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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Birthmothers and Maternal Identity

Birthmothers and Maternal Identity

The Terms of Relinquishment

(p.120) 6 Birthmothers and Maternal Identity
Coming to Life

Dorothy Rogers

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines birthmothers’ maternal identity as related to their sense of parental obligation, moral status, and personal loss. Drawing on first-person accounts, the chapter explores how western ideals of motherhood contribute to birthmothers’ decisions to relinquish their children. It then turns to a discussion of current adoption practice and policy as a factor in birthmothers’ experiences of relinquishment. The chapter considers feminist alternatives to the tradition model of parenting as a means of transforming our approach to adoption. But to more fully address the complexities of adoption policy and practice, the social and economic inequities between most birthmothers and adoptive parents must be taken into account.

Keywords:   adoption, birthmothers, birthmothers syndrome, “good mother“, motherhood, open adoption, unplanned pregnancy, welfare mothers, working poor women

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