Mrs.

The usual, pre-reading terminology note: I don’t use the standard triad names for people. None of them feels right to me. So, here, as in all my posts, my birth or natural mother is simply called my mother. Following logically, my birth or natural father is called simply my father. My adoptive parents, then, get the proper nouns, Mum and Dad. Easy enough to understand, I think. Enough said. Here’s the post.

I was born and adopted in Scotland, which means I had easy access to social workers’ notes when I decided to search for my birth family. The notes were scant, but gave me insight into my mother’s state of mind at the time. More on that in another post.

In addition to the notes, I received copies of all the letters to my mother, confirming meeting times, reminding her to pay the weekly fee for my foster care, announcing that a lovely couple had come and seen me and wanted to take me home with them. At the end of each of the letters, this:

                                                                     Yours Sincerely,

                                                                     (Mrs.)                

                                                                     Assistant Children’s Welfare Supervisor

Not one of the letters was signed. Just the “Mrs.” signifying the married status, the legitimacy of this Assistant Children’s Welfare Supervisor; the legitimacy of the whole business of taking one mother’s baby and giving it to another, each woman deemed worthy or unworthy solely on the basis of whether their relationship to a man had been sanctioned by law.

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