny, the au pair etc."
    Most people, adopters or not, don't even dream of such things. You must move in different circles than most of us.
    And, would you believe, it's not unheard of for older mothers to have to make do with hand-me-downs and having to clean their own toilets too.
    Too broad a snark for words.

  17. I interrupt our regularly scheduled program to wish a HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY birthday to Veronica (Ronnie) Brown. I am so grateful she is spending the day with her daddy. Let us hope and pray that she has many more birthdays in the care of her father, her stepmother, Robin, and the rest of her paternal family.

    We're fighting for you every step of the way, Dusten and Ronnie.

    And this is a great post, Lorraine.

  18. Still not sure how the "baby boomers" failed you. Every generation has to figure it out for themselves. Every generation tries to make it better for the next.

    I struggled, did not have things handed to me, my parents struggled..they stuggled through the seventies and the reccession, my grandparents struggled though the depression. AND I was adopted, so financially it was not easy even though it was suppose to be.

    I buried my amother with 5 kids...all little...yes I did have help but I did not wait to have children until i was "ready" . Life is hard but not sure if you are saying that all the horrible things that happened to you is an excuse to delay childbearing and count on adoption to fullfil your dreams of having baby. Thats wonderful you want to adopt from foster care. Make sure you educate yourself on what the true needs of the child are thouh because these kids need unselfish parenting to the nth degree. ALL adoption needs more educating but especially from foster care.

  19. Oooooh. Happy Birthday Ronnie!

    Now back to infertility. I read a lot of blogs of infertiles, many of them have "unexplained infertility". Which if you dig a little deeper means they most likely had an untreated STD ears ago that sterilized them in some way.
    And yet, we never hear about that. It's just "unexplained.".
    And now somebody owes them a bebe.
    And this is the thing, these infertile people whine and cry and want their employers and health care providers to recognize infertility as a disease and cover their 100k+ treatments.
    I don't think so.
    You made a choice a long time ago, now you need to live with the consequences. Sounds like something a great deal of infertiles say to first parents every day.
    The thought of my health insurance company recognizing self inflicted infertility as a disease...I'm sorry I can't get on board with that.
    But I also don't like the adoption tax credit.

  20. The reason women wait to have children until their late 30s or 40s is because we were told we could. Women of my generation and younger were encouraged to pursue 'meaningful' and 'fulfilling' careers first and told that we could still start a family when we were forty. Also, living in a post sexual revolution world made it more likely that men would not be willing to commit at a young age. In other words, feminism sold us a bill of goods in a lot of ways.

    But then again, all generations are lied to. Even all the people who think they can 'just adopt' are being lied to. Adopt, who? Most of them probably want a white infant and don't realize there aren't anywhere near enough available to meet the demand. Don't misunderstand, I'm not complaining about that. Just that they are in for a rude awakening when they really start looking into adoption.

    Anon does make a valid point about the economy. The last five years have seen the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, although I don't think it's the baby boomers' fault. Ever since Reagan in the 1980s, the middle class has been shrinking, to the point where it is now almost completely decimated. With all of the birth control available today, it is not surprising that in today's economic climate many couples would put off having children.

    I think the western world needs to get out of the mindset that we can all decide when we are going to have children and exactly how many children we are going to have. Some of the saddest stories I hear are from women, who as college students, had an abortion or gave up a child for adoption, and then weren't in a committed relationship until their late thirties and couldn't conceive. Maybe they were meant to have that baby in their late teens or twenties, even if it didn't seem to fit into their life plan at the time.

  21. From the animal kingdom:

    Even baby elephants are devastated when their mothers abandon them.


    And Gorillas recognize their own siblings when reunited after a separation.


  22. Unexplained infertility means just that. Infertility that does not have an identified cause. Not every women in an IVF clinic is over 40 (though many are) and the suggestion that women who are infertile have been sleeping around seems rather spiteful. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't but they aren't the women having children "out of wedlock".

    Someone does need educate women that if they delay, they are rolling the dice. Of course, having gone to all the trouble to acquire an expensive education, they need time to pay back the debts they incurred.

    One problem with the US is too many people go to college. Not everyone needs to.

