Dian Wellfare Adoption Rights Campaigner (1951-2008)

"A Sanctioned Evil" Part 3

Overview of Adoption
"A Sanctioned Evil" Adoption History in Australia
"A Sanctioned Evil" 2
"A Sanctioned Evil" 3
"A Sanctioned Evil" 4
"A Sanctioned Evil" 5
A Sanctioned Evil 6
Dian's Tribute Page
Civil Rights Crimes in Adoption
Wake up Little Suzie
Beyond Pain
Responses to the NSW Inquiry
A Judge Speaks
What they Knew
South Australian Vetos
Dian's Portrait at National Gallery
Origins INC NSW


Continuation  of Origins Submission to NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Adoption Practices
Written and researched by Dian Wellfare


Daily Mirror

17th October 1967

`Playing God with a Child's Life -

Choosing the parents'

Insight Report.


                             A few years ago the Child Welfare Department had a

                             waiting time of four years for a girl. This is too

                             big a gap between the decision to adopt a baby and

                             actually getting one. Normally we would say a year

                             is long enough to wait.


                        The following advertisement I think speaks for itself.


Sydney Morning Herald

12th February 1968

`These children need parents -

 (but adoption's a slow business)'


Charles Gilbert


                             By and large most of the Act's critics do not fully

                             understand the changes, and the most incredible

                             rumours have been circulating....that aboriginal

                             parents are likely to be forcibly deprived of their

                             offspring to enable them to be transferred to white

                             homes for an integrated upbringing.


Parliament of New South Wales


Psychological Harm

In 1965 The Honourable A.D. Bridges, then Minister for Child Welfare, declared in Parliament that:


     "Extremely careful consideration should be given to all possible

      alternatives before a child is removed from his own parents for

      adoption. Parents regardless of their social or legal status,

      should have the opportunity for full consideration of all the

      factors involved including the legal and psychological consequences

      of their decision to surrender or retain their child, before a

      decision is made finally that adoption is the best plan for the


A Matriarchal Crime?


 Could Adoption be historically viewed as a Matriachal crime given that while male legislators were  introducing  provisions to enable a mother to keep her child,  when it was women who were running the punitive homes for unmarried girls. Women  who  were the social workers denying  us our choices. It was women who were the punitive nurses. Women who were the judgemental nuns.

The only person to speak judgementally about mothers  was herself a woman as this following extract shows.


The Honourable Anne Press in the 1965 Parliamentary debate expresses her position regarding adoption most succinctly when she explains that:


     "I have always advised adoption for we have to think of the happiness

      not of one child but two children. Frequently the mother of an

      illegitimate child is in her teens. She has been carried away by

      emotion, and then brings forth this baby, which she would if given

      the opportunity, like to own and love. But that is not for her;

      she must make the supreme sacrifice by denying herself the pleasure

      of holding it in her loving arms. She always makes the sacrifice."



The Minister for Community Services

Mr Rex Jackson 1977

-in reference to 1968


Grievous Future Regret


A further factor making the abuse of mothers a human rights crimes issue -

can be observed by a letter of report sent in 1977 to the then Attorney General Mr Frank Walker from the then Minister for Community Services Mr Rex Jackson.


The report summarised the adoption workers' duty of care towards the unwed mother after being commissioned to investigate allegations of negligence by a mother who had been forbidden to see her baby and was not warned of the severe mental anguish she would suffer in having her child taken for adoption in 1968, some nine years earlier.


This most damning report summarises in the then Ministers own words that the Department had been fully aware of what their duty of care toward unwed mothers should have been and yet were never carried out. It read in part that:


  "It has to be accepted that the surrendering of a child for adoption

   inevitably means for the natural mother a momentous decision which she

. may later bitterly . It is one of the tasks of the Social Worker

   and the Allotment Officer who has dealings with a natural mother before

   and after her confinement, to counsel her wisely about the options open

   to her, to ensure that she understands what she is doing if she decides

   to surrender her child for adoption and this includes her understanding

   that she may grievously regret her decision later and to support her,

   sensibly and kindly, in her decision once it is irrevocably made."


But mothers were not being warned of grievous future regret. Quite the

contrary, given that the catchcry of adoption was (and still is) that it was "in the child's best interest to be adopted" and "If you love your child you will give it up!"


Obviously aware of the grievous potential for harm caused to their clients did not however, deter them from preying upon and railroading unsuspecting young mothers into adoption - The actual social workers who briefed the Minister on this report were senior social workers employed at the very same hospital which was alone responsible for separating between 40,000 and 50,000 babies from their mothers, being almost half of all adoptions in NSW, namely Women’s Hospital Crown Street Sydney.

What they knew about the need

for counselling for the mother

but -

Where was that Counselling?


(6)  Official Journal of the Australian Institute of Hospital Administration -

     Miss Pamela Roberts,

     A.I.M.S.W. Medical Social Worker in Charge The Women’s Hospital Crown

     Street Sydney. Vol.16 No.12. December 1968.


      "In theory no pressure is put on a patient either to release the baby for

       adoption or to keep the child but in many cases she has little choice

       because without the help or cooperation of her family the girl who wants

       to keep her baby will find the facilities poor."


      "For those girls who surrender their babies for adoption there is evidence

       that they need to go through a period of "mourning" for their child and

       may need help to re-adjust to life in the community again....While not

       going into long explanations as to why girls become unmarried mothers,

       it is known that if appropriate help is not given then the girl may be back

       again with a repeat of her problem."


On the subject of multiple out of marriage births: St Margaret’s Hospital at Taylor Square allocated the third floor for unmarried mothers. Being Catholic and forbidden contraception witnessed high numbers of mothers (not always Catholic girls) returning a second or third time, only to have their subsequent babies taken from them too. Although the causal factors of subsequent births had been well known, no counseling had ever been provided to help the girls in their times of crisis - in their unconscious attempt to replace their first lost child. Instead, as one nurse employed there at the time, explained how they were simply seen as providing a service to Catholic adoptive families and were generally left alone. When asked if sedation was ever used on the girls her answer was "Oh Yes, they were kept bombed out the whole time."


Medical records for St. Margaret’s Hospital have mostly been destroyed or are otherwise unavailable. A number of members who have had difficulty obtaining their records under their own names have discovered that the medical records had sometimes actually registered the child's birth and confinement records under the adoptive parents surname.


What They Knew About The Effects Of Adoption Separation On The Mother




I have lived my life with something on my mind

'though never knowing quite what it was.

A life disconnected - distracted.

Never giving too much

   Never getting too close

  Never quite fitting in.

I seem to have lived only on

the perimeters of my existence -

Never feeling quite whole.

Until the day came when I realised -

My mind had been protecting me 

from the pain of remembering.

Dian Wellfare.



