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For the normal development of a child, the presence of each parent is equally necessary. No man searches more passionately for a dream woman than the child who grows up motherless. The mother is the foundation stone of the world for the infant. A stepmother, nurse or orphanage care never fills the gap which the absence of the mother leaves. However exemplary the manner in which the child's needs are cared for, foster parents and institutions cannot enter into the same psychic bond which the prenatal community of life and immediate postnatal maternal care establish.
While the need for the mother is peremptory and immediate, the father does not enter the child's life until consciousness develops sufficiently for the meaning of home and family to be grasped. When this stage is reached, the absence of the father or suitable father substitutes leaves the child without an important balancing influence. The
FODOR N. EMOTIONAL TRAUMA RESULTING FROM ILLEGITIMATE BIRTH. Arch NeurPsych. 1945;54(5):381-384. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1945.02300110065010