Reading this article about forced adoptions left me shaking my head.
It’s not that I’ve never heard of young, unwed pregnant women of a certain era being “sent away” to have and give up their babies. It’s just that I never thought it out any further than that. I never considered what this might look like, or feel like, for each individual girl/woman who endured it.
Dan Rather has been interviewing hundreds of women around the globe who were victims of forced adoptions from the 1940s and right on through to the 80s. The end result of these interviews, an exposé of sorts, will be aired on HDNet in May.
From Australia to Spain, Ireland to America, and as recent as 1987, young mothers say they were “coerced”, “manipulated”, and “duped” into handing over their babies for adoption. These women say sometimes their parents forged consent documents, but more often they say these forced adoptions were coordinated by the people their families trusted most…priests, nuns, social workers, nurses or doctors.
The stories these women relay tell of unethical mistreatment: exile, coercion, deceit, betrayal, humiliation, drugging, kidnapping, shaming, and verbal abuse. Some were even told their babies had died. It all sounds like the kind of nightmare you pray you will wake up from.
From a mother’s point of view, I am longing to know, nowhere is it mentioned in the article, what part the girls’ parents played in these scenarios. How complicit were they? Did they have any idea what kind of pain they were putting their daughters through, and was it worth it to avoid the shame and embarrassment and dirty looks from the neighbors? How many of them had the courage to stand up for what should have been their daughters’ rights?
And what was the underlying motivation of the people who ran these homes for unwed mothers, some of which sound like baby-stealing operations? Was it purely greed, or did they believe they were doing the right thing?
During the interviews, Rather’s team asked the women to describe, in one word, their birth experience. Here’s what they got: “sad, trauma, barbaric, devastating, horrifying, tragic, torture, shattering, decimated.”One woman needed two words, “soul rape.”
Reading about forced adoptions drew my attention to a website called A Girl Like Her, the official site for a documentary film on this very topic, unwed mothers of the 40s, 50s and 60s. The film, made by Ann Fessler, is making its world premier debut in April.
You can view the trailer here.
According to Fessler, between 1945 and 1973, 1.5 million women in the United States lost their children to adoption.
Putting a child up for adoption must be challenging enough when it is done willfully, but to have adoption forced on you seems beyond cruel.
I have no idea how I would react if my teenaged daughter got pregnant. I sincerely hope I would have the strength and integrity to put her needs before mine.
Can you imagine being forced to give birth to and then give up your child? What would you do if your too-young daughter got pregnant?
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”
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