  23. infertile_adoptive_momSeptember 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    HA! said: "Now back to infertility. I read a lot of blogs of infertiles, many of them have "unexplained infertility". Which if you dig a little deeper means they most likely had an untreated STD ears ago that sterilized them in some way.
    And yet, we never hear about that. It's just "unexplained."."

    I have never had an STD in my life (and yes, I was tested on numerous occasions). Not only that, I've never had even a yeast infection. Healthy as can be. Same with my husband (he's been tested too). And you know what? Both of us have fertility issues. We started trying to conceive in our early 30s (he was in his late 20's).

    I'm sorry but you can't account for 1 out of 8 couples dealing with infertility to undiagnosed STDs or age.

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. I understand why infertile people would read this blog; am I right to assume it is to understand adoption better? Because it is on your mind?

    I am just asking for clarification here, as I do not think that first mothers read a lot of blogs about infertility.

    Who began the name calling? I did not see the slut word until this:
    "But if you want to call women slutty mc-slut sluts that's your right. It's clarifies your political position in regards to women."

    FMF is the last to call anyone a slut. Unless this is explained by tonight .."now I'm outta here"... I see no reason to tar the whole blog with your comment.

    Yes, baby boomers did vote for de-regulation after all the peace and love and sharing of the 60s. Deregulation as championed not only by Ronald Reagan but also Carter to some degree, and then Bush and Clinton. But the great divide between the Haves and Have-nots was exacerbated by the "trickle-down" economic policy Ronald Reagan and his financial gurus pushed. The divide that always existed spiraled upwards quickly during his presidency and deregulation, and the lack of unions, and the international economy and the demand for cheap goods produced by people making slave wages--blame all that for the economic shape of the country. There is no question that the US is in a period of decline and the next generations will feel it more keenly than mine did.

    Yes, baby boomers elected him; I was not one of them. Neither was Jane.

  26. Let's give her family and her a birthday present:
    If you are on Facebook PLEASE "Like" the STANDING OUR GROUND FOR VERONICA BROWN page.

    She is with her daddy on her fourth birthday and apparently she will stay in Oklahoma during the appeal to the OK Supreme Court. And a happy birthday to my brother, Richard, who shares this day with her

  27. infertile_adoptive_momSeptember 15, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Why do I read FMF? Because it's a point of view that I wasn't aware of before. Because even if I don't agree with what some of your commenters say, I think all opinions are valid and should be heard and respected. I started reading this site long before we adopted. Honestly, I feel a kinship with first mothers (and fathers) in that we've all had some sort of primal loss. Yes, they are different types of pain, but loss is loss and we don't need to quantify it to make it valid.

  28. Career-driven, older women with STDs? That's us infertiles, eh?? Ha. Ha. Ha. Sorry. Not even close. Married at 21 (both virgins...I hadn't even kissed another man), tried to get pregnant from 23-27, and what did that get me? 5 miscarriages and 3 pre-term (non-viable) births, several surgeries, and eventually a radical hysterectomy at 28. So, boo-yah to your theory.

    I read here because we are looking into adoption via foster care. I actually found you originally through a infertile foster (turned adoptive) mom's blog. I want to know every aspect of adoption, not just what I am "supposed" to think.

    Frankly, I'd love to ask questions here, but the readers/commenters are far too angry and that makes me shy.

  29. I am infertile. I have known since I was 16. I'm now in my late 30s. I have no intention of adopting. No thoughts of even trying to have a child. Why? Because I love my career and my life. I don't need a child to complete it (although a decent boy friend wouldn't be a bad addition). I read FMF because I think it's interesting. I found you via a blog about infertility/adoption.

  30. Ahhh yes....

    Infertile women are all old, STD-ridden, cold, unthinking, stressed, fat, career-driven women. You know, if I had a dollar for every time someone (who didn't know anything about infertility) gave me an invalid reason for my condition, I would be a very wealthy woman. Hmmm. I was told by my priest that I was being punished for something. My father told me: "clearly you're not enjoying sex with your husband" and that I should orgasm more (awkward...). My ex-best friend told me that it was because I used to use tampons. My mother explained that it was my lack of "water in my horoscope". My first GYN told me that if I just "relaxed" and "went on vacation" it would just happen. My aunt told me that it was because I was allergic to pineapple. My sister blamed it on my lack of faith. My brother blamed my husband. My husband (uber-fertile dude, btw) just held me as I cried.

