"birth"Mothers Exploited By Adoption
   "Adoption practice works on the premise that, in order to save the child,
   one must first destroy its mother." - Dian Wellfare, founder of Origins Inc.

Resources: Recommended Books

Recommended Books

Healing For Mothers Healing For Adoptees WHY This Was Done to Us: Books About the Industry Home

 Healing For Mothers
adoption books Adoption Healing... a path to recovery for mothers who lost children to adoption by Joe Soll, CSW & Karen Wilson Buterbaugh. "This book speaks to the fact that those 'Adoption Professionals'were really, really WRONG! You never forget and you really can't even totally get on with your life on some levels. Losing a child to adoption is a very deep trauma and tragedy for a woman, and many can't even survive it. It's a form of soul-rape."
Also by Joe Soll - "Adoption Healing... A Path to Recovery" (for Adoptees)
Ambiguous Loss : Learning to Live With Unresolved Grief by Pauline Boss (Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 0674017382) "Deals with emotions surrounding ambiguous losses, such as the gradual loss of a family member to Alzheimer's disease, or the unresolved loss of a family whose son is reported missing in action. Suggests strategies that can cushion the pain and help families come to terms with their grief." This book also recognizes the ambiguous loss from losing a child to adoption. Click here for book review by Sandra Pace

Adoption and Loss: The Hidden Grief. By Evelyn Robinson ."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. It is clear that not only did natural mothers have little in the way of financial resources to enable them to care for their children, their families, society, social workers and health professionals conspired to disempower and silence them. "

"The author encourages natural mothers to search for the adult children they relinquished to be adopted. She describes her search and subsequent reunion with her son, the difficulties encountered along the way, including telling her other four children that they had an older brother and the ongoing relationship they now have.

"Evelyn Robinson [lost] her son in the early 1970's. Much of what she describes in her book - the pain adoption causes to natural mothers and adopted persons - is now well known by professionals involved with adoption. One must question why this practice continues - who benefits? The last part of Evelyn Robinson's book is a call for an end to the practice of adoption, and an exploration of alternative forms of care for children whose families are unable to care for them." - Reviewer: Maureen Craig, Australia

birthmothers books B----mother Trauma, by Heather Carlini. A seven-step recovery program for women who are experiencing the trauma that follows losing a child to adoption. The Same Smile: The Triumph of a Mother's Love After Losing Two Daughters by Susan Mello Souza, Joanne Medeiros Harrington


 Healing For Adoptees
Adoption books Adoption Healing, by Joe Soll, C.S.W.

"Adoption Healing ...a path to recovery" is a book that deals with truth -- not the way people would prefer to see it, but exactly the way it is. Not only does it validate those feelings of doubt, fear, anxiety and loss that so many adoptees and birth mothers feel, but it gives you ways and exercises to help you deal with those feelings. I strongly suggest that everyone read it. It will help you to understand yourself, your sister or brother, your child, your partner or spouse." - an adopted woman from New York.


The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Verrier. (Available through bookstores and Amazon.Com) "The Primal Wound is a book which will revolutionize the way we think about adoption. In its application of information about pre- and perinatal psychology, attachment, bonding, and loss, it clarifies the effects of separation from the birth mother on adopted children. In addition, it gives those children, whose pain has long been unackowledged or misunderstood, validation for their feelings, as well as explanations for their behavior. The insight which is brought to the experiences of abandonment and loss will contribute not only to the healing of adoptees, their adoptive families, and [natural] mothers, but will bring understanding and encouragement to anyone who has ever felt abandoned."

adoptee books Adoptee Trauma, by Heather Carlini. "Adoptee Trauma reveals the subconscious emotional trauma that many adoptees experience due to adoption. The explanations and therapy necessary to help them understand their complex personalities and core issues of adoption are clearly and simply set out through therapeutic steps in this book."  

 Books About the Infant Adoption Industry - WHY This Was Done to Us:
Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work, 1890-1945 by Regina Kunzel Death by Adoption by Joss Shawyer

SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE of ADOPTION, by Mirah Riben (ISBN: 0-9662060-0-2, available through Barnes&Noble and Amazon.com) (Author's Website)

 "...challenges the commonly held idea that adoption is a winning solution for everyone...this book is to be recommended as one of the few available which balances the more usual happy-ending adoption stories with a birthparent's reality...it is recommended for those who prefer the truth, even if unpleasant, to unquestioned adoption mythology." - RESOLVE newsletter

"Although not an easy book for an adoptive parent to read, this is certainly an important book for anyone striving to understand all sides of the adoption triangle. The good news (for adoptive parents) is that Riben is not slamming adoptive parents...her really big guns are leveled at The System. I recommend that adoptive parents read this book." - Families Adopting Children Everywhere (FACE)

"Of Sluts and Bastards: A Feminist Decodes the Child Welfare Debate" by Louise Armstrong (1995) A feminist response to the welfare issue, revealing the link between the issue of welfare--the will to punish "sluts"--and that of child welfare--intervention to remove their "bastards."  The same principle that underlying the adoption industry.

