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Adoption April question and answers.

So it’s not April and it’s not a Friday but hey, who cares right? Here are the questions I received regarding my adoption and growing up adopted.I tried to be as open as possible and answer every question that I received. It’s been interesting to hear some people’s perspective on adoption and how my story compares to others. So without further ado, here are the questions I got.

I’m curious. If you found out that your birth mom really didn’t want to give you up and was pained by the fact that she had to because no one would financially or socially help her, would that effect your very positive feelings about your birth mom relinquishing you? I can understand wanting to see it completely in a positive light, because really seeing the other part of it is painful. But it seems to me that while you have a complete right to your views, those views do ignore the realities that women shouldn’t have to give up their kids just because there are economic inequalities or social injustice. I guess one of the reasons I just don’t “get” a view like this is because I know I would suffer tremendously if society told me I couldn’t keep my baby, or if I let someone convince me of that. It also seems like you ignore the fact that there is a loss. If your birth mom had died, would you say it was a wonderful thing that happened? I guess I don’t understand why people are often afraid to address the complexities in adoption–the loss of a family and the gain of a family. Adoption is about both. Would love to hear what you think! Thanks!

Hmmm this was a very interesting question to dissect! I really don’t even think that way, not because I only want to see the bright side, but because it’s the truth and how I feel.  I even brought up this question with my roommate, Shea, and we didn’t know if it was the environment we were raised in but we both feel that we are fortunate to be in the situation that we live in. I don’t see it as in being ‘relinquished’, but instead see adoption as the most selfless thing anyone could do. I truly believe my birth mom gave me the best opportunity in the world and giving up a child for adoption is the most selfless thing anyone can do. I don’t really believe that socially people are affected to not keep a child and I also think that socially it’s almost more taboo to give a baby up for adoption than to have a baby out of wedlock or when you are ‘too young’ to have a baby. I mean, I’d like to think about when adoption became taboo, which was who knows when it became a four letter word,  I think it was when ‘kids’ got pregnant and their parents sent them away to have the baby and then that baby was adopted. Now, I never have heard a story about someone who couldn’t keep a baby because they financially couldn’t. I mean, granted it’s a terrible example, but I watch 16 and pregnant and some of those girls don’t seem fit to have a child, yet they all mostly keep the baby.

It’s up to however you want to view it. If you want to view it as a loss to my birth-mom, then that’s your opinion and I respect that. The person I respect the most is my birth mom who chose to give me a better life than what she could offer me. If I think about her dying and the scenario you brought up in the question, I could also think about the fact that she gave me up for adoption and that my mom died. I could be angry at her for that and putting me in a situation where I would lose my mom, but I’m not angry at her at all. It is a truly complex situation, I do understand that, but on the other hand, even if she didn’t want me, I’d much rather be in the situation I am now than being in an unloving environment and growing up not knowing what family and love is. I guess it’s all how you view it.

I have always thought I would want kids of my own, but my health was prohibitive and since my transplant I have done really well, but doctors still do not recommend me carrying a baby myself.  My hubby and I have thought about surrogacy, but the costs are substantial.  We have also thought about adoption and think it is an amazing gift as well, but everyone I have asked has said it is very difficult for someone with a “chronic illness” to adopt.  Do you know anything about this?  Do you know of any avenues to get around this?
I sadly don’t know anything about this but I know my mom was able to adopt with a few health problems, but nothing serious. I would for sure look into multiple agencies and contact them about moving forward.

I wonder how it feels for a person who was adopted to hear things like, “Why did your family adopt you? Couldn’t they have children of their own?” I thought it would make the child feel like a poor substitution for a birth child. Almost like they were saying that we couldn’t have what we really wanted so we got you instead. How do think those comments should be handled?

Personally, I get those questions all the time and they don’t bother me at all. I knew from birth my parents couldn’t have children of their own, but my mom always told me that I was extra special because they had to wait a long time for me and I was a miracle. I think of the day that I choose to have children and the pain I would have if I found out I couldn’t, and how amazing it would feel to FINALLY be able to have my own child through adoption.

Sometimes I just think and have to realize that people are ignorant. I get the same “what about your REAL mom” and “what about your REAL” family. My mom and dad are the people who raised me from birth. I was Baby Girl Anderson for 24 hours and then I was Danica and will be Danica forever. I will always be a part of my family from birth, and my cousins who may not be my real blood cousins are my REAL cousins. A weird thought but if you adopted a 5 year old dog, even though he belonged to another family before you, he’s still your dog right? You don’t think about him going back to his REAL family ever do you? You are his REAL family. I think I may have just compared myself to a dog.

Just read your birth mom story, which brought me to tears. I lost both of my parents at five and no matter what memory anyone shares, it is never enough to fill that void of wishing I remembered my mother or the emptiness that comes from not knowing or having her here. The role of mother is the most important we will ever hold as women, not only for ourselves but for the well adjusted and secure feelings of the children we bear. Find your mom and I believe you will find a more complete and whole you, whether you have a deep and meaningful relationship with her or not. Mother’s are home, they give us the sense of where we come from and knowing where we come from helps us throughout life to better get where we are going. Thanks for sharing.

