Mariah MacCarthy is a playwright, rapper, storyteller, burlesque artist, and birth mom.
In a society that is quick to judge women who choose adoption, it’s pretty rare to meet a birth mother who shares her experience with more than a few close family members or friends, let alone performs a play about it. But that’s exactly what Mariah did; last night she premiered her solo show, Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People. Below is a clip of the show before it premiered.
In the clip and in the interviews she’s done to publicize the show, Mariah doesn’t share much information about why she chose adoption. She has spoken a great deal about what she calls the “invisibility” of birth mothers and how few people have actually met a birth parent or heard their story. We think it’s great that she wants to educate people about being a birth parent, especially because she does such a beautiful job of exploring both her certainty about her decision and how painful it was to make.
One thing we find confusing about Mariah’s sharing of her story is that even though she talks in her interviews about adoption language and the important difference between saying “place for adoption” and “give up for adoption,” she doesn’t follow her own advice! She regularly uses the phrase “give up” in her interviews, and goodness knows other birth parents are tired of hearing that.
Also sure to be controversial among birth parents is Mariah’s use of humor to tell her story. She’s pretty in-your-face about it, and although it’s clear from watching the clip that she thought very carefully about her adoption decision, we have a feeling that quite a few people will not appreciate how light-heartedly she seems to approach the topic in her retelling.
What do you think? Is it appropriate for Mariah to use humor to tell her story, or does it make light of too serious a subject? And how do you feel about the language she uses?