The online magazine Salon has a story (gotta view an ad first, sorry) about a book chronicling the post-World War II phenomenon of sending away young women from “good families” before their pregnancy showed …. and then taking away the babies, without the young moms having a say in the matter.
I’m not old enough to remember such times, but my mother sure is. Which is why when I bought my house in Tahoe Park some 17 years ago (I’ve since moved), my mom said, “Oh! It’s near the Fair Haven Home.”
“The what?” I said.
“Oh you know,” said Mom. “That’s where girls went then they got pregnant … in the old days, they’d just ‘disappear’ from school — visiting relatives or some such excuse — and then turn up again later. We knew that they’d gone to Fair Haven, had their babies and returned.”
Fair Haven is still there, but in a sign of the changing times, it’s a home for senior citizens now. Check it out: It’s on the west side of 63rd Street, halfway between 14th and 21st avenues.
2 thoughts on “Disappearing moms, disappearing babies”
Ooh, what if some of the senior citizens living there are now were some of the girls who went there as pregnant teens way back when? And, in a Lifetime made-for-TV-movie moment, some of the nurses working there are actually the long-lost children of these women?
I think we should start that again. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so cool for them to have a baby in high school. It would be especially punishing if they couldn’t journal all about it on their myspace page. Oh the good ol days….
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