Quotes from Adoption-Related Literature

These quotes, from adoption professionals, researchers, and mothers themselves, reveal much about adoption:

“A grief reaction unique to the relinquishing mother was identified. Although this reaction consists of features characteristic of the normal grief reaction, these features persist and often lead to chronic, unresolved grief. CONCLUSIONS: The relinquishing mother is at risk for long-term physical, psychologic, and social repercussions. Although interventions have been proposed, little is known about their effectiveness in preventing or alleviating these repercussions.” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 1999 Jul-Aug. pp.395-400.

“Every adopted child at some point in his development, has been deprived of this primitive relationship with his mother. This trauma and the severing of the individual from his racial antecedents lie at the core of what is peculiar to the psychology of the adopted child. … The adopted child presents all the complications in social and emotional development in the own child. But the ego of the adopted child, in addition to all the demands made upon it, is called upon to compensate for the wound left by the loss of the biological mother”. “Psychology of the Adopted Child,” by F. Clothier M.D., in Mental Hygiene (1943)

“When she renounces her child for its own good, the unwed mother has learned a lot. She has learned an important human value. She has learned to pay the price for her misdemeanor, and this alone, if punishment is needed, is punishment enough.” — Dr. Marion Hilliard of Women’s College Hospital, Toronto Telegram, November 22, 1956

“To the Province generally the great advantage and economy of the Adoption Act can be realized when it is stated that many of the children before their adoption were costing five and six dollars a week for maintenance.” – 35th Report of the Superintendent of Neglected and Dependent Children (Ontario, 1928)

“… the tendency growing out of the demand for babies is to regard unmarried mothers as breeding machines…(by people intent) upon securing babies for quick adoptions.” – Leontine Young, “Is Money Our Trouble?” (paper presented at the National Conference of Social Workers, Cleveland, 1953

“. . . babies born out of wedlock [are] no longer considered a social problem . . . white, physically healthy babies are considered by many to be a social boon . . . ” (i.e. a valuable commodity..). – Social Work and Social Problems (National Association of Social Workers, 1964)

“If the demand for adoptable babies continues to exceed the supply then it is quite possible that, in the near future, unwed mothers will be “punished” by having their children taken from them right after birth. A policy like this would not be executed — nor labeled explicitly — as “punishment.” Rather, it would be implemented through such pressures and labels as “scientific findings,” “the best interests of the child,” “rehabilitation of the unwed mother,” and “the stability of the family and society.” Unmarried Mothers, by Clark Vincent, 1961)

“The interaction . . . between the girl and her parents, is extremely complicated . . .The caseworker must . .. be decisive, firm, and unswerving . . . The ‘I’m going to help you by standing by while you work it through’ approach will not do. What is expected from the worker is precisely what the child expected but did not get from her parents – a decisive ‘No!’ It is essential that the parent most involved, psychologicially, in the daughter’s pregnancy also be dealt with in a manner identical . . .in dealing with the girl. An ambivalent mother, interfering with her daughter’s ability to arrive at the decision to surrender her child, must be dealt with as though she (the girl’s mother) were a child herself.” — Casework papers 1960, National Conference on Social Welfare, “Out-Of-Wedlock Pregnancy In Adolescence” – Marcel Heiman, MD (1960)

The Adoption Irony:
“In order to drive a car you must be of a certain age, to drink you must be a certain age, to have your own credit card or even your own bank account without parent signatures you must be a certain age – yet government allows very young vulnerable single mothers to sign a legally-binding document handing over their own flesh-and-blood, another human life, to complete strangers.” – Claudia Ganzon, 2004.