Essay: "Choice Is About Choice"

"Choice Is About Choice: One's Mother's Untold Story" is an essay I started in 2003 and it has continued to evolve. I was adopted shortly after my birth in April 1949. I have never found my birth mother and I don't know her name. The State of Florida maintains a mutual consent Registry for adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents and other birth relatives. Without mutual consent, I has only been able to obtain non-identifying information about her from the Children's Home Society of Florida. After learning her unique and compelling story, I felt compelled to share it.

In short, my birth mother was a Holocaust survivor. In 1937, at the age of 14, she and her family fled Nazi persecution and escaped from Germany to Yugoslavia. There, her younger sister was diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to a sanatorium in Switzerland. In 1938, she and her parents moved to South America, first to Columbia and then São Paulo, Brazil.

In her early twenties, my birth mother had three failed relationships and two pregancies, the first of which ended in a forced abortion. The second ended in my adoption. I hope her story and this essay will help to refocus the abortion rights debate away from "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" to the core issue which is a woman’s fundamental right to choose.