What strikes me most as I think about this is that anyone ever thought this was okay, that the shame of "unwed motherhood" was so great that this was considered to be an acceptable price to pay. More than acceptable even. My first mother and others of her era were expected to happily move on with their lives, grateful for their second chance -- their reinstated "innocence." Adoption in the closed, baby-scoop era wasn't just about mothers who didn't raise their children, or about those children being raised in families that "could give them more." It was about hiding a shameful thing from the neighbors. I was "disappeared." Erased. And my birth mother was told to proceed as if nothing had happened.
It was a convenient arrangement, but one that took no account of the very real emotions of adoptees and birth parents, emotions that have rippled through the years and are rippling still. What originally seemed an amazing feat of prestidigitation has now been revealed to have been a rather shoddy illusion. Ta-da -- here I am.