Chris's Reviews > The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade

The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler
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Jul 18, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

The author clearly has an agenda. I would have preferred a book that also told of the effects of these strong-arm adoptions from the point of view of the parents, the fathers and the children.

I recently saw a profile of Steve Jobs, who was one of those babies give up for adoption in the 50s and I don't know that his birth mother felt her life was changed for the worse because she gave him up for adoption. And it is well known that the singer, Bobby Darin - was raised by this grandmother - beliving her to be his mother while his actual birth mother he only knew as his older sister. Some babies were kept in the family with phony stories to preserve propriety.

But to accept the book on the premises defined by the author, it is illuminating to see how society's conventions glossed over these events and affected the lives of all involved. I recommend the book.
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