forced adoptions

ADOPTION: A HEARTBREAKING STORY

For years Monica kept her suffering to herself.

The shame she had been made to feel stopped her telling anyone about her anguish. It was a secret, long buried as far as the rest of the world and her parents were concerned. But one day, she found a way to unburden herself of the sense of loss that lived on within her.

Decades earlier, when just a young girl, Monica (not her real name) had been forced by the moral strictures of the times to relinquish the baby she carried out of wedlock.

forced adoptions

 

She was one of an estimated 250,000 young unmarried women in ...

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44 Comments

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Cathy Crawley

    I’m very happy that the government is finally being accountable for stealing babies from their mothers and fathers who’s only crime was having a baby out of wedlock. I don’t know if one word will help heal my birth mother’s and birth father’s hearts, but then again how do you ever get over having someone take your baby from you while you are helplessly lying in bed under sedation? And how do I ever get over knowing that I wasn’t relinquished willingly but stolen from my mother like a week old puppy?

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Wendy Harmer

    Oh my goodness, this song makes me emotional. Great work Mia and “Monica” in helping us to understand the depths of the heartache people will be feeling today.

    • Reply December 17, 2013

      Marion DHS

      You’re being stupid. Only a handful of us will get healing bucks.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    ro.watson

    Too bad. Too sad. In the 70′s. Unwed girls/women sent away pregnant. That place “confinement”.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    HollysMum

    I was one of those children who were put up for adoption in 1970. My mother was 15, country girl. I don’t think the Gov has anything to apologise for. Society at the time was very different. I don’t think you can put today’s standards on the society of the day. I thank god every birthday that my mother DID put me up for adoption – forced or otherwise. I had the benefit of a fantastic upbringing and have had a fantastic life – with two parents who desperately wanted me.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Narelle Matheson

    There are so many stories of heart break from that time. I was young, married and had my beautiful daughter in the happiest of circumstances. It never occurred to me that there were girls who had no choice but to relinquish their babies. I always thought it was their choice to do so. I thought all that forced adoption stuff was long gone. I was so so wrong. My heart felt apologies for my thoughtlessness.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    AJ

    I was born in 1967 and adopted. I know my birth mother was unmarried but have chosen not to have contact with her. Since all of this has come up, I am now wondering if it was a forced adoption and if I am being terribly cruel in denying this contact. But I have parents. They reared me and looked after me. And it would hurt my mother (father died) terribly if I was to look for my birth mother. To me, it is a no win situation.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Elaine

    These are such sad stories. HollysMum is fortunate that her adoptive parents were lovely but I do think that adoptions should be open so that the child can know her birth parents if she wishes. Of course, in the 50s & 60s there was no social security for a young woman with a child, so unless her family were supportive, or she took a job as a housekeeper etc., financially she had nowhere to go. Women’s wages in those days were about 2/3 of the male wage for the same job! I knew of cases where a young woman had a child and her parents raised it as their own which was quite hard on grandparents to have to take on the parenting role again. But links to our biological family are so important to establish a sense of identity.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    The Huntress

    It is with mixed feelings I await todays apology. As an adoptee I think my feelings are always mixed. So much hurt. All I can say right now is may the practice of close adoption and forced adoption NEVER happen again.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Georgia

    The babies themselves were not birthed safely as student doctors “practised” on them, inducement was common when not needed, drugged mothers could not assist in the birthing so Keilands forcepts were used too long and in-expertly. My partner’s neck was broken at C2 in 3 places as she was ripped from her unwed mother. She is a living miracle; we have found no record of another person who has survived a broken C2. She lives with electrical storm headaches every day and is on heavy medication. She is a PhD in biology, a mother of 2, runs a full time business and is an inspiration to anyone who knows her. We just sat through the apology, holding hands and crying. PM Gillard was remarkable, we thank her for her dedication to this issue and the care and attention she is giving to it.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Georgia

    babies were experimented on in medical trials too, this happened here in Australia, not just in Ireland, baby trafficking by the Catholic Church was worldwide, we will submit my partner’s story into the Exhibition and Archives so that the story of those babies who are not here to speak for themselves due to their deaths at or shortly after birth due to unsafe birthing are told. She is their voice and she continues to speak up for those little babies whose lives were trashed as the “spawn of Satan” and not looked after as babies of married couples were. Her mother was not ALLOWED to marry her father, despite them being in love and wanting to marry. This was evil and ignorance at its worst. Her courage and love is remarkable. I love you darling.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    andra jackson

