In a ground breaking hour-long investigative report airing tonight, May 1, 2012, Dan Rather rips off the shroud of secrecy that surrounded adoptions for decades. His report entitled, “Dan Rather Reports: Adopted or Abducted?” includes interviews with the birth-mothers who say they were coerced, tricked or even forced to surrender their children for adoption.
In this day of adoption registries and open adoption and in a world in which pre-marital sex and cohabitation are considered normal, it’s easy to forget about the years in which none of this was acceptable. In the 1950’s, 1960’s and even the 1970’s, poorly timed pregnancies were shrouded in secrecy. Young women were sent from their homes to maternity homes or “cradle societies” to live out their pregnancies. At delivery time, these frightened and often ill-prepared young women were forced to labor alone only to have the baby whisked away at the moment of birth. The birth of a child, normally lauded and celebrated becomes a dark blot in their memories. Quite often the mothers were not even allowed to see or hold the baby or know the baby’s gender.
The children thus born were placed in adoptive homes and the records were sealed. Many were never told of their origins and the adoption became a family secret, only whispered about by family elders. In the era just before the groundbreaking fertility treatments available today, adoption was the only option for infertile couples. And secret adoption was the norm.
I cannot imagine the terrible shame and pain these young mothers endured! What must it be like to go through a pregnancy ostracized by your family, cast away to live amongst unsympathetic strangers, only to return home with empty arms unsupported by your loved ones and unable to speak of your pain? It is time to pull the covers off and allow the healing to begin!
I will definitely be tuning in to hear these accounts first hand. I want to know what you think! What is your adoption story? Were you a part of an adoption in this time frame? Do you think the material presented was accurate or tells the whole story? Comment here and join in the conversation on the forum (use this link to get there!) I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.