Informed Consent?

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In 1971 and 16 years old I became pregnant. I was sent away from home for my confinement. I stayed at McBride’s Maternity Home in Medindie and later at St Joseph’s Fullarton.

There was no supporting parent’s benefit until 1973.

My baby boy was born at the Queen Victoria hospital in Fullarton. After he was born he was taken away from me. I was placed in a ward with five other mothers who all had their babies with them. I was traumatised by what I had experienced. The nurse in charge was insensitive and demanded to know what was wrong with me?

I experienced emotional and physical damage six weeks later in the out-patient’s department. The residual affects I encountered because of what happened to me then has taken many years to overcome.

In January 1972 I attended the State Welfare Office to sign the ‘Consent to Adoption’ papers. I was still legally underage and therefore was accompanied by my father. I was taken into a separate room from him for the consent to adopt process. There was a 30 day period during which I could change my mind. When I tried to do this I was promptly told off. I felt powerless to pursue the matter.

I did not make an informed decision to part with my baby. I was coerced and manipulated.

When I accessed my Medical records and Adoption papers under Freedom of Information I uncovered lies and illegal practices.

I have been on a Contact Register for a possible reunion since 1981 however there is a veto in place.

I am sustained and nourished by the Post Adoption Counselling process and a meaningful spiritual life.

 

I did not make an informed decision for the adoption of my baby; this has meant life- long grief which increases with each passing year.

Other Experiences