' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Adoption is not all 'rosy' for O'Donnell

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Adoption is not all 'rosy' for O'Donnell

Rosie and Chelsea O'Donnell
The sad saga of Rosie O'Donnell and her adopted daughter Chelsea reminds us once again that adoption is not a bed of roses, not for the children, not for natural mothers, and not for the adoptive parents.

On  August 24, the day she turned 18, Chelsea's birth mother, Deanna Micoley picked up Chelsea up at Rosie's home in South Nyack, New York and took her to live with her in Wisconsin.

This came after Chelsea ran away--or was kicked out according to Chelsea--and was found living with a 25-year old man, Steven Sheerer, who had sent her a nude picture of himself.
Rosie claimed her daughter was mentally ill. Sheerer was jailed, charged with endangering the welfare of a child and distributing obscenity and ordered not to have contact with Chelsea. Chelsea said she met Sheerer online and told him she was 19. Last week, Chelsea appeared in court and asked the judge to lift the no contact order, which he did.

Two days ago Sheerer's father, also named Steven, was arrested in a steroids sting operation. Rosie (gleefully?) tweeted the information to her more than 800,000 followers, perhaps to show what a bad lot the Sheerer's are. I tend to think that most parents would be embarrassed to publicize the seamy side of their daughter's companions--but Rosie uses it to show the kind of stock her daughter comes from. Where's the compassion? Where's the love?

Micoley claims she was high on drugs when her then husband persuaded her to give up her two-month-old daughter to an adoption agency. "I believe Rosie O'Donnell knew I was in no condition to sign away my parental rights to my daughter. She did the worse thing one woman can do to another woman--take her child." We don't know, of course, whether Micoley could have raised her daughter. We do know that Rosie has proven herself unsuitable to raise children. Rosie's time with her children appears to center on photo ops. Much of the child rearing is done by nannies. In fact Chelsea thought her African American nanny was her mother, asking Rosie when Rosie told her she was her mother, why her "mother's" skin turned from black to white.

Rosie has a messy personal life. Besides Chelsea, she adopted two boys, Parker and Blake, before her marriage to Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell in 2004. She and Kelli had a daughter born to Kelli through artificial insemination. They divorced in 2009 and Rosie married Michelle Rounds in 2012. They adopted a daughter, Dakota.  Rosie filed for divorce from Rounds in February. According to the tabloids, she is now romantically involved with Tatum O'Neal. Is another marriage, followed by another adoption in the cards?

Rosie had no trouble adopting because she has the wherewithal to do it. She told People in 2001, "'anyone who has the money to go to a variety of agencies has a better chance of adopting quickly than someone who has a limited budget. To locate birth mothers,' she says, 'I retained five lawyers, and paid them anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 each.'" With her resources, she undoubtedly had no problem obtaining home studies favorable enough to pass judicial scrutiny.

Adoption champions will point out that natural families can be messy--their children may also run away and take up with unsavory characters. Adoption, however, promises that a child will have love, stability, material goods, which will more than compensate for the loss of his mother. Too often, this promise is unfilled.

Sometime--I hope in my lifetime--the media and the public will take off their rose-colored glasses and accept that adoption does not ensure a stable loving family where a child can thrive and fulfill his potential. The only thing certain about adoption is loss.--jane
Why I'm not bullish on celebrity adoptions
Rosie O'Donnell Learns What a True Heritage Means
The Orphan Trade, Gay Marriage and Open Records Legislation

SOURCES (there are many, these are but a few)
Rosie O'Donnell's daughter leaves home to move in with birth mother in Wisconsin after turning 18
Rosie O'Donnell stole adopted daughter
Rosie O'Donnell's teen daughter makes appearance in court to defend ex-con who allegedly sent her nude picture
Dad of Man Charged in Rosie O'Donnell's Daughter's Disappearance Arrested in Steroids Sting Operation
Did Rosie O'Donnell "Steal" ... Baby?
Rosie O'Donnell files for divorce from wife
Rosie O'Donnell Biography
People: The Baby Chase

Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption
"From the first through the very last word, I felt as though Lorraine were a dear friend pouring her heart out about her life's most important and molding journey: giving up her daughter to adoption as an unwed woman in the 60s. She takes you through her story leading up to the events and what happens emotionally and situationally afterward. There were times when I wanted to cry with her, and then there were times where I was surprised to learn what she discovered about adoption over the decades following her experience.