This comment was so sweet, but I wanted to clear it up a little bit about it. I had a mom until she died of breast cancer in 2006. She IS my mom. I don’t feel the need to find my birthmom, but I do think it would be interesting and in the best interest of my health. All the things the person mentioned in this comment about sense of knowing where I came from and know where I’m going came from my mom that I knew my whole life. I have a complete and whole sense of who I am now because of her. :)

I hope that clears up any questions that anyone had about how I was raised and my adoption. It was funny, yesterday, Shea and I were chatting about being adopted and her and I both agreed, we need to write a book about adoption.

And the lucky person who won the Coveroo is my friend Joe at Joe run for Dom, who has run two marathons for his friend Dom, who is battling cancer. He’s quite the speedster too! Congrats Joe! Email me at


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  • Reply Shannon

    I think you handled those questions very well!! Sometimes people just don’t understand things that they haven’t went through themselves. At any rate, you answered very well and done much, much better than I would’ve!

    May 4, 2010 at 9:17 am
  • Reply Rebekah

    Thanks for this–for the whole series. I really enjoyed hearing your perspectives. My husband and I are seriously considering adoption, and it’s good to hear different opinions and experiences. I’ve become more aware as I’ve researched of the ethical complexities of adoption, and I sometimes find it very discouraging–I believe that at its heart, adoption is a good thing, but then I read stories of adult adoptees who really resent their situation, and mothers who feel they were pressured into giving their children up, and find myself worrying that I could set out to do something loving and end up hurting people instead. Anyway … without rambling on any further, I just wanted to say “thanks” for sharing your own experiences!

    May 4, 2010 at 9:24 am
  • Reply TorontoGirloutWest

    So that first question was seriously heavy. Don’t know how else to put it – but you did a good job of handling it! :o)

    As for the dog comparison . . .

    I kind of giggled ’cause I was talking about something similar with the Fiance recently. I was telling him that although it may seem strange, and not make any sense at all, getting Daisy made me realize how much you can love someone (or some puppy :o)) that you didn’t give birth to.

    See I kind of love Daisy like she’s my puppy daughter (I’m one of those people). And sure if I love a puppy like that I could love an adopted child even more!!

    I then followed up this comment by telling the Fiance I may want to adopt some time down the line. Mainly ’cause there are so many kids that need a good home. And I think we could be that good home! :o)

    May 4, 2010 at 9:33 am
  • Reply Brittany

    Hi Danica,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while but finally decided to comment! Thank you so much for this series and all of the answers that you did a much better job then I could have! I was not adopted but I have friends that have adopted or have been adopted and I feel the exact same way you do. The parents that adopted you ARE your parents and your birth parents did want a better life for you. I also watch 16 and pregnant and while it might not be a great example I wish most of those girls would give their children up for adoption. I remember the one where a young couple gave up their daughter and the adoptive parents were just so grateful and happy…and they treat their adoptive daughter just like they would if she was their biological daughter. Thank you again for sharing! I love reading your blog!

    May 4, 2010 at 11:28 am
  • Reply Heather (

    very deep questions! making my brain hurt! thanks for sharing.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Nicki

    I have LOVED reading your thoughts on adoption. Thank you so much for speaking up on this!!! I often wish people would use different language when talking about birth parents and adoption. I interned for an adoption agency one summer, and we advocated that people used terms like “Made an adoption PLAN” rather than “gave the baby up” or “decided to parent their baby” rather than “decided to keep their baby”. Does that make sense?

    My husband’s little sisters are adopted, and I think adoption is a beautiful thing. I especially agree with your thoughts that it is one of the toughest and best decisions a birth mother or father can make.

    Thanks again for your thoughts!!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply nicole

    thanks for sharing danica! :) you are so sweet!

    May 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Allison

    So I’m going to offer up a little different perspective here. I am 41, and have two children, one is biological and she is 12, and one is adopted, and he is 7. In the spirit of openess, we tried unsuccessfully to have another biological child after my daughter. My son is truly a gift from God. I would have happily taken any child, any color, any sex, etc. I got a blonde haired, blue-eyed, hilarious little boy that looks exactly like my family. I am very interested in any adoption stories because I worry for him about any issues he will have. It is a closed adoption at the birth mother’s choice. She was 32 years old with a good job, and had given up another baby 2 years prior. We never received any information about the father and were told there wasn’t any, as he wasn’t aware of the baby. So this isn’t exactly your standard too young teenage pregnancy. I am so thankful she decided she couldn’t keep him for whatever her true reasons are, but it will be a difficult thing to explain to a child. It does seem to me your views on your adoption are a little polly-anna with what appears to be no residual negativity or issues. I can only hope my son feels the same way. But after many conversations with many adopted people, it just seems to be very individual as to how people handle/feel about it. We are his family. I am his mother, regardless of who gave birth to him. If he wants to find her one day, I will do everything I can to help him. I have already made efforts to find his half sibling that was adopted out earlier. I truly could not love this child anymore than I do, no matter how he came to me, and I am certain your mother felt the same way. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story!

    May 5, 2010 at 8:13 am
  • Reply joerunfordom

    Danica – Your piece above was really wonderful. As a first time expecting Dad, it really hit home on so many levels. Thank you for all that you do!

    Also, thank you for the opportunity to win some gear! I will absolutely cherish the coveroo! I didn’t feel too “speedy” during that second marathon 13 days after Boston … but your note made me smile nonetheless.

    Take good care D! Best from Austin,


    May 8, 2010 at 6:02 am
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