“No!” the poet said. I’d caught her by surprise and her eyes were filling with tears. We were at my friend Barbara’s annual Book Brunch, and the poet and I had just introduced ourselves to one another as we were standing in the hallway. “What’s your book about?” she asked me. So I told her.
“It’s the story of getting pregnant at 16, giving my son up for adoption, and then reconnecting with him just before he turned 21.”
“I gave up a daughter,” the poet said. “In New York.” Then she went on to tell me she searched and searched and finally gave up. That she eventually forgave herself for not finding her daughter.
I’m not surprised anymore when I meet another birthmother in this fashion.
I’m just beginning to wonder how many of us there are. How many of us have searched and found--and how many are still looking. And how many have given up. I would like to see us standing shoulder to shoulder in one place, willing to be counted.
I am a birthmother ~ and willing to be counted!
Susie, Thank you for making yourself known. I gave my son up in 1970-an era when things were very secretive. I wonder how many of us are still keeping our secret.
I found my birthmother a year ago (I was born in 1966).
I continue to be dumbfounded by the lack of real, meaningful data about birthmothers from that era.
L in Brooklyn
I think there’s no real data because many of us are still keeping our secret. Or we’ve searched and searched and haven’t found–and don’t really want to confront that. I think if adoption records are ever unsealed, there will be many, many reunions and after that more birthmothers will come out of the closet.