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Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief Paperback – 16 Sep 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Clova Publications (16 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0987193104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987193100
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 950,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

Evelyn Robinson is a mother who lost her first child, Stephen, through adoption. After her reunion with Stephen, Evelyn returned to study and completed a post-graduate degree in social work. Evelyn’s work is unique as it combines both her personal and her professional experience. Her writing style is accessible and her book makes compelling reading. Evelyn has a personal commitment to supporting those whose lives have been affected by adoption and to increasing public awareness of adoption issues. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

I believe that my book Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief is unique in that it combines my personal experience with my social work research. As far as I am aware, I am the only professional person associated with adoption who has also had a personal adoption experience, who has reached the conclusions that I have reached. I challenge those who are interested in adoption, past and future, to read my book with an open mind and a willingness to consider the ideas which I present. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For far too long there has been a lack of community understanding and support for adoption related grief. Even sadly from some "so called professionals" who offer post adoption counselling.

As far as I'm aware Author "Evelyn Burns Robinson" has been the first person to have researched and discovered the correlation between adoption loss and grief, as being "disenfranchised grief". And then taking that information, and not only publishing books about that, but also spreading that information world wide. I have no doubt that she has literally helped thousands, with her knowledge wisdom and insights.

Evelyn herself, being a mother who lost her first born child through adoption, his name is Stephen and he was born in Edinburgh in 1970.

So Evelyn writes not only from first hand experience, but also from a professional viewpoint.

I too lost my first born a precious daughter to adoption. From my personal experience and perspective, I cannot thank Evelyn enough. I was so relieved to finally read, two books that understood and acknowledged my grief. Everything Evelyn had written I found truthful and correct.

The two books are "Adoption and Loss", the hidden grief, the second companion book entitled "Adoption and Recovery", solving the mystery of reunion.

In my opinion Evelyn has unravelled the truth.

Although I believe that total healing from such a trauma as ours, is probably impossible. Having just said that, much can be done to implement the healing process. The answers, and the how to, I believe are in Evelyn's books.