The Unwed Mother

editor Robert W Roberts,

circa 1969

Are we stereotyping the unmarried mother"

by Rose Bernstein chapter 8



        "In addressing the meaning of denial it might be well to take cognisance of our own role in fostering it. As agents of the community, we offer the unmarried pregnant girl anonymity in a protected shelter, we provide out-of-town mailing addresses, we encourage her to deny

maturity by plans for the early placement of her baby, so that she can

resume her place in the community as though nothing has happened.


        What we interpret as pathology may be the girl's valid use of a

         healthy mechanism to protect herself in crisis from a threatening

         reality. She is behaving the way society requires in order to avoid

         permanent impairment of her social functioning. There are times

         when the girl who does not deny should perhaps be of

         greater concern to us than the one who does."



The natural parents needs after placement of her child:

by Miss M. Nicholas.

Course for Adoption Workers 1966,

Anglican Adoption Agency - Carramar Home.


       "Although she consciously says: "I know it was the best and only thing to

        do, because I could not give my child the normal family life which the

        adoptive parents can give", there still remains doubt in her mind about

        this. Even this statement can give the social worker a "leg in' to deal

        with her feelings about surrendering the child - focusing on HER

        feelings - not on what was best for the child because often these girls

        feel that they have "destroyed"  their child by surrendering him for

        adoption, or she may feel hostility that a couple is receiving so much

        pleasure from HER child (so the After Care worker must strongly

        identify with the unwed mother in case work). Five girls have said to me,

        without any prompting on my part, something like this:


       "Everybody seems concerned about choosing the best adoptive parents; I

        feel as if I have merely produced a child for the happiness of someone

        else." ....The statement is absolutely "loaded" with resentment and



        Indeed, I have found that the more intelligent the girl, the more severely

        disturbed and emotionally confused she proves to be...


    "1. Regret at having surrendered her baby for adoption. "Did I do the

        right thing, I am doubtful now; should not a natural mother be the right

        person to care for her child?" .....The girl is often pre-occupied with

        the baby.  "He is now 8 months old, I wonder what he is doing now, what

        he looks like, is he healthy". "Whether the adoptive parents are caring

        well for him"....Holding on to the child in fantasy in the way I have just

        mentioned, indicates that the mourning process has not been complete.

        This type of girl often sees the After Care worker and holds on to her as

        a link between herself and the baby, and as treatment progresses, this

        must be discussed with her, otherwise one would never get down to the

        basic problem."

    "2. Depression and anxiety with their varying symptoms."

     3. Loss of self confidence, self-esteem, strong feelings of rejection.  Sometimes it is a lack of confidence in not wanting to meet people generally."

    "4. Unsettled in their employment. Often at the beginning of treatment a

        girl may say that she would like to do nursing, social work training or

        just caring for children. Gradually some of them come to see that this is

        merely a reparation - a making of amends - for their feelings of guilt

        - they must do something for someone else because of what they have

        done to themselves and others."

    5. "Vague fear and doubts about many things. During the first interview,

        sometimes a girl may be incoherent: she may find it difficult to begin a

        conversation and may say "I don't know why I'm here; I'm afraid of what

        I don’t know.".......

    6.  Sometimes it is just "I must talk to somebody or I will go mad. I've had to

        keep a secret for so long and I can't talk to anybody"  I feel that most

        unwed mothers are so pre-occupied with having, and planning, for their

        baby at the hostel, that some are unable to look at what has gone wrong

        with their lives, or what the future holds for them, until the baby

        becomes a reality.

        10. One girl requested a photograph of her baby, about five months after

        the baby had been surrendered for adoption. In the first four she never

        mentioned wanting a photograph of her baby, she talked more about her

        feelings of inadequacy (living with family with very high standards). In

        the second four she made the request, and so together we discussed why

        she required the picture. At first, all she could say was "just to see

        whom he resembles in physical characteristics"; then we discussed her

        possible reasons until we got to the very basic one which was that she

        really wished to torment herself, to punish herself, because she felt so

        guilty about her behaviour.


        What are some of the  criteria for referring natural parents on for either

        diagnosis or treatment:


     1. Where marked depression or anxiety is evidenced. We must remember

        that not all depression, is pathological, eg. bereaved person's grief may

        be a perfectly natural reaction to a realistic loss, and the natural parent who has surrendered a child, generally speaking, does go through a"mourning period". The After Care worker must show that she (the worker) recognises the extent and meaning of the loss which means she

        must identify strongly with the natural parents and not with the adopting

        parents....If I refer a depressed or anxious patient on to a psychiatrist,

        she will have some, if not most of the following symptoms:


        Undue weeping, vague complaints of fatigue which impedes normal functioning regardless of the amount of sleep or rest she obtains:

        She may suffer from insomnia at night and may awaken early in the

        morning, or conversely, she may sleep excessively as a means of escape

        from her intolerable situation: eating habits may change - loss of appetite

        causing loss of weight and energy output, or excessive appetite.


        Changes in behaviour such as withdrawal from people, loss of interest in

        her appearance, and an inability to organise one's self; procrastination.

        Self esteem, self respect and self confidence may be very low; there are

        marked feelings of unworthiness.

        The girl may have attempted suicide and there may be some suspicion

        that she will make another attempt. If a girl says she is afraid to

       be alone, the worker must be very suspicious of this statement because she

        is obviously afraid of self destruction."

        Personality Disturbances: - here I mean very marked personality

        disturbances - I'm thinking of the girl who may be schizophrenic, who is

        obsessive and compulsive; also the one with a marked degree of

        aggression and hostility; one such girl was constantly having destructive

        dreams about babies, she saw babies being tortured."


Social Workers Report.

24th May 1966.

Queen Victoria Hospital.

N. Steinbeck. SOCIAL WORKER.




       Up to date, if a natural mother requested a photo of her baby, the Social

       Worker wrote to the adopting parents setting out the request of the

       natural mother. This, in my opinion, although most of the adopting

       parents have complied with the request, should not be done.

       The adopting parents should not be subjected to the reminder that their

       child is not their natural child. Neither should the natural mother be

       subjected to the agony of awaiting the answer, whether it is favourable or

       not. As a solution, it is suggested that a photo of the baby be taken when

       it is a week old and still has undeveloped features. The picture can them

       be given to the mother when she requests one."


 Social Service. Journal of the Council of Social Service of New South Wales. Some of the Needs of the Unmarried Mother Who Keeps Her Child.

by Pamela Roberts

Social Worker Women’s Hospital Crown Street Sydney.

Vol 20,No.1 July/August 1968.


