The child care literature consistently reports a lack of support for birth mothers following their child being taken into care or adopted. This is despite consistent evidence of the long-term consequences of the removal of children on their mental health. The aim of this study is to explore the effects of separation, the subsequent sense of identity and the experience of contact and support throughout the process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven mothers recruited from birth mother support groups and the transcripts analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four themes emerged: ‘no one in my corner’; disconnecting from emotion; renegotiating identity; and the children are gone but still here. The findings contribute to our understanding of the experiences of birth mothers whose children are removed from their care and are discussed within a range of psychological theories.
- Birth mothers, qualitative, IPA, Children in care