Infertile People Want to Steal Your Baby

BlogHer Original Post

In case you weren't aware, as a blood-thirsty, vampire-like infertile woman, you want to steal another person's baby. Some people instinctively know this, so they joke at parties about how they'd like to give their shrieking infant to you ("You want a child? Take this one!"). They cock their head to the side and they tell you earnestly that they really really wish this baby growing in their belly was yours because it's "your turn."

But others do not know this, which is why articles like this story, by Liza Mundy for the Washington Post, need to be written: to tell Americans that desperate women want to steal their baby.

With a box-cutter c-section.

But wait! Though earlier coverage of this story gave vague facts, such as that the attacker, Veronica Deramous, wanted to "adopt her baby" and that "Deramous had been telling people she was pregnant though she wasn’t and her reason for attacking the victim, Teka Adams, was likely to keep the baby for her own," at no point did reporters use the term "infertile."

In fact, we know nothing about Deramous's reasons for wanting this particular baby -- nor do we hear anything more than conjecture in the second part of Mundy's article, since she states that the motive is still a big question.

So why do the detectives "say they think that Deramous, 40, is no longer able to have children, for reasons other than age"? On what grounds do they imply infertility?

This word possibly becomes assumed, because this story meshes with a long string of fictional infertile and baby loss attackers to perpetuate the idea that baby lust can be felt so strongly that it would make an otherwise sane woman tie up a pregnant woman for days and attempt to cut the baby out of her womb.

If it's not a full-length feature film such as Waterland, it's a mainstream television show such as Private Practice. I'm sure there are others, but I'm too busy plotting how to steal a baby to come up with a list.

Meanwhile, news coverage sensationalizes the story, pointing out that "if you're fixated on having a baby, and then you see a TV show or you hear about another example of a woman going and trying to get a baby out of a womb, all of a sudden, that plays into your own delusional system and it becomes an idea that you're going to act on."

Hear that, infertile, baby-fixated women? You just heard this story and now you're going to go act on it. Pregnant women, beware!

I say this tongue-in-cheek because of the ridiculous nature of this belief. It begins with this thought that infertile women want a baby, therefore, they must want any baby. Hence why those outside the situation often feel it their place to offer advice on how to reach parenthood counter to the feelings of the people actually experiencing infertility. Those attempting treatments are told to "just adopt," and those adopting are asked whether they really gave treatments a chance.

Just as those who conceive without assistance make decisions about family building from when to start trying to how many children to have, those who do need assistance simply have an extra layer of decisions to make such as which family building path to use. But just as it would be annoying for others to weigh in on what month is the best month for a delivery, those using assisted conception or adoption to build their family often feel annoyed when people make suggestions without weighing the multitude of factors that go into choosing a path.

The "any baby" belief snowballs into "if they want any baby, then they could even want my baby" with the mistaken notion that the longing for parenthood can become strong enough to turn an otherwise sane person into a baby-stealing nightmare.

But Veronica Deramous was anything but sane. She was a woman with four children (one of whom assisted her in holding Teka Adams hostage), a jail record, and a history of deception. She committed forgery and identity theft, ran up debt under other people's names. She lied about being pregnant when she wasn't.

Liza Mundy's article feels a bit like watching a horror film. With so many actual scary possibilities in the world, what good can come of watching Freddie Kruger pick off teenagers? And what is the purpose of placing the reader in the horrifically graphic story, especially one that is backed up by this fact in the second part of the article:

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children documented 13 U.S. cases of successful removal of a fetus by an abductor from 1987 through last July.

13 cases in 23 years! This is hardly a situation that demands greater understanding. Until we are going to fill the newspaper with the more common moment-by-moment breakdown of a rape ("89,000 women reported being raped in 2008"), something it would behoove the general public to think about a bit more, I'm not sure why we are focusing on the outlandish crimes that while are personally horrific to those involved in those 13 cases, hardly effect the greater population. You stand a greater chance of losing your child while doing nothing (stillbirth rate: 1 out of 160 deliveries) than you do of having your child forcefully removed from your body.

Still, the message continues. I'll give you three guesses as to the main characteristic for a perp, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as described in the Washington Post article:

According to the center's profile of a typical abductor, the woman may have children of her own but may be no longer able to bear children.

And it all returns to those bloodthirsty, vampire-like infertile women who will do anything to grab a child, any child.

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her book is Navigating the Land of If.

Recent Posts by Melissa Ford

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