    I don't think first mothers like assumptions made about them any more than infertiles do. Something you should keep in mind.

    I was a health 24 year old when I had my first clue I was infertile. And several years later, I discovered it was caused by a birth defect I didn't know I had. No STDs, no AMA, no nothing unusual. We eventually went on to have a child via surrogacy (my daughter was carried by my cousin...and yes, my daughter knows).

    So, why do I read? Same reason I read a blog about a woman collecting different species of roses for her garden...because it's interesting.

  31. "I'm sorry but you can't account for 1 out of 8 couples dealing with infertility to undiagnosed STDs or age._-Anon.
    I'm sorry, but yes you CAN attribute a great deal of "infertility" to age:
    "Women’s fertility begins to decline as early as their late 20s and early 30s. The decline is accelerated around age 35 and continues through the early 40s until menopause. For women trying to have children in their 30s or over, this means it will likely take longer to get pregnant. Some women may end up having fewer children than they had hoped to have. With advanced maternal age, there is an increased risk of miscarriage (50% for women 44 years of age), more complications during pregnancy (e.g. gestational diabetes; pre-eclampsia), more premature births, and higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities such as downs syndrome (1 in 30 for women 45 years of age) among babies born to older mothers who use their own eggs."

    ..."who could blame women for hoping that they are more reproductively robust than is actually the case? Childbearing decisions are made within the cultural and historical context in which people live. The current environment is one in which women are encouraged to make the most of their education, by developing their presence in the workplace. Yet, the workplace and society make it exceptionally difficult for women to do this and also have a family. In an attempt to satisfy these two competing demands, women often delay having children in order to buy themselves some time. Unfortunately, women sometimes wait too long and find that they are unable to have children, or have great difficulty in doing so."


  32. Oh my, anon certainly has "mommy" and anger issues! Lol. Yeah, way to go, blaming the baby boomers for your choices in life. Lets have a big huge pity party for the poor little anon who feels the baby boomers are just so mean.

    Give me a break. What is it with these entitled people who blame everyone for their issues but don't take accountability for their crap?? Same old, same old.

  33. Hi Barren, I am an adoptive mom who adopted from foster care. Don't be shy - I find that the authors of this blog
    are totally fine with disagreement as long as it is a viewpoint, rationally supported, rather than a personal insult.

    In any case, if you have any questions regarding foster adoption, I am happy to help with the information I have available. If you want to write to me back channel, let me know and I'll give you my e-mail address.

  34. Please Barren, people here tend to be rather nice, provided you are willing to accept that adoption usually turns out to be a bad thing, (though not always worse than the alternatives).

  35. Theodore: Interesting twist on adoption. And yes, I agree with you...about the "not always worse than the alternatives." Stuff happens, to paraphrase John Lennon, I think. There will always be adoption in the world. However, it should often be handled quite differently than it is in this country and many other "civilized" nations....starting with cases like Veronica Brown and now Deserei, which is coming from the same adoption attorney (Raymond Godwin) and same agency (Nighlight CHRISTIAN Adoptions.)

    Good morning, Monday.

    On a whole other note that has nothing to do with adoption, I was pleased to see (yes I watched bits of the show, a holdover from my callow youth) that the new Miss America was of Indian blood and...(this is totally state-pride here) from New York, a melting pot of diversity.

  36. Oh please!

    What I am "hearing" from people who are anti-adoption is nothing more than the justification of their jealousy against adoptive parents.

    Let's face it, many of today's bmoms( and some BSE mothers) feel guilt and remorse because they did not 'step to the plate' when it came to raising their child. And now, they are experiencing the consequences.

  37. Oh Please!

    What I am "hearing" from "Anonymous" is not wanting to know that birth mothers never get over handing over their children to someone else!

