Author Blog Challenge #18
Who did/could you ask to write a blurb for your book? Why that person/people? How did/will you go about reaching them?
I initially sent out review copies to key people in the industry, newspaper book reviewers, published authors, friends in the writing industry and those with shared experience in adoption and welfare, requesting they write a review or comment to be used in promotion. This is a sampling of responses:
- A stolen generation of another kind, but stolen nonetheless. Kids were taken from single mums, no choice, no information, no history and no past. Cruelty was never monitored, once adopted no social welfare intervention occurred, children were at the mercy of their situation, be it fair or foul.
- Read Merlene’s book for a greater understanding of the struggle for identity, the injustices of the past, under the guise of Christianity, and recognise why we still hurt.
- The little mongrel has morphed into a wonderful woman with a huge heart. I commend her story to you.
I also wrote to the state Premier, through his secretary, asking if he would be willing to write a foreword – he wasn’t, and I suspect this was because of the political climate at the time around the people known as the Forgotten Australians, that if he appeared to endorse the book it may be seen as an admittance of fault and open the floodgates of litigation. Strangely enough, I did receive an email from a politician in another state (who later became Premier) offering to officiate at any launch or function I might have in relation to promoting this book.
I contacted the Salvation Army with the same request, writing directly to a senior officer I had know for a number of years. He failed to answer this and a follow up letter and, again, I suspect this was to distance the organisation from any suggestion of wrongdoing. In the end, I wrote the foreword as an introduction (see below) using part of this as the back cover blurb with quotes as shown in the above samples.
The psychology and sociology of adoption is complex. Many adoptive parents have experienced the grief of their inability to bear a child; a deep disappointment leading to uncertainty and loss of self-recognition. Through adoption, they restore, to some extent, their social respectability and personal worth, often oblivious to the child’s primal wound of separation. The child placed with adoptive parents soon after birth has been denied the experience of the biological sequence that begins in the womb, the merging of the physiological with the psychological that forms the post partum bond. The resultant collision between the needs of the adoptive parent and the adoptee has the capacity to magnify the pain for each and shatter the illusion irrevocably.
Until the latter half of the last century, the adoption of babies was practiced in
by separation of mother and child: a social experiment in which babies born to
unmarried mothers were removed at birth and given to strangers for adoption.
This dispossession was endorsed by the belief that mothers would not bond with
their babies if they were taken from them immediately after delivery and they
were prevented from seeing them. It was also claimed to be in the best
interests of the child to place them as soon as possible after their birth with
an adoptive family. The ideology being they would bond successfully with their
new family and protected from the slur of illegitimacy. All ties with the original
mother were severed and the child issued with a new birth certificate with the
adoptive parents’ names and personal details, and the original records were
sealed. Birth mothers were expected to forget about their child, to get married
and have other children. No consideration was given to the effects this might
have on the mother or child. Australia
This situation remained until the late twentieth century, when changes to the Adoption Act in Australia finally acknowledged the right of the child to have access to their birth information.
~ Merlene Fawdry