Tell Me How You Feel, How You Really, Really Feel

I just need to rage against the storm for a bit and tell you how I feel, how I really, really feel about adoption, in particular infant adoption as practiced by the LDS church and the people that attend it.


I hate everything about it. There is precious little that is virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report about it.

Don’t tell me how different things are nowadays with womb-fresh infant adoption because in the end, it is just the same as it has always been: A mother’s God-given desire to protect her child from harm is used as a battering ram to rivet the lie onto her heart: YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. A mother’s love for her child and her desire to please God is used against her to convince her that by giving away her child, SHE can redeem herself and turn a “bad” situation into a “good” one. Adoption is portrayed as the portal to redemption for both her and the product of her sinfulness.

HELLLOOOOOO. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous on ALL parties involved? I thought that whole redemption thing was God and his Son’s job – not ours.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know. Before you get your panties all in a wad screaming about the staving babies in Africa and the abandoned girls in China let me just remind you that I am not discussing international adoption right now. I am discussing the shameful practice of womb-fresh infant adoption that happens within the LDS culture, that is celebrated as “family building” and the most loving option.

I ask again (and will keep asking), if adoption is the most loving option a single parent could choose for their child, then why isn’t EVERY SINGLE PARENT in the LDS church (regardless of the reason they are single) urged to relinquish their child for adoption by a more “worthy and qualified” temple married couple? This would include parents who become single through death or divorce. 

You can stop laughing now. I know you are laughing because it is a ludicrous thing to demand.  My questions merely highly the reality faced by first parents in the LDS culture: Adoption in the LDS culture is about punishing the mother for her unsanctioned fertility. It is about finding babies to fill the homes of infertile couples. If you have any doubt of that last statement, just read the words of Julie Beck, president of the Relief Society, which she said at the FSA conference last month:

“…our focus has shifted a lot more toward the childless parent, and the couples who desire a family and aren’t able to have that blessing in their lives,” [Beck, J. (2011). “Rooted in Love.” As reported in Church News 20 Aug 2011].

According to her, it is INFERTILE couples who should be extended love and compassion and understanding. Not single expectant parents.

I have to admit, it is quite refreshing to have a church leader finally publicly acknowledge what many of us natural mothers have known all along: LDSFS is NOT about helping us. It is about helping infertile couples to our children. _________________________________

I just got off the phone from talking with my mom.  After reading that entire article about Julie Beck’s comments, I felt like I was going to tear my hair out. I had to talk to someone who I knew wouldn’t judge me or tell me I was off my rocker. I screamed at my mom, “Tell me, what am I supposed to do????!!!! How on earth can I continue to participate in a religion that tells me I deserve this pain, that THIS is a blessing and miracle from God?”

My mom reassured me that I wasn’t crazy and every thing I have ever talked with her about the “doctrine” of adoption and the LDSFS’s crazy obsession with stripping single mothers of their children is Truth. As a side note, did I mention that many of the Families Supporting Adoption groups, hosted and run by LDSFS, hold fast and prayer days so more women’s hearts will be “touched” to give their babies up for adoption instead of (selfishly) parenting them? Seriously. They honestly do that. “Good” Mormons, under the leadership of their local LDSFS offices, who fast and pray that mothers and babies will be separated for time and all eternity so that infertile couples can become parents. I get sick to my stomach thinking there are people of my own faith out there, fasting and praying that another woman and child have to be put through the hell that is adoption.

Not that they see it that way.

According the Sister Beck, “Adoption blesses both birth parents and the child in this life and the eternities.”

Yeah, Sister Beck, remind me again of the blessings I have received from adoption other than a broken heart and a broken relationship with my daughter? Tell me again what a blessing it has been to have people look at me in revulsion and horror as they say, “Oh, I could have NEVER given my baby away! You are such a hero.”

