There has been quite a bit of adoption buzz this week on forced adoption practices in Australia during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. The news culminated with yesterday’s public apology by New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell.
ABC News Australia reports that O’Farrell’s apology was this:
“We are sorry you’ve had to wait for so long for this apology. We know that you live with the consequences of those practices every day.
We are sorry for the forced adoption practices that severed the fundamental life-giving bonds between mother and child.
We apologise to the mothers who were not asked or listened to and who were never given a choice about the future of their children. We apologise for making you feel ashamed and unfit to care for your babies.
We say sorry for treating you cruelly and insensitively when what you needed and deserved most was care and support.
To the women who have carried the pain of loss, grief and separation throughout your lives, we say sorry.”
Well said, but woefully late and inadequate, the apology has served a greater purpose, in revealing the dirty reality of many adoptions. The news coverage surrounding the apology is an excellent opportunity to educate the general public on the horrors faced by unwed pregnant mothers in the mid-20th century. Not just in Australia, but in America as well.
I recently blogged on the Dan Rather report “Adopted & Abducted” which revealed forced adoption practices in America. Yes, women in our country were also strapped to beds, so they would not attempt escape with their babies. Women in our country were also drugged so that they would never know the gender of their babies. Women in the USA also had their hands held while they were forced to sign adoption papers.
Children were stolen in America, just as they were in Australia.
When will America apologize? Since our adoption practices/laws are governed by state agencies, and most of the forced adoptions of the 50’s-80’s were handled by religious agencies, don’t hold your breath!
Rather than an apology, my wish for all members of the adoption triad, whether forced or voluntarily separated, is for every state to open records for adult adoptees in search. Adoptees did not sign a relinquishment form, and it should be the civil right of every American adoptee to know their ethnicity, medical history, and roots.
So forget the apology America, we want justice.
Blessings for a speedy reunion,