           "While the unmarried mother cannot and should not be stereo-typed,

            amongst these groups of mothers can often be found many features in

            common such as impulsiveness, perhaps poor family relation-ships, an

            inner need to become a mother, and the longing of a deprived and

            immature girl for something of her own to love. It does often seem that

            the girl who has the capacity to grow and mature emotionally through

            her pregnancy, particularly with the help of a case work relationship,

            is the one who is able to release her baby for adoption feeling that

            it is the wisest course of action for both the child and herself. The

            girl who retains her child may very well be the one whose resources

            both inner and material are not so well geared to keeping and

            rearing her child successfully. Many of these mothers feel they must

            have a child of their own to love and cannot see past their own needs

            to the needs of the child."


Adoption -

From the Point of View Of the Natural Parents.

by Sister Mary Berromeo R.S.M.,B.A.,

      Dip.Soc.Wk. 1968.(b)


         "Separation from a child through the process of adoption is to a great

          many intents and purposes comparable to separation from a child

          through death. The loss is irrevocable in terms of relationship. Bearing

          in mind that we may suppose many unmarried mothers become pregnant

          in an effort to work out some inner problem, connected with

          unsatisfactory parental relationships, such a loss can be viewed as a

          traumatic event indeed. If such a solution is the chosen one, it

          seems that a time of readjustment and grieving must be bargained for.


         In some sections of our society, adoption is seen as the only possible and

         acceptable outcome to an illegitimate pregnancy. An unmarried mother

         who has imbibed this belief herself, ....even theoretically, tends to

         blame herself mercilessly that she cannot “put it all behind herself" and

         cease to think of the child she has surrendered. Often, she knows that

         acceptance  back into her family circle is dependent on her ability to do

         just this, and so she is under double pressure to suppress her grief. In

         cases where this is not done it is not unusual to find a severe breakdown

         in controls somewhere about the time of the child’s first birthday.

         Connected with questions of grief, and its acceptance in these

         circumstances, are such considerations as whether or not it is wise for

         the mother who intends to have her baby adopted to see the child and/or

         to handle it. It appears to me that we have for many years gone along

         with the idea that not seeing the baby somehow makes the adoption

         easier for the mother. In the light of experience over the last few years,

         this seems to be a very short term solution. It would appear to

         encourage the re-enforcement of the strong elements of denial of her

         pregnancy, which is a characteristic of the younger unmarried mother,

         and so, in the long-term view, prevent her from coming to terms with

         the whole experience. Maternal feelings, in so far as it can be isolated

         and observed, is surely such a complex reality that we cannot believe

         that its arousal is dependent on a single sensory stimulation.

         Parents often express the fear that if a mother sees the child she

         intends to surrender, she will be "haunted" by the mental picture of the

         child. On the other hand, girls who have not looked at their babies

         report that they carry a mental image of what the child is like. Given a

         free choice, most surrendering mothers elect to see their child."           




Although the new Adoption Act had introduced a secrecy clause based as it was on a closed adoption policy, adoptive parents continued to obtain the natural mothers name by way of it's inclusion on the Supreme Court Adoption Orders - well into the 1970's and beyond - through their adoption agent.


Although the law did not promise her any secrecy, the mother herself was permitted nothing. She was forbidden a copy of any document she signed. Forbidden a copy of the original birth certificate. Forbidden to obtain her own medical records. Forbidden information that wasn't a manifested lie. Forbidden any legal advocate. Forbidden to see her own baby. Whereas the adopting parents knew all about her - even her name.


Although the secrecy provision was introduced to protect the adoptive parents from the natural mother ever turning up to reclaim her child, no such promise was made to the mother. I believe this one sided secrecy was also used (because mothers were not being given a choice), to protect our children from ever discovering the truth surrounding their separation from their mothers. Had mothers willingly surrendered their babies there would have been no need for secrecy.

It allowed the industry to get away with blatant lies.

The mother was expected to leave the hospital with no proof whatsoever that she had even had a child.


The Social Worker

Their main concern


`The social worker's concern is with childlessness

or infertility, but the particular area of

competence is, naturally not in its treatment,

but in assessment or resolution of its effects

on the marital relationship of the couple.'


According to their own documentation, the adoption agency's main concern was the effect of infertility within marriage, with the overall success of traditional or newborn adoption, being based solely upon meeting the needs of childless couples.


The premise being that emotional issues caused by infertility and childlessness could be alleviated by providing an infant young enough to be "just as if" born to the adopting couple, not to mention the worker's own personal satisfaction of playing God (their words) by using a child as a placebo in providing a family where before one did not exist.


This fact was compounded in more recent years by the adoption industry seeing itself as being in "crisis" as a result of adoptable babies being in short supply.


In a less savage society it is the abandonment of babies that would be seen as the "crisis".  



Minor Concern-

psychological abuse and mind control

of the unmarried mother


`The ultimate objective of adoption is such a planned

change through helping to make a family where before

one did not exist. But before placement can be made

there are minor or contributory changes in the social

functioning of various individuals where the social

worker's part is well defined. The natural parents

must resolve, if possible, the surrender of the child.'


Their minor concern (again using their own words) was in locating enough babies, and finding ways of getting the unwed mother to accept the required separation from her child in order to meet their demand. It meant the

implementation of psychological abuse and mind control.


In relation to her treatment, and irrespective of both the law and mother nature, by 1967 according to McLelland's unresearched theories, it was decided that to enable an unwed mother to live for the rest of her life without her child, it had become "obvious" that during pregnancy:


    "she must come to see her child as being a separate individual from

     herself with needs of his own."


To do this her foetus would be referred to as "the baby" rather than "her baby" at all times. 


Using abusive psychological cruelty, if the she remained ambivalent to the

pressure and/or asked to keep her child, common practice was to remind the

out of line mother that she was simply carrying the foetus for its "real parents", if she dared speak of keeping her baby at all. Upon taking a consent, she was told she could have "children of her own" when she married - whereas it is estimated that up to 60% of unwed mothers were unable or unwilling to conceive again, making the adoption industry instrumental in causing infertility in otherwise fertile young women.


She would be told not to be selfish, made to pity the `good' infertile couple, told she was depriving a poor infertile couple of the only chance for a family of their own, how disappointed they would be as their heart was set on her child - how heartless it would be to disappoint them. she would be told her child would be made a ward of the state if she didn't sign, accused of being a bad mother for wanting to keep her child, who did she think she was - she couldn't care for a dog, and of course, given that she had never been made aware of available assistance, she would be asked how she intended to care for the child should she keep it - her answer would invariably be "I don't know".  


Further deceit was warning her, (if the baby's father remained on the scene - and many did) that he would come to hate both her and the baby if she forced him into marriage - and worse - she would end up hating her own baby if she kept him.


Perhaps the most common of all coercive practices was to convince the oppressed and unsupported young mother that it was "in her child's best interest" to be surrendered for adoption - and any mother who really loved her baby would want what was best for the child.


The message was clear. To want to keep the baby would be selfish and would indicate that she was a "bad mother". She therefore did not deserve her child and her baby would be seen to be at risk.


