I am still trying to finish reading the actual Australian Senate Inquiry into Forced Adoptions Report. Here are a few articles from Australia that speak to it. Sex, lies and adoption and Lessons from the past – adoption isn’t the answer to child protection and Joint call for nation to apologise over forced adoptions.
Yet Australia was just one of many countries during this era where society and religious institutions all worked together to “shame” the mother. To limit her options to one and only one choice – surrender. A time most of us cannot even begin to imagine because we were to young to understand the harsh realities our mothers faced. Yet how they were treated was so far beyond inhumane that I cannot even find the words to begin to give it justice. Australia is the first country to my knowledge to do this type of in-depth assessment at the government level of what really happened to our mothers. It is time countries like Canada and the US and countries in Europe to find the truth and apologise. Make it a part of documented history and talk about it, write about it, teach about it.
We all need to keep talking to make sure that type of society never gains a stronghold again. Right now the stirrings of that same mentality are present and it scares me. The old term “unwed” mothers has made a very unpleasant comeback. The rhetoric of shaming the mother by applying a label and at the same time not labeling the father as an “unwed” father rather just a father, clearly identifies to me the intent and intentions of bringing back the term and applying it to todays mothers.
Read the article from The National Post in Canada and read the comments as well – that mentality is snaking its way into Canada as well: Curtain lifts on decades of forced adoptions for unwed mothers in Canada.
Karen Lynn was 19 when her mother sent her to a home for unmarried pregnant women in Clarkson, Ont., in 1963. There, she was known as Karen No. 1 to protect her family’s reputation, and said it was clear she would not have been allowed to stay there if she did not agree to an adoption. A year later, Sharon Pedersen was 20-years-old when she was drugged and tied to her bed during labour and then shown four different babies through the nursery window at a hospital in Victoria, she said.
She ultimately signed adoption papers at the local children’s aid society, she said, but not before social workers held a pen in her hand and threatened to call the police because she was screaming and throwing furniture in protest.
Similar accounts have begun to emerge across Canada, and there is now a growing movement calling on the federal government to probe this country’s historic adoption practices. Many decades have passed, and many women have since reunited with their sons and daughters, but they are speaking out against what they say were coerced and forced adoptions.
Not every unmarried mother was coerced or forced into giving up her child, but the women going public today are not alone.
Their stories sound eerily like the hundreds of testimonies submitted to a recent Australian inquiry into adoption from the 1950s to the early-1980s, and last month an Australian Senate committee urged the government to apologize to the “many parents whose children were forcibly removed” from their care.
Finally, I need to take a moment for a mini rant on the “ad” that was placed directly below the title in the link “Joint call for nation to apologise over forced adoption” at the top of this post. “Have a Baby in 12 Months” “Surrogate Mothers allow you to bond before birth & protect your rights!” REALLY? Just under the title of an article on the Senate Inquiry into Forced Adoptions? The inquiry that also included Adult Adoptees…just seems incredibly tacky to me…