Monday, August 8, 2011

For a Better World

In light of the recent activity regarding our countries 'Senate Inquiry' into the Commonwealth's role with forced adoption practices taking place as early as the 1940s through to the late 1970s, I felt there is some urgency to express the vast difference between those 'forced adoptions,' of yester-year  compared with adoptions taking place throughout our country today.
Firstly here is an excerpt from a UK Newspaper - the Telegraph, on what may be the start of apologies yet to come concerning Australia's forced adoptions;

It is estimated that more than 150,000 young women across Australia had their children taken away at birth without their consent, often never to be seen again.

Women subjected to forced adoptions in Catholic-run hospitals have described being shackled and drugged during labour and prevented from seeing their children being born or holding them afterwards.
Many said their children had been earmarked for forced adoption well before birth and they were told they could not oppose the decision.
Following an investigation into the practise by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Catholic Church issued a national apology, saying its history of forced adoptions was “deeply regrettable”….
Juliette Clough was 16 when she gave birth to her son in a Catholic hospital in 1970.
“My ankles were strapped to the bed, they were in stirrups and I was gassed, I had plenty of gas and they just snatched away the baby,” she told the ABC.
“You weren’t allowed to see him or touch him, anything like that, or hold him and it was just like a piece of my soul had died and it’s still dead.”…
The women claim they were never told about their right to revoke consent for adoption, or the fact that they could claim single parent benefit.
As well as issuing an apology, the Catholic Church has called on the government to establish “a fund for remedying established wrongs” and a national programme to help mothers and children who were harmed by the forced separations.
It's shocking that our very own country's government played a role in allowing such practices to take place, and even more shocking that innocent young women and their babies were robbed of what could have otherwise been happy futures. together  The decisions made have no doubt embedded long term extreme effects which will haunt all those concerned and personally affected.  However, adoptions of today cannot be likened with those of the past; there just not the same.  While I understand and respect all the individual opinions - especially from those who have been personally touched through such prior practices, it would be unfair for anyone to assume that babies placed for adoption today have been done through force.  Adoptions within our country ARE without any hesitation carried out with both the birth mother's and the pending babies interests being paramount.  Yes, we can all argue that adoption is not the child's choice and how can we say it is done with their best interests held at heart when we couldn't possibly speak for that child and for what they may want; but isn't that the case with any child whether they are adopted or not.  As parents we are responsible for making the best choices possible for our children at all stages of their lives.  A mother considering adoption for her baby in today's society is given choices- choices she gets to make - not the government; not the churches; not the hospitals - in fact she is given every opportunity to make alternative choices other than adoption; adoption being the last most favorable choice to enter into.  And then, if the mother does decide to choose adoption, she is then encouraged to play as much of a role within that child's life as possible.  Adoption today is not baby stealing - that's just ludicrous to suggest and shows no compassion for all those involved with an adoption placement.  It's not about money either; in fact the adoptive parents are faced with all expenses; none which the birth parent is made responsible for. 
And lets not forget the vast difference between local adoption and overseas adoption.  Here, the same outcomes are hoped for; to provide a better life and world for those children to grow amongst.  Why would anyone want any less for a child and why sacrifice a childs life based on what happened in the past?   Awareness is what is called for.  Our nation needs to understand both past and present adoption practices and through understanding maybe we can move on and help those most vulnerable - the child.  Visit and support adoption awareness today. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meredith, could you post this link in relation to the AIFS study into past adoption experience. It is relevant to you as well as others you know