"I can imagine that any mother who has given up a child to adoption would enjoy this read. I enjoyed it since I absolutely love learning about other people's trials and tribulations. This was perfectly suited for that; I did not want to put the book down. I want to thank Lorraine Dusky for sharing her story with the world. I can only begin to imagine how many people this book will help."--Jill Baker at Amazon


  1. Unfortunately, since the early 1900s the entitlement that comes with fame has often translated into procuring children ....see how this adoption site uses famous adopters as examples so that you, too, can become an adoptive parent "star".....


  2. BTW, the above leads to an adoption agency website.
    Our Philosophy

    The Adoption STAR philosophy is to provide highly individualized services to Support, Train, Advocate, and offer Resources to adoptive parents, birth parents and community professionals as they explore the adoption option. We offer the experience of adoption, a full training curriculum, advocacy assistance, and comprehensive resources on adoption. Most importantly, we have the ability to offer personalized attention to all clients. The adoption process can often be confusing and frustrating. We offer our support, knowledge, assistance, and most importantly, our attention, to make this process easier.

  3. Chelsea's birth name was Kayla. Rosie changed it.

    I also believe that Rosie knew that Deanna was drugged when she signed the adoption papers. She was a young woman who was taken New Jersey by her husband, a thousand miles away from her family and friends in Wisconsin. This is a typical tactic involved in coerced adoptions--isolate the person from everyone and everything they know and love.

    After losing her daughter, Deanna had Kayla's name tattooed above her heart.

    I also read that Rosie refused to give Chelsea her amended birth certificate or Social Security card. Chelsea might need those in order to establish her identity and build a life for herself in Wisconsin. It speaks volumes about Rosie O'Donnell that she would deny those to her a-daughter as retaliation for returning to her first mother and biological relatives.

  4. Poor kid. She had a lousy, chaotic life with the vindictive Rosy, but the natural mother does not sound much better. I hope it all works out for her eventually. Big money adoptions by celebrities or anyone with more money than sense ought to be outlawed.

  5. Maryanne, from everything I have read the natural mom sounds wonderful. She was 20 years old when her husband conspired to take away her daughter against her wishes. Today she is in her late 30s and is the mother to four other children. And in interviews she has always called Chelsea by her adoptive name, even though I am sure she is saying "Kayla" inside.

  6. I'll never forget Rosie's answer to a reporter when asked what she told Parker about his adoption.
    (a little paraphrasing here) I told him that God put you in the wrong tummy but when he realized his mistake, he gave you to me.

  7. My best wishes to both Deanna and Kayla (Chelsea).
    I hope this makes every potential adoptive parent rethink plans to take an infant from its mother. Too many adoptees get labeled troubled or mentally ill. The real problem is adoption.

  8. The problem may just be Rosie O'Donnelly and not necessarily the adoption. Some people shouldn't be parents, whether you gave birth to the child or adopted her. People like to bring up Michael Reagan, adopted son of President Reagan and his first wife Jane Wyman, but Patti Davis, natural daughter of President Reagan and his second wife Nancy was equally as troubled as a youth. Rosie might have been the adoptive "parent" but it seems as soon as Chelsea wasn't cute enough for photon ops she was sent to boarding school after boarding school, so it can't be said that Rosie raised her. In that economic and social sphere, there are probably just as many kept children who end up in the same screwed up circumstances. For example, Drew Barrymore wasn't adopted. Tatum O'Neal wasn't adopted. MacKenzie Phillips wasn't adopted. Miley Cyrus wasn't adopted. None of the Jackson children (Michael's generation) was adopted. Let's not forget that Deanna Micoley was a drug addict during her pregnancy with Chelsea/Kayla. It wouldn't be unheard of for her to have issues due to that! Rosie O'Donnelly is a bad mother from all accounts. She probably would have been exactly the same if she had birthed those kids herself. Not everything bad that happens to an adoptee can be traced back to adoption.

