Full disclosure: I probably won’t go to see Philomena because it hits too close to home. It’s based on a the real story of Philomena Lee, who was forced to sign her son over for adoption when she was a teenager in the 1950s.
The film is receiving rave reviews while stirring up controversy about unwed mother homes in Philomena’s home country of Ireland and the Catholic Church. Philomena Lee, now 80 years old, hopes that the film will help others like her reunite with their children.
I’m one of the fortunate adoptees who found their biological parents, despite not having access to my original birth records. My birth parents and I have had a lovely relationship for the past 10 years, and while they live several states away, we all chat on the phone at least once a month. Both my birth mom and dad feel as though my adoption was forced upon them 25 years after Philomena and here in the United States. These days, the majority of adoptions are open, meaning that at a minimum, birth parents and adoptive parents have exchanged names and some basic demographic information. However, even an open adoption would have been an injustice to Philomena.
Other posts from Rebecca this month include: