Forced adoption in Australia: ‘It’s a life sentence’ | ABC News


My story is, I’m a mum who lost her baby
to forced adoption. On behalf of the Australian people we say sorry to you, the mothers who were denied knowledge of your rights, which means you could not provide informed consent. I won’t forget, I won’t forgive and I can’t accept the fact that they took my baby and I never saw him grow up. In December of 1969 I got a job as a
governess on a property in Western Queensland. I was a victim of pack
rape and I wrote to my mum, told her the situation and she said you can’t come
home. The people I was working for spoke to the Bush Brothers, they’re the
Anglican traveling ministers and they found me the place at St Mary’s. In 1965 I found myself pregnant and became engaged because I was pregnant and then
was jilted three weeks before my wedding. So with that I was sent to St Mary’s home at Toowong and stayed there until the birth of my son. Some really tragic experiences happened
here, the grief runs so deep that nothing can really completely heal that but I
think reaching out a hand in friendship and support and acknowledging what they went through and its deep impact means a lot to these women. The garden means somewhere to go and
reflect on what’s happened but it’s also a bit of closure with the home. That’s
part of the story that we left behind. It still impacts on us today,
you might hear a song or you might see something on the TV and it takes you
back to that instant. The way I have coped with life from the
loss of my son is I have separated the younger person that was me and her suffering, she never recovered from that. So her suffering, I sort of have divided my life into two pieces. I’m happily married. I have two beautiful daughters and that
life is all I could want it to be. But when our lives mix then I’m faced with all the things that she lost, she lost everything. I went to the hospital, had him at about
2:30 in the morning. I vaguely remember the clock in front of my face and they
just took him straight away. I didn’t see him they just took him straight out of the ward. I asked to see him and it was refused. I wouldn’t have known that I had a son except somebody came back and said that,
“you had a son, a long skinny streak like yourself, crop of black hair and the same crooked little fingers.” So for a long time afterwards I was looking for a baby with crooked fingers. I was in the hospital for ten days. I refused to sign the consent form. I kept asking to see him. I
was told don’t bother looking for him you’ll never find him and they told me
the only way to get out of here is to sign the consent form. I have no medical records but I feel that
I was drugged because I don’t remember his birth or the next five days. I just
feel I was kept in a sedated state so that I wouldn’t cause any complications
for them. Once I’d signed the consent form with no guardian, no parent there,
I was allowed to go down and see him through a glass window and when I
asked could I nurse him they said no you’re too upset go back to your room. So that
was my one memory. I can still see his face today. The garden is a part of a journey, the
end of the journey will be when I get my name on a birth or death certificate and
they’ll have a leaf that has my name and my son’s birth name on it. And to me
that’s the first time in 53 years I’ve seen our names linked together. So no more secrecy and no more lies. That little leaf means the world to me. 1993 we met for the first time and I met him at the airport and in my mind I’m expecting the baby
that I’ve never seen and out walks a man in front of me. It’s like really hard
to accept mentally that transition from baby to man and all I wanted to do is
cling on to him and not let him go. So yes, we’ve worked hard for the
relationship that we have today. We’ve lived through it, we look after
each other, we’ve each other’s back and we fight together for everything that’s
still required. The damage that they did to mothers and children and the extended families is ongoing. It’s not an incident that happened once and then you walked away from it unscathed. It’s a lifetime sentence.

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Comments

  1. The Government has moved onto forced MASS immigration/ Neo-colonisation of Australia.
    When will "our" government learn??.

  2. I was born in January 1967 & adopted by the nicest & loving family a kid hope for, I count myself lucky to be adopted. I never went searching for my birth mother, but I never blocked someone searching for me either & no one has 😔

  3. These facilities and services were only available to the well-off religious families. They had reputations to uphold. For a working class girl you could try and find someone to abort the pregnancy ..or just live with it.

  4. Sent to St Mary's? That sounds like they are a prisoner from the start? Why go there? Why do things like that?

  5. They weren't forcibly adopted. No one forced anyone to adopt a baby. The babies were forcibly surrendered.

  6. Would have appreciated more information on how forced adoption/forcibly removing newborn from mother was allowed to happen in the first place.

  7. There should be no status of limitations in cases like this.
    They should be compensated, both mothers and children, even fathers who would have been willing to take responsibility of the babies.
    How cruel !!

  8. The consent form assigned to bearing babies of the younger mums back to two generation time must be done by the church organizations to get the money from the want- to-be- parent couples. Such kind mishaps weren't made by our civilized government at all. No matter in which country, this phenomenon was all done by church. SHAME AND GROSS.

  9. And yet while 'STILL APOLOGISING' for this even today, they have now brought back in 'FORCED ADOPTION' again here in AUSTRALIA GRRRR!

  10. Children are still being kidnapped in Australia . Governments around the world are taking children. Why did you tell this story as if it is not happening now? There is a global epidemic of children being kidnapped by government employees for money. Here in the United States, child protection services acts as an adoption agency to fill orders for children that have become a commodity .

  11. This happened to my beautiful mother with her firstborn child in 1959. She was drugged and gave birth barely conscious, and was not allowed to look at her baby, or hold it. She wasn’t told it’s gender. (At a hospital in Sydney.)
    Sadly my mother died in 1995. She told my sister and I on her deathbed that she’d had a baby before we were born, she carried the grief and shame alone. I cannot imagine how she suffered, my heart still breaks for her loss.
    My sister and I found out we have an older sister somewhere, but we have never been able to find her.

  12. Viewed from the other side- I met my birth mother 40 years later- on two more visits to UK and a couple of months sharing some time in the Oxford countryside – I kissed her goodbye early in the morning I left for Heathrow– she passed away not long after I returned to Australia — I share this because it is possible to see some good- My Mother was not able to keep me as a single mum in immediate post war Britain- I had a far better life than she could have given me- My adoptive parents were open about it – and that was a big plus!

  13. Happened to my mom in 1964 in Canada.. Thanks to her father. Told her he died , healthy babies don’t die at 2 days.. my poor mom.. God bless

  14. Useless reporting,?WHY did this happen?. Lets face the realities not just a sad story with no action. This is what happens when religion puts its filothy hands on anything.

  15. This is still going on. it is widespread in the UK. Forced foster-care is also an issue. Family court system is failing as it relies on incompetent practice that is impossible to confront. Parents are suffering, kids are surviving.

  16. This happened to me in 1968 at Crown Street Women's Hospital Sydney. The social worker/child trafficker stamped my medical records with UB- (unmarried baby for adoption). She did not ask my permission or inform me that she had done this. When my baby was born, after a hideous thirteen hour labour, I had a pillow stuck in my face and my baby was snatched from the delivery table. It was clear that I wanted to see and hold my baby but the medical staff complied with the code. I have never seen my baby again and I have never recovered.

  17. unless you've been through this youll never know what its like to never know who you really are where you came from and miss out knowing parents and siblings ……..

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