I smile smugly and say “Do you mean That Woman? I pretend to care about her an awful lot, and that makes me better than you. Did you know she wasn’t addicted to anything? I swear. That’s how I got a really *good* baby. And I’m the mother, so shut up.”
Oh look, here’s another one who could have had the whole baby but settled for its feet (see illo). She’s the mother. People ask who her kid’s mother is, but it’s her her her her her. Oh, and there was this incubator-thingy-person, and she was so awesome to make a baby just for Sally Bacchetta. Did you mean to ask about it? um, her? Well, you should be ashamed, because “Sally B’s birth mother” is totally a human being, y’all! She might even have had prenatal care. She might not have smoked cigarettes. She might not have been addicted to anything, so shut up I did too get a healthy baby! And stop calling her the mother. I’m the mother I’m the mother I’m the mother I’m the mother I’M THE MOTHER.
Says Ms. B, I’m working for the day when “What about… the mother?” is asked out of concern for the mother who placed her child; the day when it means “How is she doing? Did she have any medical complications? Is she with people who support her? Is she at peace with her decision? Is she OK?”
But she lies. Because people who really care about women and children do what they can to keep women and their children together. I suppose it makes Ms. Sally B feel better to claim she’s “working for” a day she never wants to arrive, but she’s fulla shit. Because the day this patriarchal, slut-shaming society truly gives a damn about women will be the day adoption ends and she quits claiming to be the Onlie Begetter. But what, Sally B wonders, if she really were a mother?
[as a girl] I wasn’t ready to be a mother, and I like to think I would have had the courage and selflessness to make an adoption plan for my baby, but I’m not sure. I’m not at all sure.
I’m sure, Sally B. I’d’ve kept my kid if I had to move mountains to do it, and so would you. After all, we had the resources to do so. How do I know that about you, Sally B? Because you can afford to adopt, which suggests you had at least an upper-middle class upbringing. All you’d have had to deal with as a single mother would be the shame–and it wouldn’t even have been the shame of being called a “Welfare queen,” because I’m pretty sure you’re white, too.
Almost every mother with the resources to do so keeps her child, just like you would. That’s why people like you whine about a “healthy white infant shortage.”
As for the birth mother, she’s healthy, certain, and loved by her family and friends. She’s moving forward, and she’s very OK.
Sure she is. In fact, I’m pretty sure she never wanted any silly old baby, and just went out and got herself knocked up to accommodate Ms. Sally B. After all, it was just one little baby. It didn’t affect her the way it would have you, Ms. Sally B, because let’s face it, these women are not–Waaaait, wasn’t your point supposed to be that “birth mothers” love their children like real women do? That was your point, right?
No, I don’t think it was. I think your point was that you’re tired of people asking about “the mother” when they should be asking about special, special you. Sally B., you know damned well that some of the people who ask about your kid’s mother are actually asking about her–not the baby, not you, but her. And you hate that, don’t you? You hate it so much you wrote a piece all about it, but you felt kinda bad and decided you’d better pretend this one thing isn’t all about you, which it totally is.