With no alternative avenue offered to them , and having to believe the perfect adoption myth for the sake of their sanity, the vast majority of mothers quietly fell into line and succumbed to their fate. 


Other tactics were not as subversive. Mothers were tricked into signing, being told the document she was to sign was a hospital release form, a milk voucher, or birth registration form, or lied to, told her baby was dead, or her baby would not receive the medication needed to save it's life if she didn't she

comply, kept isolated until they acquiesced, and generally coerced and bullied into signing blatantly obvious, uninformed consents.


Consents were often taken prior to - and immediately upon birth and post dated to accommodate the legal requirement of leaving three clear days before signing. Others signed empty documents that would be typed in by the officer at a later date.


Using oppression, fear, trauma, isolation, and sedation to acquire signatures, and without an informed decision anywhere in sight, made for easy pickings to enable this grand baby larceny.



`W' vs. The State of New South Wales

An Obstruction of Justice


At a recent Supreme Court hearing of 'W' vs The State of New South Wales, based on improper consent taking, a negative judgement was handed down  regarding whether the claimant could overturn the statute of limitations after 25 years had passed.


This judgement was determined by a Master, a subsequent Justice in the case

for appeal, and a panel of two judges in the following argument for a second appeal to try a third time, based entirely on the judicial systems decision to deny justice, on grounds that the lack of two witnesses directly involved in the adoption, with one having committed suicide in 1989.

The other witness, an American who had been in Australia on a working holiday for four years, and having taken 800 consents during her employment at the Women’s Hospital Crown Street, could not recall the Plaintiff personally, and so the state could not defend itself irrespective of the written evidence presented.


The Master in his wisdom chose to entirely misrepresent the documented evidence presented to the Court, misjudging the date the claimant signed the consent, assuming the date of signing to have been on day five where

evidence could not show that she signed before or after being administered the psychotropic drug Pentobarbitone. Whereas she had signed on day six, not day five as was declared, and the drug had still been in her system at time of signing, declaring very succinctly that stilboestrol was NOT a sedative (although the Plaintiff had never declared that it was either) to avoid any reference to the actual hypnotic sedatives produced as evidence, in his judgement.

Ignoring entirely that, according to her social reports of the time, the mother had intended to keep her baby throughout her pregnancy, looking "confident  and elated" by it, and had not seen the social worker at all during the two months period prior to confinement. Avoiding entirely that it was illegal to transfer a heavily sedated patient from one hospital to another without her consent or her baby. Avoiding entirely that the adoption practice of forbidding the mother to ever see her own child PRIOR TO ANY DOCUMENT BEING SIGNED, while she was the sole legal guardian of her baby until a consent had been signed was in law - illegal, and constitutes abduction.


Accepting the written statement of the witness for the defence as being accurate and lawful - when it was not. Accepting entirely the witness's explanation that the entire practice of adoption as described was simply societal mores of the time - which it was not. Although acknowledging that such practices were routine in The Women’s Hospital, the witness decided in her wisdom to declare in her statement that such practices were stopped in 1969 - when they were not. And that health authorities had been fully aware of the potential for psychological harm in forcing a mother to part with her own child.


The witness went on to explain that sometime after the birth, after being transferred to another hospital (heavily sedated and her baby hidden from her back at Crown Street) the mother would be visited by a social worker and

if it was indicated that the child (she had been forbidden to see of to bond with as per adoption practice) was to be adopted, a district officer would then be called upon to take the consent. All fully acceptable as okay by the judge.


The witness then went on to explain how the unmarried mother's medical chart would be marked with the codes:


            UB- meaning "unmarried, baby not keeping" or

            (BFA meaning "baby for adoption")


- to be used as a routine guide for labour ward staff. But as the mother had not been made aware of the labour ward protocol and what was to come, and although hospital staff were forbidden to interact with her, and although the mother herself would be unaware that her medical records had been marked, it was explained that this code had three functions.(unless the mother had "changed her mind".)


   1. Firstly, policy dictated that eye contact between mother and child was

      forbidden to prevent bonding.


   2. The second was the location of mother and baby postnatally.


   3. The third point pertained to the type of medication to be administered to

      the unmarried mother.


Irrespective of all the evidence presented, and irrespective of the fact that the Plaintiff’s accusations about her treatment had been verified as routine practice, and that the Plaintiff had been a minor and her consent was therefore not legally binding until she turned 21, and that until two years previously,

the Plaintiff was forbidden under adoption law to obtain her own documented evidence and did not know she had been sedated nor that she had been transferred to another hospital until she obtained her records, and that not even the Courts knew that unmarried mothers had any rights, or that past

practices had been breaking the law, but that the then 16 year old mother should have known her rights at the time and should have taken action by 1976, the Judges in their wisdom decided to prevent the course of justice being applied by refusing to overturn of the statute of limitations and allow the case to be heard.


Nevertheless, the witness's submitted written statements proved without a shadow of doubt that hospital practice was a pre-determined set-up. 


Hospital Practice


               "In order to better understand the most useful approach

               to the unmarried mother, it is necessary to be reminded of

               several simple facts regarding such unfortunate human beings.

               All unmarried mothers are not delinquents, and certainly not

               libertines. How often that are looked upon as a lower order of

               human being, as animals who live by their instincts! Nothing is

               further from the truth, and it is essential that the whole

               community be made aware of the real problem of these girls and

               made to realise that they are just human beings like themselves."


The Church and the Unmarried Mother

by a Psychiatrist

Presbyterian Church N.S.W.

Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Babies

 as part of hospital staff meeting late 1960's


The Women’s Hospital Crown Street was considered to be the most respected and progressive hospital in the State. This one hospital was alone responsible for separating between 40,000 to 50,000 babies from their mothers at birth, which amounted to almost half of all adoptions in NSW

Although I will use the following process adopted by the Women's Hospital

to outline the confinement process for unmarried mothers, similar procedures were followed by most hospitals in New South Wales, although smaller hospitals had no access to hospital annexes.


The Adoption Process

 Step 1.

The Hospital Almoner

Crown Street


Although adoption practices were instigated by the Department of Child Welfare, they could only be implemented by colluding with obstetric divisions of the then Health Commission of New South Wales.


Keeping in mind that an unmarried mother under British and human law remains the sole legal guardian of her child until an Adoption Order is made through the Supreme court and later reduced, with the introduction of the Adoption of Children Act 1965 to the time at which a consent to adoption is signed, and keeping in mind that under the Adoption of Children Act 1965 legislation had introduced protection clauses into the Act outlawing independent baby trading racketeers, to protect the unmarried mother and her child from coercion, duress, or undue influence in encouraging her to part with her child: although slight variations between hospitals occurred, the overall practices introduced into the treatment of unwed mothers followed a routine procedure commencing with the initial ante-natal visit, where the young mother at varying degrees of pregnancy would be directed to the hospital almoner's office (renamed social workers in 1969), where an evaluation of her marital status was conducted, whereupon automatic counselling toward the promotion of adoption was assumed. Neither warnings against, nor alternatives to adoption were being  offered, and any discussion of keeping the baby was actively discouraged.


