Legacy of Loss
Leslie Mackinnon’s grief over relinquishing her sons for adoption inspires her passion to change the process. See the article
Interview with Katie Couric
Dan Rather Reports
Interview with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America
“I am privileged to be one of the women interviewed for the book and it means a great deal to me, more than I can ever adequately put into words, to finally have our voices heard.”
A clip of Robin Roberts interviewing Ann Fessler (the author of The Girls Who Went Away) and Leslie Mackinnon, whose story was featured. The book reveals the hidden history of 1 1/2 million young women who got pregnant while unmarried in the years before Roe v. Wade. Back then, it was standard to banish them to institutions for “unwed mothers,” where they gave birth to babies they were often forbidden to see and forced to give up for adoption. Decades later, the women shared the costs of their silence and forced exile.
By Ann Fessler
The Girls Who Went Away was featured in the NY Times Book Review, Newsweek and the Washington Post. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was picked by Ms. Magazine as one of the 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time. Fessler’s oral history of women who lost their children to adoption in the 1950s and ’60s contains the profoundly moving voices of women whose stories had not been heard before.
SPEAKER AT HARVARD
Giving Birth Without Parenting: A Lasting Sorrow
By Leslie P. Mackinnon
While Leslie addressed the audience at Harvard, her then-37-year-old son watched her from the front row, as she talked about the years after his birth, when she wasn’t sure she would ever see him again in this lifetime.
Leslie attended UGA following the relinquishment of her sons. When she returned decades later to deliver a lecture about child development, she was able to share her experience as a cautionary tale for the students on the lifelong impact of early reproductive choices, which include becoming an egg or sperm donor. It was a powerful, full-circle moment.
FEATURED IN THE AJC
Talking About Birds & Bees & Technologies
By Helena Oliviero
Leslie has challenged the infertility industry to educate their consumers on the importance of openness and truth. Reproductive Endocrinologists speak “as if” this brand new way of making families exists in a vacuum, with no way to gauge its repercussions. The truth is, third-party reproduction shares the same psychological issues as adoption. Many D.I. (donor-inseminated) youth and adults experience grief and curiosity about their origins, and want accurate medical histories and some type of connection to biological relatives. Adoption practices have changed because adopted adults have spoken up about the dire — and unnecessary — consequences of secrecy and anonymity. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we need only proceed with openness and transparency.