Canadian Council of Natural Mothers' Library

Rebecca's Law:

Sojourn of a Stolen Father

Rohan McEnor

This book tells the story of how a much-loved daughter came to be taken for adoption, and how her parents never, ever forgot or stopped loving her. It tells how hard it was for her to understand that she was always loved, though she was stolen for adoption. It also tells the story of how her father showed publicly that she had been stolen from him and from her mother. In the end the guilty are punished by the open knowledge of what they've done, and the victims of the adoption continue to live with the damage of that deed.

The title is a reference to the law that allowed the author to have kept and raised his daughter, but which the social workers denied him knowledge of at the time. The publicity he created after his reunion with Rebecca will hopefully prevent other social workers from denying other fathers their children.

This is possibly one of the most moving stories of adoption, told from the unusual viewpoint of the father who loses his child, rather than the mother. Any natural parent can identify with the pain he feels upon reunion as he sees pictures of his child growing up with other people. (I have those pictures as well, most carefully chosen to include the adoptive parents in the picture, allowing me so very little of the son I lost.) McEnor also shows us the reactions of his second daughter to her older sister's initial lack of contact, thereby allowing us to see the truth of the losses and pain caused by adoption going on into the next generation. Adoption really never ends.

There is more than an element of suspense in the story--you want to find out what happened as McEnor searches and finds information denied him at the time of his daughter's birth. The ending brings some closure, some healing, and leaves clear the damage that adoption has done across three families, the two natural ones and the adoptive one.

This will be a painful book for adopters--they cannot avoid knowledge that the children they take come from families which must be broken to allow them what they want. This book also will validate for natural families that the forces arrayed against them were concerted attempts to take their children. For those adopted, the book will help them to see that they were not discarded or thrown aside, but torn from families which in many cases truly wanted them.

Canada does not have the protections for families that Australia has, but even with those protections, this child was taken by terribly unscrupulous social workers for adoption. How much easier it must have been or must be for agencies to take children for adoption in Canada, where they were not even under legal obligation to tell mothers and fathers of the damage adoption does to them and to their children.

This book should be mandatory reading for all adopters and adoption brokers, and for any parent who thinks they're doing the right thing by sacrificing themselves and their child on the altar of adoption.


Reviewer: Sandra Falconer Pace

ISBN: 0 9 577062 1 9
Fuzcapp Publishing, 1999
PO Box 2079
Gosford NSW 2250 Autralia

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