WAITING TO FORGET by Margaret Moorman


A Memoir
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 The poignant but familiar story of a teenage mother and the lingering pain and shame she suffered after giving up her baby for adoption. Born in 1949, Moorman (My Sister's Keeper, 1992) hit puberty on the cusp of the sexual revolution. Girls were still wearing white gloves to church on Sunday and debating whether to be a ``good'' girl or a ``bad'' girl in the back seat of the family Plymouth on Saturday night. Moorman tipped into the bad-girl category by getting pregnant when she was 15, not long after her father's sudden death. She hid the news from her mother until it was too late to get an abortion (then illegal), carried her baby to term, and surrendered him for adoption. Nearly 30 years later, happily married, she gave birth to a little girl. Her extreme difficulty in parting from her daughter, even for a few hours, brought to the surface all the fear and confusion that she had buried in ``abandoning'' her first baby. In this volume, she recounts not only the story of her first pregnancy, but the muddled attitudes surrounding adoption today. Hidden away through most of her pregnancy (friends and neighbors were told that she was living with an aunt), she never saw her son after his birth. Her search for him was carried out in fits and starts, through books, phone calls, letters, and a network of support groups that served variously the needs of adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents. She did locate her son, and although they have not yet met in person, Moorman has allowed her young daughter a longer leash because of what she's learned about herself. An honest, heartfelt account of one woman's feelings, along with a look at the mixture of guilt, judgment, and recrimination that cloud adoptions. Others, however, have examined the same issues more cogently and more eloquently. (First serial to Washington Post Sunday Magazine)

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1996
ISBN: 0-393-03967-6
Page count: 204pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1996