I highly recommend both of Evelyn's books, they are invaluable, not only to people personally affected by adoption separations but their families, and the professionals who work with them, and the community in general.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting and informative book, well worth the money. I recommend this for adoptees, natural Mothers and adoptive parents.
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Format: Paperback
The author describes quite honestly her experience of giving up her first child to adoption when she was 21. She rather labours the point that she was coerced into this although doesn't produce too much evidence of that, although her church membership may have tipped it. She seems to blame everything onto this experience. The second half of the book is a bit of a rant against adoption under any circumstances and she doesn't allow facts or evidence to sway her. In spite of being a social worker she has little idea about the children who have been subjected to prolonged abuse or neglect and need rescuing from their birth families and given the stability which adoption provides. She also makes blithe suggestions about solving poverty and social disruption worldwide by throwing a bit of money at it. Her hostility to adoptive parents is quite tiresome. A rather naive and not very well evidenced book but it contributes to the debate which is clearly suggesting that all adoptions should be open, allowing adoptees access to their natural families if they are safe.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b35e3cc) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b20f09c) out of 5 stars A Must Read For All With A Personal Experience of Adoption 3 Dec. 2000
By Maureen Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are few books written about adoption from the natural mother's perspective. For that reason alone this book is worth reading. However, it has much more going for it. It is the most honest account I have ever read of a mother relinquishing her baby to be adopted. Evelyn Robinson confronts squarely all issues that took her to that place where she felt compelled to adopt her baby - her position in her family and relationships with other family members, her relationships with men before conceiving her son and the conception of her son. She goes on to analyse the affect relinquishing her son had on her life subsequently, especially, and most painfully, her abusive marriage.
The question most often asked of women who relinquish their babies to be adopted is "how could you." Few in society have any understanding of why women relinquish their own babies to the care of others. Hence, I believe, the myth has arisen that these mothers never loved their babies and voluntarily abandoned them. In her book Evelyn Robinson carefully analyses why pefectly normal, sane women allowed their babies to be adopted. This is essential reading for all natural mothers of adopted children, adopters, adopted persons and policy makers.
Evelyn Robinson states "It is obvious that a serious loss is experienced by the women...who gave birth to children who are subsequently adopted by someone else...." She explains why the grief of these women does not diminish with time, but increases in intensity with the passage of time. Her analysis of this phenomenon releases natural mothers from their rusty shackles of shame and guilt. It is clear that not only did natural mothers have little in the way of financial resources to enable them to care for their children, their families, society, social workers and health professionals conspired to disempower and silence them.
The author encourages natural mothers to search for the adult children they relinquished to be adopted. She describes her search and subsequent reunion with her son, the difficulties encountered along the way, including telling her other four children that they had an older brother and the ongoing relationship they now have.
Evelyn Robinson relinquished her son in the early 1970's. Much of what she describes in her book - the pain adoption causes to natural mothers and adopted persons - is now well known by professionals involved with adoption. One must question why this practice continues - who benefits?
The last part of Evelyn Robinson's book is a call for an end to the practice of adoption, and an exploration of alternative forms of care for children whose families are unable to care for them.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b20f0f0) out of 5 stars True Insight into the Adoption Process 17 Mar. 2003
By Dave Perren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Evelyn's book provides a rare insight into the mind of a mother who has given her child to adoption. It details the tremendous pain suffered because of this action and the life long grief it leaves. The book records the life of the author from the time of her birth till the present, and it is an honest and candid exposé of her thoughts and feelings about the conception, gestation, birth, and finally the reunion with her son Adam (later renamed Steven by the adoptive parents). Evelyn's story is one that has, in many ways, mirrored the experiences of many other women who have lost their children to adoption. It is a story that needs to be told and one that needs to be heard.
Evelyn raise the question of `acquiescence' for the natural mother and then dispels it by revealing the truth about the coercion involved in gaining consent for adoption. Evelyn also acknowledges the pain and hidden grief suffered by adopted people and lifts the veil of secrecy that surrounds adoption. She examines adoption's dark underbelly and the [idea] of silence that often works to maintain the spiritual, intellectual and physical separation between natural mother's and their children.
This book is highly recommended and a `must read' both for professionals working in the area of adoption and all of those many millions of people, worldwide, who have been touched by adoption. This book will be especially valuable to adoptive parents because it provides an account of the (often unacknowledged) experiences of birthmothers and their children. Many of these individuals have in the past, and will continue in the future, to be consumed by adoptions unresolved grief.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b20f528) out of 5 stars Great book. 1 Jan. 2006
By D. Ackles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a mother who relinquished her son to adoption in 1973, I found this book extremely helpful and interesting. All of the emotions and questions I have lived with for the past 32 years were addressed in a manner which gave my feelings validity and reassurance. It is remarkable how similar my experience is to that of Ms. Robinson. From pregnancy to reunion I feel like I have lived a parallel life on the other side of "the pond", or the world as it turns out. I particularly enjoyed her "Part Three, What does it all mean?". I can certainly ruminate about my life quite well on my own, without the book, but this third part offered me empowerment to say, "Hey, I'm not the bad guy here, what was society thinking?" It's not a transfer of blame, but it is a challange to take another look at established adoption and ask some pretty important questions. I certainly would recommend this book to any natural mother separated from her child at birth, no matter where they are in their grieving process, as well as adoptees, as a means of trying to understand why they came to be adoptees. Adoptive parents should also read this in an effort to offer "our" children support for their whole person, and to become aware that the adoption story is not as simple as they might believe.

Thank you Evelyn Burns Robinson, your book is great!!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b20f8f4) out of 5 stars Excellent book 21 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Excellent book. I am an adoptee, and this helped me understand as best as I can the experience from a birthmother's perspective. Highly recommended reading.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b20f684) out of 5 stars Excellent Resource 21 Aug. 2004
By S. F. Pace - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book provides three ways of looking at losing a child to adoption: the personal story of a mother, the psychological disenfranchised grief that grows over time for all mothers who lose their children to adoption, and the political dimensions of these losses in society. It is an excellent resource for those who want to understand the effects of taking children from mothers for the benefit of others.
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