The Double Whammy

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    Jennifer  

    New South Wales, Sydney & Wollongong

    I am adopted as well as having my first child a son removed from me to be placed for adoption. I don't know many details of my own adoption except that the adoption consent was signed by my mother the day after I was born - not the required legal time for such signing.
    My son was born in nWollongong hospita december 1973. My adoptive parents informed me from the start that this child would be placed for adoption - who was I to fight this as I was adopted & had grown up with parents that showed little love for me. While pregnant I lived with my brother & his wife who were the most loving & supportive people known to me. My parents didn't want me near their place & friends due to the embarrassment I caused.
    My health care was provided by a local GP who was well connected to the Wollongong hospital at the time. He advised me on numerous occassions that if I ever changed my mind about the adoption that he would do everything in his power to change it back to adoption. I never felt I had any rights as well.
    I was also referred to the social worker at the time at the local hospital. She was kind but provided me with every possible reason as to why I should not keep my baby. At no time did she advise me of any social support services to assist me financially to do so. The basic message I received from her was that I would be a 'bad' mother if I kept my child.
    On entering hospital in labour it became quickly clear that the wheels were in motion to ensure the adoption went ahead. There were constant statements from the nursing staff referring to the impending adoption and I felt so alone being left by myself in fear of the inevitable as well as what was going to happen at birth. I was advised I would not be allowed to see my baby at birth - he was quickly wrapped and whisked away from me while my doctor contined with the post birth procedure.
    Foe 5 days I lay in a bed with 3 other women who nursed and cared for their babies while I watched on too afraid to say or do anything. I would normally take a shower at feeding time. I asked to leave the hospital but was told the police would be called as that meant I was abandoning my baby. I had to sign those adoption papers before I could leave and they needed to wait the required number of days.
    The morning of the day to sign the papers was horrendous and I sat waiting for the lady to arrive with them. I was taken to a waiting room & handed the papers. I was told I could see my baby once I had signed - not before. This I couldn't do and regret it although I don't know at the time how I would have handled it. At no time was I advised about the time frame to revoke the adoption. I just assumed that once I signed that was it.
    I wasn't drugged in order to get me signature but the psychological pressure placed on me by so many meant that I was too scared not to do as they told me at all times. I was afraid of them all - they were professional people who had the law on their side and I was just dameged goods.

     

    You cannot take a chil;d from its mother and not expect that child or mother to 'get on with life'. There is damage done to both for the rest of their lives. They will experience a range of issues including detachment, poor self worth, anger, resentment, denial & often an inability to commit to others.