Every time you turn on the news or stand in line next to a tabloid it seems you cannot avoid being told about how this celebrity or that celebrity has just adopted a baby. A quick search on Google will bring up famous adoptive parents, famous adoptees, even famous birth parents. Some part of me had always wondered about the other side, the side that you cannot Google and come up with a list…or a single name at all. At least not without some serious digging. What about the women who have relinquished to the famous or prominent?
Certainly being a first mom to a child adopted by celebrities would present its own unique feelings and challenges. Typical support groups, while I’m sure are helpful, would always leave out that one issue not covered for these women. Their children and/or their children’s adoptive parents are in the lime light. Some days I want to avoid adoption altogether and I have that luxury. What if you logged onto Facebook and in your news feed was an article about your child or their parents. What if your child’s adoptive parents were very open about their adoption experience and you find they are relaying how they interpreted your feelings in an article by People Magazine? They have spoken for you and you have no voice. How do you avoid things like this? How do you handle it when it comes up? How do you find others that can relate on that level to what you are feeling?
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting, and have now become close friends with, a woman in an online support group who had relinquished her son to two pretty famous people. This couple have adopted other kids as well and one of her greatest wants is to find the other first moms….just for support. Just to talk to someone who truly knows and understands what it is like to be the person who relinquished a child to a celebrity. I wondered what makes these first moms not seek each other out. I have asked this dear friend to help me with this post and I hope I can do her justice.
The most obvious reason for not going public about who you are is fear. With fame comes lots of money and that means the possibility of being sued for defamation if you tell your side of the story. Another thing to fear greatly is the relationship with your child. What if you are in reunion with this child? What if it was an open adoption? What if speaking out and revealing yourself put all of it at risk? What if the adoptive parents became angry with you for going public and cut you off? All you wanted was to find others like you. All you wanted was a type of support only a handful of other women can give you. Once again, the adoptive parents hold all the cards.
Another reason that these women do not have each other is purely numbers. When compared to all other first mothers, the number of women who have relinquished to famous or prominent people are quite low. Most have the fear we spoke of earlier and finding them is seemingly impossible. One of the reasons I am writing this blog is to call these women. You need each other and I know my dear friend needs you as well.
Birthmothers who are public…
We all know who Angelina Jolie is (if you don’t you’re living under a rock). The birthmother to her daughter, Mentewab Dawit Lebiso, went public and countered a story that she had died of AIDS. And then there is the birthmother of her son, Pax. She came forward about how she wanted her son back. Admittedly, she had a heroin problem and fled the hospital after her son was born because she couldn’t pay the bill (this isn’t the US, it’s Vietnam..not paying your bill will get more than the collection agencies after you). But, she is unaware that her son has been adopted. As is Zahara’s birthmother. They think their children are simply living abroad. Because of the cultural differences it makes me wonder if their naivety about the possible outcomes of going public work to their advantage in having the confidence to do so.
And let’s take a look at Madonna. Again, an international adoption, and again, the birth family coming forward in the same naivety as we previously talked about. They thought they had more rights than they really did. Madonna closed the adoption.
Another very famous adoptive parent is Hugh Jackman. Because of the very sad ending to her story, everyone knows who his child’s birthmother is. She is no longer with us after committing suicide. She was promised an open adoption and it was closed on her. Some claim she had drug and depression issue beforehand and others claim it was directly related to the pain suffered from relinquishing her child, but I can’t imagine having her child removed completely from her life helped matters any. As a matter of fact, there is a blog post about mother’s who have lost their life to adoption as well as a Facebook page dedicated to those who have lost their lives by their own hand because of adoption. I can’t help but think, “What if she had been connected with other mothers like her?”
Ladies, if you are or know someone who is a first mom who has relinquished to celebrities, we are looking for you. You need each other. Private, confidential and secure. But you need each other. I know I have one friend that needs you desperately.
If you would like to be added to a secret birthmother support group and you are a first mom that has relinquished to famous or prominent adoptive parents please send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org