Losing My Daughter (part 8)

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Losing My Daughter
Page 8 of 18

I was made to feel ashamed. My level of knowledge about the world was virtually non-existent, and I had no ability to process what was happening to me. There was no one to advocate for me, in fact, the whole social welfare system as it impacted me was geared to part me from my child, as if I was a person unfit to have my own child. That the best thing I could do for this child was to give her to decent people who could raise her to a life of respectability. These words were to be said to me for days on end. There was no counseling for me. I heard only “just do this or else”.

I was fortunate in that there were some wonderfully kind and progressive midwives in training in the hospital at the time. They were from Queensland and they sang lovely songs on their shift. They were respectful of me and encouraged me to keep my baby. One of them made sure I registered her in my own name and went so far as to put the news of her birth in the paper. Looking back I would not allow this now, as it was like a red rag to a bull to my father who just about blew up when he saw it.

These midwives made sure I had formula and some hospital clothes for my daughter. They told me she had won three months worth of formula in a Nestlé’s competition, but I knew they had staged this. My daughter had too many bruises to win any competition. My own milk was not as forthcoming as it should have been. It could be that this was due to my illness and medication, I am not sure, but supplemental formula was necessary. The social workers who were harassing me to sign adoption papers were so angry when they saw me breast-feeding my baby. They actually made a complaint. I was given medication to suppress my lactation, but again, the midwives who were trying to help me keep my child told me not to take the medication if I wanted to feed my daughter. So I refused it. I have to ask at this point, at what level were mine or my daughter’s human rights protected or respected, when people hungry to have me adopt my child like a brood mare, would deny her my milk, and me the ability to feed her. Up until the matter of the lactation suppressant medication, I had taken the medication I was given, because I was told I needed it. I began to ask what I was being given from that time on. Shame on those who were part of this deception. Shame on the government both State and Federal that allowed these practices. These are unlawful practices and the State of Tasmania should accept full accountability for them.


Losing My Daughter, continued.