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The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade Kindle Edition
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|Length: 368 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
- File size : 718 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication date : June 26, 2007
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 26, 2007)
- Print length : 368 pages
- ASIN : B008RMF4GS
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #133,724 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Why would this woman, a wonderful, loving, mother, give a child away and not tell us? What happened that she would take a secret like that to the grave? How could her family not have any idea? This book explained exactly why, how, and what was happening in our society in 1964, when my mother signed away her rights to her firstborn child.
It also gave me an insight into why my mother was the way she was. Why she insisted my little sister and I use birth control, going so far as to take us to the doctor for the pill, at a time when it was NOT the thing parents were doing. Why she had a yearly cycle of depression centered around the time that we now know is our older sister’s birthday. Why she never told my father, who she met not long after she gave that baby up. And other pieces, bits of information and things she said that didn’t seem that strange at the time, but looking back meant something so very different and helped put together a puzzle we never knew was there.
I’m not known for being overly emotional about things, but this was very difficult for me to read, even knowing in advance the kind of societal pressures on single women of that era. I kept having to walk away for a while after reading this chapter or that story, because it was bringing everything too close for me to handle. My mother was one of these women, and although I knew she’d had an abusive childhood, I had no inkling that she had suffered this injustice as well.
Even if you aren’t connected to anyone who may have been touched by this shameful era of our history, this book is a great opportunity to learn the reasons why women’s rights continues to be such an important movement, even today. We can’t let these kinds of things continue to happen 50 or even 60 years later.
This book really helped me understand it from her perspective.
It is a must read!
This very well written book accurately tells it like it was. The saddest part of all of it is that there still remain children and birth parents who have never met. I had a good friend who was a victim of this. And I say victim because I believe far too many of the children grew up with an internal feeling of having been abandoned - no matter how wonderful the adoptive parents were. Plus the unfortunate reality of life is that all adoptive parents are not wonderful, any more than all birth parents are wonderful.
This is a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to get a clear picture of what the world was like for women pre "Women's lib".
The heart wrenching vignettes will stay with you. I cried my eyes out the whole time. I had to read it in steps, as it’s heavy, yet hopeful.
Men and millennials, can learn a Lot! About women who got accidentally pregnant..... and had to stay, pregnant. Almost none, could keep their babies due to money, societal pressure and sadly, their reputations. All, made life altering decisions usually at the behest of others. In today’s world? Just TRY to imagine the mind numbing decision to give your baby away. The sense of shame, heaped on these poor women led to sometimes, suicide attempts and having to live a forever lie. Some? Died, never even knowing what had happened to their baby. Young women who have every Service at their disposal would do well to educate their spoiled, 16 year old selves.
A magnificent read and a much needed voice of what once, was the norm.
Top reviews from other countries
Yesterday They Took My Baby, a book by Ben Wicks (1993). Shadow Mothers, a book by L. McKay (1998). The Girls Who Went Away, a book by A. Fessler (2006). Shameless, The Fight for Adoption Disclosure and the Search For My Son, a book by M. Churley (2015). Philomena a book by M. Sixsmith (2013). It did not matter the date, the country of the book’s research the shameful taking of the children in the 50’s and 60’s of unwed mothers by painting the stigma of society on them was all too familiar. Parents, the church, schools, friends, social workers all proposed leaving home but mostly the sending away of the girl to a home for unwed mothers condemned for little knowledge of birth control, for love and naïve of society‘s rules. Get on with your life, you can’t look after the bastard child, the child will have a better home with a loving two parent family, all statements repeatedly made. The mothers had to live with the pain, the loss, anxiety, stigma, life changes, secrecy and worse from the pregnancy to the reunion. The official deception, ruthlessness, inhumanity, abandonment, rejection, wondering, government/adoption secrecy rules, searching, reunions of varying success fostered the disgustingly appalling mess by the society of the time. Now with the changing times the veils of secrecy are slowly being lifted in many jurisdictions. All are good reads.