Birthmothers

( 3 )

Overview

Birthmothers presents intimate and stirring accounts of more than seventy women who surrendered babies for adoption. It follows their lives long-term, from discovery of their pregnancies through the present, and identifies the Birthmother Syndrome -- a pattern of behavior and emotions resulting from surrender. With heartwarming candor, it reveals the stories of the invisible side of the adoption triangle, and touches everyone involved in adoption, as well as anyone interested in...
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Overview

Birthmothers presents intimate and stirring accounts of more than seventy women who surrendered babies for adoption. It follows their lives long-term, from discovery of their pregnancies through the present, and identifies the Birthmother Syndrome -- a pattern of behavior and emotions resulting from surrender. With heartwarming candor, it reveals the stories of the invisible side of the adoption triangle, and touches everyone involved in adoption, as well as anyone interested in motherhood, family and women in our society.

Each year up to 100,000 women in the U.S. surrender babies for adoption and become "birthmothers." In this book, more than 70 of these women tell of their experiences--heart-wrenching stories that will inform, fascinate, and deeply affect everyone who reads them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Often revealing their experiences for the first time, 72 American mothers who gave up their babies answered questionnaires and participated in in-depth interviews with sociologist Jones ( Step Mother ) for this searching study. Although their ages and backgrounds vary widely, almost all of the mothers, the author notes, share regrets about their decision to relinquish their babies, with a majority reporting troubled marriages. Most traumatized among those interviewed were teenagers too young to have a voice in the decision to surrender the baby, or who felt stigmatized by illegitimacy. Sixty percent of those who gave up a baby to adoption agencies that ``seal'' records later sought to locate their children. A chapter titled ``Finding, Winning and Losing'' sums up the obstacles to establishing intimacy after reunion, and discusses relationships between birth parents and adoptive parents. First serial to New Woman. (Oct.)
okgazette.com
Addresses all the issues.
Library Journal
In a well-written, compelling narrative, Jones tells the poignant stories of over 70 birthmothers whose babies have been adopted. These adoptions took place from the 1950s until the 1980s, and the mothers came from a variety of backgrounds. Their stories add much to the anecdotal study of adoption and unwanted pregnancies, particularly their reflections on society's attitudes. Although this compelling book adds much to our anecdotal knowledge, the author's conclusions must be interpreted with caution, especially because relatively few birthmothers were interviewed (a nonrandom sample from the approximately six million birthmothers in the United States) and they cover so many eras and backgrounds. Jones acknowledges that the book is about some , not all, birthmothers. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries.-- Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595006373
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 0.71 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Discovery 1
2 Options and Decisions 11
3 Waiting Days and Birthdays 41
4 Getting Stuck or Moving On 71
5 Intimacies and Marriage 107
6 Parenting 141
7 Connections 169
8 Choices 195
9 Balancing and Triangle 231
10 The Birthmother Syndrome 269
Appendix 289
Index 291
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    A painful and compassionate eye-opener not only about the plight of birthmothers but of humanity, in general

    This is a beautifully written and very valuable book for our understanding of birthmothers who describe experiences in both closed and open adoptions. Many have grieved; others have felt relief; a number have entirely repressed their emotions. Regardless of what they think about relinquishment, many birthmothers continue to struggle with the emotional effects of suppressing their maternal drive in the form of rage, frustration, sorrow, guilt, and self-doubt. Many birthmothers emphasized that reunion was not a cure for the regrets, angers, or grief they faced after relinquishing. The author writes that 'Even in mutually rewarding reunions, most birthmothers experienced profound sensations of loss.' Yes, I can only begin to understand this feeling because I have personal experience with the birthmother of our daughter. Relinquishment occurred in 1969, when the baby was 4 days old and 29 years later our birthmother found us. Today, we love one another and our daughter has a cordial relationship with her birthmother, but our birthmother is facing the terrible reality that her grown daughter, now a mother herself, is not the needy little baby she had relinquished and a late mother-child relationship is impossible. 'Even reunions can't make it right.' I love this book and recommend it to everyone, not just to members of the adoption triad. It is a book about humanity. Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    I wouldn't reccommend this book for anybody involved in modern day adoption

    I bought this book as a pregnant woman already decided upon adoption looking for comfort for the emotional things ahead. This book really isn't relevent in today's society. It talks about adoptions through the sixties, seventies and eighties. Things have changed a lot since then, I didn't find much of it useful. It's also extremely negative. There are a few positive stories thrown in almost as an afterthought but explains in detail one horror story after another. Agencies and adoption lawyers are made out to be evil, coercing and are in the business for the adoptive parents best interests since they're the ones funding the operations. All in all, it presented a severely negative, one-sided view on adoption.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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