The founding of ARMS (Vic) part 2

You are here

It was by being part of organising the second National Adoption Conference that our small group of single mothers ensured that there were a number of relinquishing mothers from a range of states in attendance at the Conference. On day three, our small group called a meeting of anyone who had had the experience of relinquishment. It was an extraordinary moment, because in some small way we had become public. What was shocking was that we all had similar experiences – which at its essence, was the absolute denial of our right to have and mother the child to whom we had given birth. What an extraordinary freedom, to no longer feel alone and utterly shamed by the experience of not having been able to defend our child and our rights.

A week later we returned to our home states, agreed that we would set up state-based organisations that aimed to bring about legislative change to allow us access to information about our offspring, as well as changing the adoption laws to ensure that no mother in the future would be faced with the only choice of placing their child into a secret adoption, never to know their child again.

ARMS (Vic) has been supporting women who have lost their children to adoption for 30 years now. We are strong women, as well as vulnerable; and deeply wounded by society. We have had the courage of our convictions and in doing so have lived the truth that the personal is political. So, thirty years after we started, through the Victorian and National Apologies, we have finally had recognised that our personal prison was built by political and social forces and not by our own hands.

Courtesy of mothers Marie and Jo, ARMS.

 

Thirty years after we started, through the Victorian and National Apologies, we have finally had recognised that our personal prison was built by political and social forces and not by our own hands.