Adoption application St Anthonys

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    Adoption application St Anthonys

    15 February 1960

    Personal collection

    New South Wales, St Anthonys

    Institution documents

    These documents show how easy it was to be approved to adopt a child from St Anthonys in 1960 and that adoption was a comodification of babies to fill the needs of adopting parents. Even if you had already been rejected by the welfare department. All that was required for a Catholic adoption was to fill in the questionnaire, a letter from the priest and a letter from the Doctor. Other than filling in the application and one interview, the rest was done between St Vincent De Paul and Catholic solicitors behind closed doors. These 3 documents sealed my fate. To be a Replacement Child. They show that a private Catholic adoption could operate outside government eligibility criteria of the time. My Adoptive parents had been rejected by the welfare department as suitable prospective parents. Despite having 3 living children, they applied for a baby to replace their 19 month old daughter who had died as a result of burns sustained while unsupervised children played with matches. The second document is a record of the interview my adoptive parents had at St Anthonys. Contained in this document is my adoptive mother's medical history which documents her further 5 miscarriages and a full term stillborn baby after the loss of her daughter. How this adoption could ever have been approved is unbelievable, that a child could be taken from her mother and given to a woman to replace such incredible trauma and loss. The documents also contain notations by the mother superior Sister Wilfred at the bottom left hand corner of the application to adopt, with the stroke of her pen she sent me to fill an impossible void to a mentally unstable traumatised woman. This document shows that babies were commodities to fill the needs of adopting parents . How could this impossible legacy of loss which was FORCED on me as a baby could ever been considered in the best interests of the child. The application to adopt form also shows that you could object to a red haired child.

    Ann