From the 1950's until 2000 at least 150,000 women lost their children to forced adoption in Australia. This is part of my story, but its also the story of many other women who had the misfortune to be part of the social experiment of taking babies from unmarried mothers and giving them to so called "respectable" married couples to call their own. It was thought babies were like blank slates and would be unaware they were being raised by stranger families, but many adoptees felt totally out of place in their adopted families and most mothers who had lost their babies to adoption never got over their grief and trauma.
Adoption signatures were often taken with the mother heavily drugged and after she had been coerced and bullied into thinking she had nothing of any worth to give her child, whilst many adoptees grew up wondering if their mothers had abandoned them, without a backward glance.
These misunderstandings, plus the pain, shame, secrecy and lies adoption caused, made good reunions very difficult. For those seeking reunion, it often happened both sides would have very unrealistic expectations, searching for the "happily ever after" story of fairy tales, when in reality reunion was just the beginning of another chapter dealing with the aftermath of adoption.
I hope this video, made with the help of Catherine Marciniak from ABC Open, abc.net.au/open for the project "Separated", will create more understanding of the plight of young unmarried women during the forced adoption era. As soon as the single parent pension was introduced in Australia, women were able to keep their babies without having a supportive male in their lives and babies available for adoption, went into a steep decline. I also hope by exposing the inhumane cruetly and social cleansing practices of forced adoption, they will not occur again. Lina Eve
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