    1. Of course not, but this is an example of an adoption where the adoptee hightailed back to her natural mother as soon as she could.

    2. Mashka, you didn't read the piece to the end.

  9. The only thing certain about adoption is difference, a different life, some better, some worse, and nobody can predict in advance which way it will go. Yes, there is loss, but there are also gains, depending on the circumstances and temperament of everyone involved. Adoption does not guarantee a better life, that is a lie that should be put to rest. I don't think any of Rosie's adopted children got a very good life with her, because she seems quite unfit to be a parent. Agree with Mashka that she may have been just as bad a parent to biological children, and that many celebrity children have an unstable life, natural or adopted. Funny, we hear of all the trainwrecked lives, but not of the decent celebrities who tried to keep their families out of the limelight and raise them decently.

    I hope it works out for Chelsea with her natural mother, but it is very early days to say how that will go. All any of us know is what is in the sensational media says about any of the parties, natural or adoptive. The fact that the mother was a drug addict and the child was basically sold to the highest bidder does not look too good. Yes, Chelsea ran to her, but it remains to be seen how that will work out. I know many situations where a troubled adoptee moved in with the birthfamily right after reunion, and then multiple problems on both sides surfaced and things fell apart.

    The real culprit is the system that allows someone like Rosie with enough money to buy a child, regardless of how unfit to raise children she has proven to be. As to her infamous "wrong tummy" comment, I hope that comes back to haunt her. It has always annoyed me that celebrity and very rich couples can adopt because they can pay, even with a lifestyle and problems that would take the average person with average income right off any ethical adoption agencies' list of those fit to adopt.

  10. It was more a response to momengineer. And boy did autocorrect have its way with me!

    1. Hi Mashka,
      Please read the article "Toward Preventing Adoption-Related Suicide" at Musings of the Lame. The statistics are very scary. Too many adoptive parents send their children off to schools and institutions that say they will fix these kids.
      My daughter (by adoption) is outwardly the best teenager in town. A poster child for single parent adoption success. But her insecurities can be set off easily and send her running back to my shadow. I am happy to be her "security blanket" and will be there for her for the rest of my life. However, she should have never been separated from her mom in China.
      Also read The Confessions of an Adoptee on tumblr. The pain is very real.

    2. True, non adopted kids (should we call them naturees or maybe naturals) have behavioral problems. Adopted kids have a burden which kept kids don't. Being adopterd can be the tipping point leading them to suicide, drug use, and so on.

  11. And let us not forget what an absolute brute her brother, Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell is on adoptee rights! He was rude and condescending to our lobby group and has no compassion at all for the rights of the adopted to learn their own identities.
    Lobbying for OBCs in New York

  12. If rosie doesn't hand it over, why not start a fresh and give her original name back. She can be adopted by her mums husband as a screw you to rosie o'donnell and her supporters.

  13. She shouldn't have to be adopted back; ideally she should be able to get the adoption abrogated.

  14. You forgot to mention two things:

    1. Chelsea is happily living with her birth mom, Deana Micoley.

    2, The birth mom of O'Donnell's most recently adopted child, Dakota was ASKED by O'Donnel to have another child for her. Then Rosei reneged on adopting the child when a health issue (that was able to be repaired) was revealed.


    All this from a woman who reportedly told one of her adopted children that God placed them in the 'wrong tummy." If that is what she thinks about adoption, would she have rejected or aborted this child with a health issue?

    1. Thanks for the info, Mirah. Rosie is a poster child for what's wrong with adoption today.

  15. One thing Rosie can't buy is a grown adopted child's love. After all those years of adopted manta Chelsea was fed she can no longer tolerate the bullying. Rosie, is a bully.
    Too bad Barbara Walters daughter didn't have guts to walk after she found her mom. Walters probably gave a ultimatum. Hope, Jackie's mom out lives Barbara.

  16. When you think of how many adoptees hide their reunions for fear of losing the love - and or financial support and inheritance - of their aps...kit takes a LOT of courage to walk out, no matter how bad an ap is!

    1. I wonder how many scuttle any reunions for those same reasons.......



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