Anyone watching the adoption scandal on itv?(26 Posts)
So terribly sad. These people were monsters, who could be so callous as to treat another human being in that way.
Yep this is alwful! How they were seen and treated and just expected to move on and get over it
It was so sad how could parents force this upon their own daughters, totally heartbreaking.
Very sad. Was watching it with my teen daughter who can't feels this has just confirmed her opinions on religion. Much of the worse cruelty came from the church.
I watched it too. I got pregnant at aged 22 in 1966 and was not married. I didn't want to marry the father as he was a big drinker and had a bad temper. I was one of the extremely lucky ones, as my parents were just totally accepting of my situation. I remember my mom came with me to the GP to confirm the pregnancy and on the way home she put her arm around me and said it would all be all right - not one word of reproach. I was the youngest of 4 girls and the others were all married with their own children. And we were a Catholic family - practising - catholic schools, mass every Sunday etc.
The GP mentioned going to a Mother and Baby home but I didn't really know what he was talking about (I think I must have been a bit dim in those days!) I did go to see someone called a Moral Welfare Worker who was extremely nice, very kind and we talked about adoption and I said that was what I wanted, even though I knew I didn't really - was just very confused.
I had my son in the local maternity home and some of the staff (as women said in the film tonight) were horrible to me. One was called (would you believe.........Sister Dick (!) and when I said the pain was bad she spat at me "you should have thought of that before you fornicated" - she then told me I was going to be in the labour ward all day and all night and all the next day so I'd better get used to the pain, and my son was born 2 hours later. The awful woman must have known I was close to giving birth..................my mom and sisters came and my mom told me that she and my dad had bought the pram! I couldn't have been happier - I fell in love with my baby (like we do) and took him back home. He was an amazingly sleepy baby and my mom took over a lot of the care so I was very lucky and my sisters were always on hand. My dad joked that the house should be turned into a nursery.
Then I did the most stupid thing of all - and when my son was 3 months old I married the father. I wasn't under any pressure, I just didn't think it was fair on my parents, as my dad had just retired and they'd bought all of us up and there were loads of grandchildren. We bought a house very near to my parents so I saw them every day, but I'd made a huge mistake. The H was often drunk and had an awful temper and knocked me around physically. I left him when my son was aged 2 and went back home. Later I met a lovely man with whom I have spent the last 45 years..
I felt desperately sorry for the women in the film tonight and it was so evident how the pain never goes away. I think people did actually believe that these young mothers would simply forget about the baby and move on with their lives, and maybe some of them did, but I think they would be in the minority.
Magic I loved reading your story. I wish more young mothers had had such wonderful parents as yours. I was born in 1966 and my mum was pretty much forced to give me up by her own mum. She in fact kept me for 6 weeks and then I went into a catholic children's home til I was adopted at 2 years old. I met my birth mum at 21 years old and we had a close relationship until her death from cancer at 70. She always said she wished she'd kept me. Very sad, but we found each other eventually.
Magic, your parents sound like truly wonderful people
Such interesting stories.
I was also born in 66 and cannot imagine how different my life could have been. My mum was 21 but married to a loser.
I had ds at 16 and although it was tough, everyone was very nice to me apart from one nurse who insisted on giving me an enema then shaving me BEFORE I'd been to the loo 😳 She was hideous to me.
this I'm so glad you met your mum. It was so sad to hear that ladies dd had no interest in meeting her. Tragic.
It was so sad. I was born and adopted during that era. My BM was foreign, although I was conceived and born in England. Heaven knows what it must have been like for her, I believe she hadn't told her family back home about her pregnancy. She was taken to a Catholic adoption society by a female friend (or relative) of my BF (I think) and sent to a Catholic mother and baby home. I have no idea whether she was coerced into it or just thought she had no choice - she was 24.
Fru - Obviously I don't know the details of your mother's situation but I can honestly say that young unmarried mothers were most definitely coerced into giving up their babies. I also believe that the catholic nuns were particularly punitive and believed that the young mother had sinned and had no right to keep her child. I thought the women in the TV programme put it across very well, how they had no opportunity to keep their baby and their distress all those years on, was obvious to see.
I know that nuns often told young mothers that if they didn't sign the adoption paper they would be sent to a mental home. They were wicked women as far as I'm concerned. Have you ever read "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" - maybe worth reading and you will see how the nuns "sold" children to America and told lies to the birth mother who was searching for her child (long before the law allowed this to happen) The other book that you might want to read is "Empty Cradles" - this tells the story of British children in children's homes shipped to Australia and many were abused - the British government obviously sanctioned this and the children were very young (around 5 - 10 years) The scandal was uncovered by a social worker Margaret Humphries and she wrote the book. It was later made into the film "Oranges and Sunshine" - at least we've moved on so that these things will never happen again.
