“Motherhood is just not a choice for me, because of my early experiences as an adopted person.”

Anna, 41, UK

Having kids has never been something that could be a reality for me for as long as I can remember. I don’t feel anything more towards children than I do towards any other group of people – I take people on an individual basis, kids included. But I have a real aversion to being a mother, and what this means.

I didn’t understand my feelings towards motherhood – which have felt like a physical reaction of fear – until I started to accept and understand that being adopted has had a massive impact on my life. I have had therapy for years but when a therapist bought up my being adopted, I brushed it aside saying it didn’t affect me.

It was only when I had a breakthrough surrounding the death of my baby brother, also adopted, and started to investigate this, did lightbulbs turn on and feelings come to the fore that I had locked away and never broached. They say that often adoptees ‘come out of the fog’ in their 40s and this is the case for me. I felt like I’d been living in the dark and suddenly raw emotions and things about myself that had never made sense, did make sense.

Motherhood is not possible for me, it’s not just a choice, because of things bound up with my early experiences of motherhood as an adopted person. The trauma of being taken from your mother at birth was not a ‘thing’ when I was taken from mine, but it is widely understood now to have massive consequences on a persons development. Being childfree in this way is as much part of my identity as being an adoptee.