Canadian Council of Natural Mothers' Library

 

The Other Mother
A True Story

A woman’s love for the child she gave up for adoption

Carol Schaefer

Carol Schaefer gave birth to a son in 1965, surrendered him for adoption, and searched for and found him 19 years later.

This is a very detailed story of what so many birthmothers experienced. Ms Schaefer was sent to a home for 'unwed' mothers to wait for the birth of her son. A lengthy part of the book is devoted to what it was like in that home, which will most likely bring back memories for those who shared that experience and will give insights to the rest of us who were not incarcerated in such a 'home.'

I love this book for its detailed insights. After the relinquishment, we follow Ms Schaefer through the years of dealing with the grief and waiting for the day when her son would turn 18 so that she could officially launch the search for him. We follow her through the frustrations of the search and rejoice with her as she finds her son and he welcomes her. We also get uncommon insight into how the adoptive parents dealt with her sudden manifestation. In a nutshell, rather well, but as a natural mom I kept being bothered by their proprietary attitude towards the young man. I found myself mentally in Carol Schaefer's shoes, feeling as she felt that she was at the mercy of the adoptive parents' attitude, feeling that she was an intruder and had no intrinsic right to be looking for her child. This is such a common, and unfortunate, attitude but it irks me to no end. We have EVERY right to search for and find our children and to be an acknowledged and respected part of their daily lives.


Reviewer: Sandra Falconer Pace

 

The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers