Dear Lisa Belkin and Anita Tedaldi

We were outraged by Tedaldi’s story.  But not for the reason you cite:

Belkin: It’s not talked about.  And there are people who are furious that it’s being talked about here on this blog.   (Radio interview)

There are quite a few of us who talk about disruption. Speaking only for myself, I have to say that I wasn’t furious because you brought the subject up. Disrupting an adoption is not “rehoming.” It is not about Tedaldi “being a part of this child’s journey.” It isn’t about “good intentions.”

Radio interviewer: What were you hoping to get at with this blog?

Tedaldi: Well when I wrote the essay, you know, I’ve been writing for a while, so I’ve chronicled or talked about different issues with my, you know, with my family and myself and I felt like

it was almost dishonest not to share something that happened because we started out again with the best intentions, you know, I myself wrote a piece a couple of years ago where I said I thought it was inconceivable to ever return a child after adoption.

It was the spin and deception in the article. Because the article Tedaldi wrote about the Dutch diplomat’s disruption was in January 2008. Less than a year later, Tedaldi disrupted. Let’s get it straight: She did not “rehome” the child. She wasn’t a “necessary path on his journey through life.” She chose to terminate her legal obligation to the child. The moral obligation unfortunately had long been terminated.

Radio interviewer: What led up to your decision to terminate that adoption?

Tedaldi: Basically, I didn’t terminate the adoption. I actually placed the child for adoption. So I did a private adoption. I could have done the same thing with a biological child. I did not terminate the adoption technically.

The reality, however, was that she did not do the same with her biological children.

She apparently chose to adopt a child while she was pregnant. And within a short span of time she became pregnant again. Undoubtedly this was overwhelming. The solution? To give up the adopted child.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if Tedaldi had placed her two youngest biological children for adoption. Would she be lauded for her bravery?

Because the reality is that she took eighteen or more months (past blogs indicate it was probably more like two years) that were crucial from the life of a four-month-old baby. The story keeps shifting and changing, so it’s impossible to know. But she took eighteen months that were critical to that child and his ability to bond. Eighteen months in which she was pregnant twice and had two newborns. How much attention do you think the adopted kid was getting?

This is what we want to talk about. Not about how painful it was for the “parent.” Not about how Tedaldi was “pilloried.” But a story that talks about the child.

12 thoughts on “Dear Lisa Belkin and Anita Tedaldi

  1. I would be willing to bet that Tedaldi thinks/thought she was ‘doing a good thing” or some variation of the savior comlex that some adoptive parents hold, then she got tired of pretending that she was doing performing a good deed. For her to say that she didn’t disrupt is delusional thinking at best.

  2. I like the way parents treat their kid like an old sofa. Just throw it away or give it to someone who can appreciate it. You can’t say this woman hasn’t done someone a favor. The new adoptive parents must be overjoyed to have the boy (forgive my cynicism but how long will that last?). Parents should exam their real motive when they decide to get pregnant or adopt. It isn’t a game that you can quit. Get a puppy instead. I promise I won’t judge you if you take it to the pound when you lose interest.

  3. “I did not terminate the adoption technically.” seriously? That’s her response? I suppose when this child grows up and realizes this was all just a technicality it’ll be ok. Somebody please tell this woman to pull her head our of her ass. And all the people who support her for making such a brave and commendable decision can also pull their heads out of their asses.
    I don’t think the issue is a discussion about disruption (which, let’s be clear she did not do, technically) But they aren’t having a discussion about it, it’s simply her story and any commentary that arises not in the form of praise it’s written off as “‘they’re just angry we’re talking about ‘disruption.'”

  4. There ism no excuse for what she did. As a mom by adoption who has worked for years on attachment issues, it sounds like this woman didn’t even try and had remorse about the adoption from the get go.

    It truly saddens me that the media, especially the New York Times, covers adoption in this way, continuing with its efforts to make adoption sounds like an unnatural way to make a family, rather than the wonderful route to parenthood it is.

    And question — would she really have placed her bio kids for adoption if he wasn’t “bonding” with them? No, I didn’t think so.

