Although most of us know families who have adopted children or people who are adoptees, few of us know much about the third side of the adoption triad: the birthparents. BIRTHMOTHERS attempts to change that. Even today, fifteen years after its release, it remains one of the only published books devoted solely to the experiences of women who surrendered babies for adoption. It follows their lives from the discovery of the pregnancy through the subsequent decades—even sometimes through reunions, and it identifies The Birthmother Syndrome, a pattern of behavior and emotions resulting from surrender. With sincerity and heart-wrenching candor, it reveals the stories of the often invisible side of the adoption triangle, and it touches everyone involved in adoption, as well as anyone interested in motherhood, family and the roles of women in our society.
Merry’s comments: In many ways, I think this is the most important book I’ve written. Granted, most of the women who contributed gave birth in times when open adoption was not an option, and when secrecy and stigma were the rule. Even so, this book is still finding new readers, and I still get letters from adoptees who say they feel better informed, and from birthmothers who say they feel validated and less alone after reading this book.