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Adoption and Loss: The Hidden Grief (Revised Edition) Paperback – September 2, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I have read this book and found it excellent. In my opinion it is the best Australian book ever on adoption issues. -- Barb Maison, Origins Newsletter, Victoria, April, 2000.

I highly recommend this book as a wonderful addition to adoption literature. -- Nancy Verrier, author

The book is far more than a sensitive account of one person’s experiences: it challenges our thinking about the practices of adoption. -- Lea Stevens, MP, Member of South Australian State Parliament, April, 2000.

To lay yourself and your family out bare like that takes courage. I'm very proud of her and honoured to be called her son. -- Stephen Ferguson, natural son of Evelyn Robinson, message to Book Launch, April, 2000. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Evelyn Robinson is a mother who lost her first child, Stephen, through adoption. After her reunion with Stephen, Evelyn returned to study and completed a post-graduate degree in social work. Evelyn’s work is unique as it combines both her personal and her professional experience. Her writing style is accessible and her book makes compelling reading. Evelyn has a personal commitment to supporting those whose lives have been affected by adoption and to increasing public awareness of adoption issues.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Clova Publications; Rev. edition (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0646435329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0646435329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are few books written about adoption from the natural mother's perspective. For that reason alone this book is worth reading. However, it has much more going for it. It is the most honest account I have ever read of a mother relinquishing her baby to be adopted. Evelyn Robinson confronts squarely all issues that took her to that place where she felt compelled to adopt her baby - her position in her family and relationships with other family members, her relationships with men before conceiving her son and the conception of her son. She goes on to analyse the affect relinquishing her son had on her life subsequently, especially, and most painfully, her abusive marriage.
The question most often asked of women who relinquish their babies to be adopted is "how could you." Few in society have any understanding of why women relinquish their own babies to the care of others. Hence, I believe, the myth has arisen that these mothers never loved their babies and voluntarily abandoned them. In her book Evelyn Robinson carefully analyses why pefectly normal, sane women allowed their babies to be adopted. This is essential reading for all natural mothers of adopted children, adopters, adopted persons and policy makers.
Evelyn Robinson states "It is obvious that a serious loss is experienced by the women...who gave birth to children who are subsequently adopted by someone else...." She explains why the grief of these women does not diminish with time, but increases in intensity with the passage of time. Her analysis of this phenomenon releases natural mothers from their rusty shackles of shame and guilt.
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Format: Paperback
Evelyn's book provides a rare insight into the mind of a mother who has given her child to adoption. It details the tremendous pain suffered because of this action and the life long grief it leaves. The book records the life of the author from the time of her birth till the present, and it is an honest and candid exposé of her thoughts and feelings about the conception, gestation, birth, and finally the reunion with her son Adam (later renamed Steven by the adoptive parents). Evelyn's story is one that has, in many ways, mirrored the experiences of many other women who have lost their children to adoption. It is a story that needs to be told and one that needs to be heard.
Evelyn raise the question of `acquiescence' for the natural mother and then dispels it by revealing the truth about the coercion involved in gaining consent for adoption. Evelyn also acknowledges the pain and hidden grief suffered by adopted people and lifts the veil of secrecy that surrounds adoption. She examines adoption's dark underbelly and the [idea] of silence that often works to maintain the spiritual, intellectual and physical separation between natural mother's and their children.
This book is highly recommended and a `must read' both for professionals working in the area of adoption and all of those many millions of people, worldwide, who have been touched by adoption. This book will be especially valuable to adoptive parents because it provides an account of the (often unacknowledged) experiences of birthmothers and their children. Many of these individuals have in the past, and will continue in the future, to be consumed by adoptions unresolved grief.
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Format: Paperback
As a mother who relinquished her son to adoption in 1973, I found this book extremely helpful and interesting. All of the emotions and questions I have lived with for the past 32 years were addressed in a manner which gave my feelings validity and reassurance. It is remarkable how similar my experience is to that of Ms. Robinson. From pregnancy to reunion I feel like I have lived a parallel life on the other side of "the pond", or the world as it turns out. I particularly enjoyed her "Part Three, What does it all mean?". I can certainly ruminate about my life quite well on my own, without the book, but this third part offered me empowerment to say, "Hey, I'm not the bad guy here, what was society thinking?" It's not a transfer of blame, but it is a challange to take another look at established adoption and ask some pretty important questions. I certainly would recommend this book to any natural mother separated from her child at birth, no matter where they are in their grieving process, as well as adoptees, as a means of trying to understand why they came to be adoptees. Adoptive parents should also read this in an effort to offer "our" children support for their whole person, and to become aware that the adoption story is not as simple as they might believe.

Thank you Evelyn Burns Robinson, your book is great!!
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By A Customer on December 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Excellent book. I am an adoptee, and this helped me understand as best as I can the experience from a birthmother's perspective. Highly recommended reading.
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Format: Paperback
This book provides three ways of looking at losing a child to adoption: the personal story of a mother, the psychological disenfranchised grief that grows over time for all mothers who lose their children to adoption, and the political dimensions of these losses in society. It is an excellent resource for those who want to understand the effects of taking children from mothers for the benefit of others.
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