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Mom Defends Birth Mother Who 'Rejected' Her Son With Down Syndrome

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When Lisa Eicher adopted her son Archie, he was 7 years old. Archie has Down syndrome, and several years ago he made the news when an adorable video of him and his sister Ace went viral. The siblings have since made a follow up to the famous clip, and Eicher documents the family’s daily life on her blog and on Instagram.

This week, when actor and activist George Takei shared the family’s first viral video on his Facebook page, Eicher’s family once again was in the spotlight. And while she generally avoids reading comments, this time she couldn’t help herself. She says she wants to speak out to one group of people — those who began attacking her son’s birth mother.

“What I do want to address though, are the people who have interpreted our video as us being negative towards my son’s birth mom,” she wrote in a post titled “In Defense of My Son’s First Mom.” “Because that is so far from the case. We are incredibly thankful for his birth mom for giving life to our son.”

Eicher writes:

My son was born in a country where society rejects kids like him….

Here’s the thing: Our son was rejected at birth. That is a fact. And the truth of the matter is, it wasn’t just his mother who said she couldn’t keep him. It was the society that he was born into as a whole. And that’s where the problem lies. There is no support, no help, no acceptance for mothers in her situation. Do we think that his birth mother was selfish or a terrible person or that she simply didn’t want him because he was born different? No. We don’t believe those things for one second. On the contrary, I grieve for her. At some point every day, I look at my son and I feel deep sadness for her and all that she has missed out on. I think about his siblings and how much they would love him. I wonder if they think about him on his birthday or holidays. I try to imagine what they look like.

Was our son abandoned?

Yes. Was he rejected?

Yes. He absolutely was. But it wasn’t because his mother had no heart. It wasn’t because she just felt he was going to be an inconvenience to her and she didn’t want the trouble. It was because everything she knew told her that she couldn’t keep him. That he would be better off in an institution. That he didn’t have a place in her society. It is devastating that there are still so many parts of our world where this type of mindset prevails, and mothers are left hopeless and broken. I believe that my son’s birth mother felt as if she had no choice. And that is a terrible, terrible injustice.

Read “In Defense of My Son’s First Mom” here.

There have been mixed responses to Eicher’s article, which was also shared on the Huffington Post. A number of commenters applauded her for sharing her thoughts, but others were on the fence.

“For you to say he was abandoned is wrong,” one wrote. “Women give children up for various reasons… it is not abandonment… it is loving the child enough to give them a chance to find people who love them… and yes i am questioning your motives… even tho i know you probably love him.”

Originally published: November 5, 2015
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