Losing my Daughter (part 11)

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Losing My Daughter
Page 11 of 18

They harassed me pretty much every weekday while my daughter was with me. On one occasion, the 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 worker had never forgiven me for ‘tricking’ her, as she called it, in the hospital and kept saying that it was only a matter of time before I went to court. I told her that I had changed my mind, and that I was going to keep my baby. The social worker slapped my face 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. (If this does not translate to some form of baby marketing then I don’t know what does.) She went on to say that I was a “hopeless slut” whom she wished had died giving birth. Her physical abuse of me was done in front of a policewoman who did nothing about her actions. I knew there was no use in complaining to anyone about her or my father’s physical and emotional abuse. I look back and I think: what sort of society did I live in? Was that social worker so desperate to take my child that she would knowingly let my child go to people whom in her own words not the best pick of her clients? That this could happen to me in my own country, in my own culture is unconscionable, and an indictment of the governments, both state and federal, that allowed this abuse to be perpetrated and continued to be so for many years against thousands of women.

There was a woman who lived in the room adjacent to me, who heard all this, the same woman I had been talking to the time my father had heard me saying I would never give up my baby. She was appalled by what she had seen and heard that day. She told me that she thought I would not have to give up my baby if I could support her. She said I should look in the paper each day for work. And she added that I should not answer the advertisements from men who said they wanted a housekeeper and who had no objection to a woman with a baby. These advertisements were quite common at the time.

 

Losing My Daughter, continued,