Separation Trauma

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I was born in 1962 at the Royal Women's and Children's Hospital in Brisbane. My mother was 35 years old, a widow and raising four other children whose ages ranged from 7 to 12 years at the time. My mother gave birth to a boy four years prior, but Child Welfare had threatened to take her four boys as well as ‘the baby’ if she did not adopt it out, so my brother was taken for adoption. When she fell pregnant with me she was terrified that the welfare workers would return take her children, so she sought out a doctor to perform an abortion. The doctor refused, so my mother’s daily life was filled with the greatest of fear of having all her children taken.

I contemplate why my natural mother considers abortion to be a far better option than adoption due to the extent of trauma adoption inflicts. In her letter she shared how nurses and social workers harassed, belittled and intimidated her calling her names demanding she get a job and buy new furniture. My mother clearly stated that she wished to keep us both but was prevented in doing so. Her ability to cope with such loss was to cling to the belief that we would be loved and provided for beyond her capabilities. In fact it was the strongest argument raised by social workers and hospital staff at the time.

My mother never held me, never saw my face
I never felt her comforting arms, or her warm embrace
I searched for, I screamed inside
I then just shut down, and closed my eyes
The day they took me, a part of me died


I was born in 1962 at the Royal Women's and Children's Hospital in Brisbane.