All posts tagged: forced adoption

Adopting a Spirit of Adoption

What do John Lennon, Moses, Faith Hill and my Aunt Jenny have in common?  Nelson Mandela, Truman Capote, Sarah McLachlan, Steve Jobs, Edgar Allan Poe and Superman also share the commonality. They were adopted. Friday will mark one year since then Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised for the scourge that was forced adoption.  For the victims – the mothers, fathers, children, siblings and extended family affected by the practice of forced adoption carried out in Australia from the late 1950s to the 1970s – it was a landmark day.  I hope that each anniversary brings deeper healing for these individuals, and that it opens our eyes to the ongoing issue of providing appropriate care for children. There are 13 million children around the world who are without both parents and 120 million who have just one carer who usually struggles to provide for that child (UNICEF). In Australia, 39,621 children are in out-of-home care and 18,000 are in foster care waiting for permanent care solutions.  Yet, in 2012, only 70 Australian children were adopted (Australian …

Scourge on Society: Forced Adoptions One Generation, Abortion the Next

THE issue of forced adoptions has been the focus of a senate committee for the past 18 months and on Wednesday, the Community Affairs committee tabled its final report (Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices). I’ve been reading some of the 418 submissions, mostly from women forced to adopt their child after falling pregnant out of wedlock. These vignettes of a cruel practice perpetuated through the 1950s-1970s are utterly heart wrenching. One woman, pregnant at 18, wrote; “I will feel forever sad and sorry that I didn’t have the gumption or strength of character to be able to stand up for myself and my daughter. This is how you felt. You were so bad, so troublesome, so undeserving. What would a frightened, downtrodden and shamed young girl have to offer her child, where would she start? I could not fight my family or the society’s values at that time.” Another recalls; “I’d lie in bed every night with my arms wrapped around my baby inside of me knowing that I would never hold him after birth. I’d feel his …