"  We need more social supports for needy families!  Instead of spending the money on high paid social workers and legal systems to take these women's children away and place them in foster care, why can't we use that money for child care, parenting classes, decent housing, job training for single moms. Many moms these days have been abandoned by the babies fathers, putting the entire family into jeopardy."  This incredible book that tells exactly why this happens and who is behind it.

"I encourage anyone who wants to know more about the treatment of women in our society to buy and read this book!

"MEN desert women and MEN desert their children YET women are the ones who are punished and women are the ones left in poverty. It is usually poverty that causes the stress, fear and anxiety that causes women to commit crimes (usually to feed or clothe their children) or cause them to use drugs and drink excessively. It also can cause them to neglect and abuse their children.

"Until society recognizes that women should be honored and protected (and therefore their children also), we will keep suffering for the absence of the fathers of our children. The book says that a woman's greatest social contribution is giving birth. We should be honored and respected for that but instead we are punished.  This, the book says, is because we failed to snare a man who would marry, feed and protect us and our children."

Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v Wade -- Rickie Solinger. "What Wake Up Little Suzie offers is the explanation for why adoption was so prevalent in the 1950's and 1960's and why it disappearing in recent times. Ricki Sollinger recounts the many pressures on women pregnant out-of-wedlock to relinquish children for adoption in years gone by....

"Ricki than describes expectant-mother homes which functioned as mechanisms to pry babies out of the reluctant arms of their mothers and into the hands of the adoption industry. Most of these homes have long since shut down, but they were a fixture of the fifties and the sixties. "One of the more shameful (and sickening) aspects of the whole process was the way that non-white and their children were treated. Unlike white women, they were discouraged from trying to place their children for adoption because they were told that "no one will want your baby". Adoption agencies had little use for children other than healthy white infants." - a reviewer on Amazon.com


To Prison With Love, By Sandy Musser.  "... a sobering account of our government's flagrant abuse of power. It is a story of sting operations, government lies, taped phone conversations, and coercion that turns friends against friends. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four could never have predicted a system as corrupt as the one that sent this non-violent grandmother to federal prison. This time it was Sandy Musser. Who will be next? You?"
David C. Taylor, Lifetime CERA Member,
Co-Host "Adoption Answers" Radio Show
I Would Have Searched Forever, by Sandy Musser.  "In this book, she describes what it was like to be in this tenuous situation during the 50's, the tremendous peer pressure, the expectations of society and the pain of having to "surrender" her first-born child. 22 years later, in 1976, she made a conscious decision to search for her and shares those exciting and special moments as each new piece of information is uncovered. The book's title came from her deep longing to one day be reunited with her precious daughter and states that she always knew she WOULD HAVE SEARCHED FOREVER!" 

Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States -- Rickie Solinger. (Hill & Wang Pub; ISBN: 0809097028) How do the politics of choice shape issues and laws surrounding adoption, abortion and welfare in this country? Rickie Solinger's Beggars And Choosers explores the changing language and evolving law since Roe V. Wade, examining historical distinctions between ethnic and social classes and how new politics and issues influence concepts of choice. An eye-opening presentation of how one woman's choice is another's burden.    

Invisible Thread, novel by Maree Giles (Virago Press; ISBN: 1860498868) (also available at Amazon.co.uk) "This is an incredible story about a teenage girl's struggle to keep her baby and the evil people supposedly caring for her, who take advantage of her situation and steal her baby for the adoption market. She uncovers a production-line scheme run by all sorts of nasty characters, from social workers and nuns to nurses, doctors and the police, who conspire to persuade her she is incapable of bringing up her own child. She is not offered any support, and the waiting family who live in the country become the prime concern of those involved in securing Ellen's baby for adoption. Ellen's story is the tip of the iceberg - thousands of girls like her went through similar nightmares in Australia in what we all now know as 'the stolen white baby scandal'. We also know it happened because it saved the government thousands in benefit payments. We also know the problem was not confined to Australia - the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Sth. Africa,the United States have all been affected. Ellen's story proves beyond doubt that the removal of a baby from its natural mother is barbaric and wrong. If a mother wants to keep her baby, whatever her age, she should be offered support, advice, encouragement. Ellen is a great character, strong, intelligent, determined. This book is a real page-turner, all the more so because it is based on real events. "

Women As Wombs: Reproductive Technology and the Battle over Women's Freedom by Janice G. Raymond - Discusses advances in reproductive technologies and the battle over women's freedom. She cites numerous frightening legal cases in the US, UK, Canada and Australia to back up assertions that 1) women are increasingly valued because of their reproductive ability and the content of their wombs, 2) that courts increasingly view male ejaculation and sperm donation as equivalent to or even greater than a woman's participation in the creation, gestation and delivery of a child and 3) that often the ownership of a child based on a contract is often deemed more important than the nurturing relationship between a woman and the child she has carried.

Unmarried Mothers by Clark E. Vincent - Based on comprehensive statistical data and detailed analyses of case histories drawn from private practice, maternity homes, and a county hospital, this book examines the societal, familial, and psychological factors in illegitimacy.

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