Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Talking About Coercion

It seems that there are a few people coming out of the woodwork who are, seemingly, willing to listen to those of us who want to tell the stories of how we were coerced into surrendering parental rights to our children. I just finished sending off an account of the methods used to talk me out of my child.

It's funny that most people and even some of our children don't understand that there are more ways of forcing someone to one's will than just holding a gun to their heads. Although there are many mothers who were restrained, placed in prison-like environments or mental hospitals and who were forced to signed papers while drugged, never allowed to see their children or, in some cases, to even know if they had a boy or a girl, there are also stories like mine.

I consider my coercion a conspiracy by three parties; my parents/family, the social workers for the home and the state agency and the Bible-Belt society in which I lived. People see the 60's as an era of "free love" and open-mindedness, but that was only in more, shall we say, advanced locales. Hippies were a small portion of the population. Where I came from, you at least pretended to be a virgin until you were married, birth control was unavailable and the only safe, medical abortions available were out of the reach, financially, of the rank and file. Back-alley abortions were too scary to risk for most of us.

My family was adamant that I would surrender. My father made the statement that I would not be "bringing any bastard babies into his home." I look back at that and see that my father, a serial philanderer, had no room to talk, but remember that I was 16. My mother was also wanting me to return to her a "born-again virgin" and to fulfill her dreams for me. I was told I would have no place to go with my baby and that we would eventually starve to death. I wasn't the most sophisticated person in the world and I believed that.

None of the social workers that "counseled" me ever mentioned that there were programs provided that would have helped me. No one told be about the fact that teens could be emancipated if their parents were not supportive. Nope, all they wanted was to get their hands on those babies as fast as they could. All they told me was that I would never be able to handle parenthood at my age and that I would be destitute and place my children in danger. By the time they got through with me, I felt lower that a snail's trail. I was told to go and sin no more and went home like a zombie with two holes in my heart that never, never healed. The scars will always be there, because, even if I am reunited, my babies are gone, forever, enjoyed by other women who felt more entitled to them than me.

To all you adopted people out there, please listen to your mothers when they tell you what happened and read about what society was like in the time that your mother went through her ordeal. And remember, too, that, for most of us, pregnancy was unexpected, but YOU were wanted and loved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Your words ring very true to my own situation (adoptee). I read your blog every chance I get and would like to join your anti adoption msn group. I sent an email recently but never heard back. Please email when you can (