In the land where adoption is win-win-win

21 Nov

An article was posted that had Tummy Mommy in the title, I knew I should avoid it, the title told me it would make me upset. I clicked anyway. Dumb, dumb idea.

I read it. I read it right to the bitter end.

Then I furiously started typing trying to craft a post calling out the numerous problems with the article, half way through I gave up. I gave up because how in hell are we still so far into adoption fantasy land where we give women labels that reduce them to merely walking uteruses who supply other women with babies? Women who others don’t see as being worthy of simply being called an expectant mother, a mother, a mother by birth?

And the other women who receive those babies who call the mother by birth a tummy mommy? It’s time you grew up, past time actually if you can’t see how degrading it is to reduce the mother of your child to a walking uterus. Children are smart, they don’t need you dumbing procreation down, myriad ways to explain where babies come from, why and how in an age appropriate way.

Back to the article. I also learned that people who aren’t adopted still have no clue how an adopted child can interpret your words. While you may think that saying your “tummy mommy” loved you so much she chose adoption makes sense, it can also tell your child (now or a few years down the road) that when someone loves you they are going to leave you because that’s what your “tummy mommy” did.

Reading the article through the lens of being adopted, other adoptee’s might not, but do you really want to take that chance using the tired old tropes? Tropes that are devoid of actual explanations on how and why an expectant mother may not have any other choice than adoption? You don’t need to use big words to explain why it’s impossible to parent a child when you’re poor, have too many mouths to feed, or any of the other real world reasons, find ways to offer age-appropriate explanations. Explanations that expand as the child grows older. Being adopted and processing all that includes is hard, it’s not a once and done, it visits throughout life. There’s nothing you can do to change what is, but you can work to make the world a better place where a mother never feels she has no other choice than adoption. You can also chose to be real about what adoption is to your child.

I’ll end with this: Avoid connecting she loved you so much with why you were adopted. Avoid referring to your child as a “mistake” their mother made (and I shouldn’t have to explain why not to say that). And for all that’s holy, don’t tell them they were a “problem” that could have been aborted but wasn’t (smh). Oh, and don’t forget they also have a father…

Chose to live in the real world and respect your child for the little person they are, and for who they will become in the future.



Posted by on November 21, 2018 in Adoption


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

10 responses to “In the land where adoption is win-win-win

  1. juliemcgue

    November 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Touché! I also hate when people tell me I must be so grateful my folks took me in. Really?

    Liked by 3 people

    • TAO

      November 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Me too…


  2. Lara/Trace

    November 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    The adoption industry is always reinventing itself, Tao. Keep that money coming! (I will not read that article and am grateful you did to write this post.)


    • TAO

      November 21, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Do be smarter and don’t read it.


  3. maryjplm

    November 21, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    How do we explain it to them? My daughter adopted a little girl who is the daughter of one of my foster girls whose rights were terminated. What do you say so they don’t feel lost? How do you help them through this? I also adopted two boys at one and two years old. They are now 14 and 16. I have grandchildren older than my boys. My bio kids were all gone from home. My boys were with us in foster care for over a year. When rights were terminated my fear was that they would go somewhere and never know who they really were. Never know bios. I strongly believe it is a MUST to know. My husband believes opposite. I am going through a divorce because my boys do have a relationship with there Mom and bio family.But that’s OK. I did what was right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      November 21, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      You sit down and craft a story about how they joined your family, why you decided to adopt them. Just like you’d craft the story of how you and your husband became a couple, married, had kids. Practice telling their story a few times to a friend to be comfortable telling it, then when it’s quiet you ask them if they want to hear their story. Tell it again on family days when things are quiet and peaceful. When they ask questions, consider the question and answer honestly and with love. You can’t stop them from having to process being adopted, that is what it is. You can walk with them, assure them you aren’t going anywhere, that you hear them and wish you could make it better but you get why it hurts. We have to process it in our own time and way – better that then finding out after you’re gone and they feel lied to. Just like you have to process the death of a loved one, we have to process our loss, losses, be there in solidarity. Hope that helps. (have not checked for errors)

      Liked by 3 people

  4. cb

    November 22, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    When reading it, she made it sound like bmoms are some subgroup of humans made to carry babies for others (as you said, walking uteri or birth vessels).

    I note she says further down “Tummy Mommies make life-altering decisions because their children are their first priority. Sadly, some mothers choose to parent and then ruin their children’s life through abuse or neglect”, sort of sending the message that “Tummy Mommies are wise enough to realise that they would ruin their kids if they chose to raise them, thank God they choose adoption”, not particularly complimentary.

    Btw I came across the above article while reading this one. The following article just irritated me in some way so I wanted to find out more which is when I found the above Tummy Mommy article:

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Kumar

    November 23, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Reblogged this on A Stroll Through My Mind and commented:
    Thanks TAO. Reminders of the persistence of harmful ways to frame adoption, particularly to those who have been adopted.



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