The mother would then be booked into either to an unmarried mothers home,

waiting patients, attached to a hospital, or farmed out as cheap labour to private houses as hired help.


The Charitable Homes


Charitable institutions, hospitals, and Tresillian homes used heavily pregnant

girls as free labour to save themselves the cost of paying wages to experienced staff. The young mothers got no respite, and were made to work six days a week until the day they went into labour. Although the mothers were entitled to financial benefits after six month they usually saw none of it. except for perhaps $1.00 for bus fare to the obstetrician for their ante-natal checkup.


These homes were double dipping. Not only were they being provided with free labour in  their laundries, kitchens etc to run their establishments, in return for a lousy bed and food, they were also pocketing the sickness benefits belonging to the pregnant mothers. In some cases the girls parents were paying for the girls keep on top.


If they were allowed on outings their bags would be searched for contraband,

(lollies and chocolate), which would be confiscated from the girls by the staff.

Few, if any homes allowed visitors other than parents.


Up at dawn, the mothers would provide the labour in laundries, serve hospital staff, scrub and polish floors with huge uncontrollable machines that had minds of their own,  putting the mother at risk of miscarrying, knit and crochet doilies etc to be sold at fetes to raise money for churches and hospitals, and every other menial task that could be found for them.


All in all the mothers lowly position would continue to be re-enforced through being reminded that they were `bad girls' sluts, and generally treated as a lower form of life.  


Waiting Patients


Much the same as the unmarried mothers home but differs in that the pregnant mother can at any time be called up by the medical staff to be used as a specimen for teaching purposes.


Mothers who had no indication of being in labour would be called up to get ready for delivery, where the labour would be induced anything up to two weeks before due date simply because interns needed to clock up a certain number of inductions or episiotomies in training, and teaching had to coincide with doctors schedules. Frightened young teenagers already traumatised, would be called up from their room, made to strip in front of up to ten interns and doctors, where their bodies would be prodded and poked, their nipples squeezed to show the formation of the areola at certain stages of pregnancy. They would never be spoken to, nor would anyone look at their faces. As one woman explained:

              "I was like a piece of meat being molested by the medicos"


Cheap Labour


The third alternative was to obtain employment through the hospital almoner.

The unmarried mother would be paid $2.00 per week plus room and board in the early 1960's increasing to $10.00 per week by the mid and late 1960's. For this payment she would be expected to do the entire household duties, look after the employers children, cook, serve when required, beginning early morning and not stopping until after seven at night. While not all private homes exploited the young mothers or expected too much from them above basic duties, many were pushed like slaves, belittled in front of company, berated for shoddy jobs done, sent back and replaced if found to be too young to be competent. Many girls found themselves having to remain hypervigilent by the constant risk of molestation from the husband of the household, spending their time warding off drunken advances and molestation whenever the wife turned her back. 


The Labour Ward

A living death


The Pillow


They placed a pillow on my face

to shield you from my view.

They didn't care, nor realise

that nothing they could do

would ever ease the pain I'd feel

in ever losing you

A lifetime's passed

They've lied to me!

 they promised I'd forget

but as I lie awake at night

A victim of their theft

There’s no-one I can turn to

To help me in my plight

except another pillow

I weep into every night.


In the larger hospitals the birth would occur in front of as many as forty onlookers cramming to watch the delivery.

Unmarried mothers were not offered any ante-natal instruction on what to expect during labour even if they had been attending the largest and most respected obstetric hospitals in the state. Every procedure was designed to punish.


They were never informed of the birthing procedures, or that they would be forbidden to see their baby's at birth. Nor were they informed of the medication they were to receive nor were they given their right to decline the medication or procedure. Uninformed and ill-prepared, every aspect of the process would put them into a deeper state of delirium and trauma.


After preparation mothers would be given heavy levels of sedation known as lytic cocktails, designed to obliterate feelings.  The cocktails consisted of

psychotropic barbiturates in a combination of any of the following: Chloral Hydrate, Doriden, Pethidine, Sparine, Largactyl, Morphine, Heroin, Pentobarbitol, Sodium Amytil, Lithium, and Codeine.


A lower form of life

Many mothers have little if any memory of the birthing process. For many they not only stole their baby's but also stole their only experience of giving birth. Millions of taxpayers dollars on the other hand, are spent on perfecting procedures to enable infertile women the opportunity of experiencing childbirth which is considered to be the natural right of every female human being. That human right was not permitted for the unmarried mother.


To enable this torture, the medical profession involved in the adoption process saw unmarried mothers as being a lower form of life, and no better than animals. It wasn't enough to steal their babies;  in annihilating the essence of a woman by treating mothers like they were having abortions and not giving birth, for a great many women estimated at possibly 60%,  they had stolen and violated their only memory and experience of giving life, of procreation.


Irrespective of future counselling, there is no recovery from the experience of such a birth and of not having ever seen or held one's own flesh and blood to complete the birthing process.


Further labour ward practices implemented to prevent eye contact between mother and child, was while the mother was in stirrups, she would be sometimes shackled to the bed by the wrists (see 1971 4 Corners promotional video submitted) with either bandages, green hospital canvas strips, or leather straps connected to chains attached to the bed head, a pillow or sheet would be placed on her chest, or held in front of her face as a screen.


Other tactics were to turn her head away, dim the lights, stand in her path of view, or blindfold her until the baby had been removed from the labour ward and hidden somewhere in the hospital.


The cruelty of many nursing staff was unconscionable behaviour. Mothers in labour were often slapped, scoffed at, called sluts, ignored, left to suffer for longer than necessary through staff negligence (as just punishment), given no kind word of encouragement for a fine job, with many giving life in frozen and grief stricken silence.   

Some nurses, of course were kind but were restricted from showing any sympathy.


Procedure at The Women’s hospital Crown Street, and most other hospitals,  was to top up the already heavily sedated mother with a routine dose of 200mgms of Sodium Pentobarbitone to knock her out. She would come to some time later and find herself in another hospital entirely. This was usually Lady Wakehurst in Birrell Street Waverley, or Cannonbury if she had been a private patient. Her baby remaining at Crown Street.  Other, smaller hospitals with no available annexes to dispose of the mothers, would simply hide the baby from its mother in locked or hidden nurseries, staff rooms, and in linen closets to prevent the mother from gaining access to her child.


The transfer of the mother was done without her consent or knowledge and often without letting her parents know she had been removed from Crown Street. So heavily sedated were the mothers that many did not even know they had been transferred by ambulance until they received their medical records decades after under FOI, and discovered why they could not find the nursery.


