I was 19 and working for the civil service when I had my son. Abortion wasn't an option as I knew i wanted to raise my son and adoption never crossed my mind. My parents were furious so they arranged everything. I believed all the lies they told and the lies that the case worker from the adoption agency told me. It never occurred to me that my parents would lie to me or that the case worker would with hold information as well as lie. I didn't even know I couldn't consent to surrender my son until he was at least 6 weeks old. When I was told it was too let to stop the adoption I gave up the will to fight any more even though I had never agreed to my son being adopted. I was expected to get on with my life and to forget my son. My only way of coping was to lock my emotions away although I thought about my son every day.
When I found my son 23 years later without actively searching my emotions exploded to the surface. It took me another year before I realized how depressed I was and how much adoption had affected me as a person. During this time I quickly realized how low opinions were of mothers who had surrendered. However the most hurtful comments came from my own mother. She had the attitude that my son's adoptive family were his only family and I was nothing to him. What had made it even worse was that he had found my family five years before I found him. They had told him they didn't know where I was and my mother even sent him a letter telling him to accept that I didn't want to be found. This was an out right lie as she knew I wanted to be found.
My in laws have been more supportive so I have endured the stupid comments in the early days. The only one that annoyed me was one of my sister in laws saying that my son shouldn't call me mum as the only one allowed to be called that was his adoptive mother. It took her a long time to get it that just because I hadn't raised my son didn't stop me from being one of his mothers.
Over the past eight years I have had to deal with awful attitudes particularly from adoptive parents who have adopted new borns. I have been told that I am a liar because I tell it as it is about being coerced, that I've been outed as a liar due to an interview about how reunion affected my marriage, that I really wanted my son adopted, I blame everybody else for what happened. Just because BSE ended in the 1970's doesn't mean that coerced adoption also ended The tactics simply changed. I know what happened to me and I believe other mothers because they went through similar experiences. Unfortunately a certain section of society sees us as throwaway mothers!
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