In Australia, Newborn Adoption Scandal

In a small local newspaper outside of Sydney, Australia, a family obstetrician named Brian Hooloahan who is getting on in years, finally went on the record with adoption and birth mother atrocities he witnessed in the seventies, against babies and their birth mothers.  During his days as a medical student at the Crown Street Women’s Hospital in Sydney, the Nowra obstetrician repeatedly saw newborns taken from their unwed teenage mothers moments after birth.

A Senate inquiry has been launched to find how thousands of young and unwed mothers were forced to give up their children for adoption between the 1940s and 1970s will hand down its findings tomorrow. One surprisingly statistic:  In 1971, 10,000 children were adopted in Australia, compared to only 384 just a few years ago.

As you can tell, in the seventies, that’s a whole lot of newborn adoptions. Something smells fishy! The inquiry reported heart-wrenching tales of women who were pressured or threatened in order to secure signatures on adoption consent forms. In the great interview originally reported in the Illa Warra Mercury, Dr. Hoolahan remembered:

‘‘I remember the girls calling out ‘I just want to touch my baby, please let me see my baby’ and they were crying and howling and it was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I was absolutely powerless… I was a young student and I expressed my opinion but nobody really listened. It was like something out of the Middle Ages.’’

He said governments were complicit with the practice because they provided the services for the children to be removed.

How terrible for all those unwed mothers, those poor young women. Tell me what you think about international adoption here:

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff
  1. by Robyn

    On August 21, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I think that forced adoptions are reprehensable. And those who participate through their actions or (knowing) inaction should be punished harshly. It didn’t happen only in Australia. It was globally pandemic at that time. And in many cases it is still practiced even today. My birth father is just one of the babies, U.S. born who was taken at birth in one of many forced adoptions during the 1950′s. To this day we have no idea who his real mother is or if she is even alive. I would love to find her, but after more than 10 years of trying to just find out her name, I’m no closer than when I started.