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Shaming and adoption…

30 Jun

Most connected to adoption know that white mothers from the BSE (1947-1973) were shamed for being unwed and pregnant.  That, community knowledge of the pregnancy brought shame down upon the entire family, and why, mothers were often sent away to maternity homes, or to relatives elsewhere, until after the birth and surrender of their baby for adoption.

Today, one of the oft touted reasons why adoption isn’t the same as that era, is because mothers aren’t shamed today.

Except, that shaming is still alive and well today…

Christian, Single, and Pregnant…God has a plan for YOU!

No, just no, God does not ask you to sacrifice your child because you had sex before marriage that resulted in pregnancy.  If he did, it would be in the Bible.

 

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19 Comments

Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

Tags: , , ,

19 responses to “Shaming and adoption…

  1. Lara/Trace

    June 30, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Whoever writes that propaganda believes it works – and it has!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      June 30, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Perhaps written differently than our era- but the message hasn’t changed…I stumbled on it, read it, and couldn’t get it out of my mind…

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. pj

    June 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    “Your mistake can be the very miracle that God has prepared for a childless couple”
    So we go from being a “mistake” to a “miracle” ! What divine intervention…

    Like

     
    • TAO

      June 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      yeah – none of it sat right with me…

      Like

       
  3. L4R

    June 30, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    “Your unplanned pregnancy may be used as a part of God’s plan to bring joy and happiness to another couple.”

    I’ve never understood this. It hurts my brain.

    Like

     
  4. Luanne

    June 30, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    In the 1920s my unwed grandmother kept her children instead of giving them up for adoption. If you ever find anything written, especially researched articles, where this subject is brought up for those pre-WWII years, I’d love it if you thought of me and let me know. I know how well-educated you are in the subject of adoption. Luanne (from dontwelookalike.com)

    Like

     
    • TAO

      June 30, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      I will Luanne. Interestingly though – in that era, Family Preservation was the standard, adoption wasn’t often considered. That flip happened post WWII…

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Luanne

        June 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

        Is that true? I didn’t think it was. I am writing a memoir, focused on my father who was very affected at growing up as a B word. The family went to extraordinary means to keep the secret. I wasn’t told until EIGHT years ago. But around that time period I was given some old photographs and see my grandmother with her babies (my dad was a twin and they even have a sister 4 years old from the same father) with her own mother, beaming as she looked at her grandchildren. So if it was typical to keep the family intact, I’d love to read about that, too!

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        • TAO

          June 30, 2016 at 10:53 pm

          It was, or an adoption happened inside the family. Mom’s dad was raised by his gparents – hush hush – mom didn’t find out till she was about 50. Even maternity homes, the big names were to get the mothers rehabilitated and back on their feet so they could raise their children. There are articles – I’ll look for them and tag you when I find some.

          Like

           
        • TAO

          June 30, 2016 at 11:26 pm

          http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/sw0006m.xml

          http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/topics/illegitimacy.htm

          A couple to start with – you’ll find the Salvation Army and Booth and even Catholic Charities had the mindset that it was best for mother and baby to stay together – then the demand for white perfect babies after WWII and things changed and the closed, blank slate era began. There were adoptions prior to that but the birth certificates weren’t changed etc…our era was a social experiment.

          Like

           
        • momengineer

          July 1, 2016 at 10:02 pm

          My father was born out of wedlock in 1934 and was kept. My grandmother was kicked out of the house after her mother died of tuberculosis. (Grandmother was caretaker). I wonder if the advent of relatively safe infant formula in the 1940’s made infant adoption possible?

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • TAO

            July 1, 2016 at 10:05 pm

            That had a LOT to do with it for sure…that and the rising infertility rates, social workers thinking they new best…

            Like

             
          • Luanne

            July 1, 2016 at 11:19 pm

            That would be that same time period as my dad and his siblings (1924-1928). Interesting thought about the formula. Also, after my dad’s grandmother died, his mother’s sister’s husband (a lawyer) put the father in a nursing home and gave my grandmother and her three kids an hour to move out of the family home. Sounds similar?

