Nonconformity

Is it in the interest of the state, the family, or the child
to remove it from its own mother’s custody
if her only crime is nonconformity?
Whose interests are being served?
Since a mother loses her rights not by mothering poorly
but by violating patriarchal rules for women,
then ‘parent’s rights’ are but a subterfuge for men’s rights,
such as they are. ~ Phyllis Chesler, 1986 from The Baby Scoop Era

My father’s mother was unwed.  She gave birth to him in a Salvation Army home in Ocean Beach, California in 1935.  They released them, still together, after 6 weeks.  But unable to make a go of it without any familial support, they agreed to hire her and moved them still together to El Paso, Texas.  There, she was eventually convinced to give him up for adoption for his own welfare.

When I got lucky and discovered who his paternal father was, I was shocked when his step-granddaughter, branded my grandmother “a Scarlet”.  He was a married man, married to an old woman almost 30 years his senior.  He was a Danish immigrant not yet naturalized (though he would become a citizen in due time).

I was a bit angry about her assertion.  I doubt my grandmother knew he was married at the time she was first seeing him but he certainly did.  And as the self-reliant woman she was, she handled it the best she could.