By Philip Foley
Personal stories like this cause me great concern. First because they are “Personal.”
Another concern is that they perpetuate the myth of Love and Loss and always use the misnomer of Birth Mother. Ms. Deprill’s mother is Brenda Hollis, the woman who nurtured her from infancy and is still supporting her today. Ms. Pochek, woman that gave birth to Ms. Deprill, was the victim of a horrific violent crime, placed in an impossible situation and made the only decision she believed available to her 16 year old self.
Both Ms. Deprill and Ms. Pochek made the mutual personal decision to meet. This is their choice and should not in any way imply that other victims impregnated by rape want to make that choice. Again; “Personal Choice.”
Thousands of women in this country now in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond experienced catastrophic pregnancies when they were teenagers and with no other options available, were forced to give birth. For many of them, being rescued by the confidential adoption process, gave them their lives back. Giving birth does not make a girl a mother. Though our society chooses to see it differently. Birth mother—a term forced on girls impregnated by rape is completely offensive.
Being hunted down by an adoptee, being publicly exposed to family and friends; while being subjected to the condemnation it promises is a devastating trauma. Kathleen and I have emails—all anonymous—from such women drenched in pain. One woman’s husband divorced her after an adoptee showed up at their door. Another woman’s beloved brother abandoned her for the adoptee.
While our country is in love with the romance of happy endings, flesh and blood elder women are being terrorized by threats of being found, with many of them forced to endure those threats materialized.
There are many other people in both Ms. Deprill and Ms. Pochek’s lives that will be impacted by their mutual personal choice.
I hope it all works out for them.