One of the saddest things was a video of a brand new baby being presented to a woman, everyone in tears of happiness, excitedly saying, “the mother just signed away all rights!” I mean this is a video of the saddest moment of that baby’s life, and they truly don’t seem to have any awareness of that.
There sometimes seems to be a real disconnect. Adoptive parents in their ecstatic joy totally clueless about what is being done to the mother who just gave birth and what will be a lifelong sorrow not only for her but for that child as well.
It has become well-known that a fetus bonds with the woman carrying it in her womb during the 9 months of gestation. When it leaves the womb, this baby still knows its mother. A newborn infant is not a blank slate with no awareness or memories. That is what people thought for a long time and the well-meaning lie that was fed to prospective adoptive parents.
Georgia Tann who was involved in my own mother’s adoption in 1937 believed this and told her clients this was the reality but we now know that the baby knows differently. In desperation as she tried to work through the difficulties of obtaining financial resources as an abandoned mother (she was married, but her husband had left her, and her father refused to help her and my mom), my grandmother turned to the Porter-Leath Orphanage for TEMPORARY care of my mom. In doing this, she was being a responsible mother.
In doing this, she fell into a trap whereby she lost custody of my mother. After being pressured, exploited and coerced to give up her very valuable little white blond baby girl to the Tennessee Children’s Home, my grandmother was allowed one last visit with my mom who had not seen her own mother for some days/weeks.
The joy expressed in my little mother’s body at seeing her mother is something real to behold as she was only about 8 months old at that time. Throughout her life, my mom never stopped longing for the woman who gave birth to her. When she tried to make contact, she was told her mother had died some years before. My mom was devastated and heart-broken.