Losing My Daughter (part 9)

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Losing My Daughter
Page 9 of 18

During my stay in hospital I had daily visits from social workers, they bullied me about my refusal to sign the adoption papers they bought with them each time. These visits tired and upset me. I had no idea about my rights; I don’t think I knew what the word meant. I did not know any of the laws regarding me as a minor, or adoption. I was in no state to sign anything even if I wanted to when all is said and done. I was stressed beyond description. I was given Valium to help control my anxiety so that the doctor’s could get my blood pressure under control. The obstetrician gynecologist who had delivered my daughter was a wonderfully kind, humane man, who knew my plight more than I did, I suspect. He was supportive of me and said it was wrong of people to expect me to relinquish my daughter against my wishes.

I was moved from the intensive care bed to the maternity ward where I had access to my daughter when I wanted to. She slept in a small nursery during the day. I learned to bathe and care for her. I was terrified that she would be taken from there.

Because I was ill, I was kept in hospital for longer than normal. I recall the day before I was due to be released, that the social workers had come to tell me that unless I signed the papers for my daughter’s adoption, I would find the police waiting for me when I left. That I would be taken back to Mount Saint Canice. This was a terrifying notion to me and the reality of it was, that they could have done this to me.

One of the midwives who had been on my side said that she had seen the papers the social worker had women sign, and they were preliminary papers and that if I signed them, I could say I had changed my mind. That afternoon after thinking about this, I went downstairs to the social workers’ office and I told her that I would sign the papers. As it turned out there was a man there whom I was told was head of that area. He was very pleased that I had decided to sign the papers. He witnessed the paper I signed. I did not read it in detail. I was not given time and I am not sure I would have understood it. I saw it again as a copy when I was thirty-nine.

The paper was singed on the eleventh of January, nineteen sixty-seven. This man told me it was preliminary document and that more would need to be signed, but it was a start. I felt relieved that I would not be harassed again that day, as I knew I would be leaving the hospital on the next day. I want to make this very clear her that had I known that this was a final document I would not have signed it. My daughter's adoption is not a legal adoption. However, that's all a moot point after almost 48 years.


Losing My Daughter, continued.