The routine sedation would be to continue `as required' during the rest of their five or six day confinement, dependent on the state the mother was in. Pentobarb which remains in the system for up to 56 hours with a half life of 29 hours would be administered nightly, topped up with largactyl or regular doses of Chloral hydrate throughout the day in a pink syrup. Their drug charts were marked PRN meaning `as required'.

It was not uncommon for mothers to be used by interns to practice their sewing skills on. With almost every mother subjected to either an episiotomy or simply allowed to rip. Commonly, `fallen' women have been sewn up in such a way that

leaves a skin tag branding them forever as scarlet women. So butchered were some that the pain of scar tissue and shame of their disfigurement would prevent them from having any normal, or future sexual relationship again.

Because of the level of trauma and scarring, and unable to trust another

doctor again, or any other human being for that matter, the women, many of whom had been little more than children at the time, have been so ashamed they have been unable, or unwilling to ask for help to repair the damage, suffering silently, many refuse or avoid pap tests. I am aware of one mother whose caesarean scar runs from her navel to her pubic area like a train track was told at 15 years old "it will be her reminder not to be naughty again."    

As the phone support facilitator for Origins, these women have shared their secret with me using their first names only, providing post office box addresses, and so far refuse to come to meetings.


It has been estimated that as many as 60% of surrendering mothers never conceived again. Whether it was caused by secondary infertility, fear of pregnancy, or physical damage has not been known. Perhaps it never will.


Because of the lack of ante-natal instruction provided by hospital staff to help the mother cope with labour, along with being so heavily drugged they had no control over their bodily function needing to push the baby out, many mothers were ripped and torn to shreds inside and out. A just punishment for the sins of `wicked' young girls.


Perceptions were also that unmarried mothers were only charitable cases any way, and deserved no real attention, but that perception was not necessarily true. Many mothers who had been minors, were covered by their parents HCF private insurance.


The Post Partum Period


-Consent taking-

A conflict of Interest


Policy then dictated that at some time after the birth, although she had still been forbidden to see her child, a mother would be visited by a social worker, while she remained conveniently traumatised and sedated, and if it was then indicated that the baby (she had been forbidden to see or to bond with), was to be adopted, an unknown district officer from the Department of Child Welfare would then be called upon to take the mothers consent.


The consent taker, unknown to the mother, was usually the allotment officer working on behalf of the potential adopters. No mother was asked if she would like to keep her baby as adoption was automatically assumed.

This intolerable conflict of interest meant that if the consent wasn't signed her client wouldn't get the baby that has often been earmarked for them prior to birth.

Such shocking conflict of interest was made even more so as quite a substantial number of district officers/allotment officers, social workers, and others working in the adoption field were themselves adoptive parents - giving a fair indication of the no win situation the unmarried mother was in as a result of the self serving nature permeating the institution of adoption.


Socially Cleared


According to the medical records of The Women’s Hospital Crown Street, the unmarried mothers chart would be marked with the term `socially cleared' upon having signed a consent, or, `awaiting social clearance' prior to a consent being taken.

This term was an indication that the consent had been signed, the mother was socially cleared, and was then free to legally leave the hospital and resume her place in society. She would be forbidden access to her street clothes until a consent was signed.

If she attempted to discharge herself from hospital prior to being officially socially cleared, she would be threatened with police arrest for abandoning her baby, although she could not legally be charged with abandonment unless she had had no contact with her child for a period of twelve months. Police would be called to remove a persistent mother who tried to get her baby back from the agency within the legal time. One such mother explains how she had been thrown into the back of a paddy wagon and threatened with jail if she came back. Police were also used to extract the young fathers from the hospital. Many warned to keep away, and others even bashed up for good measure. 


If she refused to sign, as many did, her baby would be taken to institutions like Scarba House where it would be kept until the mother could be harassed into signing, or until the twelve months were up and her consent dispensed with anyway. That the baby was suffering from maternal deprivation was of little concern. the Mother was not going to get her child at any cost.


Nursing staff


Being strictly the social workers' domain, hospital staff were forbidden to have social interaction with the unmarried mother or discuss adoption matters lest it confuses her and interferes with the process at hand. Nurses would be threatened with de-registration if caught showing the mother her baby.


Can I see my baby?


The Unmarried Mother in our Society,

chapter 23 - Lakeside Girls.

(Shall I look at my baby?)

1956 Sarah B. Edlin.


   "In a professional agency such as ours...we experimented with permitting

    the girl to make her own choice in the matter of seeing or not seeing her

    baby. We observed - and so did the adoption agency with whom we work

    very closely and with whom we share our thinking - that in the main, the

    girl who did not see her baby was much more disturbed after her return

    home, than the girl who had seen her child and had returned to Lakeview

    with it for a week or two.


    It is obvious that in these cases the girl (who refuses to see her baby) is

    merely carrying out her own pattern of unreality, and is trying to negate

    the whole racking experience by refusing to recognise it's existence. We try

    to make this clear to her, and urge her to change her decision. But we

    cannot and do not always succeed in making the girl understand the turmoil

    and conflict she is storing up for herself by not seeing the baby. All we can

    do is to exert out fullest efforts to influence her to do so."


Although much evidence was available to determine that preventing a mother from seeing her child was psychologically harmful to both mother and child,

and although the mother was the sole legal guardian of her child until she

signed a consent, it became routine practice Australia-wide to forbid eye

contact between mother and child.....to prevent bonding.


Most mothers so psychologically brainwashed into believing their baby did not

belong to them, did not know they had a right to ask, were too afraid to ask,

or, did ask to see her child only to be ignored or berated for her audacity.


Each hospital complied with the arrangement decided upon by the unmarried mothers home to which they were affiliated.


The Anglican Adoption Agency who controlled the girls at Carramar Home for Unmarried mothers (the largest private adoption agency during the 1960's), for example, decided that the mother could see her child at least once, but was forbidden to hold it or feed it, and then only after she had signed the consent.

By the early 1970's, she was permitted to hold her baby for a few minutes, but only whilst heavily guarried by a team of nursing staff or someone else in authority.


I believe this type of control constitutes inducement to sign a contract.  



The Revocation Period

`Under the provision a mother who finds

her maternal instinct so strong that

she needs her offspring back may make

an application to the court'

Child Welfare 1939

Revocation period introduced.

and under British law and accordingly, the Child Welfare Act 17, 1939:


The mother was the sole legal guardian of her child until the adoption order was made through the Supreme Court. This meant that she could legally reclaim her child from the foster parents at any time prior to the adoption order being made if her circumstances changed. The placement of a child with adopters was merely an interim placement and was not legally binding.

Most mothers knew nothing of their right to reclaim their child. Most are still unaware.

