On Saturday, May 13th we celebrate Birthmother's Day. This is a day set aside for those of us who, for one reason or another, had to relinquish an infant or child to adoption. Some of us voluntarily, some because of parental and social pressures. Whatever the reason we are the silent, forgotten mothers.
While the post office is celebrating adoption with their Adoption Stamp some of us are angered and hurt over the stamp that celebrates our loss. How many ever think of the mother or even the father that has surrendered that infant or child to be adopted?
How many ever think of the surrendering parent in a positive way? Very few. I get comments as to "How could you give up your child?" My answer, I don't know. In 1968 when I was basically forced to relinquish my child it was nearly unheard of for a single, unwed mother to keep her child. I was told not to bring the baby home. In those days for me, and hundreds of thousands of others before me and after me, welfare or state assistance was unheard of, almost non existent. For me and others without family support you could not raise your child alone.
Times have changed for the good in the past 20 years. Up until the '80s it was a shameful thing to keep your baby. Slowly times have changed and there are programs to help biological families stay together. Had there been these programs available to me in 1967-68 I would have been able to keep my child.
For those of you interested I am starting a Birthmother's Support Group here in Carson City and surrounding area. Please contact me if you are a birthmom and need help coping with your loss, no matter how long ago it was. We do not have to live in the closet or the dark anymore.
I also support open records for adoptees. Everyone has a right to know where they came from.
(reunited mom to Robbie, born and relinquished in 1968, mom to Lisa, Mikie & Rob)
Editor's note: Anyone interested in contacting Beveridge may call the Nevada Appeal at 881-1221, and a message will be forwarded to her.