Jay DeMarcus Reveals He + an Ex-Girlfriend Put a Baby Up for Adoption
Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus has released a memoir, and fans who read it will learn at least one new thing about the artist. In the book, DeMarcus reveals that, when he was in his early 20s, he and an ex-girlfriend placed a daughter up for adoption.
People reports that DeMarcus and his then-girlfriend, Maggie, had been dating for one month when she got pregnant after, the first time the couple had sex, the condom broke. The two were "in shock" when they found out -- and DeMarcus, then a member of the Christian duo East to West, was concerned about how it would affect his career -- but weighed their options.
“[Maggie and I] discussed many options, including getting married and raising the child ourselves, but we quickly determined we’d be making that decision for the wrong reason. Abortion was never an option, so we began to discuss adoption," DeMarcus explains. "It became evident that Maggie wanted nothing to do with me. There was no interest in the two of us somehow working things out so we might raise our child together.”
DeMarcus' mother offered to adopt the child, but Maggie put the baby up for an outside adoption. “In the state of Tennessee, the mother has all the power,” he notes. DeMarcus never met the baby -- a girl -- but he doesn't blame Maggie for making the decision she did.
“From the very beginning, I wanted to be in [my baby’s] life. But her mother, Maggie, didn’t want either one of us in her life. That was a hard pill to swallow," he confesses. "I understand that sometimes life sends us reeling because of unexpected situations. But my heart in that moment, though scared, still desired to be in this beautiful child’s life.”
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DeMarcus and Maggie's daughter is now in her 20s herself, and he admits that he often wonders if she knows about her birth parents. DeMarcus wrote her a letter "explaining that I loved her, did not abandon her, and have tried several ways to make it possible to be in her life," which her adoptive parents were supposed to give her when she turned 14, but he does not know if the letter ever reached his daughter.
“My heart finds satisfaction in knowing that she ended up with a wonderful family," DeMarcus adds, "but I’ve had to live with this my entire life."
Although Neal Coomer, DeMarcus' East to West bandmate, supported him as he coped with the decision, once news spread within the Christian music industry, their connections and career "virtually vanished.” Writes DeMarcus, "I understand, I guess, but it does seem that many Christians all too often kills their wounded instead of taking time to be there to help pick someone up."
DeMarcus, who formed Rascal Flatts in 1999 with bandmates Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus, now has two children -- a daughter, Madeline, and a son, Dylan -- with his wife, Allison Alderson, whom he married in 2004. The couple is raising their children in the Christian faith.
"That’s something that was really, really important to me, to build that foundation with our kids so they at least went to church," DeMarcus writes. "It’s really important for me that [my kids are] ingrained in a good church and have that good foundation to build upon. I think that’s a core value system that you’ll find anywhere you go in the south.”
DeMarcus' memoir, Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakable Hope, chronicles the musician and producer's journey from Columbus, Ohio, to Nashville and country music stardom. DeMarcus says that his "ultimate goal" for the book, which was co-written by Tim Willard, is to "encourage people [to] find hope, comfort and strength in their faith.”
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