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When Women Had No Choice, I Had To Give My Baby To Strangers

The shame and ache from losing my firstborn to adoption in 1969 nearly destroyed me. At the time, I was an eighteen-year-old nursing student in Pittsburgh PA. Raised in a strict Catholic environment, I had learned the importance of virginity as a precious gift meant for your husband, but I had given that away and everyone would know. To make matters worse, my boyfriend wouldn’t get married because he did have a choice.

Pregnant unwed girls were labeled tramps and their babies were called bastards. Shotgun weddings were common but raising a child as a single woman was not. I kept the pregnancy a secret and left town, spending the last trimester in a Catholic Charities home for unwed mothers. My mother had little to do with me during that time. My siblings thought I was living and working out of state while I spent Christmas alone, twenty minutes from home.

Click here to read more of Cathryn's January 27, 2023 article published on GirlTalkHQ...

Recommended Read

Survival Without Roots

The ‘Survival Without Roots’ memoir trilogy portrays the melting pot of emotions experienced by many adoptees associated with their lack of identity, as they spend a lifetime wondering …

'Is there anyone out there who looks like me, talks like me and thinks like me?'

As an adoptee, a birth mother and an adoptive parent, Anna Anderson tells her story with compassion, humility and grace arising from her first-hand experience of all ‘three faces’ of adoption.

Book One is set in the ‘50s and ‘60s and captures her first eighteen years after being adopted as a baby and transported to a new life in a North Yorkshire market town. What follows is the manipulation and molding of a child's personality. Anna grows up as an only child and an ‘imperfect fit’ for the ‘Mum’ who raised her. She is engulfed by constant criticism, control and complete withdrawal of love. Perfection is paramount in her Mum's eyes and displaying emotions is forbidden. Join her as she careers along the rocky road of life choices towards devastating consequences that could affect her life forever.

Will she survive her upbringing and the grief and loss encountered along the way?

A story of family conflict, resilience and determination.


About Anna Anderson

Born in Scarborough, England in 1954, Anna Anderson was adopted at six weeks old. She grew up as a shopkeeper's daughter in the sleepy market town of Yarm-on-Tees on the border of North Yorkshire and County Durham.

As an only child, her love of reading offered her the chance to escape into incredible childhood adventures and identify with thrilling young characters, as they took her to their imaginary worlds. From six years old, she was hooked on the written word.

Her passion to care for, nurture and teach children came to fruition in 1975, when she qualified as a primary school teacher. Having shaped countless young lives throughout her career, her aim has always been to help children shine brightly and believe in themselves, unlike the ‘Mum’ who adopted and raised her.

As an adoptee, a birth mother and also an adoptive parent, the Survival Without Roots series shares these 'three faces' of adoption with the reader. Having experienced them all, Anna understands that growing up adopted and an ‘imperfect fit’ can dramatically affect a life and alter its course with devastating consequences.

Writing Book One has finally 'kick-started' her healing process after sixty years. She hopes it will also help her readers who have experienced similar situations — whether adopted or not — to realise they are not alone.

She is determined that her three books will bring all words to do with ‘adoption’ out of the closet and into everyday conversation.

Anna is currently writing Survival Without Roots—Book Two, which is due for release in June 2023.

Anna's Website:


Contact   Cathryn Vogeley

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