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

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  26 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by (first published November 1st 1993)
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The Primal Wound by Nancy VerrierJourney Of The Adopted Self by Betty Jean LiftonLost & Found by Betty Jean LiftonThe Girls Who Went Away by Ann FesslerBeing Adopted by David M. Brodzinsky
Essential Adoption Reading
13th out of 23 books — 7 voters
Awakening East by Johanna GartonThe Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption by Lori HoldenFinding Motherhood by Jill M. MurphyJourney Of The Adopted Self by Betty Jean LiftonSearched the World Over for Elie by Sherilyn Olsen
Best Books for Adoptive Parents
18th out of 28 books — 11 voters

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Apr 02, 2008 Katherine rated it really liked it
Truly chilling, this 1993 book is hard to find but a worthy, overlooked precursor to The Girls Who Went Away. When a recent acclaimed/popular movie seems to promote one of the most detestable myths about adoption--that women give their babies away and "forget" and "move on," works like this are necessary. It's different from Fessler's book in that it doesn't only include women from the closed adoption/"baby scoop era" of the 1940s-70s, but open adoption of the 1970s-80s. The latter have overall ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
It was an emotionally difficult read but worthwhile in understanding the member of the adoption triad who has been shadowed in the most secrecy.
Once again I am having a fairly negative reaction to a book meant to be helpful in understanding a birthmother's heartrending situation.

Here are my issues & questions so far:

1. How can approximately 70 women be representative of the 100,000+ birthmothers who surrender their children each year?

2. I'm suspicious that the book is skewed toward a particular point of view regarding birthmothers because a) the author is herself a birthmother, and b) birthmothers who have had a positive experience
Sheri Struk
May 12, 2016 Sheri Struk rated it liked it
Birthmothers tells the stories of many women who gave up their children for adoption (often against their choice). It describes the feelings women had as young people (often teenagers) who were frequently shamed for their behavior and sometimes sent to homes for pregnant teens. It recounts stories of searches and reunions and the feelings of all those involved in reunions. The topic of birthfathers is also discussed in brief and how they may impacted by relinquishment. The book also describes th ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad that I read this book; it was pretty eye-opening about what birthmothers go through in their lives. The last chapter was especially informative, and the direct quotes from the women in the prior chapters were touching and interesting.

The reason I didn't rate the book higher is because I found the writing to be pretty frustrating to parse through -- the opening vignettes that sounded like narratives didn't flow with the rest of the book, and I wish that they hadn't been there in that so
May 21, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it
I liked this book - think I would have probably enjoyed it even more if I hadn't read the girls who went away. The "good" thing is that both books picked up on the same major themes about first moms and their experiences, so it helps confirm the qualitative research.
While Fessler focued mainly on the social pressure for women during this era to relinquish, this book, I think, paints a fuller picture of the experience of being a first mom, the impact on different life area, etc. As an aparent, I
Jan 20, 2016 Elise rated it it was ok
I didn't like it. Very negative, outdated. Not our story at all.
Bernadette Toner
Feb 19, 2015 Bernadette Toner rated it it was amazing
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