Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories

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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: 9781556523007
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.85 (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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