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Posted by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 1:04 AM
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I have just recently started a new job and I find everyone always asks the dreaded question "So do you have any children?" I never know how to respond because I just can not allow myself to say no. I do not want to deny the fact of my daughters exisitence but I also do not like to tell a complete stranger my situation either especially in a work place enviroment. So I find myself answering yes then getting all these additional question that I do not have an answer for. Like they say well who watches your daughter while you work and attend school or the many other questions. I feel like I lie to save face and then I feel even more guilty for lying. I dont really lie rather than just let people assume things. Even with perceptions dramatically changed from those in say the 50's and 60's I still feel there is this certian negative thing associated with adoption that remains. Like people even though they may not say it will think well why would you even put yourself in a situation where you would have to contemplate that in the first place and the city where I live I know 80% of the people here would think that. Even my closest friends have told me not that it was wrong that I was an unwed mother but more that I gave my child away. So what do you do in this situation?? Either way I feel it is wrong?? I either tell people the truth right off the bat and deal with the judgements or deal with the fact that people will eventually begin to question why I never have my daughter? Some of my friends have just found out recently that I even had a daughter because I can not help but share pics of her and when they ask to meet her I have nothing to say?? Has anyone experienced this or am I alone in wanting to not conceal the fact I have a daughter but the fact that I chose adoption and feel ashamed by it?

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 1:04 AM
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by Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 1:07 AM

 Im pregnant and considering adoption and people ask me about names and offer clothes and everything and press hard with questions. I get uncomfortable and tell them im doing adoption. I dont wanna say anything but they keep asking me questions about the baby and i just get annoyed and tell them

by Bronze Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 1:31 AM

I know exactly what your feeling.  I still feel the same and get the same guilt.  When I first went back to work after having Darian, I had numerous ppl come up to me and ask when am I going to bring him in, sometimes I just shook my head and walked off, other times I got teary eyed, and other times I just flat out told them. The ones I told, they were understanding and we would talk about ppl they know who are trying to adopt. The ppl that would come up to me were one's that I never really talked to.  It's a very hard thing to deal with. bcuz you want to tell everyone about your child and show them all the pictures you have, yet when you go into it, all these questions are asked, and then you feel like a moron, at least I did.  I still don't like it.   I know I have said before about adoption, " what the hell was I thinking".  I know thats why I feel guilty about it and I'd rather just tell anyone I meet in the future that I had Darian and the adoption never happened, because frankly, they would never know the difference, seeing as Darian isn't even alive anymore.  So I do understand what your feeling, I just don't know how to go about really making it better.  I think its really just your judgement on what you want to tell those ppl.  Some are more judgemental than others, and its all in what you can handle.

by Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 2:04 AM

I hate that question.  I refuse to deny my children, so as you said it leads to more I usually say "Yes, but they don't live with me."  Some of them get the hint & drop it...others continue with more questions to which I reply "It's complicated, I only discuss it with family & close friends, I hope you don't mind." (unless of course it's someone who I'm comfortable with...)

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 10:24 AM

 MC., nycdoll, is correct!  When dealing with anyone that we are not close to, we have no control over their reactions or thoughts.  Heck, I wouldn't want control over theirs...mine are hard enough as it is:)  No one will ever fully understand, regardless, it is not possible unless they themselves are 'First Parents'.  I used to never discuss my children(3) with strangers.  When asked, I would simply state I have 3 sons, then steer the converstaion away from that point.  Strangers, never "invaded' my privacy... most really do just want to talk about themselves:)  Its kind of like the ole' How are you today?"  question....before you can even say..Fine...they are telling you what they ate for supper last night, go figure!  It gets a little easier , but never feel shame or deny your daughter exist, especially when a conversation can be steered into another direction:)  Once you become a, Mother, you cannot become a 'Un-Mother' just not matter where your child is, CJ


by Gold Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Dont get burdened down by secrets. Tell the truth. 

by Bronze Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I just say now, "yes, I have 2 older children, but they don't live with me."  That still leads to questions, but I deal with it.  I remember before I reunited with them, I wouldn't tell anyone about my story until I totally knew the person.  I understand what you're going through.

by Silver Member on Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:33 PM

A big part of the stigma comes from the fact that society inherently understands and accepts that people don't "give away" those they love.  You don't hear of spouses saying "I love you so much that i need to divorce you so you can find a better spouse."   I wrote a blog post about this, a short fictional story called "Andy and Marcie."

