Thread: #forcedadoption #babysnatching

So the formal Government apology from PM Gillard for previous generation’s policies of kidnapping babies born to unwed mothers and putting them up for adoption without maternal consent is about to happen. I just wanted to note an important social justice moment.

P.S. the Welcome to Country and opening speech reminding everybody of the particular example of the Stolen Generations is an important note on which to start.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, parenting, social justice

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4 replies

  1. I can’t imagine what those mothers went through, it must have been soul destroying. Also for Aboriginal families deliberately broken up and separated. I can’t believe that it was done by good but misguided people. They knew exactly what they were doing.

  2. They had some of these stories on the ABC news website today and they are pretty wrenching. A couple of them made a point I’d never thought about, which is that this did not just affect the mother and child directly involved, but also any children that woman might have had later.
    Of course the apology was probably rather overshadowed by what happened later in the afternoon. Nice timing, Simon Crean…

  3. I wish that the PM would call a Presser in the morning and re-iterate the apology, so that those families could have their time in the sun again.

  4. My mother got involved in the adoption cause here in WA when I was around eight or nine, and stayed involved in it until about my mid-twenties (when her first grandchild came along). During that time, I learned a lot about how forced relinquishment hurt so many people on all sides of the adoption triangle – the relinquishing mother and their family; the adoptees who never knew anything about their birth families and never knew the reasons behind their relinquishment; the adopting parents who wanted to know something of the family their adopted children came from; the adopting parents who were deeply hurt by their adopted children going in search of their birth families; the relinquishing parents who were deeply hurt by their adopted children refusing contact; the adoptees who were deeply hurt by their birth parents wanting to refuse contact. All the different ways people could be hurt by the pointless bureaucracy, the inflexible regulations, all the ways that the phrase “in the best interests of the child” could be used as a cover-up for petty cruelties.
    It was the one point of equality between white women and indigenous women caught up in the forced adoption system – I know of at least one relinquishing mother who pointed out quite bluntly that she had no extra sympathy for the parents of the Stolen Generations, because she’d been put through the same damn experience herself.
    All this pain, and most of it needless. Altering the laws was a good start to making change. The apology the WA state government gave a few years ago was an acknowledgement the old system didn’t work. Now we need to know whether the new system works any better.

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