I can’t speak for my daughter but I wonder what kind of blessings she has gotten out of adoption.  But hey, Sister Beck? Can you  look me up in the eternities and remind me about the blessings of adoption when my grandchildren and posterity, in perpetuity, are not considered part of my family? I am sure I will be eversograteful for the rest of forever, amen, to have been cut off from my daughter and my descendants. /sarc

Most days, I can keep a lid on my anger about what this craptastic system has done to me and to you and to our now non-existent relationship. Today is not one of them and anyone who crosses me is going to get an earful.


Myself included.


12 thoughts on “Tell Me How You Feel, How You Really, Really Feel

  1. I have a very difficult time with religions who do this. It’s not just Mormons, as we all know, but the LDS (officially) do seem to be hell bent on the separation of Mothers and their children. And don’t even get me started on how they support legal kidnapping aka “The Baby Emma” case.

    I am currently without an organized religion. I felt that by participating/celebrating sacraments in a church I don’t fully support, I am insulting the members who DO support/believe that doctrine. Maybe someday I will find a church/religion that I can get behind…but until then, God knows what is in my heart…I think. 😉

    • Baby Emma, Ramsey Shaud and his child…the list is growing rather long of legalized kidnappings, via the craptastic court system and laws there in Utah.

      One of the things I screamed at my mom about what I just don’t think I can continue being a part of this church any more. To her everlasting credit, she said, “I don’t blame you for feeling that way Melynda, not one single bit.”

      The only trouble is if I leave the NO ONE will listen to what I need (feel like I am being called by God) to say to this people. Once you are no longer a member, you are a persona non grata and your story, your voice, your experience matters for NOTHING. This knowledge is one of the few things that is keeping me in the LDS church at this point. I matter, my daughter matters, and these people need to know the truth of what adoption does to mothers and daughters.

      And you are sooooooooo very right, Linda . The LDS church does seem hell bent on OFFICIALLY supporting the separation of mothers and their children. It is their policy which is quite strange considering the doctrine is all about family preservation.

      • It’s why I left the Catholic Church. Loved the tradition and ceremony. Except for the sexual abuse of children and forcing women to surrender their babies, not allowing women to be priests, etc…Just can’t get past it. And it makes me angry…sigh.

      • (((Hugs))). God knows your heart Linda. I have a feeling he isn’t nearly as concerned about tradition and ceremonies as we all make him out to be.

  2. Thanks for the post – even though I’m not LDS, but a “good Lutheran girl”, a lot of what you point out was “fed” to me as well in 1988 – redemption of my sin through the ultimate sacrifice of my own child. I, too, would like to know what the blessings to me have been as I still feel guilty for everything that happened. I fervently hope that my son, who I have yet to meet again, feels blessed in his own life and doesn’t feel the loss or sadness- perhaps my pain will somehow be more palatable.

    • Sara – I used to think the same thing until my mother-in-law reported to me what Ms. Feverfew had said during a chance encounter they had last year. She told my MIL she was grateful she had been given up for adoption and felt very blessed to have been raised in the family she was in.

      Essentially, she feels blessed that I did not raise her and that I am not my mother.

      I still haven’t unpacked how that cuts to the core of my soul and lays bare the bones of my heart.

      • A very mixed blessing,indeed. Poor Melynda.{{HUGS}}..

        I am wondering, if you would leave the LDS, who would go with you? Not Ms. Feverfew,…

      • Teddy –

        I know, I know, crazy as it sounds to outsiders, I have no plans on leaving. This church is stuck with me and my pointy-headed ways!!! The thing is, I believe in this theology and find the true doctrine to be quite harmonious with my soul. What I struggle with is the dogma, which too many members of this church equate with doctrine. I also know this church well enough to know I cannot effect a change if I am outside of it. If I am to make any difference, I have to stay and do what I can.


  3. Yep, leaving on your own wouldn’t do any good anyway, if you would be able to move out with ALL your clansmen at once, it might be a stunt that would shock some sense in a few.

    • Unfortunately Teddy, in a global church with over 13 million members, me and my family leaving would not matter one bit to anyone. That’s the truth of belonging to an organized church that has turned into somewhat of a bureaucracy and corporation. I am just a file number and don’t really matter to the leadership. I matter to God, but to my leaders? Not so much.

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