I think that very few women want to "give away" their babies, who walk away with NO pain, grief, or loss because they didn't want that child to begin with and it means nothing to them.  Very few mothers don't love or want their babies.  But as this is what child adoption was created for in the first place, to find homes for unlove, unwanted, and orphaned children,  this is what the assumption is going to be if a mother surrenders or "places" her child.

So, society is not going to understand.  And for those of us who loved our children, once we get out from under the adoption industry brainwashing from the agencies, the brainwashing that says that adoption was "the loving option," we are stuck wondering WTF we did.  I think that the key to understanding is to be able to recognize what pressures we were under (financial? social? emotional?) to surrender   It wasn't that we didn't love our children, it was that, for various reasons, we were separated from children we loved and wanted when we held them in our arms or when we saw them post-birth and realized the enormity of mother-love.

I didn't know either how to tell people at first..  Once i reunited though, and I could no longer keep my son a secret (nor did i want to), other mothers helped me find ways to respond.  I now say that my son was stolen for adoption, or lost to adoption, or I was forced to surrender him for adoption, or that i was give no other options. People understand that a whole lot more than trying to understand how a mother could "give away" her child.  "placing," "making an adoption plan," "deciding on adoption," are what society (and many adoptees) equate with abandonment, and that's what society does not condone. That's where the guilt and shame come from.

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 5:05 PM

I am an amom so I have never faced that question.   You might want to say something really light and ambiguous like, "Gee, school and work take a lot of my time right now.  it would be really hard to raise a child.."  or maybe, "I am in school x hours per week right now.  There is no way I could take such a load if I were raising a child."    (Not that you couldn't do it if you were raising your daughter.  You would probably take a lighter load, though) 

That way, you give a sincere answer without sharing too much personal information.  And you are not denying your sweet daughter's existence.  

Then, I recommend immediately taking the focus off of you and turning it to them by asking them a question, such as "So, do you have any children?  Really, what are their ages . . .  yada yada yada."

We all know that people love to talk about themselves.  It is the best way to make a good impression and take the focus off you.  Besides, it is so much fun to learn about other people.

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 8:09 PM

I don't really agree with those answers, they are really...  I don't know what word to use. 

That's not explaining if/how many children you have, that's explaining why you aren't raising your kids.  Giving false reasons for not having a child(ren). 


by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Quoting nycdoll:

I have always always told people about my children. I've never felt shame for a single moment. I've felt the ache and sorrow, but never shame. When asked if I have kids, I've always said yes. I have two and my first I relinquished for adoption when he was born. I don't sound happy about it and I don't sound sad about it. It's just the facts. Some people will ask more questions from there and I see it as an opportunity to dispel all the stereotypes about us. If they don't ask questions, then that's the end of that. It's important to remember that work and school are not places for strong emotions, so keep any answers short and factual and if you are having a emotional day, just tell them you're not up for talking about all the deets today - maybe later. I'll usually ask about their kids and then steer the conversation more about them... people love to talk about themselves!! :) 

And now that my first child is 18 years old what I've found is that, while newly in reunion, the people around me have been supportive in remarkable ways. They all already know he exists. They already know he's is very much loved. They all know I've been waiting for this. 

This may or may not be an route you'll want to take. There really is no rule. Some people will surprise you with their compassion and willingness to understand. Others are just douchebags and nothing will change them. 

I hope this helps, even a little... good luck to you!! ((hugs))

I guess I shouldve really said I do not feel shame for the decision I made I feel shame that I even put myself in a situation where I would have to make a decision like this. I feel everyone considering adoption should have to sit down and speak with a birthmother because you never truly know how much the decision will effect you until it is done.

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