THE OTHER MOTHER: A Woman's Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption by Carol Schaefer
Kirkus Star

THE OTHER MOTHER: A Woman's Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption

Email this review


An emotional, eye-opening account of a woman's experience as a 19-year-old unwed mother who gave up her baby--and regretted it for the rest of her life. Adoption is a ""middle-class disease,"" a woman comments in Schaefer's book, and certainly the author's parents' middle-class values ruled as they banished their disgraced teen-aged daughter to a Catholic home for unwed mothers and then insisted that she give up her infant son for adoption. Bewildered by all that had happened to her, frightened, comforted by (but not married to) the boy responsible, Schaefer numbly allowed her parents and the system to make her decisions for her--only to plunge, immediately after relinquishing her child, into a depression that was to burden her for much of her life. ""Liberated"" from motherhood, Schaefer went on to an advertising job in N.Y.C., and a successful marriage and the raising of two sons in San Francisco, but her obsession with her absent first child so overshadowed her life that it became partially responsible for her marriage's failure. It was a grief that would not go away, so on her son's 18th birthday Schaefer began to search for him, and succeeded in reestablishing bonds, with the help of his unusually empathetic adoptive mother, in time to enjoy grandmother status to her first-born's own first-born. An astonishing revelation of the emotions that come into play throughout the adoptive process--a must-read for all concerned.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1990
Publisher: Soho--dist. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux