The Long-Lasting Effects of Adoption in the 1940s - 1970s
A while ago, I started writing a memoir. But for someone with a degree in psychology and a life-long interest in the ways that people are unique, it wasn't long before I began to consider how much I had been shaped by my genes and how much by my adoptive parents (nature vs nurture). But then I began to wonder how much I had been impacted by the process of being adopted.
All that led me to look for books by adopted individuals, which led me to books written by mothers whose children had been taken from them either though their choice or against their wishes.
I was deeply affected by what I read. It gave me a lot more understanding of what my birth moher went through. A lot more understanding of what my adoptive parents went through. And a lot more insight into why I am the way I am.
Do I wish I hadn't been adopted? No. I don't regret anything that happened. But I can see how everything could have been better for everyone involved.
Anyway, to read some of the things I discovered, check out the blogs below.
Since November is Adoption Month, I thought I’d mention a short story I wrote called “Conversations in Baby Blue.” Although it’s fiction, it was actually based on a true story. Years ago, I shared a double hospital room with an unwed teen mother. Since this was back then people stayed in the hospital longer than nowadays, and
My Adoption Was an Answer to Prayer I was four years old when my mother told me I was adopted. I had very little idea what she was telling me, but she read a book to me about how parents sometimes can’t keep their babies, and how God has to find other homes for the
After deciding I wanted to learn more about what it was like for a woman in Canada’s prairies to be an unwed mother in the late 1940s to the late 1960s, I was pleased to discover our local library had a book written by a woman who grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1968, I
When I was four years old, my mother told me I was adopted. I said something along the lines of “Okay.” And that was, essentially, that. Forty-four years later, I met my birth mother. But even after meeting her, I really didn’t think much about it. I wasn’t angry or upset that I’d been adopted.
If you haven’t read part 1 of this post, click here. 6. In the years from 1945 to 1973, closed adoption was virtually a given for most unwed young women. Prior to 1945, illegitimate children were usually given to a family member or someone the family knew—either to be raised as their own, or until
A couple of years ago, I had a character in one of the novels “go to her aunt’s” when she was young. I’d heard the phrase somewhere along the way and remembered it was a common cover story for young, unmarried women who were pregnant. In my novel, the woman is old, and she’d “gone
If you haven’t read Part 1, please click here. Thirty years after she was a resident at a home for unwed mothers, Anne Petrie interviewed a number of other women from across Canada. In addition to telling her own story, Anne profiles six other birth mothers in detail and also mentions comments from other interviews
Click here if you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 At some point, the unwed mothers of Canada’s Baby Boom (1945 to the early 1970s) went to a local hospital to deliver their babies. Going to the Hospital Most of the women Anne Petrie interviewed, including some young girls, had no idea what was
For most of my life, I’ve thought I was kind of weird. Or maybe that there was something wrong with me. Perhaps the easiest way to explain is to tell you how I write my short stories and novels. People are always talking about how to make fictional characters seem real. And there are lists
Last October, my daughter-in-law Elle Lindquist interviewed me about growing up as an adopted child in the years before open adoption and how that has impacted my life—which is related to the memoir I’m blogging here. This interview was planned in the summer before I had the routine mammogram that indicated I might have cancer. And