Information needed, pregnancy in late 1950s/early 1960s

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Information needed, pregnancy in late 1950s/early 1960s

Postby FionaRobyn » Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:39 am

Hi - I'm currently researching a character for my next novel who was unmarried and pregnant at 20 in the UK in the late 50s/early 60s. I'd much appreciate any pointers on resources, or even better someone who was in this position themselves. Ideally I'd like the character to 'go away' somewhere during her pregnancy and be faced with a decision about whether to give up her baby for adoption or not. Thanks for your help in advance, Fiona Robyn,
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Postby Guest » Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:14 pm

I guess you have already seen the ITV documentary 'Lovechild' - the babies were all (i think) born in 50's/60's.

Also, Pauline Collin's book 'Letter to Louise'

'Half a Million Women' (about women who gave their children for adoption). Sorry, can't remember publisher etc but it is still available as far as I know.

Thanks everso

Postby FionaRobyn » Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:17 pm

Will follow these up - exactly what I'm looking for! Fiona
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Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:37 am

Postby Guest » Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:44 pm


It may help you to understand that for women of the 50s,60s, 70s and to be honest, in ANY era...rarely, in fact hardly ever...have a REAL choice.

However, adoption in the above mentioned decades was definitely not a matter of choice.
Choice is what happens when you have two viable and workable options.

For most women, raising their baby was not approved by society as a viable option.
Mothering your own baby when unwed and young was deemed as weak and selfish....where as to "voluntarily" give up ones baby for adoption was approved as true love, brave and unselfish.

Weird, when you think of how those same "brave" women are treated as sub-humans in relation to their needs and emotions from the day they sign those adoption papers.

It is the terrible wrench that needs to be understood, the unthinkable barbaric act of separating a Mother and Child...just because they are unsupported by an uncaring society.
You need to understand the guilt, the shame; the terrible and unnatural mental acrobatics a woman has to perform in order to go through a pregnancy to birth to adoption. The numbness, the overwhelming pain and then more numbness..and eventually, submission.

She is usually abandoned, emotionally and sometimes physically by all those who should have supported her. Forget the boyfriend....just think about the family.

The same family who will welcome her next born (in wedlock) as a much loved new addition to the family...whilst this unplanned baby is to be exiled and removed, and the Mother is treated like an animal.

I'd love to someone write something where the mental anguish and the damaging aftermath in such an experience is properly portrayed.

Can't log in. J.

Thanks J.

Postby FionaRobyn » Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:15 am

This gives me a taste of the complex issues involved, as I had suspected. I think it's going to be very important that I understand the social context and its effect on my character, and your post has also made me more aware of the responsibility of representing events as acurately as possible. Thanks for your advice, and feel free to get in touch off-line if you wanted to share more. And happy new year! Fiona
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Postby Montravia » Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:52 am

I had my son in 1981 so times were different as single parenthood was much more acceptable yet my parents attitudes were very 50's/60's ... just food for thought for you.

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