            Like

             
            • TAO

              July 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm

              Probably because she’d brought shame…sometimes relatives suck. I’m sorry your dad had to deal with that.

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • Luanne

                July 2, 2016 at 9:06 pm

                Thanks, TAO. He and his sister seem to have been very affected by the shame. His twin not as much.

                Like

                 
  5. Nara

    July 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

    “Your unplanned pregnancy may be used as a part of God’s plan to bring joy and happiness to another couple. Your mistake can be the very miracle that God has prepared for a childless couple.”

    WTF. So God just lines up some harlots to have babies for childless couples? It’s good to know I’m a miracle AND a mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      July 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Yep, that’s about it…

      Like

       
    • cb

      July 2, 2016 at 12:16 am

      “Your unplanned pregnancy may be used as a part of God’s plan to bring joy and happiness to another couple. Your mistake can be the very miracle that God has prepared for a childless couple.”

      That in itself is part of the “shift of focus” from before the war to after the war. To some extent, before the war, relinquishment was usually related to the woman’s situation. After the war, adoption became about solving “TWO societal problems” – “childless married women” and “unmarried mothers”. The sympathy of the social workers was with their fellow married women. I remember speaking to a nurse from that time and I remember her saying about the “childless married women” she dealt with “those poor women, they needed to be mothers”. She was actually a very nice person, however, as a married woman herself, her compassion was for her fellow married women.
      As a result of that sympathy, the whole of the legal construct of post-war adoption was about making adoption comfortable for those wishing to adopt.

      It is a bit of a case of people playing God – they just think “kill two birds with one stone, hey problems solved” – they don’t look at the actual humans involved in adoption.

      I think in general, there is a disconnect in the understanding of the above. We know that women relinquish children, we know other people adopt them and we act as if it is always a case of two connected acts, eg people unable to parent, other people picking up the slack. However, many social workers during our time and also during recent times counsel women towards adoption because of their sympathy for those who are unable to have children. Some like the above adoption professional are more open about it than others.

      Most adoptees want to at least feel that our adoption was *about* us and to understand and realise that in fact, there were other forces at play is not something that is easy to realise.

      I can and do understand that there will always be women that can’t or won’t parent. However, it must be a decision related to their own situation and NOT related to the needs and desires of others. Any counselling that focuses on the benefit that is brought to a third party is taking the focus of the best interests of the child.

      Like

       
  6. c

    July 2, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “Your unplanned pregnancy may be used as a part of God’s plan to bring joy and happiness to another couple. Your mistake can be the very miracle that God has prepared for a childless couple.”

    That in itself is part of the “shift of focus” from before the war to after the war. Adoption became about solving “TWO societal problems” – “childless married women” and “unmarried mothers”. The sympathy of the social workers was with their fellow married women. I remember speaking to a nurse from that time and I remember her saying about the “childless married women” she dealt with “those poor women, they needed to be mothers”. She was actually a very nice person, however, as a married woman herself, her compassion was for her fellow married women. As a result of that sympathy, the whole of the legal construct of post-war adoption was about making adoption comfortable for those wishing to adopt.

    It is a bit of a case of people playing God – they just think “kill two birds with one stone, hey problems solved” – they don’t look at the actual humans involved in adoption.

    I think in general, there is a disconnect in the understanding of the above. We know that women relinquish children, we know other people adopt them and we act as if it is always a case of two connected acts, eg people unable to parent, other people picking up the slack. However, many social workers during our time and also during recent times counsel women towards adoption because of their sympathy for those who are unable to have children. Some like the above adoption professional are more open about it than others.

    Most adoptees want to at least feel that our adoption was *about* us and to understand and realise that in fact, there were other forces at play is not something that is easy to realise.

    I can and do understand that there will always be women that can’t or won’t parent. However, it must be a decision related to their own situation and NOT related to the needs and desires of others. Any counselling that focuses on the benefit that is brought to a third party is taking the focus of the best interests of the child.

    Some countries have moved away from the focus on those wishing to adopt and has a result, their figures have dropped because they are providing counselling to women re THEIR needs, not the needs of OTHERS.

    Like

     

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