    Let's face it, some adoptive moms (and especially from the BSE) don't want to know that adoption fucked up our lives, and those of a great many of our children. Jealous? Actually, there are so many other emotions--guilt, shame, regret, anger--other than jealousy I have never thought about that one.


  38. People, will you just stop already with the blaming and intense judgement towards people who have experienced great pain? (women who lost children and women who are experiencing infertility.)

    It's cruel be so judgemental of other people for circumstances which are largely outside their control.

    And it's cruel to yourself. Because if you are so judgemental of other people's choices, you are likely to be just as cruel when judging your own life.

  39. "You know, if I had a dollar for every time someone (who didn't know anything about infertility) gave me an invalid reason for my condition, I would be a very wealthy woman."

    My friend was told to eat pigeon by her mother-in-law.

    Also - too much education! She can't relax, apparently.

    Everybody who is not a doctor's got an opinion about it. And a judgement.

  40. "....That means, at the most, 0.2% of those with infertility adopt."

    At what age do we count someone "infertile?" At 40? For most women, that is normal. Yes, some women do conceive at 45 even, but that is unusual. Are 7.4 % of the population infertile at say, 25, which would be closes to a peak year of fertility? Your stat needs more detail to be taken seriously. My educated estimate is that women (and we are all different) long past their high peak years for fertility are considered "infertile." My daughter's adoptive parents thought they were infertile until they adopted two children; then they had two "of their own."

    Yes, STDs and the hormones (DES for instance), did make a percentage of the population infertile. That is a known fact. Just as "Low T" is now treatable with testosterone, does that make the normal decline in men's testosterone a disease, as "infertility?"

    Because there are obviously not enough babies to supply the demand of the population who are unable to have children at the time they want to have children, we see and feel the pressure on teens/women to give up their babies...which was the subject of this post. Readers who do not have children, and readers who do have adopted children are apparently very annoyed with what they read here and so leave anonymous comments.

    But if they don't think that the desire of people who wish to start having a family at an age past prime fertility--for whatever reason--is why we see so much pressure today for babies, then they do not understand the basics of supply and demand.

    Now about that billboard....

    Incidentally, I thought more about the number of children of older fathers who are on the Asperger's spectrum who are among my acquaintances: I thought it was two; no, it is three. All three children I know born to fathers in their 40s/50s struggle with Asperger's one way or another.

  41. We will not be publishing anymore comments that say this blog, or our readers, are calling infertile women sluts. Do you and you are wasting your time, no matter who you are. We who gave up our children often felt like the world saw us as sluts; we are now not going to have a blog where commenters infer that we are calling women having trouble conceiving by that same aspersion.

    Boy, if there is a "label that does not deserve to be here on this blog, that surely is it. I just removed a comment that otherwise had interesting points. You Anonymous may repost if you like but include the slut reference--as to we are calling you--and it will not be posted.

  42. Well, I have to say, you will need a much thicker skin if you are planning to raise an adopted child.

    Thank you to the person who pointed out that I called no one a slut. Funny, that so many jumped to that.
    If you must know, I had an active though careful sex life before marriage and was checked regularly for STD's because I knew the risk if one went undiagnosed and I like many of you knew from an early age that I desperately wanted to have children, why? Simple. Because I am an adoptee and I wanted a blood relative. I wanted genetic mirroring. I wanted what had been denied me from the time I was three days old.
    Is your skin thick enough to deal with that truth?
    Lots of people contract STD's who are not sluts, the ones who let them run their course and burn through their reproductive organs are the ones often with serious issues. I never said that made anyone a slut. And yes, by the time they are seeking fertility treatments the STD has run it's course and is undetectable but the tubes and sometimes other parts are shot hence the title "unexplained".
    The thing that frustrates me are women who knowingly wait too long to have children and then want said infertility to be classified as a disease or as I said before, the ones who didn't get their STD's checked in a timely fashion and now are dealing with infertility. I just don't see how that is anyone's problem but the infertile person's and why their "pain" entitles them to someone else's child.

  43. Wow, this turned into a wild discussion. I am not into stereotyping whether it be first mothers, adoptive parents or anyone else. As far as the reference to babyboomers, I am a proud babyboomer, but I will admit that as a whole our generation did rebel a lot and do some very good things but we sure did mess up the economy. I'm sorry.

