Relinquishing August 1972

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    When I told my parents that I was pregnant I was not prepared for their reaction. "Have an abortion!" "What will the neighbours think?" "You have to go away!" I spoke to the Social Worker at the Queen Victoria Hospital. She had no real interest in me or my plight. "Go to Sydney," she told me. She liaised with the Social Worker at The Royal North Shore Hospital, Triff Elliot. Elliot wasn't interested in me either. She placed me in a family with four children. I washed, cooked and cleaned for them until I went into labour. When I told the Social Worker I wanted to keep my baby she sent me to a psychiatrist. I gave birth alone. I was given drugs although I didn't want them. When I tried to see my little girl the midwife in the nursery physically tackled me in the doorway. The Social Worker arranged for my baby to be moved to another nursery to prevent me from seeing her. I was finally allowed to see her on the day I left hospital, September the 1st. I returned to Adelaide. My stepmother was pregnant. Her baby was due in November. There was an unspoken rule that I must not talk about my grief and loss. I became depressed and was referred to a psychiatrist. I was hospitalised and told that if I didn't 'get over it' I would have to be given shock therapy. I made a pretense of feeling better. My life, since then, has been generally a happy one but I shall never get over this event. My daughter and I did connect for a while but she no longer wants anything to do with me. Next week it is her birthday. I wish I could hold her in my arms. I pray that one day she will understand what I, and all of us who were coerced and manipulated, went through. I hope she knows how much I love her and mourn for her.


    I hope my daughter knows that I love her.