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Birthmother Bypass

Term coined by Margot Elyse. Very apt term indeed for what is expected of Adoptees fresh out of the fog.

When I first arrived in the scene, I was greeted with soft open arms by relinquishers everywhere. They patted my head and told me to be sad. They cheered me on when I tore into the adopters. They lifted me up on celebratory shoulders when I published anti adoption, anti adopter blogs.

Then I wrote, "Self Righteous Birthmother? Come, Let's Chat". A bit of a vent toward my mother and many of the ones I read, before they all blocked me, letting them know what I thought of their "choices" and "feelings". Because I didn't, don't, and cannot subscribe to relinquisher exaltation and "birth mother love".

You see, I don't need to excuse my mother for what she did. I lost the need to excuse her for her actions when I met her twenty years ago. My mother willingly relinquished eight children. There's nothing excusable there.

Boy did they change their tune. Holy shit. Women I liked, women I'd supported against adopters, turned on me like fucking Cujo.

Because we are supposed to bypass the grief our mothers bequeathed us. We are supposed to embrace and forgive them, because they're so full of desperate regret and guilt at what they've done. We are supposed to swallow our pain and anger and never let it be seen. 

And I think I know why.

Because, much like adopters, it KILLS them to know that they've caused their child this kind of pain. It kills them to see our hurt, our loneliness, the abject black nothingness that comes from living a false life with a fake name and pretend parents. They can't stand the guilt that what they thought was best was actually worst, and that their "loving choice" made us feel so very unloved.

Cribmates, we cannot bypass the birthmother. We have to be allowed our pain and anger at our mothers. We need to express it. It needs to be seen and heard. We cannot internalize it. It is most fundamental to our recovery that this not be subverted.

Mother doesn't know best. She didn't then and she doesn't now. 

My dear cribmates, do not subscribe to the Birthmother Bypass. It can be the most destructive thing you can do... internalizing and subverting your most integral feeling, the one you have the most innate right to express.

I don't need to excuse my mother. Regardless of her circumstances, neither do you. In your recovery, what they went through and lost is not the focus. The focus should be on your feelings and circumstances. And let's face it, as babies, she was there, then she was gone, and that's all we knew.

It's ok to be mad at your mother, and it's ok to say it out loud. It's ok to be mean and harsh and disrespectful. It's ok to say anything you need to say to try to feel better about what was done to you. You don't have to be gentle. The relinquishers are fully grown adults, responsible for their own feelings. Let them worry about them. You worry about you, your needs, and your feelings.

It's ok to be selfish sometimes, Cribmates. You take care of you. All my love and support to all of you. 

Julie Gray 
Aka Maddeline Hattuer


  1. Ya my adopters bought
    me from a black market
    baby selling lawyer in 1960
    for 1800.00. No adoption agency was crazy enough to let them have a newborn. With reason.
    Coincidentally my birth mother
    was able to finance her R.N. degree
    at Mayo Clinic and have a lifelong career. I don’t know why she doesn’t want a reunion...💰

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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