Rascal Flatts' Jay Demarcus Reflects on 'Difficult' Decision to Reveal He Gave Daughter up for Adoption

Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus recently opened up about his personal life, revealing for the first time that he and his former girlfriend gave up a child for adoption, in his new memoir, Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakeable Hope. The singer admits it was painful for him to share those intimate details, but felt it was necessary to make sure readers knew his entire story.

"It's been difficult, because the pain is back up to the surface again, remembering just how sad and painful it really was to live through that time," DeMarcus confessed to Billboard. "That feeling of being stuck with an impossible decision to make, with the young lady looking to me like, 'What do we do now?' Abortion wasn't an option for us, particularly at the time. We talked about getting married, but obviously for all the wrong reasons, and we talked about my mother adopting her at one time. We just made the best decision we could, and she made the best decision for her.

"There was some joy in knowing that we were placing her with a family that had tried to conceive for several years, and knowing we had brought them some joy gave me a little more peace," he continued. "But still ... thinking about the fact that I ran the risk of having a child in the world that I would never have a relationship with, it was and has been really painful. Quite honestly, it's been painful talking out loud about it. Having the conversations about it has made it more difficult than I imagined it to be, writing in the book."

Still, although sharing the story, and talking about it, is never easy for him, the 48-year-old is glad he was brave enough to divulge even the most painful part of his life with others.

"There's no regret in telling my story, because I felt like if I was going to tell my story, it was a big turning point in my life," DeMarcus maintained. "It was a catalyst for a lot of things that unfolded after that. It's one of the biggest things that happened to me in my early life – in my early career – as a young man, so I wanted to at least be transparent with myself about it. It's been hidden for so many years, and to kind of get it out there has felt a little bit free, but I've also been very diligent about trying to be respectful of [my daughter's] privacy."

When the news of the pregnancy was discovered, DeMarcus' first professional singing job, as part of the Christian duo East to West, came to an abrupt end. Although DeMarcus was bitter about it at the time, in hindsight he understands why things happened the way they did

"I take responsibility for my actions," DeMarcus said. "There are still so many things I love about that industry. I love the message of hope, and the message of Christ in the music, and that's why I opened up a Christian label [Red Street Records]. I want to be a part of that industry, to be part of taking that message to the world in any way I can.

"Looking back, I understand why I had to live through those things, and understand what I had to learn from those things in order to get me to this place," he added. "I was bitter and jaded for a long time, but I don't hold the same feelings anymore."


Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakeable Hope is available for purchase on Amazon.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond