|Image from here|
The practice of 'forced adoption' is another bleak moment in Australian history. Mothers were forced to give up their children because they were considered too young and the child was conceived out of wedlock. Imagine! Obviously this is a product of the time and the social norms of the day. We can be lucky that time has moved on.
My own family was enriched by a cousin who was adopted by my Uncle and Aunt.
The people I know who were adopted have handled their situations differently. Some have had to cope with a sense of abandonment from their parents, while others seem as happy in their skin and lot in life as anyone else. Three have said to me that the lack of insight into their family gene pool only influenced them when they were expecting children of their own. It was more of a lottery for them than it is for most of us.
We are lucky that the situation has changed and adoption is rare these days. Welfare policy changed in the 1970s making it possible for single parents to raise children. A women have choice now in the form of contraception and termination. Their bodies belong to them.
From a parenting perspective, adoption highlights a number of things for me.
Loving a child comes with the responsibility of rearing them. As soon as a child comes into your care, you start to love them. You care for them and you invest in them. You don't need to birth a child to love him/her to the moon and back.
Birthing a child and having him/her taken from you doesn't make you love the child any less. I don't think you would ever overcome the sense of loss that the separation would bring.
There are winners and losers in adoption. Forced adoption was meant to be a win, win, win social policy. There is no way that it was. Clearly the parents who were forced to give up their precious bundles lost, but it is my hope that most of the children remained firmly in the winners corner, finding love in their new families.
How do you feel about the public apology?