Mary Anne Cohen
How has adoption changed your life?
Giving up my son for adoption has had a huge negative effect on most of my life. At the time, it destroyed what little self-esteem I had left. It turned out not to have been a good choice for me or my son. It was a pointless tragedy.
What is a lesson from your adoption experience that could be life-changing for all families?
Don't give up your child unless you are really unfit or really do not want to raise the child. Don't let shame at unwed motherhood be a factor in your choice.
What changes would you like to see made in adoption?
Birth certificate access for all adult adoptees, no conditions, no exceptions. I can't believe this has taken so long to happen. Take the profit motive out of adoption, offer real options counseling, not guilt, to pregnant mothers in crisis, no coercion. Fix the foster care system and find good homes for kids who really need homes, make open adoption agreements enforceable. Outlaw private adoption and clean up International adoption. Rigorous screen for all prospective adoptive parents, with followup after placement. No pre-birth surrenders or matching.