Nevertheless, as adopters began to claim how they could not bond with the child with the threat of its mother returning to reclaim her child, to alleviate any greater stress than necessary on the adopters, the new Adoption of Children Act would introduce into legislation a clause to reduce the mothers revocation period to a maximum thirty days. But again many mothers were never informed of the newly introduced revocation period.


The Adoption of Children Act 1965,

Proclaimed on 7th February 1967


Because of the permanent nature of adoption, the revocation period was essentially meant to be a cooling off period. Its intention was meant to ensure that the mother was fully aware of her actions, and if she decided life would be too unbearable without her child she then had time to revoke her consent. It was also meant to give her time to recover from the birth and get her life in order before she made such a life altering decision as surrendering her child.


Still in a state of unspeakable trauma in having been forbidden to see her child

or at best offered a glimpse, and having been counselled into believing her child did not belong to her, thirty days was hardly enough time to recover from the birth let alone find employment, accommodation and childcare while still attempting to recover from her experience. Although unbeknown to her, these facilities had been readily available and she was supposed to be made aware of such help as part of her so-called counselling interviews.


Although a mother was meant to be able to reclaim her child within the 30 day revocation period, few ever managed to access that legal right unless their parents were willing to support them, even if the mother was already an adult and in her twenties.


Too late most realised that the thirty day revocation period was being used simply as a trap to ensnare those who tried resist into signing a consent, believing she had time to get help and her life in order and come back for the child. But with the baby being already allotted, by the time she returned, they had no intention of giving her child back.


Additionally, because mothers were not being made aware of how to go about revoking her consent to reclaim their babies within the legally permitted time, she had to re-contact the staff of adoption agency or hospital who had taken her consent, and in doing so would be routinely obstructed from revoking,  being met with resistance, and hindered from carrying out her original intention by being told it was all too late and too bad.


Dedicated to my son, David

Born: 3rd October 1968


                     29 years ago, you were taken for adoption,

                     It wasn't my choice, I was given no option.

                     Even though they tore us apart

                     They can never separate you from my heart.

                     I hope that your parents are loving and kind,

                     If only I knew, it would sure ease my mind.


                     As I said to the woman who insisted I sign,

                     "Give him to strangers, are you out of your mind!" 

                     "To a Doctor or Lawyer", she said you would go,

                     That was a lie, as I now well know.

                     30 days she gave me to get you back,

                     If I could prove to the department, that I didn't lack.


                     So home I did go and got a good job,

                     On a property away from the narrow minded mob.

                     The people were lovely, they said "you could stay",

                     With their young children, you would be able to play.

                     You had your own nursery, and money to spare,

                     Now all was set, for our lives now to share.


                     As I rang the hospital on that particular day,

                     I wasn't prepared for the words they would say.


                     "Give you your baby?, I would if I could.

                     But I'm sorry my dear, you have misunderstood.

                     30 days, or new parents - and you are too late,

                     I guess you will just have to live with your fate".


                     29 years of your life I have been unable to share,

                     But I love you as much as the day I was there!

With my love

your mother -Jeanette




Tampering with Legal Documents


Point 1.

   The wording on the documents to be signed, because of it's legal             

   terminology, was hard to understand for any layman let alone a young

   traumatised often sedated mother (often little more than a child herself)

   with no law degree and not having the vocabulary to know the meaning of

   words like `revoke', `redress', `Master in Equity'.


Request to make arrangements for the adoption of a child


Point 2.


a) The Request to Make Arrangements form was meant to be given to the

   mother sometime prior to signing a consent. However, this form was ALWAYS

   presented to the mother to sign at the same time and on the same day as the

   consent form was to be signed. Giving the mother no time to consider the

   meaning of signing the consent form.

Tampering with a legal document

b) Although the officially legislated wording on The Request to make

   Arrangements for the Adoption of a Child document explains that:


         "I have also been informed and fully understand that I may revoke my

          consent for the adoption of my child only by giving notice in writing

          to the Master in Equity, Supreme Court, Sydney, before the day on

          which an Adoption ORDER is made or before the expiration of thirty

          days from the day on which I sign a consent, whichever is the earlier."


However,  the Crown Street Hospital Request forms have conveniently omitted the word ORDER from their documents.

The omission of the word ORDER gives an entirely different understanding to the meaning of the document.


Not only is it illegal to alter a legal document, but


I believe this `error' was wittingly made to imply that the `interim' placement of the child with adopters meant that the adoption has already occurred. Whereas the adopters were only foster parents UNTIL the adoption ORDER was made through the Supreme Court.


An `interim' placement was not legally binding. The mother could reclaim her child within the 30 day revocation period. She was to have the child returned to her with 48 hours of revoking her consent.


I believe this error was made to imply that once the child had been placed with his adopters, it was then too late for the mother to reclaim her child.


I believe submissions to this inquiry by mothers who tried to revoke within the allowed time and failed,  will bear testimony to my accusation THAT THIS MISINTERPRETATION was used to prevent them from reclaiming their child.



NB By the 1960's the adoption order usually took around six months to be made through the Supreme Courts, to give the adopters time to adjust to the child and to return it if the child was deemed to be unsuitable, or if they were unsuitable.


It has become noticeable that the only exceptions we have discovered to date were mothers whose parents became personally involved in the recovery of the child and who had supported the mother in the revocation of her consent.


Registering of Birth Certificate

Point 3.


The mother had to sign the birth register as informant.

But as mothers were either forbidden to see their child and/or forbidden to

unwrap the blanket her child was wrapped in, if she was permitted to see it,

she would not have known if she had had a boy or girl, or if the child referred to was in fact her child.


The mother had to rely on the honesty of the case worker to provide the correct information although it is well established that mothers were often told the wrong sex of the baby and shown the wrong baby after signing a consent to ensure she wouldn't bond with the child.


Many, if not most mothers were unaware of what they were signing. Many were forbidden to see the wording of any document they were expected to sign.


Consent Form

Point 4.


In many cases the baby's name has been typed out on the Consent and request forms.

It has to be acknowledged that unless the baby's name had been written in by hand, many mothers would have signed empty consent forms that would be filled in at a later date, as it was routine practice to allow the mother to give her baby a name only after the consent was signed, so it would have been impossible for the case worker to have known to type the baby's name in prior to consent taking - as she would not have yet known it.

Put simply: if a baby's name has been typed in, the mother has signed an empty document. I believe this procedure would be illegal.



Point 5.


If an error was found to have been made in filling out the legal documents, the officer would simply cross it out and fill it in by hand. The officers would also add additional wording to the meaning of the document if they felt like it.


I believe this to be illegal.


So contemptuous were those in authority of the unwed mother, even the Supreme Court of New South Wales allowed these tampered with legal documents to be processed.


