Birthfathers Grieve Too
Detroit filmmaker Joan Mandell recalled shooting the stories of birth mothers and fathers as part of a campaign to help teens become more aware of the effects of unwanted pregnancy. "The stories were so powerful, especially those of birth fathers. I'd always assumed that the men, who had no legal rights whatsoever, also had no feelings. Not true. Like the birthmothers who were often coerced into giving up their children to closed adoption, the birth fathers rememberd and grieved, in their own ways." Adoption activist Mary Martin Mason, author of Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers' Stories, helped arrange the Mandell interviews. "The adoption agency in Minnesota that helped us find the participants took control of the footage," said Mandell. "I wish I could get access to work with it. The stories were moving; many years later, they still haunt me."