Britain's Adoption Scandal

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Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby maisie » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:14 pm

Did anyone see the ITV programme last night on how unmarried mothers were made to give up their babies? There was a call for a Public Inquiry to be held. I remember myself feeling I had no right to keep my baby, and I was not informed about any help that might have been available to make it possible to keep my baby. I was one of the young women punished by being sent to an unmarried mothers' home and having to scrub floors and be lectured on how immoral I was. When my son was born he was taken away from me and I had no idea where he was, in fact I did not know if he was even dead or alive. Hospital staff and social workers were heartless in their attitudes towards us. I traced and met up with my son when he was 45 years old, we met on just one occasion, and since then only the occasional phone call and letter/card. We get on OK, but with no shared history it is difficult to get to know one another as we have led such very different lives. A Public Inquiry can do nothing to repair the enormous damage done to thousands of women and children, but it might just make it clearer to adoptees that they were wanted, it was not that women gave up their children willingly. I would like to hear what others thought of the programme and the idea of an Inquiry. Best Wishes to All
Maisie x
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby JJ » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:17 pm

Hi Maisie :)

Yes, I saw it. I was saddened and angered. I had no idea that financial help was actually available for these women - women who might have been able to keep their children had they been informed, instead of being chastised and force-fed religious propaganda. It was an absolute scandal and I think there should definitely be a public enquiry.

Of course, it wouldn't do anything much to help the people affected by this terrible treatment; the fact that both the church of England and the catholic church have retrospectively apologised will change nothing.

One of the women said words to the effect of she wouldn't consider herself worthy of an apology, if one was forthcoming. How completely heart-breaking.

It was thoroughly wicked, and I feel so sad for the families affected; for the women like you and my birth mother who lost their babies and for the babies like me who were taken.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone in authority who was involved at any level. Public enquiry? Bring it on.
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby maisie » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:23 pm

Thanks for understanding. It is indeed shocking that we were not told of the financial help available. I was in the Care system, no family to offer support, and still social workers did not inform me of any support available. I did what they said was best for my baby - give him a better life with a married couple. Though actually he did not have a good life with them. He was my only child. The experience was so traumatising that I could not bear to have more. You are right. A public inquiry would at least bring the complex issues into the public domain. The grief goes on an on for a lifetime. It was not something that could be forgotten the next day, as those in authority appeared to think. Very very sad. X
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby cleo » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:03 pm

Hi everyone

Thanks for posting the link for the scandal, i was able to watch the porgramme and it brought me to tears, and the pain reared up again. Even though i had my son at the end of the 70's the ss were still as unhelpful and i feel 'cold' towards my feelings

I was never told about any help fiancially or otherwise, all i was told was that the best thing would be to give up my baby to people who had good jobs, a home and stable lifestyle, where'as i had nothing to give......oh but i did, i had the love of a mother for her first born......

Even today i find birthmothers are kept in the dark about alot of things that happened, i was lead to believe that my son would be adopted in another part of the country, maybe even abroad...until 30+ years later i found out he only lived up the road from where i grew up and where my parents still live today.

How evil i think to myself, they knew he was adopted in the same area as me and for all i knew i could of walked past my son at anytime while out shopping and not even know it was him.....when i found this out it made me so sad and hurt.

Public enquiry....ok, but the damage is done and no apology will heal the hurt that we birthmothers bear, i don't think i could forgive the ss for the 'lies' they told. Yet as a young girl i believed in the authority, thinking i was doing the right thing......

Its a lifechanging episode in a young girls life, and one we have to live with until the day we die, we cannot forget, i still remember holding my son for a brief time before he was taken away from me, sadly i had no photo of him, and then the years of wondering if he was ok or not.

I have had no contact with my son for nearly 4 years now and its just so hurtful, i cannot describe the pain i feel somedays, i just wish
things were different.

Mega hugs to all out there
Last edited by cleo on Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby sylvie 1 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:39 pm

Hello everyone

This is just a short post because I can't do any more right now.

I just wanted to send all my fellow mothers of profound and unacknowledged loss a huge hug. Someone has heard us. Someone is saying 'this is not right'.

The solicitor in the programme above is Carolynn Gallwey at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors http://www.bhattmurphy.co.uk.

I wrote to her saying that I had not been told that help was available for me to keep my son, and that various other coercive methods had been applied to me when I was 16 (telling me my son would be better off without me; telling me to think of myself as just a vessel and the adoptive parents as the real parents, while I was 8 months pregnant).

I got a reply from a colleague of hers (C.Shannon@bhattmurphy.co.uk). She said they were trying to gauge the level of support for a public inquiry from adopted adults and birth parents, and have been speaking to people in order to gather evidence, either for possible reference at a public inquiry, or to try to persuade the Home Secretary of the need for such an inquiry.

