not wanting to parent = sociopath?

November 7, 2012 § 9 Comments

I’ll just start this by saying that I adore Claudia’s blog and every post is full of words straight from my gut. I don’t typically disagree with her. I also realize I probably took her words out of context, but I’m posting this here in yet another defense of myself. I hate myself more than anyone could know because of my initial aversion to parenting. But I defend myself anyway because a) that’s a reasonable opinion given my limited knowledge and experience, b) it was horribly difficult to reconcile that opinion with my pregnancy, adding to my own confusion, and c) I KNOW that if I’d had a boyfriend or a husband who wanted me to keep him and was willing to help, I could’ve been talked into parenting quite easily, especially later on in pregnancy when I became more emotionally connected with the baby inside me. But I had zero encouragement or support. I’m constantly trying to defend myself in my own mind, through all the layers of self-hatred. I don’t know why I bother; maybe it’s a self-preservation tactic.


So here’s the link to Claudia’s blog post, and my comment.

i just wanted to address what you said in your e-mail, about the whole “not wanting to parent” thing. i never ever wanted to be a parent before i had him. if i’d never gotten pregnant, i’m sure i would’ve lived my whole life continuing to not want to. some of my reasons for this were valid, some were based on ignorance and fear, but even so, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to. you can have a wonderful, fulfilling life without having kids. but the fact is that i had a baby and i am a parent whether i wanted to be or not, and i would give anything to *actually* be his parent.

everything changed for me once he was born. if you’ve never had a baby before, how are you supposed to know that they will be the most precious thing to you? i pretty much had no idea. i reassured myself often that it wouldn’t be so bad for me, as it was for women who did want to be mothers but couldn’t.

this was something that i could only understand with time. if i had been given more than 24 hours before signing, even just 10 more hours, or if i had gotten some privacy and could have reflected on and reassessed my decision, i wouldn’t have done it.

also, i’d like to point out that while not wanting to parent was probably a smaller reason for the adoption, it was definitely not a very big one. not having the father be there and being poor and in school were the big reasons and i did feel like i had no other choice. no one encouraged me to raise him, or told me that i’d suffer forever.

not wanting to parent shouldn’t be a reason for choosing adoption. that should be determined after the baby is born. in my case, i felt like i should not make the decision after he was born, as if making a decision based on emotions like love was a bad thing. but sometimes, emotions are RIGHT.

not having the desire to be a parent does not mean you’re a sociopath, and it also does not mean that adoption will be the right choice. i agree that it can be the right choice, but i disagree that those mothers, even the ones who relinquished twice, are necessarily sociopaths.


In happy news, I received a little photo book of 7 new photos today in the mail! My gorgeous boy is so big and handsome. I still can’t decide if he looks more like me or David, but either way, he looks exactly like us when we were babies. I plan on scanning them tomorrow so I can e-mail them to David, and I’ll share a couple of them here.


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§ 9 Responses to not wanting to parent = sociopath?

  • leenilee says:

    I think what Claud was trying to say was that women who have everything going for them (money, a partner, an established stable life, etc.) and still choose to give their child away because even after they are born the mother does not want them and has no attachment, no emotions, no bond, no feelings at all toward the child, may have some sociopathic tendencies.

    sociopath [( soh -see-uh-path, soh -shee-uh-path)]

    Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal. Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.

    Your case doesn’t fit that definition at all. You DO have emotions toward your baby. Just because you decided based on your situation that you didn’t want to parent doesn’t make you a sociopath. You wanted to do what you thought was best for your baby. I think Claud was referring to a woman who really doesn’t care what is best for their baby and gives their child away for purely selfish reasons and never has a second thought about it. Even a woman who relinquishes because of their own career goals wouldn’t necessarily be considered sociopathic if they have emotions toward it.
    I hope that makes sense, sometimes my thoughts aren’t expressed the way I want them to be.

  • she didn’t make a very clear distinction. if you’re talking about a sociopath, you would say “no emotions or altruism” rather than citing a lack of desire to parent. not wanting to parent has nothing to do with being a sociopath and it also doesn’t mean that the decision not to parent is the right one, because it’s an abstract thought that does not concern itself with the reality of a baby, the emotions of motherhood, etc etc etc.

    i know claudia wasn’t talking about me, but it could’ve been said a lot better. claudia knows a lot more first mothers than i do so if that tiny percentage of sociopathic birth mothers are something she knows from her experience, that’s all fine and good. but that has to be a seriously rare situation that i feel like is not worth speculating about. i would bet that true sociopaths do feel positively toward their children, and even if they aren’t capable of much depth of feeling, they still know how they should act, so it seems that a sociopathic woman who had it all and became pregnant would most likely keep it. i don’t doubt that it occurs, but sociopathic birth mothers are rare enough that it shouldn’t be made into a generalization.

    • leenilee says:

      Agreed, it’s gotta be a rarity. Actually I would think sociopaths would not consider adoption at all. They’d probably worry too much about what others would think of them. I would think they would make up the segment of mothers who go on to abide and neglect rather than birth mothers.

  • shannon2818 says:

    You’re definitely not a sociopath! Thanks for sharing the pictures-they’re beautiful.

  • I applaud you for your decision. I think we all know where our strengths lie, and to have to dedicate the rest of one’s life to raising a child is a huge burden, and best done by a parent who would be thrilled and delighted to do so. You did the right thing.

    • maybe someone needs to go back to school and learn reading comprehension, and you can lay off the applause. i DO know where my strengths lie. i WOULD be thrilled and delighted to take care of my baby. i WOULD be a good mother. i wish i had known these things earlier, but it’s easy to be blind to them when you’re 23, single, busy with college and work, and i thought being pregnant was the scariest thing to happen to me.

      you may not realize this, but when you smugly tell me that i did the right thing giving up my baby, as if you are all-powerful and you know what is right, it is a horrible insult because you are basically telling me that my child is better off without me. and how dare you tell me what kind of a person i am? you don’t know me. you -barely- skimmed one of my blog posts.

      raising a child may be difficult and consuming, but i would hardly call it a “burden” or else you would not have adopted five of them.

      before commenting, please ask yourself if you sound like a senseless asshole.

    • Cherry says:

      @ 5kidswithdisabilities:

      What a repulsive thing to say to this blog writer. You’ve actually given me the creeps.

  • Did you see this post on our blog?
    It was an eye-opening talk about how reproductive loss (including adoption) is often unacknowledged in our society. Their book, Grieving Reproductive Loss: The Healing Process, is available on Amazon and seems full of wisdom.

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