  44. Well, I have to say, you will need a much thicker skin if you are planning to raise an adopted child.

    If you must know, I had an active though careful sex life before marriage and was checked regularly for STD's because I knew the risk if one went undiagnosed and I like many of you knew from an early age that I desperately wanted to have children, why? Simple. Because I am an adoptee and I wanted a blood relative. I wanted genetic mirroring. I wanted what had been denied me from the time I was three days old.
    Is your skin thick enough to deal with that truth?
    Lots of people contract STD's, nice normal everyday people, unfortunately STD'S often go undetected, they run their course and burn through reproductive organs women often end up with serious issues. And yes, by the time the person is seeking fertility treatments the STD has run it's course and is undetectable but the tubes and sometimes other parts are shot hence the title "unexplained".
    The thing that frustrates me are women who knowingly wait too long to have children and then want said infertility to be classified as a disease or as I said before, the ones who didn't get their STD's checked in a timely fashion and now are dealing with infertility. I just don't see how that is anyone's problem but the infertile person's and why their "pain" entitles them to someone else's child.

  45. You don't have to publish this but I felt the need to emphasize that I as a person do not use the s-word and neither do my family members. That is actually a word we do not allow in our house. As a feminist, I just don't believe that word applies to anyone male or female.
    Thank you for defending the fact that I never used that word in my original comment.

  46. Why am I reading the blog? I am interested in reproductive right movements. And I've got a writing deadline I am avoiding. (know thyself.)

    "The thought of my health insurance company recognizing self inflicted infertility as a disease...I'm sorry I can't get on board with that."

    The blame game regarding infertility is tedious.

    Does this woman have a disease? Do you think she shouldn't be covered by health insurance?

    "My ex partner gave me chlamidya when i was just 22 years old. This resulted in an eptopic pregnancy as the left tube was full of puss. Doctors could not suggest why I was so poorly and in extreme pain and I eventually ended up having a laparoscopy to investigate, this is when they found the infection. They treated me and also told me I had PID, my womb was retrovert and the tubes had fallen behind my womb, also I know that my womb is substantially lower that it used to be with perhaps only 2 and a half inches of the vaginal entry befor I can feel my cervix. Ever since I have been in terrible pain, whilst running, during intercourse and it was getting worse. That is when I went back for a 2nd laparoscopy and they discovered severe adhesions that caused my womb to stick to my liver, they cut it off and removed adhesions and then did a tubular inslaflation ‘dye test’ when i opened my eyes from the op the doctor coldly told me I would never have children again and that a small trickle passed through the right tube and that if this did result in pregnancy it would cause another eptopic. I’m 26 now and still in pain when I have intercourse, some positions are worse than others but that feels like the position of my womb being tilted, i have various sharp pains and before periods can feel agonising pain in my tubes and ovaries. Does any one know what I can do, I so want children again, it has made me feel so depressed and the pain has ruined my sex life, my new partner and i are planning on getting married and i’m sick of pretending I’m too tired for intercourse that lasts over twenty mins its really affecting me and i don’t know how long i can keep up he pretence"


  47. I am actually on board with insurance covering fertility treatments - perhaps then there will be fewer adoptions.

  48. Oh please! now we're jealous of the adopter infertiles? Haha!!!!! Give me a flipping break. As Lorraine pointed out, you don't see many first moms trolling infertile blogs, now do we? I think adopters I know all too well about jealousy. That's why they do everything they can to sabotage a relationship a mother has with her own child. That's why they lie, con and manipulate someone out of her own child. Jealous and possessive to the core... that's the adoptor for ya.

  49. How about a cutoff in age after which infertility is no longer covered? How about 35? After that, you're on your own. I can certainly see it covered up until then for whatever reason.

    I can hear the caterwauling!

  50. Iwas the original anon who posted on this story. Jane your post was a reflection of the very bias I was concerned about. I have many friends who postponed parenthood for the very reasons I posted. I can assure you none of us had au pairs or expensive preschools. However we all have scrubbed more than our fair share of toliets

    The readers of this forum deserve a well rounded perspective about women and men who may find themselves experiencing infertility. Waiting until you are mature, responsible adult, are in a stable and loving relationship and have the financial ability to raise a child is a good thing.

