I selected a sample of comments that reflect the hurt, damage or mindset of those affected as opposed to those who benefit from Forced Adoption. They are up on the Mamamia Blog and follow a short article on Forced Adoption and the current exhibition Without Consent running at the National Archives– I have not edited them so unfortunately many posts use the derogatory term “birthmother”.
The Pro Adoption Lobby
Note: The following comments epitomise sentiments commonly found on adoptive parent or pro adoption sites. When I interviewed a former consent taker she was still enunciating the same stereotypical nonsense to justify her participating in the kidnap of thousands of newborns in the late 1960s – 1970s
Kelly Nash I too, was one of these babies…. And I thank God everyday for the courage, care and love my BM showed by consenting to my adoption, wether forced, coerced or otherwise. My adoptive parents have loved and treasured me my whole life. When I see the many, very young teenage mothers our society encourages and indeed funds, to keep their babies, my heart breaks for those babies and the parents desperate to adopt them. Given, Most of those babies will be raised in loving caring homes, but there is a percentage of those babies that have become “a career option” for their mothers. Crucify me if you will, but I would bet my last dollar, if their was no government funding for these young parents, they would think long and hard about keeping their babies.
Maybe society didn’t have it so wrong all those years ago. Cruel -yes, but wrong……I am not so sure……
Go your hardest haters!!!!
Andrea Taylor I’m thankful that I’m one of those babies that was adopted out in 1967. I’ve since met some of my natural family and although nobody’s life is perfect at least back then authorities were attempting to act in the best interest of the child. There will be a whole new range of apologies to today’s children that have been left in the appalling care of feral parents because now their rights are more important than their children’s access to CRC (rights of the child)!
Note: Additionally the above comments echo a mindset articulated by Dr. Jeremy Sammut of the Centre for Independent Studies and Tony Abbott who have both stated at various times adoption needs to be quicker, cheaper and easier for infertile couples particularly for children whose “parents are not effective”. How does one determine effectiveness and who is given the power to make such a determination?
The ignorant that deny there are any stolen generations
Ian Harris This is another urban myth. Mothers did not have ‘forced adoptions’. They were offered alternatives. In every single case they had to consent to their babies being adopted. “Without consent” and “forced adoptions” are just a load of crap. Stop it. Its like the ‘stolen” generation. Today almost 20,000 Australian children are living in foster care, removed from their biological parents for their own safety. Not stolen. Stop the lies.
The growing realisation that another stolen generation exists in Australia
Ally Breitkopf I was one of these mothers. I was 15 when my son was born in 1972. I remember nothing of the actual birth waking up 2 hours later. I was sent back to the home for unwed mothers and received no help of any kind. It was never spoken of by anyone for 20yrs. My son was adopted only a few weeks later so even if i had changed my mind with in the allowed time it would have been too late. I met my son in 1992 and we have a great relationship. I also have a great relationship with his adoptive parents. The whole thing was disgusting… talk about a stolen generation. This is no different.
Margaret Oakhill Hamilton Your story could have been mine except that the adoptive parents were possessive. My son died last year. He knew of his genetic heart problems but didn’t fully understand it. He would be alive today if he had lived with me and saw the heart problems in our family. He would have had a better understanding of, not smoking, exercise more and better eating habits. I don’t know how to forgive those who stole him from me.
Barbara Hansen Ally my thoughts exactly I am part of the stolen generation. I was adopted in the 60’s. Such a awful traumatic event you girls went through. How can anyway think you would get over giving birth, not seeing your baby, being sent back to home not to ever bring the event up. Reading my documentation my heart just broke. Such a sad situation yet again controlled by the churches.
I am glad you found your son.
Aimee Pracy They talk about the stolen generation with the Aboriginal community but never about the unwed mothers that had their babies taken away … Lovechild got people taking about it … I’ve grown up with hearing about this as my family lived it luckily the baby wasn’t taken.
Melissa Hill It wasn’t ‘forced adoption’, it was government sanctioned, obstetric rape, child kidnapping and falsified birth records. You can choose to listen to survivors’ testimonials, read the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry – Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices and learn from the horrific human rights abuses and inter-generational harm caused. …or you can continue to listen to multi-billion dollar global child trafficking industry ‘called adoption’.
Kirra Ruth Joan Twiner My Mum was one of the babies taken from her birth parents. The small, quite apology that went through parliament is crap. Where was the song and dance apology like the aboriginal stolen generation got? We have a generation of stolen children from that era.
Now Mum can access records etc. she is looking for her birth parents but it may be too late. They could of past. Think she said her birth mother’s name is Barbette Joyce (maiden name).
