Monday, July 5, 2010

Australian Apology to Mothers!

Were you an “unmarried mother” whose baby was adopted in
Western Australia in the 1940s to the 1980s?

NOW … more than half a century later, the West Australian Government has announced that in Parliament in September 2010, they will apologise to all mothers, our children and all other members of families who were affected by past adoption practices, acknowledging the trauma and suffering of mothers and fathers, whose children were adopted out under past Government’s unsupportive procedures.

On June 1st, Dr Kim Hames, Deputy Premier stated:
“I have spoken to women who were affected by these practices and have heard first-hand the impact that has had on their lives. They have told me an apology will go some way to assisting to overcome what has, for some, been lifelong trauma.

"This apology will recognise that between the 1940s and 1980s, the legal, health and welfare systems of the day were unsupportive of pregnant, unmarried women. For many, this experience had a profound, lasting effect.”

Many unsupported and vulnerable single mothers were NOT advised by those who knew of all the available support; financial aid, material and in-care assistance that that was their right to receive, to enable them to bring up their own babies!

Without this information, many reluctantly signed consent forms – many were coerced and pressured to sign! Many were denied their right as the mother of their child to nurse and name their child, and have suffered grief, pain and trauma at the loss of their baby ever since.

Many have suffered for years, silently and alone, forbidden to speak of, or unable to speak of, their loss or let go of that enforced guilt at a choice they had been obliged to make because the system refused them the help they desperately needed.

• UNITE … share in this historical occasion; the very first in Australian history!
• UNITE … and show your appreciation of a government who with compassion recognised our need for validation that “WE DID NOT ‘GIVE’ OUR BABIES AWAY!”
• UNITE … support those who have worked long and hard to raise awareness of a forward thinking government who listened and heard our voices and now recognise the truth of our cries for help for so long.
• UNITE … with mothers from other states of Australia - who came across the long lonely miles, pregnant and alone, returning home alone – who are now coming back together to celebrate this significant and momentous event of an official apology at the West Australian Parliament House in Perth W.A. in September 2010!
• UNITE and REJOICE TOGETHER at this unique historical event in Australia’s history which may hopefully ensure that this history will be replicated Australia-wide!


Von said...

We hope for a Federal Apology like the other wronged groups have had.I understand there will be a memorial also.

KimKim said...

South Australia can apologize too. I was sent away when I applied for the single mother benefit, I was told to go and find her father and get money from him. My hospital social worker sat on my bed and hammered at me for a good solid twenty minutes telling me how selfish I was to want to keep her and that I was looking for the easy way out. The adoptions branch never once talked about the option of me keeping her. They even rushed the adoption through because they were scared I would change my mind.
Years later a woman from the adoptions branch told me my daughter had avoided the poverty trap by being adopted.
An apology would be kind of nice....I'm not expecting one and it won't change anything but it would be nice.

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