Date of Award
Master of Social Work (MSW)
This study sought to listen to the grief experience of birthmothers and the role language plays in the grieving process. First, research and analysis of the distinctive features of birthmothers' grief were briefly summarized. The research suggested that birthmothers experiences of grief are marginalized and disenfranchised. Further, birthmothers experience multiple and ongoing losses because of their relinquishment. To examine how birthmothers' understand and describe their experiences of losing a child through adoption this study conducted a content analysis of four internet sites that facilitate birthmothers' voices. The voices collected suggest that the language used by adoption professionals and mainstream society contribute to a birthmothers' experience of disenfranchised grief. Finally, this paper concluded with future recommendations made by birthmothers. The recommendations included, "respectful adoption language" that included the voices of birthmothers, educations to prevent regret, providing birthmothers with an original registration of live birth, prevention of exploitation and the New South Wales Model.
Pengilley, Heather, "Hidden Voices: The Language and Losses of Birthmothers" (2003). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6025.
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