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The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade by Ann Fessler Online



The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade

  • Title: The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade
  • Author:
  • Rating:
  • ISBN : 9781594200946
  • Format : Hardcover
  • Language : English
  • Page : 354 pages


A powerful and groundbreaking revelation of the secret history of the 1.5 million women who surrendered children for adoption in the several decades before Roe v Wade In this deeply moving work, Ann Fessler brings to light the lives of hundreds of thousands of young single American women forced to give up their newborn children in the years following World War II and bef A powerful and groundbreaking revelation of the secret history of the 1.5 million women who surrendered children for adoption in the several decades before Roe v Wade In this deeply moving work, Ann Fessler brings to light the lives of hundreds of thousands of young single American women forced to give up their newborn children in the years following World War II and before Roe v Wade The Girls Who Went Away tells a story not of wild and carefree sexual liberation, but rather of a devastating double standard that has had punishing long term effects on these women and on the children they gave up for adoption Based on Fessler s groundbreaking interviews, it brings to brilliant life these women s voices and the spirit of the time, allowing each to share her own experience in gripping and intimate detail Today, when the future of the Roe decision and women s reproductive rights stand squarely at the front of a divisive national debate, Fessler brings to the fore a long overlooked history of single women in the fifties, sixties, and early seventies In 2002, Fessler, an adoptee herself, traveled the country interviewing women willing to speak publicly about why they relinquished their children Researching archival records and the political and social climate of the time, she uncovered a story of three decades of women who, under enormous social and family pressure, were coerced or outright forced to give their babies up for adoption Fessler deftly describes the impossible position in which these women found themselves as a sexual revolution heated up in the postwar years, birth control was tightly restricted, and abortion proved prohibitively expensive or life endangering At the same time, a postwar economic boom brought millions of American families into the middle class, exerting its own pressures to conform to a model of family perfection Caught in the middle, single pregnant women were shunned by family and friends, evicted from schools, sent away to maternity homes to have their children alone, and often treated with cold contempt by doctors, nurses, and clergy The majority of the women Fessler interviewed have never spoken of their experiences, and most have been haunted by grief and shame their entire adult lives A searing and important look into a long overlooked social history, The Girls Who Went Away is their story


Author Ann Fessler




The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade Reviews (31)

  • My interest in the women who surrendered children for adoption in the decades before Roe v Wade meant that Ann Fessler probably could not have produced a work on this subject that I would have begun and abandoned Nevertheless, about one third of the way through The Girls Who Went Away, I real [..]

  • Like so many others who reviewed this book, it brought me to tears Tears of remembrance, for I became a birthmother in 1961, persuaded to surrender my son for adoption for his own good But I did not have the luxury of a maternity home to hide in those things were expensive, and I was 19, making mini [..]

  • This wasn t a book I expected to surprise me, but it did This is one of those times I m so glad I m a part of the online book community, because I never would have heard of this book otherwise, and it was a very worthwhile reading experience I wouldn t have known what I was missing, of course, but I [..]

  • On a complete accident I managed to stumble across The Girls Who Went Away The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v Wade on GoodReads while typing in another title and I have found a new love, which is surprising because I rarely, if ever, read no [..]

  • Oh my When I had an abortion at 19, a friend who was pregnant at the same time surrendered her child for adoption Thirty years later I got a letter from her telling me of her anguish and agony looking for her daughter, whom she finally found, after 15 years of searching, in The Netherlands The daugh [..]

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