    I wish the writers of this forum could move beyond dime novel chacterizations of themselves and others to engage in a meaningful and useful discussion of the issues.

  51. It's great to wait until you're a mature, loving person in a stable relationship to have children -- but that doesn't require you to wait until you're close to menopause.

    My point is that some women have an exaggerated sense of what it takes to be a mature, responsible adult, financially and emotionally able to raise a child. As a consequence, they wait until it's too late. Then they use their superior resources to justify taking another woman's child.

    I say women but in some cases it's men. Some are reluctant to have a child until they feel fully settled in their careers or have completed the great American novel or gotten their fourth Ph.D. or whatever, requiring their wives to wait until it's too late.

  52. Anon 5:10
    Maybe it is not "an exaggerated sense" but thoughtful planning for an awesome responsibility .. parenthood.

    Your reference to "superior financial resources to take" another woman's child is a dime store characterization of a much more complex isue.

    Genetic parents as victims, adoptees as emotionally damaged,and adopters as insensitive clueless parents makes for dramatic reading but it doesn't advance the question.

    I suggest you consider asking for writers with different perspectives on adoption, adoptee reunions and adopters. This may provide some interesting insight rather than the two dimensionsl depiction this forum often relies on.

  53. Anon says that our posts make for dramatic reading but do not advance the question (whatever that means} and FMF should have writers with different perspectives on adoption (perspective more to anon's liking).

    The purpose of FMF is to be a place where first/birth/natural/real mothers share news and opinions. And vent. We believe we have fulfilled this purpose.

    Although we appreciate our readers, we intend to remain true to our purpose. Those who want something different are welcome to go elsewhere or start their own blog.

  54. Anon 11:10 pm,

    Yes, parenthood is an awesome responsibility, no doubt. Unfortunately, biology does not wait for the perfect set of circumstances.

    In our society, we are inundated with images of older celebrities seemingly easily becoming pregnant well into their 40's, sometimes 50's. It is easy to assume that if these women can get pregnant so late in their fertile years, that the average, non-celebrity can wait as well. Unfortunately, most celebrities don't get into the details and cost of what they had to go through to become pregnant. This deluge of misinformation about fertility leads many average women to wait to start their families and when that doesn't happen naturally, adoption becomes an option. Unfortunately, the supply of infants available for adoption is extremely limited.

    There is such a limited supply of newborns that are given up for adoption each year and the demand is so high that corruption and unethical behavior in adoption is prevalent. That is unacceptable.

    This blog discusses the issues that many other adoption blogs tend to avoid or gloss over. A quick google search for blogs about adoption would garner a flood of adoption blogs presenting the hearts and flowers view of adoption that most people are comfortable with, barely touching on the inherent corruption and damage that most adoptions inflict.

    This blog, and blogs like it, are few and far between and provide a much needed and far more accurate depiction of adoption issues today. I find the articles written here to be much more truthful and real than most other adoption sites. I am grateful that there is a place I can come to read about adoption from people who have experienced the loss and heartbreak of adoption without having to feel bad for those who would seek to adopt.

    Anon, you wrote, "Genetic parents as victims, adoptees as emotionally damaged,and adopters as insensitive clueless parents makes for dramatic reading but it doesn't advance the question." I ask you, what exactly IS the question?

  55. Oops, instead of writing, "Unfortunately, the supply of infants available for adoption is extremely limited." I probably should have written fortunately. I definitely was not implying that I want more infants given up for adoption...just want to be clear.

  56. I am getting the feeling that infertility is being attacked here, or better yet being perceived that its being attacked.

    I don't see it that way at all. Infertility(whatever its causes) is a very sad thing. I would have been devastated if I were infertile. I can't not imagine the pain of waiting every month for that strip to change to the right color, the pain of fertility treatments, the realization that you may never be pregnant, experience pregnancy, or raise your own child. That must be horrible.