Please consider emailing them with what you have written above. It's time our stories came out into the light. We were wronged, and our children were wronged.

Hugs to you all. I know you have suffered because I have suffered that same loss too x
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby cleo » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:03 am

Hi sylvie and maisie

I have just read the article from the link you gave, there is one bit that i am not sure will be of help here is a quote in their letter:

"But most importantly, they feel that an inquiry would acknowledge, for the benefit of birth mothers, their adopted adult children and their respective families, the
fundamental fact that a large number of these children were given away neither willingly nor freely."

The thing is when i had given up my son i remember that i had to sign a document (i do not know what it was exactly, all i know is it was the adoption papaers!!) and i know the ss said that once signed i was never to go and look for my son in the future that it was best for everyone what i was doing....

So where doe's that leave us legally, if we signed a paper, saying that we were giving up our child, can that be thrown back in our faces today if taken to court?

I'm not sure if it was the same in the unmarried mothers home, but i had my son at the hospital at the beginning of the 80's and the ss came to my parents home when i came out of hospital a few days after giving birth.
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby maisie » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:18 pm

Thanks Sylvie for the information.
I have emailed the solicitor with some of my experiences and details. It would be good if a public inquiry could open up awareness of how we were treated back in the day. I remember having to sign an adoption order in court but it was certainly not an informed decision on my behalf. I just did as I was told. Was too young and too frightened to argue with anyone in authority in those days. No one informed me that I would be affected for the rest of my life. I was told to put it behind me and get on with life, as if it were no worse than losing a parcel. Scandalous indeed. The unmarried mothers home bullied us into keeping our secret for decades. I still feel that shame in some situations even now. There are still many people who judge and do not understand the way things were. A public inquiry would go some way to putting that right. Though the ongoing pain of loss does not diminish.
Warm Wishes to everyone. x
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby cleo » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:30 pm

Maisie

I totally agree with you on many points, we were never told about what possiblities there were, we were made to feel ashamed that we got pregnant in the first place, i know i felt so ashamed that my parents only found out when i was nearly 8 months pregnant, i was the eldest of the family and i felt bought shame on them. Nobody knew what i was going through at such a young age; My parents, even to this day have never spoken about my pregnancy or even acknowlege that i have a son out there.

This morning i teared up again, asking myself why do i feel so much grief, like you said we were made to think that we would get over it, a banal incident that was shoved under the carpet. But we can never forget, and i think its made worse by reunion, when it goe's pear shaped and we are again rejected not by the system but by the very person we have longed to see and loved, hoping and praying that one day everything will be 'put right'......but its not, the pain deepens, how can you explain how you feel inside a deep pain that awaits to rear up and make you grieve over and over again. Are we worthy to be at peace?

I really thought this morning about coming back to see my parents and talk to them about what has been going on in my life the past 5 years, (with my son getting in contact with me) and how i have always felt a part of me was in limbo all these years, because all i can remember is having my son, holding him for a while, going home without him, then i remember being given a list for choosing a family out of 3 potential parents for him, being told that i was doing the right thing, and that i was still young and had my whole life in front of me. From then on, my life changed forever, i would never be the same. Even today i do not talk to anyone, sometimes feeling too ashamed to 'own up' to what happened to me in the past, apart from on here where i can 'let go' some of the pain i feel when it gets too much.

Hugs to you all
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby JJ » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:51 pm

Hi Sylvie

Thank you so much for this information. I have just now sent an email to the solicitor, and I will be sending a similar email to Amber Rudd tomorrow.

A formal apology needs to be made, and an admission that the methods used to convince women to part with their babies was cruel and should have been unlawful.

I'll post an update as soon as I get a response. JJ x
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby ladyarcher70 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:23 pm

My dearly loved b.mother is no longer here...... however though her story is slightly different, she too lost my full sister and myself to adoption in 1946 ....... she too was not told that even then, she could have had help. Had she been given help and information my sister and I would not have been brought up separately, and I only found her after a 40 year search, and sadly long after our mother had died.... Authorities of that day were just as sure that they 'knew best'.......in fact they were probably even more sure of it than those who came a few years later .....and the pressure, and lack of help and information, was just as strong then too....... so I may get in touch with the Solicitors that you mention....... 'cos the stories of we who were 'war babies' have our own twists and turns and injustice dealt out to us, and to our mothers.
LA70
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Re: Britain's Adoption Scandal

Postby JJ » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:25 pm

Just a quick update to say that so far I have received no acknowledgement of my email. I'll leave it a couple of weeks and re-send.
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