Tracy Mayo: Childless Mother Memoir


This episode of Big Blend Radio features debut author Tracy Mayo who had a successful career, but one choice from her past continued to haunt her: forcibly giving up her baby at the age of fifteen. Now she’s sharing the inspiring story of her impossible journey to find him during the pre-Internet era in her memoir, “Childless Mother: A Search for Son and Self” (Vanguard Press, Mar 28, 2024).

Before Roe v. Wade, Tracy Mayo found herself pregnant at the age of fourteen and exiled to a maternity home. There, she bore not only a child but also the weight of the culture’s shame. She was required to surrender her newborn baby boy – the only child she would ever have. “You’ll forget it ever happened,” she was told. She didn’t.

Twenty-two years later,  her longing undiminished, with no internet, DNA testing, and not even knowing his adoptive name, Tracy set out to find him – and in her search she finds more than just her son, but herself. In a world drifting back to where women have no agency, Tracy’s story of one frightened, grief-stricken young mother who was ‘ordered to forget’ is more important to remember than ever.

TRACY MAYO has two degrees from Duke University. After a homesteading experiment, she embarked on a thirty-year career in commercial construction management, as a trailblazing woman in a man’s world. She is a 2020/2021 artist-in-residence at Craigardan and an alumnus of the Bookgardan writing program.  Her writing has appeared at Aspen Summer Words’ juried workshops, in Heimat Review, and in The Ocotillo Review. Tracy lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and Flat-Coated Retriever.


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