I had my baby 27 days after my 17th birthday

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I had my baby 27 days after my 17th birthday in 1974, my boyfriend didn’t see a baby in his plans. I moved with my parents to Sydney while I was pregnant so I also lost my friends. I thought I would be able to keep my baby but the social workers kept telling me it was unrealistic for me think I could do that since I had been asked to leave school, I had no income and no single mothers pension in those days, I had never worked and shouldn’t expect my parents to keep us. They also told my parents not to interfere in my decision which meant that we found it difficult to discuss as a family. With no positive encouragement on options to keep my baby I was very easy to manipulate.

After I had my baby I wasn’t allowed to see him and they moved me from Crown Street to an annex in Bronte with other single mothers, the baby stayed at the hospital. I don’t know if I was drugged but I find it hard to remember the specifics from that time, I know I wouldn’t sign the papers until they let me see him, they took me back to the hospital but I wasn’t allowed to hold him, they didn’t tell me he was sick, I didn’t find that out until I met him years later. I had never forgiven myself for not fighting harder to keep him but attending the adoption apology day helped me realise that it would have been near impossible to oppose a system that was working against me from the start.

I’ve been lucky to meet my son and he is now part of my life.

 

I had my baby 27 days after my 17th birthday in 1974, my boyfriend didn’t see a baby in his plans.