    What I will fight tho" is the argument that because someone can not bear their own that they are entitled to someone else's child that THEY feel is inferior to them. The spout how bio does not matter and biois no big deal...thats AFTER they have come to terms of not having their OWN BIO. They will raise this child ( IMO) deep in their hearts mourning the loss of bio. They may love their adopted child, they will love them with all their hearts , but the loss of not having your "own"will always be there.

    And who pays for that? The adopted child because you see, deep in THEIR hearts they know that..they KNOw they were 2nd best and if it was done TRULY if it were needed it MIGHT make it easier. But to think a child could have stayed with their OWN family and was not because a young mother was brainwashed into being a hero, or another mother had a better life too lead without being saddled with a brat, or the adoptive parents fought a better fight to "win" ownership".... well, the sadness i feel for those children for me is much more then infertily, unexpected pregnancy, or "lost dreams" I don't thinkanyonefully understands how deeply this effects a child. Even if it were needed it is not respected because the feelings
    of the mothers and families come before the person who is the prize. So it is buried deeper and deeper and no one can figure out why this child is acting out, or revel in the fact that they are so compliant.

    lWhy are people asking to discuss the issues , and what is there to discuss in terms of inferitly and adoption....should not even be on the same page because the attitude of "well if you can't have your OWN just adopt!" is wrong. If you can't have your own(and that is a horrible tragedy) i feel you need to come to terms with being childless and leave other peoples babies alone...unless they are TRULY in need of a family and often those poor children are NOT the ones people are lining up to adopt.

  57. According to new research at the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queens University Belfast, around 80% of couples who are diagnosed with idiopathic or unexplained infertility have a known cause called high sperm DNA damage.

  58. If they have damaged DNA then couples should not have babies. There is such a thing as natural selection. thanks for the info, Anon, do you have a link?

  59. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114113235.htm

    Link to Science Daily article on sperm DNA damage

  60. "If they have damaged DNA then couples should not have babies."

    That seems very harsh and judgmental.
    There may be other reasons, but I don't see that as a particular reason why such couples should not have babies - so long as the sperm with undamaged DNA can be selectively separated from the sperm with the damaged DNA, as described in this research.
    Maybe it's not "natural" selection, but then many of the health related benefits we enjoy today are not "natural" either.

  61. That separating of the damaged DNA from the bits that are good sounds like procreation for the very wealthy.

  62. That thought occurred to me too, Sarah, but it looks as if it's not just the very wealthy who will benefit. It seems that this research, led by Professor Sheena Lewis of Queen's University, Dublin, has led to better treatment that will save many couples not just time and heartache, but also money. The SpermComet assay test presently costs a little less than $1000 (600 pounds UK). A single cycle of in vitro fertilization in the US costs approximately $10,000 to $15,000, so anything that increases the odds of success is a big advance.

    Another interesting breakthrough that promises to eventually lead to help for many can be read about here:
    Belgian fertility doctors claim that the cost of in vitro fertilization can be cut dramatically from thousands of dollars to well under $300 (UK 170 pounds). Twelve children have already been born through the technique, which replaces expensive medical equipment with inexpensive ingredients.

    With regard to the SpermComet, Professor Lewis, in partnership with Queen's venture spinout arm, QUBIS, has now set up a company called Lewis Fertility Testing which is already marketing the test.
    For more information visit www.lewisfertilitytesting.com

  63. "If they have damaged DNA then couples should not have babies."

    According to the Science Daily article "a little damage is normal (under 15 per cent per sperm), as is seen in the sperm of fertile men."
    So should these "normal" couples not have babies either?

  64. Anoymous 510

    I apologize for my lapse in responding.

    You asked what is advancing the equation. It means working a mathmatical equation to resolution. This blog is dedicated to women who have relinquished their parental rights. They want someone to hear their perspective. They hope for a reunion or to improve a reunion. They question the motivations of adoptive parents and those who have delayed childrearing. What better way to address these questions then actively encouraging the participation of adoptive parents, adoptees and I
    those experiencing infertility. Imagine a discussion with the active involvement of adoptees and adopters on their experiences with reunions. That is information your readers could use. Unfotunately the tone of this blog doesn't encourage such an interaction.


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.


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.