    Today I remember a girl I went to secondary school with called Margaret Jones.None of the other girls from the convent we attended seem to remember her. She was seen as different because her parents were quite old and she was an only child, Her parents were very stiff and austere. It later came out that her parents told her she was adopted and that got around. Her parents didn’t seem to put themselves out much for her but maybe that was because they were elderly. She and I joined the Girl Guides together in Hartwell and took part in plays.It fell on my father to driver her home after night time meetings even though she lived the opposite direction to us.That he did, at least allowed her that outlet.I remember being shocked that one day she was no longer at school because as soon as she turned the age at which you could leave -15 or 16 back then -her parents pulled her out of school. The last time I saw her was when I came across her working at Coles variety store at Camberwell. We spoke. She didn’t seem happy. her heard shortly afterwards that she had committed suicide. It didn’t seem fair. She hadn’t had much of a life. I always wonder was her own mother forced to give her up. How she might have felt love and felt wanted had she not been adopted out.And why didn’t the nuns do more to help her. She was only 16 when she died. I still have a group photo of her at my 12th birthday party. She seemed happier then. That was before she ”was told”

    • Reply March 21, 2013

      Maureen P.

      Oh Andra, that is such a sad, sad story and my thoughts go out to relinquishing mothers and adopted sons and daughters writing these posts today.

      But what about all those people out there who wish they’d been adopted? They have such crap lives with their birth parents, they choose the same out as Margaret Jones.
      Sometimes, life just isn’t much either way I guess.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Will Marshall

    Oh my lordy this song is beautiful! Hope Harmony day was glorious for all!

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Dpeterson

    Despite my young age I have ever forgotten the day I signed my daughter over to the Catholic Church …such a traumatic,gut wrenching time..she had a good life ,great education ,loving parents and siblings…..we met when she turned 21… 21 years ago when she became a tangible part of my,and my children’s life .
    We worked on finding each other and we have worked on sustaining a relationship…it can happen the pain can ease.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    sue Bell

    My child and I have been reunited for more than twenty years now. After the first meeting I went home and wrote a song about it in 15 minutes flat but that 15 minutes was the result of years of thinking and dreadful sorrow. To all the mothers out there I hope you find your child, to all the children out there I hope you find your way home. With love to you all.

    • Reply December 12, 2013

      Marion Hopwood

      It would be a very compassionate person who could really get beyond all the abuse.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Rangdalion

    There was another side to this that nobody mentions. Single and pregnant I was hounded by the hospital for months before the father decided to marry me. Shotgtun weddings to often highly inappropriate people. Messy divorces or worse lives together. Just about the only option if you wanted to keep your child or just didn’t want it labelled a bastard with no rights.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Tone M Nilsen

    What a lovely song!but my heart bleeds for those mothers looking for their children, each child even if they’ve had a good upbringing should be having the ability to know who their biological parents are. I became pregnant as a teenager and my mother were planning to give away my child, thankfully, teenagers are more enlightened today, even though this was in the 90′s and I chose to keep her,and left home. I could not imagine life without her. So to all the mothers and fathers who had to give away their children I hope you are reunited.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    ro.watson

    Sorry AJ~ I hope you resolve this before it is too late.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Ganky

    I would like to know why only the 50s to 70s was chosen, girls were forced to give up their babies for many decades before that.
    When I was young I hated my birth mother — how could she have “dumped me, why did she not want me”, I hated her for not caring about me. When I grew older I read about forced adoptions, iit wasn’t just the Catholic Church that took us away

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Ganky

    Sorry, pressed the wrong button!
    Others were just as bad to both the mothers and us babies. We were put in a back room, never touched with bare hands and the nurses were not to make eye contact or interact with us in any way. I started looking for my birth mother once my parents died, even then obstacles were put in our way, no one wanted us to find each other. Eventually I found her but it was too late, she had died, it was then I discovered what a terrible life she had. When I learned her story I cried for her, she had not given me away by choice, I was forcibly taken from her. She never knew her grand children, or her beautiful great grand children.

