Adam Pertman is a father, Pulitzer prize nominated journalist, and the author of several books on adoption. Adam took time to talk to This Manic Mama about the changing face of the adoption system.
A senior government official in the UK has stated it is wrong to tell teenagers they would make good mothers. Conflating age with income, maturity, and mental health, he went on to say social workers should not press pregnant women with personal difficulties to bring up their children.
At 19, I read Adrienne Rich as she struggled to put into words the isolation and terror of being the solo parent of small children all day. I saw her essays as the record of a historical moment, the cusp of change between an era of rigid gender roles and frustrated housewives, and my own time of working mothers and egalitarian divisions of parenting labor. I treasured her insights into how destructive the old system could be to the spirit of mother and child alike.
I have always felt secretly selfish about my own compassion for others. My instant tearing at someone else's loss, or sadness, or agonizing over something to do with family; anyone's family. It's not that I feel for them, but that I feel. It is a personal fear that sets in: It could be me; it could be my daughter who is lost forever, my little boy who has disappeared, my heart that is broken. People call me a 'bleeding heart.' I feel that I am fooling the world.