Losing My Daughter

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In January of nineteen sixty seven, I relinquished my baby daughter for adoption. She was born on the twenty ninth of December 1966. I was sixteen at the time of her birth and unmarried.

Although I was determined to keep her, the various people who had control over my lfe made this impossible for me. I lived in fear of my father, who threatened to kill us both. I was harrassed and bullied by soical welfare officers and the police. I had very little food.

I managed to take my daughter from the hosipital, but was told by my landlady that she, as a "basatard" would not be welcome and that we had to leave.

My life was made intolerable. I was visited pretty much every weekday my daugher was with me. On one occasion, a policewoman complimented me on my nails. Saying they were lovely, and that I kept my baby clean. I asked her very innocently why I shouldn’t have nice nails and why I would not keep my baby clean. She took this to be abusive to her, and she said “Enough from you, I can take that baby here and now of you don’t mind your manners.” I was afraid and shocked. The social kept saying that it was only a matter of time before I went to court. This same social worker slapped my face on one occasion, and said I had made life very hard for her because she had some lovely parents lined up for my daughter. She went on to tell me that she would get my baby in the end, but I should be ashamed because I had stopped her from being adopted by the best of her “parents” since my baby was not newborn and was not as attractive to prospective adopting parents. She went on to say
That I was a ‘hopeless slut’ whom she wished had died giving birth.

That this could happen to me in my own country, in my own culture is unconscionable, and a shame upon the governments, both state and federal, that allowed this abuse to be perpeted.


My experience as a young unmarried mother aged 16, in 1969, defies belief as I sit writing this in the year 2014.
None the less, it remains the case, that my child among hundreds of others, were forceably taken from mothers like me, because we werer seen to have no rights.
One does not forget.