Robyn Cohen

Robyn – Mother – Baby Taken for Adoption 1969

I was unmarried and my baby was identified as ‘baby for adoption’ before birth
I pushed my baby into the world and in that split second I had no baby
There was nothing to see; nothing to hold; no newborn baby’s cry to hear
I never said hello; never kissed her; never said I loved her; never said goodbye
My baby has no form or substance; she is faceless and nameless

I was told I was unfit to be a mother and the baby “deserved the best”
As staff violated my legal rights they said “If you love the baby you will adopt it”
I loved my baby; I wanted what was “best for her” and I believed that I was bad for her
Alone and unsupported; with no options offered; I signed the consent under duress
They said “go home and forget you had a baby” as I left the hospital with empty arms

My 18 year old self disappeared and was replaced with a shell which looked like me
My solitary path through forced adoption was littered with secrets, guilt and shame
36 years later my trauma surfaced and I was overwhelmed with grief and loss
20 years of therapy unravelled the multi faceted trauma of losing my baby to adoption
I still grieve for my baby but adoption no longer defines me, nor does it dominate my life

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