"Relinquished" is an industry term used to describe the process where parents give up their children for adoption.

The term is also the title of author Gretchen Sisson's new book, “Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and The Privilege of American Motherhood” which profiles the stories of birth mothers and breaks down the myths and misunderstandings about the American adoption process.

For many birth mothers, the stigma prevents them from forming healthy relationships with their child and the child's adoptive family said Sisson in an interview on Under the Radar with Callie Crossley.

“When you only have these two types of stories to tell, the one where the [birth] mother doesn’t care, or the one where her desire to be part of her child's life is a problem, then you're not making space for openness in adoption that is well supported, well understood, and ultimately child-centered.”

Listen to the full conversation above.


Gretchen Sisson, qualitative sociologist in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and author of "Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and The Privilege of American Motherhood"