A  Law Unto Themselves


On the one hand the then Minister for Child Welfare, A.D. Bridges, furiously re-assured Parliament in 1965 how the unmarried mothers rights were being sufficiently guarded and complied with to get the new Adoption of Children Act 1965 passed through the Courts, and only let slip his personal contempt towards unmarried mothers once, and knowing Parliament would never endorse such practice, behind the scene, his Department officers and policy makers seemed to have taken it upon themselves to collude with obstetric hospitals to introduce their own illicit hospital practices which misrepresented the Act.


Without such collusion between the two Departments, adoption would have had an entirely different history than it does today.


These new procedures once endorsed - effectively turned the legal process of adoption into the act of abduction - by implementing procedures of:

1. Systematically denying mothers all knowledge of their above mentioned

   legal rights and options


2. Using both overt and covert methods of coercion to obtain consents


3. Actually promoting adoption - rather than following their legal

   fiduciary duty of having to warn mothers' of the potential harm such a

   course of action may cause them


4. Introducing the violent act of interfering in the very primal act of

   giving birth between a mother and child by snatching newborns from their

   mothers wombs prior to the completion of birth while their mother was still in

   labour, bound by stirrups, often heavily sedated, and awaiting the

   expulsion of the placenta,


5. Introducing the inhuman practice of forbidding eye contact between

   mother and child to supposedly prevent bonding (severing instead the

   natural symbiotic bond between mother and child which had already begun 

   at conception, which culminated in a violent trauma to the psyche of both

   mother and child from which neither is ever able to recover).


   The measures used to prevent bonding included placing a pillow on the

   mothers chest or at her face, holding a sheet up to obstruct her view,

   turning lights down or off, blindfolds, turning mothers head away, standing

   in way of vision, rushing baby out of labour room immediately upon birth, 

   using heavy sedation during labour, holding shoulders down to prevent

   mother from lifting herself up, pushing mother back down if she sat up,

   shackling mother to bedhead as per video. 


   The consequences of forbidding a mother to see, touch and smell her

   child at birth, by the way, keeps the mother suspended forever in a

   psychologically pregnant state having never completed the birthing process.

   which could account for why an estimated 60% of such mothers never

   conceived again, while others fell pregnant soon after the loss of their

   baby in a futile attempt to finish giving birth to their lost firstborn and

   replace the lost child. 


6. Preventing lactation by using the synthetic hormone DES Stilboestrol,

   administered in three time the legal dosage and known since 1971 to be

   carcinogenic, and or by the method of breast binding. all without written

   consent from the mother. Most mothers would still not know they had been

   administered this hormone nor would they be aware of the now known

   potential health risks to themselves or their subsequent children in having

   been administered  Stilboestrol.  


7. Sedating mothers during labour with what was known as lytic cocktails

   (used medically to obliterate feelings) consisting of phenobarbitone,

   pethidine, sparine, largactyl. Postnatally hypnotic memory altering

   barbiturates such Pentobarbitol, Sodium Amytil, Methodone, Heroin, and

   Chloral Hydrate, Bombadon, would be administered during the post

   confinement period until a consent was taken. The letters PRN or the stamp

   of a star noted on the patients medical drug sheet indicated that the listed

   drugs could be used "as required."


8. Hiding babies from their own mothers within the confines of the

   hospital, in staff rooms, in linen closets, in locked or hidden nurseries,

   denying mothers free access to their own babies- at a time when she was still

   the sole legal guardian of her child and could not legally be denied access to

   her child.


9. Showing mothers the wrong baby after signing a consent to ensure no

   bonding take place


10. Telling mothers their babies had died at birth - when they had in fact

    been adopted. (known in the trade as rapid adoptions - more later)


11. Transporting mothers by ambulance, whilst heavily sedated to different

    hospitals without their babies and without their permission (an act of

    kidnap by maternity hospital regulations)


12. Forbidding mothers to see their babies until they signed a consent

    (legally classified as inducement to sign a contract)


13  Taking consents from mothers prior to or upon birth and post-dating

    consenting date to the legally required day five (check Wagga Base



14. Getting Mothers to sign empty documents and filling them in at a later



15. Forging signatures


16. Shackling mothers to bedhead during labour with leather straps attached

    to chains or using bandages (see video supplied)


17. Forbidding mothers to leave the hospital until their records were

    marked with the term "socially cleared" indicating that they had signed a

    consent and could then legally leave the hospital.


18. Forcing mothers to sign a consent on day five when she could legally

    take time to recover from the birth before making a decision. Day five was

    only the earliest time her signature could legally be taken.


19. Taking unenforceable (and therefore invalid) consents from minors -      

    their consents only becoming valid upon reaching the age of majority

    which was 21 years of age - reducing in the early 1970's to 18 years.


20. Not informing mothers of the 30 day revocation period.


21. Preventing mothers their legal right of revocation within her legally

    permitted time by advising them that their child had already been adopted

    when it had only been placed in an interim placement that was not legally



22. Not providing professional counselling facilities either prior to

    during or after confinement.


23. Employing non-skilled and non-licensed staff to conduct legal

    transactions, prepare legal documents and interview unmarried mothers

    without knowing the law. In trying to get the heat off their profession social

    workers now tell us that as many as 80% of people working in the adoption

    industry were non-professionals.


24. Expecting young unskilled mothers to sign legal documents without an

    adult advocate present, and without her understanding the legal meaning or

    interpretations of the document she is signing.


25. Not advising young mothers of the permanent nature of adoption. Some

    young mothers believed that adoption meant that an adult would help her to

    raise her child, that she would only be giving up her parental rights.

    Many young mothers had no idea that they would never see their child

    again until they contacted the agency, or went to get their baby upon

    leaving the hospital after signing.



26. Misrepresenting the more recent open adoption system where the girl would

    be promised open access to her child but would not warn the mother that

    the adopting parents of her child were under no duty to comply with any

    promises they made to her in order to acquire her child.


27. Lying to mothers since the mid to late 1970's, to get them to sign a consent

    by telling them they will have open access to their child, that adoption is

    not closed like it once was, when open adoption is still not legislated upon

    through parliament in 1998.


This was adoption Australia-style.


It must be made very clear that until 1967 two thirds of all adoption       arrangements were carried out by the state government agencies. The other third were made up of what was known as independent baby traders who were ultimately outlawed when the state took over control of all adoptions in Australia in 1967 by licensing only reputable agencies to arrange adoptions.


We are not speaking of those privately arranged baby traders, although they are included. We are speaking of the abuses carried out by the licensed adoption agencies and the hospitals to which they were associated. 




Which ever way it is viewed, a mother cannot be denied her legally available

options to enable her to make a free and informed decision, be forbidden to see or have eye contact with her own child, have her baby hidden from her and remain heavily sedated until her signature can be taken to make it all look so legal, and not call it abduction.






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