    • Reply December 27, 2013

      mark hillbrick

      so what?

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    sue Bell

    AJ, go find your relinquishing mother, not all reunions a good but some are great, all reunions are a growth experience for both mother and child, you get to know a lot more about yourself.
    So your adoptive parents may be upset but remember 1. they do not own you or your life, you are an adult and 2. you do not need to tell them, 3. you have a right to find out about your genetic background for your healths sake.
    Remember your birth mother cried every year on your birthday with no one to share her sorrow with, remember she thought of you every day, remember that every time she heard of a child of your age/gender dying she worried that it may be you, remember she never stopped loving you and that she longs to hold you, to smell you, to count your toes but most importantly of all she wants to know that you had a good loving life and are happy. Give your birth mother the gift of knowing that you are well and happy. No one knows the immense pressure society, religion and families put on women to give up their children, here in Victoria there was a lot of corruption between the social workers giving children to their friends or to the dreadful cult “The family”.
    The day I first met my son again his adoptive mother gave me a photo album of his childhood so that I could share in his life, my children adored having an older brother and we have been very close for twenty five years, never once did I try to usurp his parents position or role in his life, but I was there to help him through the death of his mother.
    Give it a try it may be wonderful, it may be disappointing but it would be a graceful act to a woman who wanted you to have a better life than the one she could give, and you would never have to wonder again about her, your wider family, your genes.
    I hope you find happiness and peace.

    • Reply November 23, 2013

      Mark and Marion

      You can’t expect others to follow your lead. Not everyone wants to know their adoptive mother.

    • Reply December 12, 2013

      Marion Hopwood

      It’s obviously not as easy as it seems is it.

  • Reply March 22, 2013

    Annie Also

    I am moved by Sue Bell’s sage advice. I would defer to your experience and understanding in all this.

    ( A small note; The elephant in the room is the ‘attitude of the day’ encouraged and reinforced by religion! As a ‘good Christian Nation’ in the 50′s and 60′s the judgement of others were clear cut, vicious and complete. Not much has changed if we look at Marriage Equality and Women’t choices. I think the churches have a bloody lot to answer for!)

    • Reply December 12, 2013

      Marion Hopwood

      Oh pleassssse.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    ro.watson

    Yip sue bell~ I have wet eyes(again). Good luck for all of you who feel on a quest to find each other.

    • Reply November 23, 2013

      MARION BELL

      DON’T CRY OVER SPILT MILK.

    • Reply December 12, 2013

      Marion

      ro wake up. many mothers didn’t want their kids. I was one. Now he doesn’t want me!

    • Reply April 20, 2014

      Louise Watson

      “Monica lol

    • Reply April 20, 2014

      Louise Watson

      The tragedy is what we all share.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    marion

    This song was not appropriate.The lyrics do not fit mothers.

    • Reply November 23, 2013

      Mark

      Marion it’s appropriate.

      • Reply December 12, 2013

        Marion

        It is NOT appropriate. The singer was pushing her own barrow. Not everyone had a son and not everyone can relate to this otherwise CRAPPY song.

  • Reply April 15, 2013

    Rhoda

    AJ you will never be in your mother’s position. Think.

    There is a long ago girl in my family who became pregnant. Parents whisked her away. She was just 18 and a country girl back in the early 1900s. Died of tuberculosis 2 years later. Her little girl is lost. Someone claimed her but who. We will never know who she is and she will never know her real mother or what was lost to us all.

    • Reply November 23, 2013

      MARION HOPWOOD

      Some mothers gave their kids away and regret it.No wonder our kids don’t want to know us.

  • Reply June 14, 2013

    marion

    Fortunately I had a good life.not like others.

  • Reply June 24, 2013

    meailingvilfe

    OMG!!! These are beautiful!!!! and I absolutely love my wildlife so awesome!!!! TFS! Mandy

  • Reply July 10, 2013

    Hoppy

    Abused women need support.
    M.Bell Catholic Charities

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  • Reply December 12, 2013

    Susie Wong

    liars, cheats abusers all have the same end, they made abusers out of most mothers and most mothers are cashing in on babies they gave away and didn’t want but are now an income.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    mia and monica

    HOW SICK

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