European Baby Boxes and It’s similarities to the girls who went away.

“Professor Browne thinks that the spread is greatest in countries with a communist past (and so an attitude that the authorities will take over child-rearing) or in Catholic countries where the stigma of unmarried motherhood is stronger.”  – Click me

The Girls Who Went Away is a book compiled by a woman whose mother gave her up for adoption in the days before Roe V. Wade, and a huge reason I’m prochoice, but that’s a whole nothing blog post.  The first chapter of the book is devoted to debunking the myths with unwanted pregnancy that surround the babies born in this era.  One of the myths it tackles is the idea that the women freely and willingly gave up their babies.

“Chances are the baby wasn’t unwanted.  It was a baby unwanted by society, not by mom.  You couldn’t be an unwed mother.  Motherhood was synonymous with marriage.  If you weren’t married, your child was a bastard, and those terms were used..  I think I’m like many women who thought “it may kill me to do this, but my baby is going to have what everybody keeps saying is best for him.”It’s not because the baby wasn’t wanted.  There would have been nothing more wonderful than to come home with my baby. -Glory”

“The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade”  by Ann Fessler, page 11

There are stark similarities between America before Roe V. Wade and the parts of europe that have such strong ideas about what motherhood is and isn’t.  It’s these ideas that make women ashamed to have been pregnant.  It’s these ideas that fed the need for maternity homes in the middle of the 1900’s and feed the need (to an extent) for these baby boxes.  Because when it’s easier to give up your baby than it is to face your family and society about having a baby out of wedlock, that’s just toxic.

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