Annabel Gleeson It’s awful to realise that Australia’s social policies of that time also put young disadvantaged (by pregnancy) women in the same position as the Aboriginal peoples stolen children. It’s a shameful reminder and I’m so glad my girls will grow up in a more sensitive and understanding world.
Kat Forner-Reardon And where is their compensation? constant apologies? and decades of screaming stolen generation? Welcome to the reality that it didn’t just happen to aboriginals!!
Note: During the 1994 National Adoption Conference a group of Aboriginal mothers were listening to some White Australian mothers speaking out about their stolen babies. A member of the stolen generation obviously quite shocked stated loudly: “No wonder they did it to us – they did it to their own!”
Theft of white children occurred from colonisation – (See Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1982)
Michele Taylor My Nan had to be given up as her mother was unwed and that was long before those times. She never knew either of her biological parents and grew up in foster homes.
Kerry Ellery My father and his sibling were taken in 1938…..
Note:– However numbers of newborns taken for adoption grew exponentially after World War II and again after the Model Adoption Act was introduced into all State during the 1960s. The three forces driving the adoption industry was 1 Economic: To save the State welfare dollars; 2. Ideology: An unmarried mother irrespective of race was inferior and therefore unable to care for her newborn; 3. The demand by infertile married couples for perfect, white/light skinned, healthy newborns.
Adoptees speaking out about the damage caused to them
Brenden Creese I was one of those children… I was born in Hobart in 1972… In 2015 I am still struggling with it psychologically, still having to see psychs weekly… I would have preferred that my birth mother had aborted me rather than gone through with the pregnancy, that’s how much of a struggle being adoption has been for me.
Leanne Carpenter I too was one of these babies… Eventually adopted for the second time into a house with an alcoholic parent – my life was a roller coaster of fear of the outburst. In my case, it was not for the better, I suffer depression & anxiety as an adult, now aged 50. There is no turning back the clock & undoing the damage caused to me – it’s been a long hard journey. I’ve heard beautiful stories & similar outcomes to mine, which by some standards is not so bad.
Heidi Chisholm The babies were just a money making scheme by these organisations. I know 2 people who’s adoptive parents were told that their babies could be returned if they were sick or not suitable. There were also loads of children taken from the UK during and after the war and shipped to Australia and placed into work house style orphanages.
Lyn Macchetta I was adopted at two weeks of age and consider that myself and other adoptees to be part of our own “stolen generation”. The home I was born in for “unwed mothers” alone saw over 11,000 adoptions in a 12 year period, all “forced adoptions” as far as I can see, the mother didn’t necessarily have to be drugged, if they had no support, either financial or family, the adoption was forced – there was no other way the birth mother was going to be able to support herself and her baby. My story is a long and complex one but I’ve always said blood belongs with blood and babies belong with their mothers
The Ripple Effect: Adoption trauma echoes across and down the generations
Kaysey Deacon My Brother was adopted out…..still looking for him…..born 4th July 1964 in Nsw
Barbara Hansen I was born to a unwed mother who was sent away to a single mothers home so as not to bring shame to the family. My biological father was on the scene but this had no impact on the decision to allow my birth mother to keep me. I have all my documents and it makes me quite sad to read how my birth mother was treated. It was a very cold and clinical process. My mother was young and possibly not able to look after me and at no stage would I ever say my parents have been awful. I love my parents very much and have had a great life and they will always be my mum and dad.
What is sad is the way these girls were treated. For me in 2013 Anglicare found both my biological parents…..they had gone on and got married and I have two full blooded sisters but unfortunately only my birth father made contact with the agency not my birth mother. I subsequently do not know either of my birth parents or my sisters. My concern is what did this whole situation do mentally to my birth mother. I do not blame her for anything that happened.
The Importance of the Federal Apology for adopted persons
Leonie Gray I lived with the pain of rejection for most of my life (I was born in 1965) until I stumbled upon a late night telecast of the National Apology last year. I realised then my pain and anger was misdirected, as I had always *assumed* my birth mother had rejected my very soul before my first breath.
That led me to start reading the written accounts of some of the mothers. I wept, for hours. And I began to understand. I have not yet tracked down my mother, but reading these stories has helped me begin to heal. And just the brief accounts of mothers on this post has moved me and helped me to understand. If any mothers who had their babies forcibly stolen are able to share their account on the Forced adoption website I strongly urge them to do so. The truth is healing. Even though I have yet to read the account written by my mother, hearing the stories of others helps me.
There is a ‘contribute your experience’ button on the website I have linked.
Barbara McCulla Dandridge – this could be the place to share your account.