Part 5 – Social work knowledge about separation before the Baby Scoop

Evidence of Systemic Violation of Single Parents Rights – Part 5

Quotes from professionals: What they knew and said about adoption trauma before babies became commodities

Long before the heyday of baby selling, there was concern about damage from separating mother and infant:

“Other [maternity] homes still emphasize the learning of household skills and child care; a generation or so ago these lessons together with moral admonitions constituted the entire program, because all unwed mothers kept their babies. “Counseling the Unwed Mothers” by Helen E. Terkelsen copyright 1964 p. 102

“With the growing concern of social agencies … Of increasing interest is the question as to whether in being separated from the mother, the child is not deprived of something that society can not replace even with the best care it can provide, and whether this most important consideration may not outweigh all others.” Illegitimacy As a Child-Welfare Problem (Part 1, p. 56), Emma Lundberg and Katharine Lenroot, copyright, 1920.

[Question:] “‘Would it be better for mother and child if the baby were given away (adopted)?’

[Answer:] ‘Not in most cases. Motherhood, and the love and care of the baby, strengthens the character of every girl who has the mentality to grasp it. As to the child: psychologists and social workers have learned that no material advantage can make up for the loss of its own mother. Better a poor home, with mother love, they say, than an adopted home in luxury. The public conscience is gradually coming to demand an equal chance for the child born out of wedlock’.” from FLORENCE CRITTENTON HOME BROCHURE (Washington, D.C.)(1942-1956?)

“The child who is placed with adoptive parents at or soon after birth misses the mutual and deeply satisfying mother and child relationship. The roots of which lie deep in the area of personality where the psychological and physiological are merged. Both for the child and the natural mother, that period is part of the biological sequence, and it is to be doubted whether the relationship of the child to it’s post partum mother, in its subtler effects, can be replaced by even the best of substitute mothers. But those subtle effects lie so deeply buried in the personality that, in the light of our present knowledge, we cannot evaluate them.” PSYCHOLOGY OF THE ADOPTED CHILD, Clothier. F. MD. 1943

“THE DEPRIVATION OF A MOTHER’S CARE – Separation from the mother at a very early age is a common experience among children born out of wedlock. . . Often separation occurs when it might have been prevented, and when it is contrary to the best interests of the child and the mother.” ILLEGITIMACY AS A CHILD-WELFARE PROBLEM, PARTS 1 AND 2, U.S. Department of Labor, Children’s Bureau by Emma Lundberg & Katharine Lenroot, (reprinted 1974), copyright 1920.