Doctor Wants Women

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My mother’s consulting doctor, an American born in 1882 with skilled networking techniques, began his medical career after arriving in Australia in August 1908, aged 24. During the immediate post-World War 2 period this Melbourne-based entrepreneurial adoption consultant admitted to providing over 600 children for adoption by 1951, a preposterous number for a Middle Park consulting doctor’s practice?

The law caught up with that doctor in July 1951 when he was charged for supplying information that led to an illegal abortion in a private home in Camberwell, a Melbourne suburb. The case was reported in The Argus of July 1951 and heard at Malvern Court. The accused said that he had wanted the girl to have the baby adopted but provided the contact with abortionists at the request of parents who wanted to '... protect the family name.'

In immediate post-war Australian society, women with concerns about unplanned pregnancies births were kept secret. Once discovered, the younger women were often labelled as good-time girls, sluts, unfit mothers and one-night stands, but many women who became pregnant were in relatively long-term relationships.

And, in the blare of salacious publicity about Victory Girls, it is often forgotten that there was another large group of women looking to terminate a pregnancy or have an infant adopted. These were the more mature women, married or separated, and many living on the edge of poverty. These were the women whose families couldn’t afford another child, or they were married women escaping domestic violence; and the society that was producing these desperate women would not support them, be it morally, emotionally or financially. They were fodder for unscrupulous adoption agents and abortionists.

On the other hand, the wealthy always had a way of getting around their problems; and their morals were beyond reproach.

 

My mother’s consulting doctor, an American born in 1882 with skilled networking techniques, began his medical career after arriving in Australia in August 1908, aged 24.