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Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories Hardcover – November, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Pr; 1st edition (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556521928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556521928
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,974,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Often revealing their experiences for the first time, 72 American mothers who gave up their babies answered questionnaires and participated in in-depth interviews with sociologist Jones ( Step Mother ) for this searching study. Although their ages and backgrounds vary widely, almost all of the mothers, the author notes, share regrets about their decision to relinquish their babies, with a majority reporting troubled marriages. Most traumatized among those interviewed were teenagers too young to have a voice in the decision to surrender the baby, or who felt stigmatized by illegitimacy. Sixty percent of those who gave up a baby to adoption agencies that "seal" records later sought to locate their children. A chapter titled "Finding, Winning and Losing" sums up the obstacles to establishing intimacy after reunion, and discusses relationships between birth parents and adoptive parents. First serial to New Woman.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In a well-written, compelling narrative, Jones tells the poignant stories of over 70 birthmothers whose babies have been adopted. These adoptions took place from the 1950s until the 1980s, and the mothers came from a variety of backgrounds. Their stories add much to the anecdotal study of adoption and unwanted pregnancies, particularly their reflections on society's attitudes. Although this compelling book adds much to our anecdotal knowledge, the author's conclusions must be interpreted with caution, especially because relatively few birthmothers were interviewed (a nonrandom sample from the approximately six million birthmothers in the United States) and they cover so many eras and backgrounds. Jones acknowledges that the book is about some , not all, birthmothers. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries.
- Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

I've been writing ever since I could hold a pencil, but I didn't start writing books until the year after my second child was born. At that point, I asked myself: if not now, when? And I closed up my freelance video business to focus on my writing.

In the twenty odd years since then, I've written two non-fiction books (including BIRTHMOTHERS: Women who relinquished babies for adoption tell their stories), five humor books (including I LOVE HIM, BUT...) and, as of 2014, eleven suspense novels (including OUTSIDE EDEN, ELECTIVE PROCEDURES, THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE, WINTER BREAK, BEHIND THE WALLS, SUMMER SESSION, THE BORROWED AND BLUE MURDERS, THE DEADLY NEIGHBORS, THE RIVER KILLINGS, THE NANNY MURDERS).

My favorite writing is about the shady area between reality and perception, where people can't be sure of what they're sensing and concluding. I like putting "normal" characters into unexpected situations where they confront shadows and have to feel their way toward the truth, no matter how dangerous or frightening it may be.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By clark@arlington.net on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I just last night finished this book. It is one of the best I have read so far. In some places of this book which I underlined or marked it was as if I myself wrote it. I felt alot of the things described and still do. I am a birthmother of 2 daughters from the 70's so I lived in the era that condemned, shamed and lied to us. It is a relief knowing it was NOT me who had all this happen to all alone that there are hundreds of thousands of other women. We birthmothers need to know we are not alone anymore. I highly recommend not only birthmothers to read this but adoptees and adoptive mothers as well. We all in this triad need to learn to feel for each other and understand each others pain. But most of all our adoptees need to be put first. They must no more be made to feel ashamed of who they are, they didn't ask to be adopted did they? PLEASE no one flame me for my opinion here! After all I am human and have a heart.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a birthmother, I can fully relate to the level of pain and remorse described in this book. Entrusting one's child to adoption is the most heartbreaking decision anyone could ever have to make, and it is further complicated by the fact that for many women, there was no choice. (Coercion in adoption remains widespread.)
All would-be adoptive parents need to read this book to fully understand the grief of their children's birthparents. If they do, they will learn to treat the birthfamily with love and respect, and welcome them in via a truly open adoption.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. THE INSIGHT'S INTO MYSELF WERE REMARKABLE. I WANTED TO UNDERLINE THE SENTENCES AND SEND THE BOOK TO MY CHILDREN. I FOUND MYSELF ALL OVER THE BOOK. IF OTHERS ONLY KNEW HOW DEEPLY WE DO FEEL. THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
in 1990 i was hit by a drunk driver i was 6 months along with our son he was born 3 months early with broken legs, spinal damage, and mild damage to his brain. i suffered reproductive damage, spinal,and spinal damage. i could never have another child. we are in the process of adoption after 7 years of looking and saving we are doing it but i have read this book and i feel if the birthmother will allow me to i will write to her and send photos to let her know the baby her and i will share forever will be just that. i wrote a poem after reading your book and here it goes i hope you will understand how much your book changed our lives.
once there were two women who never knew each other one you wont remember the other you call her mother...two different lives shaped to make yours one became your guiding star the other your sun..one gave you emotions the other calmed your fears, one saw your first sweet smile, the otherdried your tears.. a day may come you will ask through your tears the age old question asked
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