Book cover of American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Secret History of Adoption by Gabrielle Glaserby Gabrielle Glaser

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.

During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle fell in love and became pregnant. Her enraged family sent her to a maternity home, and after she gave birth, she wasn’t even allowed her to hold her own son. Social workers threatened her with jail until she signed away her parental rights. Her son vanished, his whereabouts and new identity known only to an adoption agency that would never share the slightest detail about his fate.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for The Book Review from the New York TimesThe Book Review 
The Ethics of Adoption in America
1/22/21         63 min

Podcast art for Keen OnKeen On 
Gabrielle Glaser on Adoption in America
1/26/21          32 min

Podcast art for Alain Guillot ShowAlain Guillot Podcast
251 Gabrielle Glaser: How Mothers Were Forced to Give Up Their Babies
3/6/21          27 min



Awards & Prizes


BISAC Family & Relationships

BISAC Social Science

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