Thisisnotreallyme so sad that your mom had to give you up and it's difficult to imagine the horror of having to hand over your tiny baby. I suppose you can't altogether blame your grandmother (or maybe you do) because attitudes were SO different in those days, and many families thought it brought shame on the family. I had a close friend who was also pregnant and unmarried at the same time as me and her mother would have let her keep the baby but her father was adamant that she was NOT bringing the baby home - he was very old fashioned and very much the "boss" and there was nothing for it - the baby had to be adopted. We lost touch but I met up with her many years later by chance and she'd married and had another child but suffered PND for a long time. Thing was she didn't blame her father, just accepted that's how it was. I know her mom suffered at the loss of her grandchild but obviously didn't feel she could stand up to her husband.
I'm so glad you managed to find your mom and had some happy times together.
Magic. Sadly I've long been aware that she felt she had no choice. I do not blame her nor do I feel any resentment or feelings of rejection.
This was over half a century ago. Her job was 'live-in', perhaps an au pair? No doubt she would have been dismissed once she was pregnant. So she would have been pregnant, unmarried, jobless and homeless - in a foreign country.
Perhaps she could have gone back to her own family in her own country. But the fact she didn't probably indicates that she wouldn't have been welcomed with open arms - pregnant and unmarried.
I guess she went with the only option she thought was open to her.
to you all.
I have been thinking about watching this on catch up but don't know if I can. I am 14 weeks pregnant and already love my little one so much, I can't imagine someone forcing me to give them up and what these poor mothers went through
Some years ago I found the mother & baby home where my mother was. By a complete and total coincidence it is less than 3 miles from where we live now. It wasn't a M&B home by the time we found it. But very weird to go there - it was being redeveloped into flats and the builders let us have a wander round the big house.
Apologies if my earlier posts have been a tad short - I hate MNing from my iPad.
Anyway, back on the laptop now.
Magic, I only became aware, a few years ago, of the Australian scandal which Margaret Humphries uncovered - simply because I watched the film you mentioned. Utterly, utterly heartbreaking.
I was very lucky with a happy adoption, fortunately.
I'm one of the women who took part in the documentary.
We were all bullied and shamed into letting them take our babies, believing we had no other choice and that no support or help was available.
Talking about it has been very difficult and it is still painful to think about it. It is a relief that the stories are now more out in the open, but to get a public inquiry we have to keep the issue in the public eye.
Thank you for all the sympathetic comments.
DDS, my heart goes out to you. And how brave of you to take part in that programme.
Oh DDScribbler - I'm so sorry you were treated so badly. It was really brave of you to participate in the programme. It was heartbreaking to watch but such an important story that needs to be told.
Magic - so glad you have such a supportive family.
I've just watched this on catch up,and being a adopted child myself in 1959 it's broke my heart to think my birth mother had no say in my adoption, i never understood why I was put up for adoption until now!!! As a parent myself , and now also a Nanna to my beautiful 7 year old granddaughter I cannot begin to understand the pain these mothers have been through or had to live with for all these years..I've often thought I should contact my birth mother but felt guilty towards my adopted parents should I do so, the effect from this goes deep within all parties, but I've always never felt 'whole' as if 'something's missing' bless my birth mother where ever she is xx
Thank you for bringing my attention to the documentary.
The ladies in the program were beautiful souls and Im sorry they know such pain and heartbreak.
DD, I wish all of you peace of heart one day.
Thank you for your comments - FruJustFru, Geretrude, Stella1959 and ohdearme1958 - it means a lot to know the message got out enough to have informed, moved and reached a wider audience.
There are still times when I feel excruciatingly awful about the whole thing. Not sure that will ever go, but just knowing we don't need to hide our "terrible secret" any more is like... having more space to breathe.
Stella - that 'missing' feeling goes both ways. It is hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it. If you want to find your natural mother, I would hope that your adoptive family would understand.
The other awful thing about these forced adoptions was that the adopters were not given any advice about telling the child he/she was adopted, right from a very early age, so that they grew up knowing their life story. Do you mean Stella that seeing the programme gave you the awareness of the truth of why you were adopted? It was I think thought to be the best thing but the number of adoptees who found out from some kid at school, or a friend who'd heard it from her mother etc. Even then many of them put it to the back of their minds, but like you Stella say they grew up knowing there was something not quite right. Many adoptees only found out when the adoptive parents died and they found the paperwork about their adoption. I was a social worker for some 30 years (now retired)and so saw the "triangle of adoption" - birth mother, adoptee and adoptors. Some adoptees were angry that they had never been told the truth, especially when it turned out (as was often the case) that other members of the family knew about the adoption.
DD what can I say - there are no words of comfort really for the way you and hundreds of other young women were treated, but the cruellest thing of all was the loss of your beloved child. Time doesn't always heal and whilst the hurt might fade, it is something that you will take with you to the end of your life.
DDScribbler..hope your ok, any advice you could give me in trying to contact my birth mother? I was adopted from Leeds general hospital at 6 weeks old, I'm assuming my adoptive mother will have adoption papers! but I'm struggling to find the words, right time to ask her xx
Stella, you don't have to ask your mum - you can apply for your adoption records yourself. Maybe Magic can point you in the right direction of where to make a start? Although this is a useful link www.gov.uk/adoption-records
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