  5. I cannot judge if Anita did or did not “Love” D or what the depth of what she calls “Love” for him was, but for me, love is also a choice as much as a feeling. When it comes to adopting children, especially ones with traumatic pasts who have special needs, you say “Yes” I will be your Mother, not “if it works out, you can call me Mommy, that is, if I feel things are going how I imagined.” What happened to toughing it out? To being a mother of biological or adopted through hell and high water? This story is apauling to me. Anita’s choice to publicize it afterwards is shameful, and to include details about his disorder of eating his own feces is not a detail that a truly loving, selfless mother who only has the “best interest of the child” in mind would reveal to the whole world. D is not an animal. He will be grown up one day, at 8, 12, 20 and will know his own publicised story. He will know his mother revealed his private medical history to a world of TV and internet strangers, feeding their interest and her self pity more than his privacy and best interest. All this hand-me-down the line trauma is already more than any human should have to deal with. Anita putting it in the public eye, his smeared face and clothes to boot, is a form of child abuse. Where is D’s voice in all this?

  6. I would 100% agree, but clearly she is dysfunctional. Where were the social workers when she was adopting a child while pregnant and getting pregnant again. She is an idiot with some mental health dx, I just don’t know which one. Perhaps Jae Ran can dx her!

    In any case, she was not a good choice for an adoptive parent with the deployed husband, multiple kids and births during the time when she should have been bonding with the child. I think before she even got pregnant again she had already decided not to keep him. Surely even she must have known that wasn’t best for him. Maybe she wanted to see if she could have another child first. Or maybe she just saw too many stories about Brangelina and Madonna and dreamed of a “rainbow” family. Who knows? Either way, I am disturbed she is getting so much positive press.

  7. This adoptee loves this blog and this blog entry.

    I never thought there would be one place I could send

    –people who don’t understand why I’m angry about adoption practices AND –people who insist (my/our) white privilege is something I “made up because I hate myself and my race”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  8. I’m an adoptive mother and while I read the original piece with an open mind, I became increasingly incensed the more sleuthing I did. I lost sleep over it. And then I wrote about this here:

    Please visit and weigh in.

    This whole piece of Tedaldi’s is not about the child. It is about Tedaldi. Tedaldi is all about Tedaldi.

    She is a liar and her story is a shape-shifting bid for absolution. She has no credibility and the only thing good about it is that the baby—D or David or Matteo or whatever she’s calling him today that best suits her needs—is now in a home where he is loved and cared for as if her were a biological child. Tedaldi obviously never considered him a part of her or her family; her family never considered him part of the family.

    That Tedaldi is getting so much media attention and lots of you-are-so-brave! comments (though I think more are in the camp of how-dare-you?) is offensive.

    And not just that, but her story do greatly damages the perception of adoption in our culture, something that ultimately hurts children. Let’s hope Tedladi’s 15-minutes of fame passes quickly. Though, it’s my sense she is going to get a book deal out of it.

  9. I worked in treatment foster care for some years. You all are just being mean. You have no clue.
    I cried when I had to remove a 7-yr-old boy from foster parents the right age to be his grandparents who loved him & were committed to him. I also loved him. I still cry over it almost 20 yrs later. He was setting fires in spite of all imaginable efforts to curtail his behavior & we, the system, had no choice. He needed very long-term residential care in a secured unit. He got that – for the next 11 yrs. It sucks.
    He wasn’t evil. He was extremely vulnerable. Unfortunately, the first set of adults in his life, the addicts in the squat where he was born, couldn’t care & scarred him forever.
    He haunts me. I still pray for him.
    Why was this nonresponsive 4-mo-old baby from S America abandoned to start w/? Lots of people look at that one dynamic in his early life & jump on the reactive attachment disorder bandwagon.
    Let me offer an alternative: severe autism w/ catatonic features. Poor, superstitious first mom who believed her nonresponsive child was cursed or possessed & saw abandoning him as the only way to save the rest of her family.
    Many parents w/ children w/ severe autism are advised by professionals to institutionalize them. They are extremely hard to care for & their problems consume all the family’s emotional & financial resources.
    If he’d been given that diagnosis his institutionalization might have been Anita Teldadi’s story. He got a different label, they got a different story. He got a 3rd family (or 4th if you count the orphanage as a family) uniquely qualified to care for him.
    I realize I’m stepping into this years after the fact. But I have to quote the Wisest of the wise, “Judge not that you be not judged.”
    This story is a win, not a fail. If you think this story is a fail, you sincerely have no clue.

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